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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Misuse of the word "molest"

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Author Topic: Misuse of the word "molest"
Alice
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This is hard for me to write, and I don't even know why. It's not a huge deal.

I have some issues with abuse, coming from all sorts. My boyfriend knows this. He hasn't shown that he really cares, but I'm always looking for signs of compassion from him. If anything, he pushes for things I'm not ready for, clearly knowing how I feel.

But that's a different post entirely. Just wanted to give some background.

I don't talk about what happened to me. Hardly ever. I'm not ready. Don't think I ever will be. I've told him some things, but no details. And he's pretty much the only one.

Last night, we were talking about this officer who was found out to be a predator, and I knew him. He had this cool motorcycle and he came to my elem. school and he gave great hugs. I mentioned how lucky I felt to not have been molested by him, because I was one of his favorites at our school.

And my boyfriend says: "Yeah, not even *I* get to molest you!"

I freaked out. Had a meltdown. Went on a huge tirade of misuse of the word, what molestation vs. actual SEX means, rape vs. consent, etc. I was upset and I wanted him to know.

He always says I overreact to everything. Sometimes he's right. But sometimes I don't think I react enough. When it comes down to it, he's not my type. (but we have a baby together, so... yeah, more complicated than "just break up")

I didn't mean to make this about my relationship, at all. Sorry it turned into that.

What I really want to talk about is misuse of the terminology of abuse, such as *molest*. And I want to know if anyone else has experienced this, and if anyone thinks that I should have been upset or a little more calm and, well, nicer about it.

Posts: 1180 | From: WA | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
-Lauren-
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Dyamn. Go you, Alice!

As someone who has been victimized by a child sexual predator, I find it extremely offensive when the word is taken out of context in a sexual scenario, versus as a synonym to "annoy".

Here's the definition when it comes to common usage: to force physical and usually sexual contact on. So, what did he suggest? That the officer would have been priviledged to assault you? That forcing himself sexually on you is something he "doesn't get to do", therefore is entitled to?

I'd be a little shaken up to say the least, too. What alarms me the most isn't that he made that mistake; I've heard it several times, but when I've gotten defensive and corrected someone, they've always been quick to say "I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable, and I've never really thought about it that way! Sorry." But it seems he did none of these things, and brushed you off as being "oversensitive as usual".

Argh, in short, I applaud you for standing your ground, and absolutely do not think you're overreacting, especially if this is a trigger for you.

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Alice
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Yeah, not only did he brush me off but he was actually ANGRY with me because I always ruin perfectly good conversations since I "freak out over every little freakin thing."

(Just tried to sleep, but can't, even though I'm sure my kid has a full day in store for me)

I guess we've both been bordering on abuse lately. Like last night. I was having to make cookies for today, going to families houses (ick yuck) and I just really didn't want to. He was bothering me. Got me all mad and then tried to pull me into a hug, like I'm the crazy one. Kinda as a joke, I pull a little knife out of the block, and hug him while holding it pretty tightly. He draws back, and actually says (I am not making this up): "I thought you were on enough meds, but I guess not." [Eek!]

Not the right thing to say to the exhausted, irritated, cookie making mama holding the knife.

I could go on for days with examples of why my life is driving me insane. And I have my reasons for staying. ANd some pretty good reasons for leaving. I'm sorry if I'm annoying all of you with my whining about my life and not really doing anything about it. But I am thinking about it. Figuring stuff out. A lot.

But really, casual conversation with misuses of abuse words and ideas really, really ticks me off for some reason. Sometimes I keep quiet. In this case I didn't. But I don't feel like I accomplished anything. I feel like I fight and claw my way through everything and it's usually useless.

(ETA: I think that, luckily, using that word was more ignorance than anything else. As much as I think he wants to have sex with me (at least, used to), I don't think that force is really one of his things.
Also, FYI: didn't actually stab him with the knife.)

[ 04-09-2007, 01:21 AM: Message edited by: Alice ]

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Heather
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When I get more coffee in my system, I know that some time back, we had a thread here where people were discussing partners using "rape" jokingly, and it was pretty alarming to me how many people were okay with that.

Mind, as I recall, none of the people involved in the discussion who were okay with it had BEEN raped, but still.

