After years of talking about male sexual victimization, I have gotten used to feminists deriding that advocacy. Few feminists take male sexual victimization seriously, and of the few who do, few of them want to discuss with any frequency. I became quite content to let feminists sit in their little “only women get raped” bubble and pleasure themselves with the glee they seem to get from saying the world bastion of rape.
Less common but far more troubling is the “helpful” feminist. While this feminist believes what most other feminists do about sexual violence, these feminists want to “help” male survivors. They do not mean help in the traditional of providing resources and outreach, studying sexual violence rates against males, or even talking about male victimization as a serious issue. No, when they say they want to “help” what they mean is control how male victimization is discussed.
They want to set the rules: who gets to talk, how often they talk, when they talk, where they talk, what they talk about, and why male victimization is a serious-but-not-as-serious-as-female-victimization issue. I have posted about this before, and the common theme with all feminists who want to “help” is that they have a condition. Feminist blogger figleaf recently gave us a 2013 version of this condition:
If you really care about male victims of sexual assault then you’d better care about female victims too. And I don’t mean lip-service “caring.” I mean take positive action.
As I wrote on figlieaf’s blog, if he really cares about female victims of sexual assault then he had better care about male victims too. And I do not mean lip-service “caring” like he gives in his post, if such abject disrespect of rape victims can be considered such; I mean take positive action.
Posts like his are the reason why I do not take feminist “concern” about male victimization seriously. Out of ten years as a victim advocate, no one I know who takes sexual violence against men and boys seriously would state anything as moronic as figleaf’s “condition” for addressing female-on-male sexual violence. It is so fundamentally contrary to basic empathy that I can only imagine his intent is to silence male survivors and perpetuate the feminist belief, which he appears to hold, that men and boys do not really get raped and should it happen it is not that big a deal.
That is the only logical explanation I can come up that does not question his character. The more probable explanation is that he is afflicted with whatever Todd Akin suffers from. I suppose his only saving grace is that like many people who hold impressively dismissive and bigoted opinions, he appears to genuinely believe what he wrote.
However, he does himself and feminists a grand disservice if by some unlikely chance they actually do care about male survivors. No male survivor or advocate for them with a functioning brain would ever think, after reading his comments, that he or feminists care at all about them. I do hope he realizes that at the very least.
Yet, judging by the posts on his blog and the problems with them, I do not think it will occur to him. It takes impressive hubris to tell male survivors and their advocates:
Oh, and by challenging each and every case where someone tries to find some way to blame the victim or, worse, tries absolve their abusers and assailants. You do that? Take female victims and male perpetrators seriously? You do that and people will take you seriously when you talk about female on male violation.
while clearly not taking male victimization seriously on any level. Again, no one taking this issue seriously would write something as idiotic as that.
Of course, figleaf claims that he, “[...]really, really want[s] to spend a lot of time talking about hetero situations where men’s or boy’s sexual autonomy is violated and their consent disregarded. [...] And in fact I’m going to talk about how the very idea that women can never transgress men’s sexual consent or that men are always and almost by-definition always “game” is a pernicious, patriarchal myth.”
I have a small request: oh please no. Stop while you are… not as far back as you could get. You decided to head down a very dangerous road, and while you cannot turn around, you can certainly stop going forward. The place you are heading towards is the place where the Todd Akins and the Dan Savages live. It is a place where people say things they really should not because when they open their mouths they only make it worse.
If you want to show male survivors you care about them and their issues, figleaf, just keep it to yourself. Male survivors and their advocates have made great strides in the last twenty years with no help from feminists. When we asked for help, you turned us down. Now we realize we really do not need you to address this problem. I understand how tempting it is to get involved now that people are taking male victimization seriously. I understand how frustrating it is that no one is really turning to feminists for insights about this issue anymore because it is clear you know nothing about it.
Do not worry yourself about that. Keep writing the posts comparing men to raging bulls agitated by anti-feminist matadors to attack the defenseless red-cape feminism while the other raging-bull men’s rights activists and the crowd of “The Patriarchy” cheer on. It is not particularly helpful or insightful, but it will at least keep you busy.
Or you could always find an old well, you fool of a Took, and throw yourself in next time, and rid us of your stupidity.