The Rape Rainbow (A Guide to all the Kinds of Raping)

First, a note: the beginning of this piece is what they call “satire.” If you’re new to the idea, satire means that if you find yourself agreeing with this stuff, you might also have a rusty nail wedged in your brain, or maybe you were raised by squirrels in the forest*, or perhaps you’re trying to win a contest for the dumbest human alive. Whatever led you to this point, you should probably see a doctor and/or read all the books in your local library. Also, please refrain from talking unless it’s to call a doctor or ask for directions to said library.

You know they say that you learn something new every day? Well, guess what I learned the other day? I learned that there are lots of different kinds of rape and—here’s the real fascinating part—a bunch of them are okay! Well, not TOTALLY okay, but some kinds of rape can’t get anyone pregnant, and therefore it’s probably not that big of a deal. And if you DO happen to get pregnant from rape, it’s because it wasn’t all that bad, and probably you were wearing a short skirt, or smiling, or having breasts and a vagina—you know, you were asking for it.

I know, it’s crazy! I had NO idea. I feel so silly for thinking that rape was always rape when you weren’t 100% sure that your partner—pssht, I’m sorry. “Partner?” What am I, some crazy liberal? Let me try again. I thought rape was rape when you weren’t a 100% sure that your sex receiver was into the whole thing. Boy, was I wrong. There’s “forcible rape,” “non-forcible rape,” “legitimate rape,” “sneezy rape,” and they all have different causes AND consequences. Fascinating stuff.

So, as to not be an irresponsible community member, I thought I’d come up with a handy guide to knowing when it’s the okay kind of rape, or really RAPE rape, which, you know, is bad. I now present you with…the Rape Rainbow!

Red Rape

Stop! Red rape is the bad rape. Maybe you have a knife, or a gun, or your strangling someone, and then you have sex with them. CLEARLY this one is super terrible, but on the upside, you can’t get your victim pregnant (according to the Czar of No Science Ever). I know you’ve got your heart set on raping someone, but we have to draw the line somewhere, so the line is brutal force. Brutal force + sex = Red Rape.

But you’re in luck! There are other kinds of rape that are kinda almost fine!

Orange Rape

Orange rape is still pretty freaking terrible, but if you get really douchey about it, you can explain how your victim didn’t say no, so, you know…you’re in the clear!

Now, how do you get someone to let you do something you know they don’t want you to do? Drugs! Alcohol! They key here is to make sure your lovely lady is either completely unconscious, or that she doesn’t remember how words work. She won’t even remember what happened until a few weeks later when—blammo!—she discovers the gift of a human embryo you left her in her insides! See? You gave her a present! What an ingrate.

Yellow Rape

Yellow rape is all about prostitutes. Buying a prostitute is like buying a house.  When you buy a house, you can do whatever you want to it, because you PAID for it. Same thing goes with a prostitute. It’s not like prostitutes are people with feelings. And if they didn’t want to get raped, they would have chosen to be florists or a senators, right?

Green Rape

Green means go! Green rape is all about finding the most ambiguous signal that could be interpreted as sexual interest, and then using that to make the victim feel like she WANTED to be raped (because we all kinda do, right? Of course.). This can be wearing “slutty clothes,” smiling at you at the bar, feeling overcome by your coolness because you’re 10 years older…all kinds of stuff. And if you’re dating someone, that’s just blanket permission to rape. It’s kinda like all those terms of service things that we don’t read; she signs up for dating, but you know that she’s agreed to giving you sex whenever you want it, even if you have to use a little muscle or emotional threats or whatever.

And then…um…

Okay, people…sorry. I can’t get through it. I can’t keep up with my own sarcasm because…well, this is crazy. What’s crazier is that Todd Akin is out there is propagating these toxic beliefs and trying to get people to PAY him to make legislation on their behalf.

I know there are a lot of issues on which to hang our hats, and it’s hard to make progress when we’re drawing so many lines in the sand, BUT there’s no excuse for trying to minimize rape. None of us want to be raped. None of us want our daughters, or sisters, or aunts, or cousins, or coworkers to ever experience such a painful violation.

We have to communicate to our representatives that if you’re not willing to stand up for victims of violence in our communities, then you’re simply not qualified for the job.  There’s only one kind of rape. If you believe in degrees of rape, you don’t belong in our government. Sorry, but it’s not a liability we can afford. Maybe try the florist route. There are lots of shades of things there.

*No offense to those of you with rusty nail heads and squirrel parents. I know you’re better than this.

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36 Comments

  1. Wow, I couldn’t have wrote this better! So now I’m just gonna do my part and FORCE IT on everybody by whatever means possible! Thank you Melanie for writing this for us!<3((hugs))
    Dazed and Creative

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  2. There is so much I appreciate about this piece but this line–
    “…trying to get people to PAY him to make legislation on their behalf”–
    Is the take away.

