Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Four Most Common Ways Male Rape Victims Are Blamed For Their Own Assaults

Whenever the topic of male rape at the hands of women arises, it seldom takes long for the victim blaming concern trolls to show their hands.  What a person who hasn't been sexually assaulted feel they would do in response to being attacked in that manner is hardly evidence of anything other than their own arrogant stupidity.

There is an insidious new idea out there that is growing more and more popular with male-rape apologists:  that male survivors of sexual violence do not get victim-blamed.  For those of us who've been raped, the truth is something entirely different.  Men who are raped, especially men who are raped by women, are blamed much more often than their female counterparts.

This is not a case of "What About Teh Menz" or whatever other sexist bullshit comes to  mind.  This is an appeal to people for humane behavior.  Its a request that you refrain from promoting rape myths regarding male survivors.

Stop this.

Stop this now.

#1:  Men Are Strong (also known as "He Should Have Fought Back")

While male rape victims are not usually asked what they are wearing, or if they did something provocative that encouraged their attackers (though you should not take "not usually" as "never"), their perceived strength and supposed ability to fight back are frequently used by others to deny a rape actually occurred, especially if the rapist is a woman who the man outsizes and outweighs.

There is this ridiculous assumption among people who deny that male rape victims exist that all men have the martial arts skill of Bruce Lee, the tenacity and determination of Charles Bronson, and the cool, unflappable demeanor of Clint Eastwood.  Apparently we are all trained in combat techniques and crisis management since birth.

The truth is, most men (just like most women) will panic when placed in a position where they are about to be raped.  And most people in a panic have no idea how to respond coherently.

#2:  He Must Have Wanted It (also known as "Men Are Always Horny")

This fallacy is based on the common misconception that men are out-of-control animals who want nothing more than sex, sex, sex, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, all the time every time, and that they will never, ever turn down sex.  To put it bluntly, this is a stupid and frankly sexist assumption.  Men are just as choosy with their sexual partners as women are, and to assume they want sex just because they are male is ridiculous.

On top of the "men are always horny" fallacy is the "an erection equals consent" fallacy.  Anyone who spouts this nonsense has clearly failed biology.  Erections can be forced, and any teenage boy can tell you they happen involuntarily and unexpectedly all the time.  They aren't something men can turn on and off at whim.  In some cases, a simple touch can result in an erection.  Most adult men experience erections while asleep, and retain them after waking.  Nevertheless, there are many people out there who somehow cannot grasp the idea that a man can get hard when he really doesn't want to.

I sort of get why a woman might believe this.  After all, she doesn't have a penis, and thus has no personal experience in dealing with one except in a second-hand nature.  I get that.  What I don't get is the number of men who apparently have no idea how their own dicks work.

#3:  Women Don't Commit Sexual Violence Very Often At All

The Centers for Disease Control keeps track of official rape figures, and if you only go by those figures, you find that women make up only a small percentage of all rapists in the United States.  The problem arises from the fact that the definition of "rape" used by the CDC specifically only includes forcible penetration of the anus or vagina inflicted on the victim using an object or a body part.  That is, its only rape if one person, the rapist, forces an object or body part into the anus or vagina of another person (the victim).

Which means that the CDC intentionally excludes any act in which one person (the rapist) forces another person (the victim) to penetrate the rapist's anus or vagina with an object or body part.  Rather the CDC calls this "made to penetrate".  According to the fine people at the CDC, being "made to penetrate" is not rape, regardless of the fact that the helplessness, pain, and humiliation that the victim feels is identical to those of any other rape victim.

Cases of "made to penetrate" are not counted when its time to tabulate rape statistics.  They are, in fact, pretty much ignored.  Despite knowing that these numbers have been manipulated, deniers of male rape will parade the CDC's misleading "rape figures" as if they were accurate.  Add these misleading figures to the fact that only an estimated 1 in 6 male rape victims ever comes forward in the first place, we really have no idea how often women commit sexual violence.

#4:  Men Can't Get Raped Anyway

This fallacy is used by the densest of the densest male rape apologists of both genders.  The truth is, even if you use the CDC's misleading figures on male rape victims, there are a heartbreaking 3 million male rape victims alive today in the United States.  Don't kid yourself.  Men get raped all the time. 

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