Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What’s not rape (by Suzie)

      I’m excited to have my posts included in the latest Carnival of Radical Feminists, but it has gotten me thinking: What might the games and rides be like?
      The carnival has some interesting posts. Be sure to check out La Doctorita’s commentary on magazine covers. She concludes:
… the next time somebody tries to tell you that men have to deal with just as many unhealthy stereotypes about their appearances as women do … just walk them over to the magazine aisle.
         Abyss2hope comments on an outstanding series on rape in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. She also wrote a series of posts discussing what constitutes rape. I read this yesterday, after a morning of imaging tests at the cancer center where I volunteer. I’ve gotten CT scans and/or MRIs at least every three months since I was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma in 2002.
         For an MRI of the abdomen and pelvis, the techs put contraptions on my body and strap me down. Yesterday, one tech was going to strap my arms against my body, and I refused. The other tech got it immediately and said that was OK, and he could make my arms comfortable and free by my side.
         MRIs freak out a lot of people. But some health-care professionals also understand that procedures can be difficult for some people who have gone through traumatic experiences, such as rape. This silent understanding is a kindness because few people want to say, “Hey, I’m a rape survivor and this creeps me out.”
           I couldn’t find research on this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some rape survivors avoid medical care or skip some procedures because they are uncomfortable but don’t want to say anything.
           On the other hand, I’ve heard guys say, half-jokingly, that they felt violated or raped by procedures like catheterization. Listen up: If you’ve never been raped, please don’t use rape as an analogy for something unpleasant for which you gave your consent. Find some other way to complain.
          By the way, I listened to the latest CD by Little Pink during my MRI and I highly recommend it. Here's “Wind and Water.”