My name is Olivia Grey. Some of you know me as Steampunk author O. M. Grey, or as a blogger and podcaster at Caught in the Cogs.
I am a fairly privileged white, middle-class, cis woman. I admit that up front and freely. The men who raped me were all privileged white, middle-class, cis men, perhaps the only group of people on this planet more privileged than I am, with the exception of the highly wealthy and politically powerful.
Rapists rape people. Across cultural boundaries. Across racial boundaries. Across various sexual orientations. People rape people.
I am well aware that women rape, too. I have some very dear male friends who were raped by women. I am well aware that “not all men are like that (NAMALT).” I am well aware that men are raped, too, at a much higher rate than any would like to believe. People of color, especially women of color, and transgender people are at a higher risk of sexualized violence than white women, men of any color, and all cis gender folks.
Rapists rape people.
Rape is by far most often perpetrated by cis, heterosexual men. Notice I did not say exclusively. I said most often. Women, cis and transgender, are most often the victims of male violence. Again, most often, not exclusively. Between 60% and 99% of rape is perpetrated by between 6% and 30% of men. 1% – 40% is perpetrated by women. Men, women, transgender folks, and children are victims of male-perpetrated rape. Men, women, transgender folks, and children are victims of female-perpetrated rape, too. (Refer to the statistics page for sources.)
Since my writings are based on my personal experience with sexual violence, please accept that I often use language reflecting a binary gender system: male pronouns (he/him/his) for the perpetrators of sexual violence and the female pronouns (she/her/hers) for the victims of sexual violence through the bulk of this site. It is not my intention to minimize or dismiss experiences where the victim or perpetrator are genderqueer or intersex people, or where the perpetrator is a woman or the victim is a man.
I encourage you to substitute pronouns as you see fit in order to reflect your community and/or experience. The important topic at hand is sexual violence, and I’d like to remain on topic regardless of pronoun used or gender of the parties involved.
I am striving to incorporate more gender-neutral language into my writing as time passes. Although I fear my fumbling attempt to do so will distract from the message and information in an already-confusing and emotional topic, as it has a tendency to distract me from the deeply important subject of the prevalence of sexual violence and how to deal with it in our unique communities, I am committed to incorporating such language moving forward. Regardless of pronoun used, the importance here lies in the information, not in the gender or orientation of the perpetrator or victim.
Rapists rape people. Period.