DATE RAPE: What Loretta Young & Clark Gable Remind Us Of Now

Date rape is a confusing thing. You know the guy. You went out with him. You consented to kissing him. Maybe even more. But, when it came right down to it, you said “No “and he didn’t listen. Is it your fault for having gone that far? It’s not. No is No. There’s no reason to feel guilty or take on the blame. That can interfere with your life. Look at Loretta Young. Look at her daughter, Judy, who wrote in her memoir (Uncommon Knowledge): “My life has been filled with hypocrisy and deception from the moment I was born.”

Loretta Young lived in a time when we didn’t yet have a definition of date rape.  Add pregnancy to her shame and the fact that she was “a very proper lady” who lived by the rules (and guilt) of Catholicism. Plus her career and reputation in Hollywood was at stake. There you have an almost impossible situation to navigate. But. Rape is rape. No is no. Consent is the name of any sexual encounter, and consent is never one-sided. If a man forces himself on you, date or not, let’s call it what it is.  It’s not your fault.

No woman deserves to live with the kind of shame-filled secret Loretta Young carried all through her life. Date rape is a violation. It’s damaging. You might even end up not knowing what man you can trust. Don’t let it interfere with a satisfying relationship in the future – or your right to healthy sex. Tell someone you trust. Talk. It’s important to do whatever you can so you know, beyond a doubt, that what happened to you is not something you did wrong. Don’t wait to get help. Loretta Young didn’t know what date rape was for way too long.

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