I Get Letters

[Trigger warning for sexual assault.]
HeLLo, grrrl‏

i`m a brasilian guy. i red yr article bout rape culchur lol lol lolão
than i saw yr pic at dat site and... wow IT MADE ME HOT UNDER MY COLLAR you know? you are so cute but you seem to hide something WILD and ROUGH at the same time i dont know how to explain that ....
would you meet me when i go to your city????? we could go crazy 2gether it wolud be awesome we could have some ice-cream together i would be so happy.. lol lol lol
As tempting as it is to meet someone who gets hot and bothered, immediately after reading a comprehensive description of the rape culture, by my mysterious ability to project "something WILD and ROUGH" in a photo, I think I'll take a pass.

The reason I'm sharing this obnoxious missive is to note that this is the kind of thing I (and I imagine many other feminist writers, especially who do anti-rape advocacy) get all the time. And although it's clearly identifiable to anyone with a passing familiarity with the concept of the rape culture as a thinly-veiled rape threat, it's framed in such a way that the author leaves himself room for plausible deniability ("What?! I was saying I like her!"), and anyone who calls it a rape threat will be viewed as hysterical, reactionary, oversensitive, etc. by many, many average people who would never consider themselves rape apologists in a million years.

And that's how the rape culture works, right there.

[Commenting Note: This letter has not been posted because its author is Brazilian, nor because his English is imperfect, but because of its content. If you find yourself tempted to include in your comment some reference to his nationality or language skills, don't comment at all.]

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