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  • Writer's pictureGrow Some Labia

Some Rape Victims Emerge Stronger, Not Permanently Debilitated

There, rape activists. We said it. Some decide NOT to let this ugly event define them. Too bad feminist theory teaches women little of value re recovery.

I feel vindicated to read someone else say it.

Not all women are destroyed by the trauma of rape.

Eagle-eyed Grow Some Labia subscriber and Patriarchy bitch-slapper herself Persephone Phoenix sent me a fantastic article by Larissa Phillips on Quillette whose brutal, frank description of her rape by two undocumented North African migrants in Florence, Italy thirty-one years ago is framed within the context of her prior history of feminist perma-victimhood indoctrination, and how little it served her when Da Patriarchy dragged her into a park one dark night.

She fought back, sustaining heavy injuries. She says resisting contributed to her recovery and she quotes two researchers in a 1985 report about avoiding rape who note that “[O]ne of the most important functions of physical resistance is to keep women from feeling depressed even if they have been raped.” 

That’s the first time I’ve ever read or heard that!

Fighting back is risky, for sure. Women have been murdered or permanently mutilated for their efforts. But some have successfully fought off their rapist, and Phillips, at least, is less depressed knowing she did what she could to stop the rapes.

She condemns the feminist weakness-worshipping literature that teaches women to give up their power and thereby make themselves easier pickins for predatory males.

Who knew that, if you fought back and survived, that it might actually contribute to your recovery?

Phillips made the fatal decision one night to walk the two miles to her home in Florence when she missed the last bus and turned down an offer for a ride from friends who weren’t ready to leave the bar just yet. Two men dragged her into the park and did the dirty deed. Phillips’s screams prompted at least one person nearby to call the cops and report a possible rape in progress.

Then she went home, and consciously showered off all the evidence except for her swollen and bleeding face. She had no intention of reporting it, of course; feminist gospel teaches women to just compliantly accept it. You’ll never get a conviction and he’ll get off scot-free.

Just one ‘problem’: Her boyfriend, Enzo, ‘unfamiliar with the feminist literature on rape,’ disagreed and pushed her to report it to the police. As it turned out, when the police finally showed up, they informed them that two men matching the description of her attackers had just been arrested for crashing a stolen car. Both were apprehended. And guess what, they fit the description of a recent past attempted rape victim too.

Long story short, the feminist rape stories Phillips had been inculcated with were still right about some things, but ultimately wrong about everything else. Her treatment at the hospital by all-male doctors was, as predicted, further traumatizing; they were professional but it was invasive and humiliating. She watched from her room as her rapists were wheeled on gurneys down the hall. The nurses ‘snapped’ at her when she refused the pelvic exam, having had quite enough. They told her she’d wreck the investigation. Enzo got her to go along with it, recognizing what a mistake she was making. He promised to hold her hand throughout it, and he did.

Then, months later, guess what happened.

Despite all the failure prophecies by defeatist feminist rape activists, Phillips and her fellow victim got a conviction.

What inspired Phillips to write her article was reading Celeste Marcus’s recent story in Liberties magazine and her public takedown of her alleged rapist, writer Yascha Mounk.

Phillips disagrees with the medieval-style justice meted out by Marcus to her accused when she alleged to The Atlantic editor, where Mounk was a writer, that they ‘had a rapist’ writing for them. So of course they severed ties with him. In our savage, disintegrating democracy, an accuser can get someone fired on an unproven allegation. Unlike E. Jean Carroll, Marcus has no proof; she preserved no physical evidence of the alleged rape, and unlike a woman in Tampa last year, she never filed a report.

So, like, it’s he-said-she-said. Mounk denies it.

Because Phillips reported the incident, she and the woman the two men had attempted to rape days earlier cooperated to put them in jail. Despite believing they’d never get a conviction, which is what Phillips’s female lawyer predicted. But they did. Phillips said, “Even if they had been acquitted despite my best efforts, the fact that I had pursued them to the furthest extent possible using the most effective tools available was important to me.”

Fatalist feminism

Had Phillips listened to Gender Studies weak-asses rather than her boyfriend, these two pricks might well have raped again.