I haven't often had to deal with this, but in the few times I have, I just tend to mention to whomever using those terms that molestation, rape and sexual abuse and consensual sex aren't even living on the same hemisphere, let alone the same room, and I don't take kindly to people who conflate them at all.

It doesn't surprise me, either, to react very strongly when the person saying this is clearly someone who (per what you've said, and our coversation the weekend before last) is not sensitive per your abuse, and who does conflate them in action to some degree. Ultimately, your reaction was "Yes, you do NOT get to molest me, and it isn't funny that you don't, nor does making it less of a big deal mean you get to."

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cool87
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Hey, if this might help...were you talking about this thread Heather ?

Sometimes strangers are better....

[ 04-09-2007, 10:51 AM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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Heather
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That was it, thanks!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alice
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(oh, sweet nap time)

Thanks for the link. Two things that stood out to me: one, their partners were much older than them, which would make me think that maybe they enjoyed that little scenerio, and also: when will people realize that rape means forcing SEX without CONSENT? (ETA- as opposed to: initiating sex)

I've come across a surprising number of people who just don't get it. And it makes my heart drop in my chest because I know a lot of people are misinformed but when did stuff like this become a joke???

I never talk about what happened to me, but I am hyper sensitive to everything referring to abuse. Stuff like this makes me really mad. I like to hear about how people deal with it, because, obviously, I really haven't.

At this point, my big goal (you could call it obsession) is to keep my son safe from that kind of thing. My boyfriend think I'm psycho (for many reasons) and that I should relax, but I don't think he realizes how common these things are.

Sometimes I wonder if a reason why he doesn't think of it as a big deal is that *I* don't make it a big deal. I informed him that it happened, a few key details, and pretty much not much after that.

He doesn't seem to understand why I'd have limits and boundries stemming from that. Or, which would be much more frightening, maybe he just doesn't care.

In the last few months I've had this issues coming back up, and I don't know where to put all of these feelings and fears. I'm remembering how messed up I really was before I got pregnant. My son feels everything I do, I know that. I have to have calm and happy vibes for him. I don't want him to be uptight and feeling unsafe in his own home like I have.

(thank you for letting me work some of this out here)

[ 04-09-2007, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: Alice ]

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Alice
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We managed to talk this out a little last night. (yeah, I said talk. I walked away for awhile every time it got too intense. Needless to say, our talk took a darn long time) We came to a decent truce. I let him know that one of the major things that bothered me was that he didn't even say that he was sorry, and awhile later last night he ended up apologizing.

We both admitted that we're in a pattern of abusing each other. Went down the checklist, and honestly we both have done almost each one, at least once in the last week. We admitted that it's toxic for Nolan (who was taking a nap in our room, so he wasn't a part of the vibes of our talk).

I think for the first time he realized how much this situation is affecting me (and therefore, Nolan) because just talking about finding a stamp to send in a bill made me breakdown and admit that I feel like just a kid and what the heck am I(we) doing with a kid.

So that's how it started. He agreed that if nothing else, if this topic of abuse comes up, he'll at least just not react like that, and at best (please, please) show just the slightest bit of compassion/"I'm sorry that happened to you."

We've had these discussions before. Things get better for a week, then go back. Last night he was nice, gentle. He made me a veggie burger while he was cooking himself (and his brother, who came over) some kind of meat thing. This morning he woke me up and let me know he was leaving for work, and let know where my glasses were (because I always can't find them in the morning).

So hopefully things will get better. If they stay the same as before, I'm dragging his butt into counseling. If they get worse, I'm taking Nolan and leaving. At this moment I'm planning out a pretty darn good escape plan.

(oh and, if they get a whole lot better long term, I'm throwing a freaking party, and you're all invited)

I may technically be a kid, but I'm trying really hard not to be. From what I've seen from my own family, I don't want to follow their thing of having to apologize in 20 years for letting terrible things happen because they were young and stupid and high and just didn't care, or didn't do anything.

(ETA: After re-reading this, I'm not really sure if I feel good about myself over it or not. Because on one hand, I'm trying really hard to resolve a terrible situation. But on the other, I'm being totally chicken about just getting out of the situation. Plus, I'm even annoying myself with my over analyzing, so I can't imagine how everyone else feels)

[ 04-10-2007, 01:15 PM: Message edited by: Alice ]

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