One thing I've learned about myself since being raped is that it didn't kill the idealist in me. Because if it did, seeing this statement wouldn't have caused such a passionate anger to well up within me. I want to echo the sentiments of PisonerID, Earlybird, LN3(SS), JustScott, Men of Hearts, Lo Don and Darkheart as well as add some comments of my own:
Controversial topics tend to side track conversation rather than remain focused on the issue of sexual abuse and related recovery. Therefore, if a topic appears to be one that will cause more controversy than clarity, we tend not to pursue it.
If we dance around the issue of male rape because talking about it might start a controversy, social change will never happen
. Look at Penn State right now. The students are shaken up, it's a PR nightmare for that university, and that whole community is feeling a lot of grief and hurt right now over this controversy. I respect Male Survivor for emphasizing that the worst part about this whole thing is that these boys who were harmed never be the same, and the trauma they have undergone is severe. IN this case, Male Survivor is a voice of clarity in the midst of this controversy--standing up for the victims and doing what is right. I respect that.
Think about Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Jane Addams, Kofi Annan, and Nelson Mandela. They won Nobel Peace Prizes because of their influence on society. Did they get to that point because they avoided controversy? No, they were successful because they stood up for what is right in the midst of controversy. Sometimes you have to make the public feel a little uncomfortable in order for social change to happen.
For both males and females, CSA tends to be more easily discussed than the sexual assault of adults. Moving this tendency is not something that can be handled in a press release format.
I agree with you that CSA isn't as easily discussed as adult sexual assault, especially
in males. But isn't that a terrible thing? Shouldn't Male Survivor work to bring social attitudes about male rape out of the dark ages and into the 21st century? So much progress has been made to support women who have been sexually victimized in the last 50 years. Many books, articles and organizations have come about since the 1988 conference about male sexual abuse victims that led to MS's founding in 1994. Social attitudes about male CSA are not where they should be, but progress has happened and is happening. Unfortunately, male rape victims are still decades behind this progress. That's a problem that has forced many of us into a life of silence and shame. When I first came to this forum, I was told that I didn't have to live in shame anymore. As a man who recently went through the hell
that is sexual assault, that was a huge comfort to me, and I have a lot of gratitude in my heart for the brotherly support I got from the other survivors here, and that includes friends with CSA and ASA. If the press release format is not considered a prudent way to enact the social change that needs
to happen, then what is Male Survivor going to do instead?
The issue around military sexual assault is an example of one that can be difficult to cover since bringing attention to the existence of male sexual assault can easily be sidetracked into a debate about whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to serve. We would be happy to find issues we could address that clearly bring attention to the needs of men in the military who have been abused that cannot be derailed into another unrelated controversy.
Almost everything that is discussed here on these forums could be easily sidetracked, if it's allowed to get to that point. I don't see why discussing Military Sexual Trauma is in any way less controversal than the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, which is widely discussed here and in the media. This organization doesn't seem afraid to stand up for the victims, even though it could spark conversation about the issue of allowing gays into the priesthood. Myth #2 on the Male Survivor's website states:
Most sexual abuse of boys is perpetrated by homosexual males.
Pedophiles who molest boys are not expressing a homosexual orientation any more than pedophiles who molest girls are practicing heterosexual behaviors. While many child molesters have gender and/or age preferences, of those who seek out boys, the vast majority are not homosexual. They are pedophiles.
OK, so we've established that what happened to those boys is sexual abuse, not a homosexual act. The language in this article, along with much of the Male Survivor website, is CSA-specific, but why should it be any different for men assaulted as adults? The rape of men is not a gay issue, it's a human rights issue. Gays and lesbians have enough social marginalization issues to overcome without being dragged into this topic, and that's exactly why Male Survivor needs to work hard to dispell the myths about men who are sexually victimized as adults. It's sexual victimization, not homosexual sex.
I was raped as a grown man and it's taken a lot of therapy and a lot of healing to realize that I didn't have gay relations with the guy who raped me. I didn't consent to what was forced upon me. Even though all attempts at fighting back were futile, I still am haunted by this idea that as a grown man, I should have been able to fend him off. The idea that grown men are immune to sexual victimization and attack is a myth that needs to be busted up and taken down.
I am leaving this community with the words of Rabbi Hillel:
"If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
And, if not now, when?"