It's a very strong idea in our culture and one which keeps rape victims in denial about their experience and ensures that they don't face up to what happened to them for weeks, months or years in some cases, because their image of themselves, doesn't fit in with the image they've been fed, of a rape victim. So I want to talk through the step-by-step process of how a woman can be set up to become a rape victim and how that has nothing to do with her and everything to do with the man who decides to rape her.
Secondly, a small update about my life that will shortly become relevant: D* and I broke up a few months ago (the parting was mutual), and I have tried to start dating. It's the first time I've really tried dating (as opposed to my normal friends-evolve-into-relationship pattern), and it turns out that I am having some difficulty with certain aspects of it.
[Edited out some stuff that I decided I don't particularly want on the internet.]
This, of course, leads into the question of when and how I should tell a prospective boyfriend about what happened to me. I am trying extraordinarily hard to not repeat what happened with D*, when I blurted everything out as quickly as I could in an effort to be up-front; I suppose that at the time I thought full disclosure in that manner was a good idea, and subconsciously I was giving him the chance to run away before I could become too invested. I've now realized that this is not ideal, but I don't have a better plan. I need a way to test the waters and gauge his reaction to things like sexual assault. I need to know that he won't tell rape jokes, or laugh at them, or blithely contribute to rape culture. :-/
Also, I realized how low my bar is set right now for what I consider a good date, because I remember wondering if/when he was going to make a comment about my body or say I was fat. Hello self-esteem issues?
I'm drained and I think I'm beating a dead horse, so I'm going to stop here for now.