You’re not helping v9

This is a small suggestion for feminists: if you want male survivors to think you are on their side, stop hitting them in the face.

I bring this up because James Landrith had a conversation with a feminist about another male survivor’s account of being raped. Wayne Myers shared his experience, but added the caveat:

In many internet discussions of rape, there are (almost always male) trolls who pop up and point out that it is quite possible for men to be raped too. The annoying thing about this kind of troll is that while they are not actually wrong, their point usually has very little to do with the discussion in hand. There is a general problem with human beings raping other human beings, for sure, but in the vast bulk of cases we are talking about men raping women. Certainly there are other cases, some involving men raping other men and a very few involving women raping men, but these cases are very much in the minority.

Myers went on to write:

But the truth is clear – rape is a massive problem, and the vast bulk of victims are women, and the vast bulk of rapists are men. This has to stop and this has to stop now. It’s fabulous that women are tending to organise through this or that branch of feminism in order to do what they can to make it stop, but it’s incredibly important that men also join in the fight against rape.

Simply ‘not raping anyone’ isn’t enough. Not letting your mate get away with dodgy rape jokes is also part of it. Finding out what rape culture is – it’s a just a Google search away you know – and working to make sure that you don’t yourself perpetuate any of that shit is a great deal of it.

And if in the end, you think – as a bloke – that rape isn’t something you need to worry about yourself, you may perhaps have statistics on your side, but statistics mean fuck all when it actually happens to you.

I’m still sure it’s much worse to be a female rape victim – I wasn’t physically damaged and I didn’t have a risk of pregnancy. But the STD test was no fun and the psychological fallout even less fun. I’m supposed to be a guy, whatever the hell that means. And to this day sometimes I still think, well, rape? Really? Maybe it was just really bad sex.

Myers view of rape is wildly distorted. Plenty of studies show that there are more male victims of sexual violence than people think, and a significant number of those who prey on men and boys are female. The notion that “the vast bulk of victims are women, and the vast bulk of rapists are men” simply is not based in fact but on assumption, an assumption prompted by an impressive lack of research on sexual violence against men and an even more impressive bias against conducting such research. 

However, Myers comments were good enough for feminist blogger M.K. Hajdin, who stated:

Because Rape Week on the internet seems to be turning into Rape Month, here’s a thoughtful post about the need for confronting rape culture, written by a male victim of rape.

I confess I was feeling apprehensive when I began to read. I was waiting for the inevitable “What About The Menz?” moment. Thankfully, this guy gets it. He tells his story while acknowledging that the vast majority of rape is male-on-female, and doesn’t try to persuade us that his experience was worse than those of female victims.

This is common refrain from feminists, and it is one that shows that plenty of them simply do not care at all about male survivors. James was rather polite in his response on Hajdin’s blog:

I am a male rape survivor. No one, male OR female has any business claiming their rape is worse than anyone else’s experience. I’ve never seen any male rape survivors make such claims in the past so I find it odd that this is being praised as if it rape for a male rape survivor to care about his sister’s pain.

It isn’t male survivors claiming that their rapes are worse. The problem is people who have NOT been raped trying to speak for those of us who have been raped whether male OR female. If you haven’t experienced it, you really don’t know as much about it as you think.

But that did not stop her from hitting him in the face:

Because you’re a rape victim and deserve support for it, I’m going to approve your comment, provisionally. I’m not sure what part of my post you had a problem with, but you seem to be drawing false conclusions about what I said.

Be aware that this is a feminist blog. As the proprietor of such, I don’t have much patience for men who come around mansplaining, picking fights, or showing any other kind of hostility. Victim or not, you will be civil, or you will be gone.

Hajdin’s response is one the many reasons I do not discuss my experiences with feminists. What she showed in her post and comments was not compassion but a demand that no male survivors dare to suggest what happened to them could ever be as bad or worse than what happens to female survivors.

The notion is ludicrious, not only because people ought not play the “who has it worse” with other people’s pain, but also because there are cases in which men and boys were subjected to far worse abuse than many female survivors are. To tell male survivors that they have to down play their rapes so that someone who could not care less about them is not offended is the worst kind of silencing tactic.

And that does not even get to irony of a woman and feminist telling men not to “mansplain” about men’s experiences.

Like James, I do not know of any male survivors who suggest that their experiences by default are worse than women’s. Certainly their individual experiences can be worse than other survivors’ experiences, but no one has ever said to me that just because they are male, what happened to them is worse than what happens to women.

Ironically, this is something I have heard plenty of feminists do. Hajdin did it in her article. I have seen on feminist blogs like Pandagon, Feministe, Feministing, Jezebel, and The Good Men Project. I have seen it done by feminists like Michael Flood, Michael Kimmel, and Hugo Schwyzer. I have seen it done on TV by people like Wendy Murphy and other child victim advocates. It is as if Hajdin and feminists like her are projecting their own behavior onto others.

Make no mistake, this is a silencing tactic, and the people using it know exactly what they are doing. The tactic is designed to keep men from talking about their experiences, get them to mitigate them as Myers did, or to set them off. None of that helps male survivors, but of course that was never the intent.

If you want to help someone, you do not say what happens to them is not really that bad or that it rarely ever happens. You certainly do not applaud them for downplaying their pain. You reach out to them, and let them say whatever they need to say so they can begin address their problems. But you cannot do that if you do not think what happened to them actually matters.

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “You’re not helping v9

  1. “the prison-industrial complex Ozy mentions in the article disproportionately affects men compared to women.”

    well,feminists wanted in on the socio-political-economic complex of men and now are self-righteously indignant when men want in on their victim-industrial complex under the banner of equality.

    “Certainly there are other cases, some involving men raping other men and a very few involving women raping men, but these cases are very much in the minority.”

    even if they were in the majority, many of them would be men doing it to men, and thus not worth their time or ‘men need more rape culture education’. And curiously, didn’t include women on women considering how lesbian rape has had a few documentaries to its name; for the famed inclusiveness of the feminist movement when it comes to things like war honour, they certainly slip up when it comes to rape. Or domestic violence. etc.
    There is a collection of female teachers and students here:
    http://thelefthalf.wordpress.com/category/predators/

    “Be aware that this is a feminist blog. As the proprietor of such, I don’t have much patience for men who come around mansplaining, picking fights, or showing any other kind of hostility. Victim or not, you will be civil, or you will be gone.”

    Translation: You can enter the victim-industrial complex, but only on our terms.

  2. The majority of male victimization is perpetrated by females for sexual abuse, do they understand that? Oh wait, it’s whataboutthemenzing. Sorry, I’ll keep quiet as so many feminists continue to overlook the latest stats, advocate for ending rape without addressing female perpetrators exist and we need far more awareness on them to help actually end rape. I see this continual awareness for showign male rapists, but rarely ever female rapists, hell in nearly every feminist article of male rape victims I’ve read the author has derailed the conversation to state women get it worse. How does that help?

    “Hey men, you get raped at a high rate, but women get it worse so shutup!” is basically what they’re saying.

  3. Do you notice some of the women replying to Wayne’s account of being raped, are saying how nice it is for him to say women get raped more….Why does that sound so selfish to me, that a man details his account of rape and these women are commenting about female rape? Is that whataboutthewomenz?

  4. Carly wrote “What happened to you must have been a horrible experience and I think you are very brave to speak out about your sexual assault.

    However what happened to you is not rape as per the legal definition as rape involves the penetration of mouth, anus or vagina by a penis, therefore a woman cannot commit rape as she has no penis. A woman can commit the offence of assault by penetration which carries as severe a penalty as rape. However this would not apply to what happened to you as it involves the perpetrator penetrating the vagina or anus of the victim with an object.

    Rape and assault by penetration are classed (and rightly so) as the most serious offences next to murder. The penetration is what makes the crime so violating and more serious than other sexual assaults.

    What happened to you was a serious sexual offence and must have been a terrible thing to have to go through but it was lesser crime than rape. It is not fair on victims of rape to class your experience as the same as theirs.”
    Ugh, I need to stop reading this shit n calm down, what kind of dismissive n insulting person would write such filth? Hear that, it’s a lesser crime.

  5. *Sigh*
    When the NISVS 2010 Report came out and it supported what I’ve suspected in around 15-20 years now (since I’ve come to terms with my experience) I hoped that the discourse around rape would take a turn towards this being a human issue.

    Well, the misanthrope in me now thinks this is just the beginning of the “tactics” we’ll see when the statistics and voices of male victims of rape (including those raped by female perpetrators) becomes too loud and clear to ignore. After a lot of pushing from mainly feminist to classify sex without consent as rape (and I applaud that) I see a lot of people, including feminist, backing away from that. That Carly commenter is just one example, I’ve encountered others in discussions about male rape. One claimed that although she thought men who were victims of non-consenting sex with women were raped she still believed that official statistics shouldn’t count those as rape since that would negatively impact female victims and that it wouldn’t help male victims. A feminist article painting female perpetrators as specters and male victim’s individual stories as obscuring the real picture of rape culture where “only men can stop rape” is another gross example. Feminist articles painting with a broad brush all men who doesn’t consent to certain sex acts as misogynists without taking appropriate care to the inherent potential for coercion in such a scenario are others.

