Good post on Good Men Project

It seems like The Good Men Project is making a legitimate effort to include male victims in their conversation about men’s issues. They recently ran a post written by Scott Mclelland about the abuse he suffered as a child and how he overcame it. From the post:

We talk about how life shapes us, how it makes us who we are. I am never alone now; I have good friends, and when I want it, female company isn’t hard to come by. But my experiences with women has shaped me. I don’t think I will ever settle down. I think I am happy relying on myself and those who I trust, as trusting someone is not easy. I am too gun-shy now, but I have survived, I have done more than many in my situation would have done.

People ask me why I am an MRA, why I avoid anything with a feminist label. The answer is simple: I have seen and been part of a damaging past that has happened through bad people using feminism as an excuse to hate and to do bad things. I have been diminished and despised because I’m a man. I don’t hate women because of this. I know there are more good women than bad, in the same way that there are more good men than bad. But the MRA is one place where I haven’t been judged. I haven’t been made to feel shame for what has happened to me. I haven’t been called a liar or been made to feel like one.

Being a man is a difficult thing. It always has been, and now more than ever we need to answer a lot of questions about who we are as men. But it has to be defined by men. One of the things that we have to do is take back the right to define ourselves, which is something that has been taken away from us. By taking the pains we have endured and sharing them we can achieve so much. We can become so much, but we can only do it ourselves, and we can never feel bad about this, no matter what anyone says.

Please go and read the full article.

A Dose of Stupid v.61

It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:

Sandusky asks court to allow visits with grandchildren

Let us try to follow this logic: Jerry Sandusky is charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse and rape against 10 boys. He has also been accused of allegedly abusing one of his relatives. So, in his infinite wisdom, he decides to petition the court to allow him to see his grandchildren because according to his attorney:

The Defendant’s minor grandchildren have expressed their sadness to their parents about not being able to visit or talk with the Defendant since November 5, 2011.

No.

Sandusky is charged with abusing 10 boys, and the prosecutors have no reason to believe he has not abused any of his family members. It would be monumentally stupid to allow him to have any contact with potential victims. Continue reading

Christina Hoff Sommers on the CDC sexual violence report

In a recent article, Christina Hoff Sommers offered her criticism of the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey:

… [W]hat the study reveals is the devastating impact that careless advocacy research can have on truth. [...] Consider: In a telephone survey with a 30 percent response rate, interviewers did not ask participants whether they had been raped. Instead of such straightforward questions, the CDC researchers described a series of sexual encounters and then they determined whether the responses indicated sexual violation. A sample of 9,086 women was asked, for example, “When you were drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent, how many people ever had vaginal sex with you?” A majority of the 1.3 million women (61.5 percent) the CDC projected as rape victims in 2010 experienced this sort of “alcohol or drug facilitated penetration.”

What does that mean? If a woman was unconscious or severely incapacitated, everyone would call it rape. But what about sex while inebriated? Few people would say that intoxicated sex alone constitutes rape — indeed, a nontrivial percentage of all customary sexual intercourse, including marital intercourse, probably falls under that definition (and is therefore criminal according to the CDC).

Continue reading

Bulletin Board v149

Boy Scouts Accused of Cover Up — An attorney for the Boys Scouts of America and the Los Padres Council in Santa Barbara argued against a tentative ruling that could force the release of documents related to sexual abuse within the BSA. The ruling would shed light on accusations that the Boy Scouts never reported to police. Attorney Tim Hale says that was almost the case back in 2007. That’s when Hale says the mother of a 13-year-old scout told a Boy Scout executive that her son said he had been sexually molested by troop leader Al Stein at a Scout Christmas tree lot in Goleta.

The day my wife beat me up because she hated my haircut — The first time my ex-wife’s temper turned from vicious insults into violence was after I’d had a haircut she didn’t like. She dragged me down the hall by my hair, punching the back of my neck. Soon after, she repeatedly hit me on the head with a telephone receiver after she didn’t approve of the way I’d spoken to my mum. And, most absurdly, she set about my shins with a child’s plastic golf club after I’d hung my underwear out to dry without folding it the right way. Did I say anything to anyone? Or leave her? No, I didn’t. For, like thousands of other male victims of domestic violence, I was mortally ashamed of what was happening to me, convinced if only I was a better husband, these attacks would stop.

Hamid Karzai condemns alleged Afghan child abuse by British soldiers — The soldiers, reportedly a sergeant and a private from the Mercian Battle Group, were arrested over claims they had made films as they encouraged a boy and a girl to touch them through their clothing, and showed the videos to their comrades. An investigation has been launched by the Royal Military Police. The allegations were made less than a week after film emerged of United States Marines urinating on the bodies of Taliban fighters killed in battle. Mr Karzai’s office said: “The government of Afghanistan is immensely disgusted by the rise in recent incidents of immoral nature among foreign soldiers that clearly undermine public confidence and the Afghan people’s co-operation with foreign troops.”

Haverstraw woman, 33, accused of sex with teen — A 33-year-old dental assistant has been charged with having sexual intercourse four times with a 15-year-old boy at her village apartment since early January, police said Friday. Police arrested Viviana Urbino on Wednesday following an investigation based upon a complaint filed by the boy’s mother. Lt. Martin Lund said Friday that the investigation found Urbino met the boy this month for the first time during a social function in the village.

Mother raped own daughter for ‘sex education’ — A mother of four who raped her 11-year-old daughter and filmed it as a form of “sex education” has been jailed for four years in Australia. The 37-year-old woman from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast made three films using her mobile phone showing her raping her youngest child and exposed her to other sexual activity “in response to repeated questions,” The Sunshine Daily reported. Judge John Robertson said sexual offenses against children by their own mothers were “rare,” describing the relationship between mother and child as “seminal in our society.”  Continue reading

Quiz: How did Manboobz’s feminist commenters respond to a man’s account of rape?

