Sorry, Jezebel.com but this video makes me all colours of mad. There are many, many shades of rape and sexual abuse – stranger, partner, best friend whilst kids, sibling, teacher-student, family member, you see where I am going? Everyone’s story is different, but at the heart of it is that the person abused was in some way vulnerable. Whether physically, emotionally or in a situation where they were less powerful or groomed.
I’m sure the guy in this video has suffered and continues to do so. But I object to the blanket-all approach he takes to the male-student-female-teacher abuse, saying everyone thinks it’s “hilarious”. Title: WHY RAPE IS SINCERELY HILARIOUS.
He misses the mark, completely. Instead of an honest statement, he reverts to the sarcastic realm of the idiot male. Yes, men see rape of men by female teachers as a joke. And yet they are prosecuted with alarming frequency. I can’t help but feel in this video the subject dismisses all other sexual abuse for his own experience, which is deemed taboo and “funny” to some.
Men joke about women getting raped. Men joke about men getting raped by other men. Men joke about men getting raped by their hot teacher. (see a theme here?) I understand that sexual abuse of young men by female teachers is not taken seriously by their peers. That coercion into doing something you don’t want to do and don’t know about is basically fucking WRONG.
I in no way mean to devalue or denigrate what this man has been though but welcome to our world. Where you are not met with laughter but with disbelief. Where you are told you asked for it, you invited it. Where judges can say (and I can hardly type this) that girls aged 12-14 are “sexual predators”. Where the issue of consent seems to be so grey for abusers and the law that you’d better just forget it happened. In the UK just 5% of rape allegations make it to trial. And believe me, there are not hoards of women crying wolf and putting themselves through the fucked up legal system. One or two, granted, but we all got our crazies.
While I admire his impassioned speech and admission and acknowledge that he was sexually assaulted/raped by a person who was entrusted with his care and suffered terribly as a consequence – a terrible betrayal, made worse by peers and society – I would say this:
Men often bemoan the fact that “men get raped too” and no one pays attention to that when women get all on their high horse about sexual abuse. Two things; Rape/sexual assault is the singlemost under-reported crime. One in three women will experience sexual assault and or violence in their lifetime. I pointed this out to someone I care deeply for. I was angered by their flippant response – equal to “it happens to men”. Yes it does. I don’t dispute that. But the scale on which it happens to women is astounding in comparison. Sadly it’s something many of us have hidden, been told to forget or accepted as a part of being a lady.
I have been the victim of sexual assault twice in my lifetime. And when I say that I mean Sexual Assault. Not something someone, say the Police or a Laywer, could pick holes in, no – incontrovertible Sexual Assault. And even then I can imagine (and have let go) sexual assaults that could not have been proved necessarily, in the way the law demands. It’s a tricky, sticky subject. And both MEN and WOMEN are coming forward because society has gotten mostly to a place where they can do that.
It wasn’t so long ago that men could rape their wives within marriage and that was a-ok. While I admire this man’s courage, his invective seems to indicate that it’s all fine and dandy for women to report rape but for young guys seduced by their teacher? No way, man. Of course that’s wrong, and the increasing number of female teachers being sentenced for it, shows progress. No one can categorise, limit, describe, assign a number to or comprehend the damage sexual assault does to a person and we should not even try to. His monologue is angry and rightly so, so perhaps I’m being unnecessarily touchy about the subject.
After all, this is his story and his experience. But I resent the general outrage, not the stuff aimed at his peers. As if no one understands and that being a guy who was sexually assaulted makes the case more controversial, more unique, more important, more ‘out there’.
Men are squeamish about sexual assault because while they can understand the male-female rape, the male-male rape fucks them right up and the female-male rape is beyond their comprehension. Female rape by men is normalised in video games, movies, cartoons, memes, t-shirts, every fucking place on the internet. That doesn’t mean it is normalised for women who are raped. Thousands of years of rape doesn’t mean you just get over it when it happens to you.
I can guarantee the poster that for as many cases there are of his, there are equal and much greater number of male-female-teacher rapes. In the same way “society” or his peers think “wah-hey, he got laid by the hot older teacher” there are as many who think “sure, he was her teacher, but she was advanced for her years and he was relatively young….”
In some sense, rape is a “women’s thing”. It has happened since time immemorial and so society shouldn’t be terribly shocked when women get raped. Men being raped happens a bit and is even less talked about. All rape victims are fucked over once more by society, the law and everything else. Just because the female psyche is attuned to being fearful, concerned when alone, vulnerable, and – ask your female friends – no seriously, do a straw poll as to how many times they have been the subject of unwanted attention, touched up, coerced or forced into sexual acts they didn’t want to do, sexually assaulted, the victim of crude sexual language meant to intimidate and belittle, raped – and them come back to me.
For men coming forward about a sexual attack/rape, it must be horrendous. I have only sympathy and well wishes of support. Any individual abused is one too many. But acting like it doesn’t happen elsewhere, to other people, under other circumstances doesn’t help anyone.
Sexual assault – in all its many and fucked up forms – is wrong. There is, but should not be, a sliding scale. Everyone’s private pain is their’s alone, but I find this “shock horror” attitude, as if this had never happened to anyone else, quite sad. Reel off a few movies that have male rape in them. Reverse it and be there for years. Every event of abuse has its own unique reverberations. But it should not be more shocking if it is female-male than any other kind.