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:
Imagine this: For the last week the media has reported on a horrific case of people covering up child rape. The individuals involved either knew about the abuse or knew about the allegations of abuse and did nothing. They instead allowed a man to use their university’s facilities as a place for him to rape boys.
Usually, the media would not cover cases of rape against boys. It might get a passing mention, and then disappear. Even then, it is needs to be involve a major institution or famous person. If it is something like hundreds of warlords systematically raping boys in Afghanistan, no one cares. The only reason the Sandusky case made news is because involved Penn State and Joe Paterno.
But Erin Gloria Ryan thinks it otherwise:
A sexual abuse case of this magnitude should always be taken this seriously, but sexual abuse is simply not taken as seriously when the victims or victimizers are female.
Right… Sexual abuse against males is taken so seriously that a) it is rarely reported, b) people put terms like male rape in quotes, c) it is made into late night fodder, d) people claim the victims either wanted it, are gay or are lucky, and e) it inevitably turns to talking about female victims.
Ryan goes on to state:
If Jerry Sandusky had victimized little girls, right now discussion of the case would be decidedly different. There would undoubtedly be a vocal public contingent that placed some of the blame on the victims. What were they wearing? Did they, like the 11-year-old who was gang raped in Texas, “dress older” than their age and try to “talk ghetto?” Did the victims act “slutty”? Were they virgins? Maybe the rapes of young sexually advanced tweens was actually just poor hapless Sandusky misreading cues, maybe the rapist was actually not a rapist at all, but a “Clumsy Don Juan” just trying to find some romance when “sex was in the air.” Maybe they’d say that what he did was okay, that he deserved to be exonerated because he’s a good football coach, kind of the Roman Polanski of defensive coordinating.
If Sandusky’s victims were girls, people might doubt the assaults took place at all, as many female victims of sexual abuse are doubted. Whispers would suggest that the girls were being paid by a rival school to sabotage Penn State’s recruitment efforts by seducing the coach. Intrepid sports bloggers would dig relentlessly to uncover the identities of the girls and attempt to find something, anything, that would validate their theory that they somehow tempted their beloved defensive wizard. There’s be a horrible nickname for one of the victims involving the word “honeypot.” If a young girl were victimized by a giant in the world of college football, would she even have the courage to come forward, knowing what sort of scrutiny and character assassination awaited her?
Two points. One, all the above nonsense does get directed at male victims. The only reason we are not hearing much of it in this case is because the media is not covering it. But that does not mean the nonsense is not happening. Already an attorney for some of the victims is concerned about the potential backlash Paterno’s firing could have against them. This is only the start of it. What happens if the next game goes bad? Will the community turn on the victims? Will they blame them for losing Paterno?
More so, plenty of cases result in people blaming male victims. Go and read some of the comments directed at boys abused by priests or any of the Michael Jackson accusers and see how people accused them of lying about the abuse. Look at how many times boys who come forward are called gay or told they must have liked it because they kept going back. Go and read the comments claiming that abused boys cannot be trusted around other children. This idea that male victims hold some honored place in the media and society while female victims get trashed is absolute bullshit.
Two, Ryan just had to make it about women. No feminist could not just accept this situation as the horrific act of child rape and bureaucratic cover-up that it is. No, she just had to claim that women have it worse, because apparently no one takes the rape of little girls seriously.
She went on to write:
However, the world we inhabit is not ideal, and the difference in response to male versus female victims of sexual abuse leaves a disturbing, but nagging question unanswered: Does the Penn State case resonate so dramatically with the public because of a fear of homosexual male aggression, or because the public is actually horrified over the sexual victimization of children?
Or is it because the media has reported that Sandusky had a 10-year-old boy pinned against a wall raping him?
It is stupid, infantile, sexist and incredibly disrespectful to try to make this case about girls. Child rape is bad whoever the victims are. Pretending that male victims are immediately believed is Grade-A bullshit, and it is ironic for Ryan to even try to make that argument in a case where almost half a dozen people did nothing when they found out about Sandusky raping boys. It is even worse when the image the leads Ryan’s article is of a bunch of students at a riot in support of Paterno, a man who ignored child rape.
People do not support boys more than girls.