My recent blog posting
, in response to another.
V, writing for subterfuge, on "He's Asking For It
This is a confessional about rape. About men raping other men, because the men who are the victims are either gay or perceived to be gay. Contrary to my title, I don’t honestly think men are asking for it. I do not think that men — if rumored to be gay, if he acts effeminate, if he really is gay, etc — deserve to be raped anymore than I think women deserve to be raped.
But, I must confess…when I hear about it…in a way…I feel like it could be a good thing in disguise. And, this makes no sense, I realize. This makes no sense, because it’s ridiculous, shameful thought. It is illogical. Good things do not come out of rape. And, when I hear this, I think of Sharon Angle, who famously told rape victims to make lemonade out of the lemons they were given, rather than get abortions.
As a male survivor of a female rapist (drugged drink) and male rapist (who I successfully fought off) this was extremely difficult to read. While I understand that she acknowledged the shame she feels when she finds herself believing that men being raped is “a good thing in disguise” that doesn’t make it any easier as a rape survivor for me to be sympathetic to her reasoning. I get the point, but it feels differently on this side of the fence.
When I’m waking up in the middle of the night over and over and over due to hypervigilance or bad memories, I definitely don’t feel like what happened was “a good thing in disguise.” When I’m spending money I don’t have on therapy rather than on my child, I don’t feel like it was “a good thing in disguise.” When I can’t figure out if I need to curl into a ball and cry, scream my lungs out or put my fist through the wall, I really don’t feel like it was “a good thing in disguise”. When a woman gets on an elevator alone with me, my skin crawls and I have to center myself in order to avoid a panic attack. I don’t see that as “a good thing in disguise” either.
In an attempt to explain her reasoning, V notes the rise in men reporting and increased coverage of male survivors:
Men now have to stop and think twice. Maybe this isn’t on a large scale yet, maybe it never will be. But, it’s starting. Men now have to worry about the same things women do, even if on a smaller scale yet, and it’s being reported in the media more and more.
Soon, I would not be surprised if men decide it is within even their own best interests if they crack down on rapists, if they treat it as less of a joke and more of a problem that could effect them and their family just as easily as it could effect the prostitute on the street corner, the drunk co-ed at the frat party she shouldn’t be at, the too-flirtatious girl in her boyfriend’s car, the high school cheerleader after school wearing a miniskirt in the 7-11 and parked away from the windows and cameras.
Stop and think twice? You bet. I struggle with trust issues regarding women on a regular basis. I doubt that is the desired effect though. As far as cracking down on rapists goes, the overwhelmingly vast majority of men are NOT rapists. The problem isn't men, it is those individuals who commit rape and those individuals who enable them by either looking the other way, minimizing the experiences of survivors or preventing justice from being served.
I don’t see how my experiences could ever been seen as “a good thing in disguise”. Maybe I'm a little bit pissy today, but this really got under my skin.Relevant Links: