Heather Wilhelm mocks this blog post as "an impassioned defense of making your rapist breakfast," but that's even more unfair than it sounds. It's not a defense of having done it at all, let alone an impassioned one. Just the opposite: the author wishes she had been brave and fought, but admits that she didn't. What she did instead was to try to tell herself a different sort of story about what had happened, one in which this was a sort of romance.
I find it clarifying and helpful, because I think I understand why the man she calls "my rapist" thought it was appropriate to stay the night and have breakfast in the morning. Most likely he doesn't think of himself as a rapist at all. He may have no idea that she thought it was rape at the time.
The story as she tells it involves her not fighting him. She says no, but when he asks "why not?" she doesn't tell us if she replied, or how, except that it was not by fighting (or even by cursing, her graphic implies).
One of the ways in which men and women experience the world radically differently is in our experience of violence. Men are the victims of all forms of violence (including criminal violence, except possibly rape) at much higher rates. It's an ordinary part of our childhood and adolescence, as testosterone kicks in and young bucks clash for position and respect.
My guess is that this didn't seem like violence at all to him. She invited him in, she didn't fight, she didn't curse or spit, perhaps she didn't even argue when asked "Why not?" In the morning she made him breakfast and carried on as if there was a romance. He may well have no sense of her experience of the evening at all, and can't be expected to without having it explained to him.
The markers that he would rely upon to know that he was entering the territory of violence are not present. In the world he likely lives in, if it's anything like my world, violence and force are accompanied by clear markers of rage and reaction. She showed no sign of either. What she experienced as a horrible violation, he probably experienced as a moment of hesitation quickly overcome by passionate ardor.
This is something you really need to teach young men, because you can't expect them to have learned it from their very different experience of the world. Her honesty in making this cartoon helped me understand it, perhaps more clearly than ever before. She should be praised for that honesty. Though Wilhelm calls her "weak kneed" and she herself says she "is not brave," this took significant courage to admit to herself, let alone to the world. If we listen to what she is saying, it might provide a useful lesson for young men. The concept of violence for many men is clear and has bright lines, but they are far removed from the much larger space to which she gives the same name.
There's a lesson there, for men and for women.