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  3. This is amazing. If I hadn’t just toasted my TMiYC page, I’d have shared it there; as it is, I shared it on my personal page. Thank you.

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  4. cyberfemmefatale

     /  August 27, 2012

    I’ve seen a lot of great posts and comments about this since the Akin’s comments. This is probably one of my favorite takes. Sums up everything that needs to be said in a humorous/saracastic/colorful way.

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  5. Hi Melanie, I am new to your blog and am glad to have signed up to hear you speak up! I could sense the underlying frustration through the post. Who wouldn’t be? I have been hearing with disbelief about this from my family in US and wondering whether it’s my ears or are they actually saying this?!! Many of us in India, from the young generation, aspire to live n work in the developed world aka US. To say, it’s a shocker to hear such things coming out of there, would be an understatement !

    Is there anything *concrete* we can do to knock some sense into Todd’s (currently) non-existent brain? To help him grown one, for starters.

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    • Thanks for your comment! And yes, there’s a bit of frustration running around in my head, too.

      Now for a visit to serioustown: I think the problem you’re seeing here is the result of an increasingly inhospitable environment for debate. Politicians use extremes to garner support, votes, and money—because it works. Until it stops working we’ll keep hearing these over-simplified, crude responses with no room for nuance or the individual. It will only change when the people want change bad enough to stop rewarding extreme behavior. And I don’t even know how to start down that road.

      That’s not to say I won’t try, though. I hope other people try, too.

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  6. Kaiti

     /  August 27, 2012

    Laugh out loud funny! But this is so true.

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  7. I truly thank you. Being a “victim” (cause I don’t like to call myself one) of Green Rape I knew I had been raped but felt that I couldn’t justify it to anyone else. It took years before I stopped blaming myself for smiling at a stranger….just…thanks.

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    • Thanks so much for your comment. And let me say on behalf of humans everywhere: I’m so, SO sorry that rape is part of your history. A million internet hugs to you.

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  8. graciewilde

     /  August 23, 2012

    I am late to the discussion but I must add my two cents worth – you did a terrific job with this garbage. I, too, am floored that these distinctions still have to be made — and ANGRY that Akin has people who support him.

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  9. Brilliant post, Melanie! Thank you so much for writing it.

    Now I’m wondering, if MY vagina can differentiate between rape sperm and non-rape sperm, then why couldn’t his mother weed out the idiot sperm? I guess there are some questions science just can’t answer.

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  10. Such an awesome post. I’ve been so upset about Akin, especially because I live in St Louis and although the majority are outraged, there are still a people here saying they will vote for him regardless of his “flub” on this one issue! What?!?!? I’m just praying enough people have the common sense to see how dangerous and ignorant his comments and way of thinking really are. I love your rainbow and sarcasm and that you wrote about this at all. Great post!

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  11. Yes. This news blew my mind, and I love the way you addressed it – emphasizing how absolutely ridiculous it is just in case there are people out there who, for some in fathomable reason, don’t realize it’s absolutely ridiculous.

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    • There aren’t a lot of safe places for dialogue these days, so I think it’s becoming harder and harder for people to work out their views collaboratively with people of opposing opinions. The answer is, of course, sarcasm and cartoons. Maybe.

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  12. anotherjennifer

     /  August 22, 2012

    I love how you addressed this insanity. I can’t believe we’re even having these conversations!

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  13. I agree with the “this post is so awesome there are now words for how awesome it is” sentiment above! Thank you for the fantastic post!!!

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  14. You nailed this. Well done. Can you believe these times?

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  15. This is always a really hard subject to tackle (especially in satire) and you did it really well. It’s disgusting to think people are trying to justify rape! No matter how a woman dresses, no one deserves to go through that. Any man who says that deserves to be brutally raped…and possibly have his pecker chopped off. 100% agree with your post.

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  16. nataliedeyoung

     /  August 22, 2012

    This post is so awesome that there are no words to begin to explain how awesome it is. Degrees of rape? Sometimes I wonder what these people are smoking.

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    • I have to assume that it’s just a lack of exposure to people’s experiences (especially rape victims!), and a lack of sex education. Either that, or they’re smoking furniture polish. That business will mess you up.

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  17. Well done. I tend to steer clear of the serious stuff here because I’m afraid it might leave me sitting in a corner on the floor, rocking back and forth in an effort to soothe myself, but I felt compelled to comment. I can’t help but believe this conversation is good for our country and politicians who use terms like “legitimate rape” will forever be mocked and derided as you’ve done so well here.

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  18. Awesome post! Some people do need to hear this, even though it’s obvious to others. Green rape especially.

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  19. Call me a crazy liberal, but damn, you nailed it. Thank you for your voice.

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