‘Feminist’ literature collaborates with rape culture by preaching the article of faith that women won’t be believed, that there’s no point in reporting a rape because the process will be hell and they’ll likely never get a conviction. What they don’t tell women is that without a report, the rape never gets investigated, the rapist doesn’t get arrested, which also results, shockingly, in no conviction. What they also don’t point out is that the rapist is now free to do it again, knowing feminist theory has got his back.

Phillips quotes Marcus’s Liberties article: “I don’t know a single woman whose rapist was punished by police. I don’t know anyone who does. Do you?”

Well, no, I don’t.

That’s because out of all the rape stories I’ve heard from the women themselves, I don’t remember any of them saying they reported it.

I wonder how many others got raped because of that failure.

I wonder how many of these women themselves got raped because someone else didn’t report.

Phillips decided to report and, controversially, she points out, to emerge stronger than before.

That’s verboten to many of today’s ‘progressives’. Feminist rape credo teaches that a victim’s job is to be traumatized, which is to be expected, but forever. She must be strong, but only in a vulnerable, victimized way. She can share her story and rail about The Patriarchy with other victims and women but she must never, ever, suggest that women can fight back or otherwise defend themselves. She must never note how women often fail to take personal responsibility to protect themselves, as Phillips did not, by not carrying pepper spray, or not walking home late at night because she believed Florence was fairly ‘safe’. Some places are, until someone gets assaulted or murdered.

Permanently identifying with victimhood harms women by teaching them to comply with rape and to heal later, but not too much. Don’t emerge too strong, too smart, more accountable than thou for her own personal safety which might result in other victims realizing they maybe unconsciously collaborated as well, but who’d rather not learn from it and make better choices next time. Or warn others not to make those same mistakes. Phillips bears physical scars from her ordeal of which she’s proud; they’re badges of honor that she’s a survivor, that she fought back, that she refused to just lie down and submissively take it.

She cites holding her attackers accountable as critical to her recovery. She chides the childish magical thinking from writer Roxane Gay, herself a victim of childhood rape, who refused female agency and personal responsibility at a conference by saying, “All of these problems could be solved by men learning not to rape.”

Good luck with that, little lady. There are roughly four billion men in the world. Let us know how that works out for you.

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When not to fight back

Not all women could, or, Goddess help us all, ‘should’ respond the way Phillips did. There are times when it’s good not to fight back. Her attackers persuaded her to stop struggling and screaming when they held what she believed was a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her if she didn’t stop. They also threw her onto her belly and threatened to rape her anally if she didn’t comply.

She complied. As I would have. As I expect a lot of women would have.

Some women don’t have it in them to fight back, and we can’t fault them for that. You never know what you’re going to do in that situation unless you are. There are three immediate options available: Flight, fight, or freeze. Many of us, not just women, freeze in immediately dangerous situations. A military veteran has described to me how he and his fellow recruits were trained trained trained trained TRAINED to just respond how they were trained to many different dangers and they practiced until it became second nature to them. “Don’t think, just react!”

We civilians don’t have that training, which is why self-defense classes aren’t necessarily the best protection against physical assault. Unless you’ve practiced it until it flows from your largest vein into your tiniest capillaries, you may very well freeze when shit gets real.

It’s a quick way to die on the battlefield.

It’s also a very good way to not die when you’re being raped.

But women need to know that fighting back is a real potential option. Even when it doesn’t stop anything. Who knows; maybe something from that self-defense class will come to mind.

Phillips notes from the 1985 anti-rape report Stopping Rape: Successful Survival Strategies, that the best ways to avoid rape are, from best to worst: Flight; screaming; fighting back; verbal reasoning; environmental intervention; no strategy. The most successful at stopping a rape were those who used more than one. It doesn’t always work, but the report notes that of women they interviewed about their rapes or attempted rapes, six—nearly half—of those who fought back with another strategy avoided rape. Physical force plus one or more techniques increase a woman’s chance of avoiding a rape. None of the women who used three or four strategies in addition to fighting back were raped.

This report was published in 1985. Thirty-nine years later, what have modern feminists learned?

Nothing; they promote the same submission from forty years ago, when we had a lot less research on how to avoid rape.

If I sound harsh or insensitive, it’s because I’m very, very fed up with hearing the same goddamn stories over and over again for four decades and nobody ever learns anything new or valuable they can offer others.

