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Words Matter: Cheers to the FBI for Recognizing How Much

(This post contains candid discussion of rape and sexual violence.)

As some of you may know, I experienced two different sexual assaults when I wasn't yet in my teens within just one year of one another. The second time I was assaulted, my experience ticked all of the boxes there currently are in our culture for what is so often -- now, anyway, easily considered a "real" or "bonafide" sexual assault, or what Whoopi Goldberg, to my great disappointment, would call "rape-rape."

I was a girl, and one with body parts universally recognized as "girl parts." My attackers were guys. Even worse when it comes to the rape cliché all too often (misre)presented as universal truth, I was a white girl raped by guys of color. I did not know any of the perpetrators: they were all strangers. It was violent. It was forceful. I said no, I yelled, I tried to run, and I fought, but I lost. I was conscious until I was knocked unconscious. I hadn't been drinking or doing recreational drugs, nor had I ever

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Did I have sex? Did I lose my virginity?

Roxanne asks:

I'm 14. My boyfriend rubbed his penis on my vulva and I rubbed my vagina on his penis, but we were both wearing our underwear. Am I still a virgin? Was it sex? I don't even know what it was... I don't want to lose my virginity at such a young age! I hope I didn't lose my virginity to him! Can someone please tell me?

Love Letter

I'm writing this because someone told you that you can't understand or experience love at your age. If no one did yet, they probably will soon enough. I'm writing to tell you that if you've heard that, I just don't think it's true.

Magical Cups & Bloody Brides: Virginity in Context

The more common meaning and implication of the term came to change around the 13th century and derived a sexual, sexist and moralistic meaning. With that change, the word now implied that staying a virgin until marriage guaranteed that a woman would uphold the family honor by passing from father to husband as an object that was owned -- her virginity, her own body, was a thing of value that would be owned by her father, until such time as ownership of her virginity, body and sexuality would be transferred to her husband.

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