Feminist: Male rape victims have more privileges than women

I take a simple position on discussions about sexual violence: leave out the politics. Politics make an already complex issue more complicated. They lead to bias, bigotry, and favoring the protection of political stances over addressing the problem. This is particularly true when feminists are involved in the discussion.

It appears many feminists are incapable of discussing sexual violence without resorting to “who has it worse” arguments. Advocates for male victims and men’s rights activists frequently challenge feminists on those arguments. Feminists usually respond by dismissing the challenges as “misogyny” or an attempt to silence women.

Yet there is good reason for people to persist in those challenges, and that is because when such arguments are left unquestioned, they lead to rather ugly statements. For example, Kaelyn Polick-Kirkpatrick wrote in The State Press:

[…] men’s rights activists and skeptics alike raise questions about feminism’s tactics. For instance, why not include everyone in conversations about rape given it’s such a prodigious problem? Well, conversations that include men do need to happen — everyone has a role to play in mitigating rape culture; but these conversations do not necessarily need to happen within the feminist community.

Feminism provides a safe-space for women to cope with and fight back against the oppressive society in which they live. It exists because oppressed people often need support from others who can empathize with their struggles — men have privileges that prevent them from being able to empathize with the struggles of women, even when they are survivors of sexual crimes. For instance, it is unlikely that a man will be asked what he was wearing during an assault, and it is unlikely that a man will be told that he deserved it due to his promiscuous behavior.

That impressive inane statement could only have come from a feminist. No one else possesses such contempt for men to state without irony that male victims of rape are too privileged to empathize with female victims. Continue reading

Former tutor claims student abused her

Abigail Simon faces four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against her former student. She is accused on engaging in repeated sexual acts with the 15-year-old boy. However, Simon claims that she is the actual victim:

In testimony punctuated with weeping, Simon said the teen within a matter of weeks in the spring of 2013 used physical intimidation, psychological manipulation and rape to control every aspect of her life – even to the point that she did what he wanted when she was on the other side of the country.

“My thoughts, my life, were consumed with making (the teen) happy,” she said. “It was bizarre.”

It gets more bizarre:

Simon was questioned all day by her attorney, describing events from the beginning of their relationship that started with him slapping her after accusing her of spending too much time with other students she was tutoring.

She wept as she explained how the boy managed to get her to take him to restaurants, drive him to Chicago and South Bend and let him into her apartment all using threats against her and himself.

Two things come to mind. One, this is the case that should have prompted Joanna Schroeder’s ire about double standards against male victims. What man could take the stand and claim that his 15-year-old female victim controlled his life and expect anyone to take such a claim serious? Continue reading

Bulletin Board v243

Alabama Baptists call for prison reform, noting overcrowding and sex abuse — The Alabama Baptist Convention passed a resolution today calling for prison reform in Alabama. “We do believe crime merits punishment, but incarcerated criminals need to be treated humanely,” said the Rev. Roger Willmore, chairman of the resolutions committee. Alabama Baptists “call upon the governor, attorney general, and Alabama Legislature to seek ways to end abuse in Alabama prisons,” the resolution said.

Former teacher sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing 25 young boys — A former teacher at Terra Nova School in Holmes Chapel has been sentenced to six years and nine months in jail for sexually abusing 25 boys he taught in the 1970s. Keith Cavendish-Coulson, 71, of Crookham Hill, Crookham Common in Berkshire, pleaded guilty yesterday to 42 counts of indecent assault on boys who were aged between eight and 13.

I was victim of abuse in boys’ home, Jean McConville’s son tells inquiry — The son of a woman “disappeared” by the IRA has claimed he was sexually abused at a boys’ home in Co Down. Billy McConville was six when he went to Rubane House after his mother was abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA in 1972. Jean McConville’s body was recovered on a beach in Co Louth in August 2003. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v242

$13.5M for Jehovah’s Witness sex victim — A San Diego judge has found that the governing body of the Jehovah’s Witness church covered up years of sexual abuse by a local church leader and continued to put children in danger of being molested, a ruling likely to echo across the country as alleged victims from other congregations take similar cases to court.

