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Protest against rape culture at the University of Cambridge, 2012. Photo by Divine Nephron.

Last night I met the man who raped me.

Well, it wasn’t last night, but it was when I first started to write this many weeks ago.

Last night I met the man who raped me.

He came right up to me and smugly stood in front of me.

Last night I met the man who raped me.

Funnily enough though, like me, he wasn’t actually able to say it out loud.

He said he couldn’t believe I didn’t remember him or that I hadn’t walked away because I’d written a whole blog post about him. He told me he was pretty sure I didn’t like him but he quite enjoyed that. He told me it was a shame he didn’t know where I live anymore.

Last night I met the man who raped me and lives a guilt-free happy life.

It’s been a year and a couple of months since I wrote my blog post about being raped. Since then I’ve lost count of the sheer number of women who’ve come to speak to me or sent me messages about their heartbreaking experiences.

I still try not to think about it. I hadn’t even tried to reread the blog post till this morning. I managed to write it down to tell my counselor but I’ve still only said it out loud twice and I told her I didn’t want to talk about it.

Last night I met the man who raped me.

This week we saw rape advocate Roosh V arrange meet ups across the world. Outrage and counter-demos erupted. In some ways this has been empowering but it has actually made me pretty angry and, despite our Edinburgh one massively taking off, has left me sitting on my kitchen floor feeling shit.

Rape culture, misogyny and sexism were problems long before Roosh V and will continue to be problems for a lot longer.

This man is not an anomaly, he’s part of a much bigger problem and the result of a patriarchal society.

For hundreds of years women have been sharing their stories and telling the world that rape culture is a problem. For hundreds of years small sections of society have been fighting against these abhorrent attitudes yet it takes a man to call for people to unite around these opinions for the world to listen.

Don’t get me wrong I’m delighted that thousands of people got angry about are were willing to go out and stand up to misogyny but I hope it doesn’t take another man to publicly be a dickhead for people to act again.

It’s real women who face the horrific consequences of these actions and too often it’s left to these women to fight it.

These men will carry on living their lives and spreading their ideas while I’m left hiding from the world on my kitchen floor and many other women and ignored and abandoned by society.

Last night I met the man who raped me.

Well, it wasn’t last night because these things scar you and leave you unable to process them.

Last night I met the man who raped me.

Take a moment to think about how that may feel and then please don’t make this the last time you think about and get angry about rape culture.

About Kirsty Haigh

Kirsty is a committee member of Edinburgh University Feminists.