Emma, your article really resonated with me.
I’m a guy who was raped and has specifically written about the ways I’ve felt that my experience was minimized. It makes me wince every time I read something that paints people who have faced sexual trauma as “broken” or that our lives are “ruined.”
I’ve also grown numb to reading articles that discuss rape as something that only men can do to women or ones that discuss sexual violence/dysfunction that people experience regardless of gender as specifically the domain of one gender. It used to hurt to read these things — to see people discuss struggles similar to yours in one breath and then rhetorically erase even the possibility that your experiences might reflect theirs in the next — but they’re so commonplace that I’ve become numb to it.
I want you to know that your story is not like this at all. You consistently frame everything within your own experiences and observations. You don’t tie your story into some grand sweeping statement about the absolute nature of sexual trauma and the human condition in which you speak for some and exclude many others. It’s just a forthright personal story and the insight you’ve gleaned from it.
After reading hundreds of articles on this site over the past year or so, this comment is what actually compelled me to make an account just to commend you for how gracious a response it is. I don’t think you’ve made a mistake. Your article is one of the least exclusionary pieces on sexual assault I’ve read. Every piece of writing has imperfections but, for this article, failing to be inclusive is not one of them.