Here is a little one-question quiz to see how much you know about the Manboobz blog:

QUESTION ONE: A man describes being raped by a woman when he was 13-years-old. Do the Manboobz regulars:

a) Respond with sympathy and support

b) Attack him and accuse him of lying about his abuse, his life experiences, and his family, then return to posting about how there is no gray area when it comes to rape and intoxication

BONUS QUESTION: True or False: Someone on Manboobz argues that no feminists ever downplay, dismiss, ignore, or marginalize male victims, and that only feminists do anything to help male victims. This same person writes this after accusing a male victim of lying about his past.  Continue reading

War, rape, and the invisible victims

Originally posted on July 17, 2011

Every month there is a report, essay, or article about how women are raped in war-torn countries, yet few of those reports mention anything about male victims. Male victimization remains a taboo subject in most countries, but more so in many Africa countries, particularly those engaged in war. Many of those cultures place such limits on men that male victims of rape cannot come forward for fear of losing their friends and family. Often the support services that help women will not help men. Should any men come forward, they also risk retaliation from the authorities, especially if the men are refugees.

All of this leads to a woeful lack of accurate data about the frequency of rape against men. It is unfathomable to think that any army that would torture and brutalize a populace would abstain from sexually assaulting men. Regardless of the social stigmas, in war no act of violence is ever used just against one group. There are thousands of boys and men who have been raped and forced to keep it secret because of social stigmas and misandrist policies that deny male victimization.

However, photographer and writer Will Storr provides a glimpse in the horrors that many men face in war-torn countries in Africa. He produced an audio slideshow recounting the stories of several men. He also wrote an article:

One of the few academics to have looked into the issue in any detail is Lara Stemple, of the University of California’s Health and Human Rights Law Project. Her study Male Rape and Human Rights notes incidents of male sexual violence as a weapon of wartime or political aggression in countries such as Chile, Greece, Croatia, Iran, Kuwait, the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia. Twenty-one per cent of Sri Lankan males who were seen at a London torture treatment centre reported sexual abuse while in detention. In El Salvador, 76% of male political prisoners surveyed in the 1980s described at least one incidence of sexual torture. A study of 6,000 concentration-camp inmates in Sarajevo found that 80% of men reported having been raped.

I’ve come to Kampala to hear the stories of the few brave men who have agreed to speak to me: a rare opportunity to find out about a controversial and deeply taboo issue. In Uganda, survivors are at risk of arrest by police, as they are likely to assume that they’re gay – a crime in this country and in 38 of the 53 African nations. They will probably be ostracised by friends, rejected by family and turned away by the UN and the myriad international NGOs that are equipped, trained and ready to help women. They are wounded, isolated and in danger. In the words of Owiny: “They are despised.”

Because there has been so little research into the rape of men during war, it’s not possible to say with any certainty why it happens or even how common it is – although a rare 2010 survey, published in theJournal of the American Medical Association, found that 22% of men and 30% of women in Eastern Congo reported conflict-related sexual violence. As for Atim, she says: “Our staff are overwhelmed by the cases we’ve got, but in terms of actual numbers? This is the tip of the iceberg.”

Storr goes on to tell Jean Paul’s story. Jean Paul’s father was accused of aiding the enemy and was killed. Jean Paul ran, but was caught by the army. He was raped nearly a dozen times the first night and every night, along with several other men, for over a week. He managed to hide one day under the roots of a tree, and remained there until the searchers gave up. Jean Paul was so violently raped that even with medical treatment he still bleeds when he walks.

That is the reality of rape against men and boys. People avoid talking about what boys and men actually go through. No one wants to hear it and few would believe it, yet Storr gives an account of the kind of rape men and boys face endure. Fair warning, it is graphic:  Continue reading

Woman gets two years for kidnapping and sexually assaulting two boys

I often write about the double standard that benefits female rapists. When women are charged and tried for sexual violence, they often receive a fraction of the sentence that a man would. In many cases, prosecutors offer women plea deals that greatly reduce the charges, sometimes taking what would have resulted in a decades-long sentence down to a few years or even probation. A recent case perfectly demonstrates this.

In 2010, Misty Talley Smith locked two boys who were friends of her son in her son’s room. When the boys’ parents came looking for them, Smith told them the boys were not there. The boys managed to escape and were found by the police. According to a report:

It was alleged that on various occasions for about a month or two, Smith had supplied the boys with marijuana and pills. Court papers explained that she bound their hands with duct tape and had sexual contact, short of intercourse with them. It was also alleged that she had taken inappropriate photos of herself with one of the boy’s camera, and had touched the boys inappropriately beneath a blanket.

As a result, the prosecutors charged Smith with thirteen criminal charges, including two counts of delivery of drugs to minors, one of furnishing alcohol to a minor, two of lewd and lascivious conduct, one of simple assault, aggravated sexual assault, and unlawful restraint. However, the prosecutors accepted a plea deal that reduced Smith’s charges down to  two counts of sexual assault without consent.

So despite that this woman tied the boys up, sexually assaulted them (presumably physical and/or oral contact), and lied about the boys’ whereabouts, the state dropped all the serious charges against her.  Smith received three years to life, but with time served, she will actually only spend about two years in jail before being placed on furlough.

Defense lawyer Elizabeth Hibbitts argued that her client suffered from mental deficiencies stemming from fetal alcohol syndrome:  Continue reading