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memory

You’ll Grow Out of It

This is a guest entry from I, Asshole for the month-long blogathon to help support Scarleteen!

I’ve never liked labels. If there is some kind of personal box to fill out on a form, there is this pathological part of me that will either make something up (Occupation: Flenser), or if I am in a confrontational mood, will write, "NONEYA, OK?” That’s my label: "label-rejector." I know, I know. I am rolling my eyes at myself. I think this is because it was very rare that I was given a label that was followed with, “Okay, now you go stand over there, with all the other people who are like you.”

I was raised in an environment where I felt like I didn’t belong. This wasn’t really anyone’s fault. I just really didn’t belong. I was given some innocuous labels: outgoing, loves to entertain, a social butterfly. There were the less-positive ones, too: wasted potential, weirdo, voted by my graduating class as Most Likely to Relocate to Mars (hey, it turns out Seattle is Mars). I did not know what to

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You should wait for sex, but if you can't....

This is one of a long line of common phrases in sex education and sexuality messaging people, including people I think of us allies, use that I deeply dislike, like "preventing teen pregnancy." Let me explain why, working backwards.

"You should wait for sex, but if you can't..."

That's usually followed by "then you should have sex using safer sex and contraception." Or -- and usually addressing both those things -- "then you should at least be responsible."

In some respect, that's fine. Now, not everyone needs contraception, either because they don't have a partner with a radically different reproductive system than them or they're not having the kinds of sex that can create a pregnancy, so that doesn't always make sense. But for people choosing to have any kind of sex, we're 100% on board with the sentiment that all of us -- no matter our age -- should be engaging in sexual practices supportive of safeguarding everyone's best health, and in alignment with whether we do or don't want

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Why we don't always know

(Heads-up: parts of this post are fairly explicit when it comes to detailing rape and abuse.)

One of the more interesting (and by interesting, I mean ridiculously ignorant) responses I have seen in a few places discussing the I Was Raped project and my input was my statement on the news that the first time I was assaulted -- at the age of 11 -- I did not know what had happened to me and was without any language to even express it.

This is being met with some measure of disbelief by a few folks, or the assumption I was on drugs or had been drugged or that I was simply stupid. My personal favorite was that I'm a young girl who only called my rapes rape after being brainwashed by Jennifer and feminism, a newfangled notion she apparently just clued me into recently. Who knew I was such a late bloomer, and that I was somehow able to grow up in the 70's in a progressive Chicago neighborhood with a single mother, an activist father, and managed to never hear about feminism? Wowza.

I think

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