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It's Not Locker Room Talk. It's Violent Foreplay.

Written by Andrea Hill on . Posted in Sex & Gender

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People are resentful that radical jihadi terrorism has caused us all to live in a Code Orange world. Women have been living in a Code Orange world for a long time. Sometimes you figure it out when you’re really young, and you carry that wariness and those high cortisol levels around with you for the rest of your life. Other times, you don’t realize you live in a Code Orange world until your boyfriend beats and rapes you over buying the wrong kind of beer, or a stranger yanks you into the bushes on your college campus. But eventually, most women come to realize that we live in a Code Orange world.

One out of every 5 American women will be raped in her lifetime.

One in 4 girls and one in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old.

It’s hard to come up with clear statistics for sexual assault, because in some states the assault statistics are included with the rape statistics, and in many other states they are not. Additionally, a very large percentage of sexual violence goes unreportedWhat we do know, is that somewhere between 35% and 60% of American women will experience some type of sexual assault in their lifetime.

This means that you most definitely know a woman who has been raped or experienced some form of sexual violence.

This is why “locker room” talk (whatever that is) is not acceptable. Ever. When people banter about sexual violence toward women, they reduce the gravity of it to something the level of a joke. Rape is never a joke. Getting your body groped as if you were an item on a grocery shelf is not a joke. Going through years of therapy so you can actually feel as relaxed as you try to look when you go to work or walk outside your house is not a joke.

Want me to lighten up about this? Oh, hell no. Not until you’ve experienced that sexual assault in my shoes. Not until you’ve walked into a crowd of people, quieted the monkey voice in your head, and counted off each woman you see as follows:

Raped.  Assaulted.  Assaulted.  Not assaulted.  Not assaulted.

Raped.  Assaulted.  Assaulted.  Not assaulted.  Not assaulted.

Raped.  Assaulted.  Assaulted.  Not assaulted.  Not assaulted.

Maybe then, when you leave that crowd and all its tragically violated women behind you, you’ll know that locker room talk isn’t a thing. It’s just another form of violent foreplay.