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My daughter was raped a couple of weeks before christmas.

Then new years eve in Kóln happened.
Then the furious debates.
A lot of men wanted to make it about refugees, immigrants and islam. A lot of women wanted to make it about feminism, the male gaze and the way we treat women as property.

As a reaction to the events in Kóln and the following very intense debates the newspaper that I write for (Dagbladet Information) chose to give voice to a lot of women who had experienced rape. Giving them a chance to reclaim their own story, trying to tear down the taboos. It´s been quite overwhelming-  the amount of stories they have received as well as reading and thereby understanding the extend of this psychological civil war taking place among us, right in front of us, in the silence.

As a result of what happened to my daughter something happened to my husband.
He didn´t know. He just didn´t know.
He didn´t know how much it effects you as a woman to have to constantly over-analyze every situation in order to make a risk analysis.
He didn´t know how these “innocent” “compliments” forces you to flirt and make people like you (to get out of the situation), how much “making people like you” becomes a defence mechanism. He didn´t know how often it happens… because I don´t even tell him anymore. I accept it.

My husband has changed.
So have I.
So have my daughter.

We have been talking about this for a very long time now.

All the women of the forest came. We sat and drank tea for hours, hours, we spoke, oh, we spoke. Then she went to live with my mother in the motherland for a little while. Embraced. Taken care of.
She read the stories in the newspaper. She followed the debate. She began to speak herself. She said I should speak about it too. No stigma. No shame.

I am not the things that happened to me.
I am me.

I´ve been very involved in this public national danish debate about… women, stories, gender. I´ve done a lot of interviews, written a lot of columns. I´m exhausted. I don´t want this blogpost to be much longer. I just wanted to let you know that something has changed in a fundamental way. Life. Changed.

I have come to realize the relation between how we treat women and how we treat earth.
I have come to realize the white male privilege. The patriarchy. I mean… I understood it before, on an intellectual level but then one man raped her body and another raped her soul, this is no longer happy go lucky. This is war.

I have three sons. I have a husband.
The response can and must not be general-  but there´s something we need to talk about. All of us. Especially out here in the off grid communities, at the alternative homesteads ect because the fact of the matter is, and I know this by experience, that we tend to reproduce the society that we come from in our internal relations and communities.
Gender roles are very specific on homesteads like ours (and I don´t mind that, as long as it is conscious, deliberate and agreed upon). It´s just: we need to be very fucking aware about these things, excuse my french.
Because it happened in the 60ies and during all kinds of revolutions throughout history: if we do not have the courage and the strength to manifest what we believe in in our daily existence, every day life and intimate relations, if what we believe in only exists as mottos in the abstract… we are cowards.
Cowards.
It´s that simple.
No revolution will take place until we revolutionise the way we relate HERE. NOW.

What happened to her happened in a community that speaks of responsibility, trust and solidarity, in a community that wants to change the world. It happened among our kind of people. OUR kind of people.

I sincerely hope you will read this article.
Thank you.

 

This entry was posted in Blog.

19 comments on “Something we need to talk about

  1. felixderosen says:

    Bravo. Thank you Andrea.
    “we tend to reproduce the society that we come from in our internal relations and communities.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ronja says:

    Det her drejer sig ikke kun om voldtægt – det drejer sig om hvordan verden undertrykker kvinder/kvindeliv i mange situationer. Jeg er på – jeg er helt på. Jeg vil som det første tilbagekræve min ret til at passe mit barn, uden dårlig samvittighed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. DM says:

    I hurt for your daughter. I hurt for you. I hurt for your husband. My eldest daughter was also raped when she was in her late teens.

