The Boy Who Cried Rape

Alan Parley Buys
4 min readMar 21, 2019
Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

The other day I was playing a video game. (Yes, I am a grown-ass, feminist man who sometimes plays video games.) I was randomly assigned on a team with two other players who, based on their voices, I would peg as ten-year-old boys. Early on in the game things were not going well for our team. One of my teammates and I were out, and our surviving teammate was not keeping his cool. His prepubescent voice shouted, “F*** man, I’m getting raped!” into my headset. He was eliminated as well shortly thereafter thus ending the match, and normally I would leave the match as fast as possible to try and get into another match, but I stopped this time to share some thoughts with my young teammate. Our exchange went something like this:


“Hello, my friend?”

Teammate: (Obviously still aggressively excited)



“I just want to let you know that you shouldn’t say rape like that. It’s a very serious word, and you’re going hurt somebody’s feelings if you use that word like that.”

Teammate: (Much more docile and after a brief pause)

“Okay. I’m sorry. I won’t say it anymore.”


“No worries, man. Good luck out there.”

I’m fairly certain that I was the only person who had ever told him this, and in that fifteen second conversation, I hope he internalized what I said and followed through with his promise.

I wish someone would have had that same short conversation with me when I was younger. In high school I would have been equally as likely to use that word in the same context as my young teammate, (though without the use of F***). That was because younger me didn’t understand the reality of the word rape. I didn’t grasp how that word was wholly inappropriate for describing anything other than rape itself.

I was not alone in this. Rape was used to describe a lot of different things by my peers, none of which was rape, and misuse of the word is…

Alan Parley Buys

Writing essays and poetry about feminism, buddhism, and mindfulness and all the ways they intersect.