Sexual Violence is the New Normal

As Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified about being sexually assaulted by SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh, more and more women shared their own rape stories and why they didn’t report it at the time.

The sad thing is that it’s become clear that sexual assault is much more common than we ever could have imagined. Statistics say 7 out of 10 women don’t report their rapes. But statistics are so much different than actually hearing the stories.

Before women felt confrontable sharing their accounts of assault in public, their stories were merely whispers shared with close friends, if shared at all. Back then we could pretend that rape culture wasn’t an epidemic. We could avoid dealing with the harsh reality that every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.

But those aren’t just numbers anymore. These are real people with a trauma they have quietly carried on their backs.

When I was younger, there was a point in my life when every single one of my best friends had been raped. They weren’t sluts or teases or whatever else you want to call them. It shouldn’t be “luck” that I hadn’t been assaulted like they were.

Getting raped, assaulted, or harassed should not be the norm and yet here we are. And they still don’t believe us. We tell our stories and you call us liars. We stay silent and you say we should have spoken up. We are trapped in rape culture.


Today’s hearings for Kavanaugh proved once again that our country has chosen rape culture over truth. They have chosen rapists over victims. There have been a lot of terrible things in this presidency. But this is certainly among the worst.

Trump, McConnell, Ryan, and everyone in the GOP has brought out the worst in this country. I’m genuinely scared for our future. They have opened up an opportunity for sexual predators to have a place at the table without guilt, regret, or consequences.

And I fear we can never go back. Sexual predators in the white house, in the Senate, in the Supreme Court. This is our new normal.

Yesterday twitter user “The Feminist Next Door” tweeted,

“Brock Turners grow up to be Brett Kavanaughs who make the rules for Brock Turners.”

And she’s right. We are trapped in an endless circle.

But despite everything that’s happened over the last week or so, we have to remember that there are still good people in the world. In homage to Anita Hill, 1,600 men signed a full-page ad in The New York Times, which began,

“27 years ago, on November 17, 1991, 1,600 black women joined together and placed a full-page ad in the New York Times to support Professor Anita Hill when she faced backlash for accusing Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. They called it, ‘African American Women in Defense of Ourselves.’ Today we follow in the footsteps of those courageous women. We are 1,600 men who now stand behind both Professor Anita Hill, as well as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, because we believe them.”

christine blasey ford protest
Source: Twitter

Early this morning, more than 1,000 protestors gathered at the U.S. Capitol in the rain, chanting,

“We believe Christine Ford, we believe Anita Hill.”

57 of them were arrested.

There are already 12 different GoFundMe projects raising money to help Dr. Christine Blasey Ford pay for her polygraph test, security fees to protect her against death threats, and more. Combined, the campaigns have raised more than $765,000.

There are still good people in this country. We just need to get them in office.

If you are worried about getting to the polls in November, learn how you can sign up for absentee voting here.


Stop Using #MeToo As a Euphemism for Sexual Harassment and Assault

Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.