Feminism today teaches women self-infantilization. To identify with vulnerability, not strength; with fear, not determination. I was raped. I am permanently ruined. I am hopelessly damaged. I am helpless against animalistic male sexual urges.

Phillips reframed her experience when she discovered other women had been through far greater hell than she. She read, like a moth to the flame, of the horrors visited upon Bosnian and Muslim women as the Serbian army ripped through the civilian population during the Balkan Wars. The gang rapes of young girls, children. She realized she was a sexually mature adult when she got raped, and it was one time. By ‘only’ two men. She wasn’t raped or gang raped long-term, sometimes in front of her family or children. She wasn’t intentionally impregnated by her rapists and held hostage until she’d given birth to a Serbian child. She wasn’t permanently maimed, murdered, or forced to marry her rapist. She wasn’t reviled by her family and friends; they all supported her. She wasn’t blamed and murdered for her rape.

Phillips observes that she made some mistakes that night. She got a weird feeling about the guy that had gotten out of the car to take a wiz on a tree and what she initially believed was a wife or girlfriend in the car. She had a strong desire to cross the street but she didn’t; why?

Because the man was dark-skinned and she didn’t want to look like a racist.

That’s another massive failure of progressivism’s ‘social justice’: Turning racism into the worst crime imaginable. This played into how Phillips unconsciously collaborated with her rapists. She didn’t want to be that white woman who crossed the street when she saw a black man.

How convenient for any dark-skinned men who want to rape with impunity.

She cited Gavin de Becker’s classic book The Gift of Fear which notes we’re better at sensing danger than we realize, and that when our hackles go up, when we can feel our heart, that’s the time to get the fuck out of there. In fact, in the beginning of the book de Becker cites a rape victim who got a weird feeling about the guy but ignored it, because up until then the stranger seemed okay. The next few hours were hell.

The seeds for Grow Some Labia were planted the day I got into a strange guy’s car I’d met for coffee despite my feeling it wasn’t a good idea. He drove me into a dark basement. I got out, mostly because he wasn’t heavily committed to rape.

Larissa Phillips decided to get on with her life, her loves and her interests, including classical art which she now realized was ‘saturated with rapes’. Her parents, divorced, supported her, and her father brought her books, including one by controversial feminist Camille Paglia. At first she disliked Paglia’s views on sexuality and rape, but she resonated with her views that women needed to be responsible for themselves, that it wasn’t, as feminists believed, ‘society’ that caused men to rape, but which kept more of them from raping.

I’ve read several books by Paglia. Her essays and critiques she wrote in the ‘80s and ‘90s were spot-on refreshingly honest, real, and actionable.

“Today, I am dismayed by my initial reluctance to report my rape and grateful that I was with someone who cared enough about my interests to talk me into doing so. The thought that I almost chose to treat the assault as something less than a serious crime worthy of judicial oversight is chilling to me,” Phillips writes.

It’s something for all of us to think about. Women can be raped at any age, including in their nineties.

Phillips, like me, regards women like Celeste Marcus as unserious about wanting to stop rape. I make no judgement on Marcus’s claims; I don’t know what happened, but I know she doesn’t look as credible as E. Jean Carroll who claimed to have a stained dress with which her accused, Donald Trump, could have exonerated himself by providing a current DNA sample. But he refused.


If nothing else, when you’re raped, preserve the evidence! It takes seconds to remove the offensive garment—which you’re never going to want to wear again anyway—and safekeep it in a plastic bag. If archaeologists can extract DNA from a thousands-year-old skeleton or corpse, it can exonerate—or not—an accused rapist weeks or months or decades later. And if he refuses—well then, who’s the most likely rape liar? The one who says he did it or the one who refuses to prove he didn’t?

Rape ends when WOMEN decide it ends. Not until.

Sorry, Roxane Gay.

I’m interested in hearing and writing men’s and transfolk’s stories about rape and sexual assault. I know it happens and it can traumatizing for them because people can take it less seriously than women’s stories. Anonymity is okay. Drop me a message at growsomelabia at gmail dot com. Don’t send a written story; let’s discuss it first. And don't forget to subscribe to my Grow Some Labia newsletter on Substack!




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