    Like

    1. I´m sorry to hear that DM. Stay strong ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. BeeHappee says:

    Sending all of you and all involved in the situation, many healing thoughts.
    Perhaphs the roots of destructive behaviors go beyond genders and gender roles.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. dear andrea
    Disturbing news from you, and yet I am not particularly surprised.
    I do not want to be seen as acquiescing to women’s ‘natural’ fate, but–once we learn what constitutes rape, we see that most of us have been raped. What happened to her does not define your daughter!

    andrea, can you say you were never raped? Look back over your own life and teach your daughter from it. examine it and grieve with her, yes, but then put it away. as we had to learn in my family, she’ll be victorious over the zombie act if it is not made central to her identity.
    Looking at it from the inter-subjectivity place: Is it too much of a stretch to imagine that most males have also been raped, mentally and emotionally, if not physically as women are?
    With respect to men’s violence: “hurt people hurt other people.” or, more crudely, shit rolls downhill (until even the dog is kicked and vicious)!

    We have in life the most power and influence, if we have any, over our children. It comes back to our own behavior again, what we model.
    No one’s path is completely smooth. We don’t have harmony, but we know what it is.
    It sounds foolishly simplistic, but still critical: raising sons and daughters who are able to overcome. who are kind and gentle human beings through self-sufficiency, big hearts, strong character.
    as we ourselves hope to be.
    all best,
    ~ abigail

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Sara says:

    YES.
    Amazing article.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. nicoleaugust says:

    Yes to no stigma, no shame. My thoughts are with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Andrea, thank you for speaking out. Warrior woman who steps into the fray. Let’s go together.

    Abigail, I like how you move the discussion into a larger context. It is our species that is violent. The violence toward men is a subtle kind which in some ways is worse because it lies underneath and has very little resistance.

    I have read so many articles discussing why we are this way. Some say it is because we evolved on the “other side of the river” where the environment was hostile and we had to be this way to survive. I think it is time we stopped concerning ourselves with “why”. I think it is time we started thinking about how to be different. When men and women had to hunt down prey and kill it we got inured to violence but now we don’t have to be this way – at least in western European culture. But it takes awareness and a desire to change. This is not going to happen over night and we all know this. So…. what to do? Be aware of our own thoughts of violence and raise our boys and girls with a vision of how we want them to be which is people who can rise to the needs of the situation and don’t knee-jerk into the accepted ways. It’s going to be hard. We can do it! We’re already on the path! Love you guys.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Anne Albertsen says:

    Masser masser masser masser masser masser masser masser masser masser af kærlighed sender jeg til jer alle!!

    “…if we do not have the courage and the strength to manifest what we believe in in our daily existence, every day life and intimate relations, if what we believe in only exists as mottos in the abstract… we are cowards.
    Cowards.
    It´s that simple.
    No revolution will take place until we revolutionise the way we relate HERE. NOW.”

    – Jeg er med og har været det i 3 år nu. Min oplevelse har været, at det tager tid at finde ind til det “mit hjerte” tror på. Og det tager lang tid at manifestere det “bit by bit”. For det kan virke så fjernt for den verden jeg lever i. Men jeg er kommet dertil, at jeg aldrig kan vende tilbage igen. Jeg kan mærke, når jeg ‘slipper’ min bevidsthed og mit åndedræt og pludselig ‘falder’ ind i sovsen igen.

    Min kamp er måske en anden – men i ånden er det den samme. Medmenneskelighed. Sådan for alvor! Sådan for virkelig alvor! Ikke bare tænke og føle det. Men være det. Jeg fornemmer, at hvis jeg holder fast og hvis jeg bliver ved, så lærer jeg mine børn det og min energi vil langsomt sive ind i de mennesker der færdes omkring mig. Som så vil opsuge noget, som så vil give noget videre….som ringe der spredes i vandet.
    Jeg oplever, at det kræver tålmodighed. For der er ikke noget der lige bliver fikset. Der er ikke noget, der ændrer sig fra den ene dag til den anden – omkring mig. Men det sker…

    Og hvad der i sandhed sker allermest og allertydeligst er at jo mere jeg “manifest what I believe in my daily existence” – jo tydligere og tungere bliver mit hjertes slag, jo tydeligere er min fornemmelse at mit hjertes slag synkroniserer med Moder Jords dybe, tålmodige og for evigt næstkærlige slag.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Åh hvor smukt, Anne!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Leh says:

    I was raped in September 2015 – second time in 3 years.

