I am a Facebook Junkie. Yes, I have said it and I can’t take it back. I check Facebook at least three times a day. Besides being able to use Facebook to keep tabs with my friends and relatives that live far away, I also get to see things I would normally find in my daily perusal of the Montana Blogs and CNN.
One such item came up today. It was posted by 0ne of my political Facebook friends and while the article itself bothered me, the responses to the posting was what really upset me. You see, the article linked by this friend was about a man accusing a woman of sexual assault.
Before we go any further, I need to relate something. I have been the victim of sexual assault. Yes, I am a large man and well able to take care of myself, but as I will discuss later, being larger, stronger, smarter or better prepared doesn’t always mean anything when it comes to sexual assault.
When I was much younger, I had a girlfriend that I lived with that I thought the world of. She was adventurous, intelligent, humorous and gorgeous. She was also a little crazy but since that translated into passion in our relationship, I was willing to look past it. What I didn’t know was that she was also a drug user. I was (and still am) pretty naive when it comes to drug use and I make no excuses for it.
One night, she decided she wanted to try tying me up for sex. We enjoyed a pretty active and varied sex life so this wasn’t all that unusual. What was unusual is that she was afraid to ask me about it, so instead, she drugged my drink and when I fell asleep, she tied to our bed with rope and handcuffs. When I awoke, I lost it. First, I absolutely hate being tied up or restrained. Call it a flaw, but I lose it completely. To be tied up and then sexually assaulted was beyond what I could handle. In about 10 minutes, I destroyed the bed getting loose and that was the end of our “relationship”.
I didn’t report this as sexual assault. In fact, the few people I did tell about it at the time laughed at me for having an issue with it. Now I get that this wasn’t a case of a complete stranger “raping” me. I also get that we were involved in a sexual relationship. That said – NO MEANS NO, regardless of sex.
In the article, a woman is accused to breaking into a man’s house and sexually assaulting him. The article doesn’t give many details (nor should it until after the trial). This is a rare situation but one that is becoming increasingly more common – where a man accuses a woman of sexual assault.
What I would like to focus on more, though, were the comments made by others about the article. Let me provide a few examples –
Poor guy! His wife must have caught him?
Yes, poor man. I wonder if she swallowed?
If he “rose for the occasion” couldn’t he be considered a willing participant
Im sure the poor guy was ” raped”. I think what really happend was he got caught. Oral sex without his consewnt? Riiiight.Im sure.
he should consider it a freebie and walk away.
Some guys have all the luck
I can’t begin to express my absolute disgust with this kind of response. Besides the double standard here (I will get to that in a minute), the lack of compassion for a fellow human being that has (at least on it’s face) endured a sexual assault is beyond disgust.
If this was a woman accusing a man of sexual assault, the comments would have been much different. There would have been calls for castration and all manner of horrible things to be visited on the man. Moreover, there would have been an outpouring of sympathy for the woman. Instead, since is a man reporting the assault, there is derision, disbelief, sexually charged jokes and dismissal. This double standard is inexplicable to me.
The bottom line is … NO MEANS NO WHEN IT COMES TO SEX. It doesn’t matter one whit whether the victim is male or female. Rape is Rape. The law shouldn’t have a double standard when it comes to abuse of any kind. Abuse against a male is just as damaging as abuse against a female. In our society, men are simply not allowed to admit it.
A rape victim advocacy group attempted to do a study on men who have been sexually assaulted about 12 years ago. I admit that I can’t find the link now, though I have looked a while for it. What I found sad about the study was stated in the very first paragraph though. The people doing the study admitted that it was likely that study was equivical because they had a really hard time getting men to even admit to being sexually assaulted – even when their attackers confessed to the crime.
I can speak from personal experience. The few times I have discussed the incident I had with others have all – with few exceptions – brought one of three responses –
1) You should have laid back and enjoyed it
2) Either utter disbelief (even though I still have scars on my ankles and wrists) or dismissal that it could occur
3) I am a wimp for either allowing it to occur or I am less than a man because it did occur.
Would you, as a man, admit to being sexually assaulted? The people doing the study found out that most men wouldn’t. I guess I see that as no surprise. I do find it saddening and sick, though, that our society is so backwards that we would fail to recognise such a fundamental problem.
Two other points to keep in mind. Just because a man is bigger or stronger, they can still be assaulted. I am 6’1″ tall, at the time I was 235lb with almost no body fat due to competing in martial arts, and I was a tourney winning heavy blade fencer at the time. My “girlfriend” was 5′ even and weighed 100lbs. Size, weight, strength etc can often not be a factor. Remember that rape is not about sex, it is about control. Anytime someone attempts to touch you sexually without your consent, it is rape. Period.
The second point to keep in mind is that anyone undergoing sexual assault can react physically – men or women. A lot of it is involuntary. How many of you guys have had an erection in a classroom and then been called to the board? Sometimes you just don’t have control. Therein lies the whole idea of rape. The fact that someone can force your reaction without your consent is the very nature of rape.
No means NO and if anyone disregards a person’s wishes by taking away that choice they have committed rape. Never forget that.