Heading into the second message hidden within the 13 Reasons Why main message, it’s important to understand why I’m making these
tapes posts in the first place.
TAPE 12: You Can Be Raped By a Friend or Boyfriend
One place I have to give credit to 13 Reasons Why for is that they showed the truth about rape. The show relayed one extremely important message to its youth – you can be raped by a friend or boyfriend. Often times, people assume they can trust their friends and boyfriend. In fact, we all do it every weekend.
We go out and get hammered on the weekends with our friends, trusting that nothing will happen. After all, why would it? You’re with your close group of friends. But it happens, and it happens more times than you think.
Rape isn’t always done by a stranger
This is one of the most powerful messages in 13 Reasons Why because it’s real. People are raped more often by someone they know than a stranger.
RAINN organization reported, only 28% of victims are raped by strangers.
7/10 rapes are committed by someone they know.
45% of rapes are committed by an acquaintance.
25% of rapes are committed by a boyfriend, girlfriend or ex.
13 Reasons Why could have easily had anyone rape the main character. Instead, they chose to take the opportunity to raise awareness to young kids about the potential dangers that surround them.
Rape is still rape if you’re unconscious
Another reason why this is one of the most powerful messages in 13 Reasons Why is because it has two completely different situations of rape. One is with Jessica when she is unconscious; the other is with Hannah when she is sober.
Jessica’s rape brings a new perspective people don’t always realize in regards to rape. Often times, we only think about the “normal” rape, which is similar to Hannah’s situation. While Jessica’s sexual abuse is no better or worse than Hannah’s (rape is rape), it does teach the world something we often forget. Since we’ve all been that hammered to the point of passing out in bed and having no idea what happens afterwards, this is an important message to listen to.
The rape occurs when Jessica drinks too much, and becomes black-out and passed out in her bed. Her friend (boyfriend’s best friend) “had sex with her,” and the boyfriend knew all about it. Some wonder if that’s even rape. After all, she didn’t stop him.
Just because you drank too much, were black-out drunk, and don’t remember doesn’t make it okay for someone to violate you.
Rape is still rape even if you don’t remember or were too drunk to say no.
Some men don’t consider their actions to be rape
13 Reasons Why also showed a different perspective to rape; one that is often forgotten. Not all men (or women) who rape victims think they’re doing anything wrong. In the show, Bryce rapes two women yet doesn’t think it was rape either time. He thinks he’s a hot-shot and every girl wants him. So, it couldn’t have been rape. The girls were basically drooling over him.
Well, let me tell you something. I could think a guy is God’s gift to the world; I could dream about having sex with him all day and all night and be strutting around naked in front of him, but unless I say I want it, he doesn’t have a right to touch me.
No one has a right to touch you – ever.
Rape can be committed by someone you love
I hate to be the bearer of bad news here but love has nothing to do with rape, and rape has nothing to do with love. Your boyfriend or girlfriend may love you but that doesn’t mean their love gives them the right or excuse to have sex with you without your content.
Rape can happen to both men and women; it can happen one time or many times. Dating, engaged, married – it’s still rape. As a victim, you may try to justify the situation by saying, “It was only one time,” or “He would never try to hurt me,” or “But he loves me.” But remember, love has nothing to do with it.
What is rape?
13 Reasons Why goes back and forth as to whether or not it was actually rape. Jessica was drunk. Hannah wanted it. Hannah didn’t fight him off enough. Jessica’s boyfriend knew, so it wasn’t rape. So, let’s clear the air.
Rape is, as defined by Pandora’s Project, anytime penetration is done..
- without consent, or
- with use of physical force, coercion, deception, threat, and/or
- when the victim is;
- mentally incapacitated or impaired,
- physically impaired (due to voluntary or involuntary alcohol or drug consumption)
- asleep or unconscious
So, be aware of your surroundings. Trust your intuitions, know how much you can handle to drink, and understand that you can be raped by anyone. While you should never have to live in fear, it’s important to be aware of the situations you’re putting yourself into.