    When I read your text in Information.dk, something “clicked”. I’ve been swallowing the pain and sadness, but suddenly, I need to talk about it. I need to act. I need to cry, shout. I’m scared, furious.

    We definitely need to talk about something.

    Let’s light the fire.

    Sending love to you, your daughter, and your whole family.

    Like

  11. My heart aches for her, for you and for your husband and sons.
    I live with a woman who had similar experiences in her youth….. and I experience the consequences almost daily.
    Some other consequences I face almost daily are the ones from my upbringing and your post made that painfully clear too. Especially in the way I treat my girls. Especially my remarks about them being so hard to handle and that they are often so much trouble. This post made me apologize to them, explain to them why I have these shortcomings and having a dialogue with them about it, my son included.

    I can not do anything for your daughter or for you, but I can change, show my girls and my son the right way. I start my revolution here.
    For that I thank you all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The “Like” button is not strong enough for my response to your post. I love what you did and do.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It means the world to me that I have inspired you along this trail of thought. Thank you Ron!

      Like

  12. nicoleaugust says:

    There is a very high profile sexual assault case going on in Canada right now. https://janeeatonhamilton.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/the-preludes-to-assaults/

    Like

    1. OMG what a great article. (OK it doesn’t address how men are oppressed but that’s not the subject here). I have never been “raped” in the classical definition of the word but what she says reminds me of the core of it all and I relate, oh, how I relate to every word. For example, when I was little we had an uncle who would come at us with big sloppy kisses and momma would say (she was trained to submit, too) come here and greet your Uncle. And we little girls would cringe and we didn’t want to. He would overpower us and we did not like it but we were not allowed to say no or another time, maybe. This is why her article is so profound. Let’s talk about the preludes to an assault. This is where it begins.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Roxana says:

    I was raped when I was young. Rape is not about sex. It has nothing to do with how you act what you say or how you dress. It is about power. The need of a man to feel power over a woman. Rape touches something deep in your soul. You never forget it. I hope I have the figures correct but I read that 1 in 4 girls/women will be raped before the age of 19. That is a staggering amount. This has been going on for centuries. You just never heard about it before. It was a shame that was usually blamed on the female. Now we have learned that “No” means “No” and if the male continues, it is rape. Going to the police makes you feel raped all over again. If you have the strength to report the rape and carry through to possibly court, then I applaud you. It does get the offender off the streets. But it is not easy.

    I do not use this as gender duties. I believe men and women are equal when it comes to duties. We just have different duties. What a woman does, many times a man cannot. The same is true for the duties a man performs. I would not like to be chopping wood or building a home or digging a well. But I can cook a good meal, mend clothes, wash clothes and make new ones if needed. Now I know there are lots of things that cross gender lines. My husband can cook but I won’t let him near the laundry. I like colors not everything grey! Hahahaha When I was young I could chop wood and help with building things. But I would not like to be responsible for the whole project.

    I will keep your daughter and your family in my prayers. Coming to terms with this takes time. Men have a different response because they believe their job is to protect and provide for their family. Women not only look after the feeding, raising of children (which should be shared) but we have a brain that processes feelings more than a man. Do not question anything your daughter said or did. It is not her fault, at all! I’m glad she got to go away and get pampered for a while. Maybe she will come back rested and ready to work her feelings out about this. Is there a group for raped women in your area? We have them here and they are wonderful helping women deal with their experiences. I would strongly recommend a group if your daughter is willing. It would help her. I’m so sorry she has to deal with this.

    You want to know what I think should happen to a rapist? Find an old, run down building, Take the rapist in and nail his balls to the wall. Then set fire to the building.

    There is a lot more I would like to say on this subject but I condensed it down to what I wrote. One thing I cannot forget to mention…RESPECT. All parents should teach their children to respect themselves then to respect others.

    Nanny

    Liked by 1 person

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