The next ‘r’ word: rape

Jessie Hellmann

Growing up, I remember campaigns all over the place popping up and encouraging people to stop using the “r” word: retarded.
In elementary school, it was all I would hear from my classmates when they were trying to describe something  they didn’t like.

The notion of not describing something as “retarded” has been pushed down our throats so much that I rarely hear this word anymore, and that’s the way it should be. But now there’s a new “r” word in town: rape.

“Man, I’m going to rape this test today,” or “That gas tank just raped my wallet.”
When did we start using “rape” as a verb to describe everyday events other than what it actually means?

Every time I hear or see somebody throw around the word “rape” like it means nothing, I get sick to my stomach. “Rape” is never a word we should normalize.

This is only a small part of rape culture – a concept that links rape and sexual violence to the culture of a society.
You may think I’m being dramatic and looking too far into things, but I dare you to look into the eyes of someone who has been raped and say that.

Rape isn’t sex. It takes away someone’s dignity and sense of control and purpose. Those who are raped will face a battle for the rest of their lives: learning how to cope with what happened, learning how to love and trust others again, rediscovering themselves and learning to love themselves.

While the act of rape may only last an hour, the effects of it certainly last a lifetime. The word “rape” isn’t something we should throw around lightly.