Ala. woman charged with sodomizing two young boys, sexually abusing young girl — According to an Oct. 29 report from The Call News in Mobile County, 25-year-old Brandie Renee Smith of Chunchula, Alabama, was arrested at her home on Stagecoach Drive by deputies with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office and charged with multiple child sex abuse crimes. Those crimes include six counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12 and two counts of first-degree sodomy. Smith was arrested and charged on Friday.

Dispelling the myths of male sexual abuse and offering hope — Sexual violence of males is not uncommon. About one in six males experience some form of sexual violence at some point in their lives. Reports of male childhood sexual abuse are under-reported. Sexual assault is a crime of power and control, not a crime of passion or sex. Adult sexual contact with young boys and adolescents is sexual abuse, not sexual initiation. Being sexually abused as a child does not mean you will become a sexual offender. Continue reading

You’re Not Helping v.26

After Kevin Williamson’s review of Lena Dunham’s memoir made news, I wondered how long it would take before feminists defended Dunham’s alleged actions. As I mentioned in my prior post, Dunham recounts in her memoir several instances of sexual activity between her and her younger sister. The incident that sparked controversy involved a then seven-year-old Dunham attempting to look inside her one-year-old sister’s vagina.

It only took a few days for feminist supporters of Dunham to rally to her side. Slate’s Melinda Wenner Moyer gives the most fervent defense. In her article, Moyer states:

Williamson hardly has the authority to call [Dunham’s sexual activity with her sister] sexual abuse—a claim that should not be thrown around lightly. Not only does he not have a background in human sexuality or child psychology, but it also seems he didn’t consult with anyone who does, or he would have quickly learned that Dunham’s behavior as a youngster was normal. “This is clearly not a case of abuse,” says developmental psychologist Ritch Savin-Williams, director of the Sex and Gender Lab at Cornell University. “Children have been doing this stuff forever and ever and ever and ever, and they will do it forever and ever and ever.”

Given that Williamson considers the activity abuse, would it not have been wiser to consult a person familiar with childhood sexual abuse? Dr. Savin-Williams focuses on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth. This is not to say that his insights are unhelpful, only that they may be skewed in favor of his political concerns.

Savin-Williams is correct that children have engaged in sexual activity with each other for the length of humanity’s existence. However, we are not talking about all children. We are talking about a specific situation: for over a decade an older child repeatedly engaged in sexual activity with a child six years her younger. That is not normal. Continue reading

Lena Dunham’s “Rage Spiral”

No one likes to be accused of sexual abuse. People find it particularly troubling to be accused of sexually abusing a child. That is true even if the person committed the act.

However, one cannot complain when it is one’s own words that prompts people to label one a child abuser. Case in point:

In her newly published collection of personal essays, Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham describes experimenting sexually with her younger sister Grace, whom she says she attempted to persuade to kiss her using “anything a sexual predator might do.” In one particularly unsettling passage, Dunham experimented with her six-year younger sister’s vagina. “This was within the spectrum of things I did,” she writes.

The article recounts Dunham describing checking inside her one-year-old sister’s vagina to see where babies come from. According to Dunham, she found something inside there. She told her mother, who apparently did not question why her seven-year-old daughter was looking inside of her little sister’s vagina, and the mother removed several pebbles Dunham claims her sister put inside her vagina. Continue reading

Washington Supreme Court reverses harmful ruling

The Washinton Supreme Court reversed a decades old ruling due to a misapplication of the decision. According to the Seattle Times:

The court had previously ruled that when a defendant claimed the contact was consensual, it was up to the defendant to prove there was consent by a preponderance of the evidence. The rulings essentially made consent an affirmative defense to a rape charge, the way a killer can claim self-defense in a murder case.

But in a 6-3 opinion Thursday, the justices said those decisions wrongly interpreted U.S. Supreme Court precedent. Prosecutors must prove every element of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, and making a defendant prove that there was consent got that requirement backward, they said.

“Requiring a defendant to do more than raise a reasonable doubt is inconsistent with due-process principles,” Justice Debra Stephens wrote for the majority, saying it raises “a very real possibility of wrongful convictions.”

This is a reasonable position. No one can force a defendant to prove his innocence; the state must prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Continue reading