Amber Amour, a feminist campaigner from New York, has suddenly shot to fame for one of the worst reasons possible. After she was (allegedly) raped, she live blogged her ordeal. In a series of photographs, starting from the bathroom floor where the incident occured and following her experiences through a hospital trip and experiences with the police, she posted to Instagram everything that happened.
Do you know what is the most disgusting thing about Amber Amour’s Live Blog? What makes me hate humanity and feel sick to my stomach? It is not the fact she was (allegedly) raped, as abhorrent as that truly is. It is not the fact she spoke so publicly about what happened, though many disagree with her. The most disgusting thing that has happened since Amber Amour’s (alleged) rape is people’s responses.
“She had a f*cking naked shower with him what did she expect to happen?” @Mayaobradovic
Yes, she did agree to a shower with him. She spoke in her blog about she had kissed him and then, he had asked her to shower with him and she agreed. Do you know what she didn’t agree to? She didn’t agree to him forcing her to the ground and forcing his penis into her. She told him to stop and he didn’t. That is rape. Kissing is not agreeing to sex. Nudity is not agreeing to sex. Intimate contact is not agreeing to sex. Do you know what IS agreeing to sex? Agreeing to sex. So what did she expect to happen? A shower. Would she have agreed to have sex with him had he asked? Maybe, maybe not. That is entirely her business and I wouldn’t judge her either way. But being raped both vaginally and anally until she passed out was not something she ever agreed to.
“Is there a reason why your ALWAYS supposedly getting raped? I honestly don’t believe your story. I think you’re a bit insane.” @instafame_101
She spoke about how she got involved with the #StopRapeEducate after being raped in NYC. Apparently some people think that women are only allowed one rape in a life time. If you’ve been raped once, any further sexual activity is immediately consensual apparently. It doesn’t work that way. Being raped once is not an immediate protection from experiencing it again. Do people usually speak out about it? No. And therein lies part of the problem. The shame we are made to feel for speaking out about one case of sexual assault makes the liklihood of speaking out again tiny. In reality? More women than you might like to imagine can legitimately use the phrase “The first time I was raped…”
“Why the f*ck did she kiss him in the first place?” @viwernnn
Because she wanted to and he wanted her to. That’s about it. Maybe she was attracted to him, maybe she was sexually excited by him. I’ve kissed men I’m attracted to without consenting to or wanting to have sex. I’ve been sexually excited by men without consenting to or wanting to have sex. Being attracted to someone is not an agreement to have them enter your body. Kissing someone is not an agreement to have them enter your body. Actually consenting is agreeing to have them enter your body, what Amber Amour did was shout “Stop!” whilst (allegedly) being violently assaulted.
“I’d learn from my mistakes and know not to put myself in a rape situation” @simplyjunelle
Do you know what a “rape situation” is? Let’s see… wearing revealing clothes, going out at night, walking alone in the street, drinking alcohol, flirting, going home with a man, kissing a man, flirting with a man… But, nuns are raped and they don’t do those things. Children are raped and they don’t do those things. Women are told they should control their behaviour all the time, stop living their lives freely because living freely invites abuse. And even if we agreed and stopped living freely because otherwise we’re inviting rape, rapes happen in the home to women wearing their pyjamas and sleeping next to their boyfriends. Being a woman is a “rape situation”.
“Why didn’t you try to smash his head with something hard? Or try to defend yourself? Maybe because you liked it!” @coperatejohnnkie
Part of me hates myself for responding to this. Part of me wants to scream. Do you honestly think that if someone doesn’t fight that means they like it? Let me tell you that is not the way life works. Fear, horror, shock, embarassment, these things are paralysing. Yes some people are able to fight and my goodness how I admire and respect them. But in my experience you don’t fight. It is so overwhelming and frightening and painful that what you do is freeze and you cry and then, when you’ve eventually processed what has happened, you start to get the feeling back in your hands and feet and your eyes start to focus again. She didn’t hit him over the head or fight. But that doesn’t mean she liked being raped until she bled. And thinking that is incredibly disturbing.
“Where are your morals and values when you CASUALLY wanted to have a shower with him?” @sof.18
Her morals and values are called into question because she was willing to shower with a man. No question of his morals and values. Because a woman being in control of her sexuality and wanting to be in a naked situation with a man is shameful. Him wanting to be naked in the shower with her and then being violent and raping her is not even noted. Why are men allowed to get into any sexual situation with a woman they wanted without judgment, but if she agrees to any part of it she is shamed? It is illogical as well as offensive.
“You were not raped, you were f*cked hard… I guess the NO you were telling him was a sexy no.” @ivangoddy
No means no. This is the most simple of lessons. If I ask my three year old what no means she says “no”. If she said no, she meant no. If as an adult you still cannot understand that then you really need to examine your life choices.
“Recovered staggeringly well after your ‘rape'” @shayter3
Do you know how to tell if a woman has been raped? You can’t. Women are raped every day and carry on with their lives. They see their family, they talk to their friends and they go to their jobs. They just carry on with their lives on the outside whilst inside carrying a deadweight that will never shift. Think it’s amazing she’s carrying on with her life? It is. It is damn amazing. It is hard, it is so hard sometimes you just want to curl up in a ball and cry because the weight inside you is suffocating, but you carry on. The ability to keep going is not evidence her rape is fictious, it is proof that survivors of rape are seriously badass and deserve respect.
There are so many comments on her posts, some in support, many not. As a woman involved in an anti rape campaign and a survivor herself, she will have better understanding than most of how people can react to a woman who speaks out about rape. Yet she still chose to. She still chose to face those criticisms and insults and look the cruelty in the eye. Why? Because not speaking out about rape perpetuates the culture. It makes it shameful and embarassing for the victim and protects the rapists from negativity.
Was Amber Amour raped right before the Live Blog started? I can’t possibly know. Only she and he know right now. But I believe her. And I believe that the way people reponded to her prove just how potent the rape culture is. How much we put energy into blaming women for being abused instead of blaming men for abusing them.
Speaking out was incredibly brave. It was something most of us are never brave enough to do. And I hope there is justice legally, even if her scars will never, ever heal.
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!