    Danny (of Danny’s Corner) posted some days ago a link to another man who told his experience from an attempted rape. The post he linked to had comments (they are deleted now) and one of them said that the sad part was that the victim would never be asked what clothes he were wearing. That was the sad part? Not the attempted rape with the physical injuries the man suffered as a result? The same thing happened when Jezebel wrote about a german woman who raped a man by coercing him into sex. The author of that article quipped that the media at least wouldn’t ask questions about what he wore.

    And we also have this statement from Wayne:

    I wonder to this day whether perhaps my rapist had earlier been raped herself at some point; maybe she lived in a world where forcing yourself on someone else sexually was something that she had been taught personally, something that seemed unremarkable and normal. It seems plausible.

    to which M.K.Hajdin absolutely agrees:
    <

    I think that’s the most likely explanation. Rape is “normal” when you live in a rape culture.

    I’m willing to bet that this explanation in their views only applies to female perpetrators and that there is no such reflections/considerations on why a male rapist commits rape.

  6. Tamen, I expected the kind of response we see from some feminists because it is was I went through offline years ago. So much of the abuse support community is wrapped up in feminist ideology that they simply cannot see things any other way. What I never understood is where these people got the idea that male survivors have some special place in society’s heart. I just do not see it. The idea that a male survivor will never be asked what he was wearing is pointless considering that people will question his sexuality and masculinity. I would much rather have someone say I wore the wrong thing than to deny my manhood and maleness because I could not fight off adults at two-years-old.

  7. Thing is, everyone, will there ever be a world where stories like mine are understood and counted? Not neccessarily rape, just horrible things done unto me by women and girls?

    Because I see commentary like that in what was linked, all the comments shooting “Whataboutthemenz”, “You have male priveledge, even when you’re a victim”, “Women have it worse” like trigger happen gunslingers and just feel like it’s hopeless.

    Even with my serial play “Speak To Me”, I doubt anyone is even going to bother. Likely, many listeners have quit after the first episode due to length and slowness. I can understand their criticism but there was no possible way the subject could be presented in under an hour. Not possible, unless I made drastic cuts to the characters and dialogue that would ruin the plot.

    But even if they did, the fact that commentary like the OP links too still exists is enough to make me guess I’ll likely be dead by the time this sick society even accepts stories like mine.

  8. I’ve said it before: The most common feminist response towards dissent is projection. There ARE people who try to derail discussions of violence against one sex into discussions of violence against the other sex, who feel entitled to always have their own issues and problems treated as most important, who consider the suffering of members of their own sex as inherently more important, who hold the opposite sex in such disdain that they consider themselves qualified to tell them what their lives and experiences are REALLY like. There certainly are.

    So Hajdin is:

    1. Indignant about the prospect of someone asking ““What About The Menz?” in a discussion about men who’ve been raped..

    2. Giving warnings about the unacceptability of “mansplaining” to a man who’s been raped in a discussion about men who’ve been raped.

    And that really does seem to encapsulate the spirit of those terms. It is NEVER the appropriate time or place to talk about men’s problems as if they or the men who suffer them actually matter as anything more than a footnote to women’s issues. Ever. It is NEVER the appropriate time or place for men to talk about their own lives or experiences or thoughts using anything other than scripts feminists have written for them. Women are so absolutely authoritative in their superior knowledge of all things human, and men so profoundly defective, that it’s an insulting, sexist affront for a man to claim superior knowledge over women even when the subject is HIS OWN LIFE.

    Pure objectification, in the actual “viewing and treating human beings like things” sense of the word.

  9. TS said…
    The idea that a male survivor will never be asked what he was wearing is pointless considering that people will question his sexuality and masculinity.

    The male victim doesn’t need to do anything – including dressing in any particular way – to be deemed a slut. That is his default state.

  10. Exactly, James. My thoughts as well.

    She’s pretty much a living emobdiement of the gynocentric, misandrist feminist. Can’t be bargained with, can’t be reasoned with. Doesn’t feel pity or remorse. And absoloutely will not stop. Ever. Until you are shamed.

  11. Yeah, females have no privilege apparently. Made me laugh quite a bit. Anyone that can’t see female privilege makes me truly question whether they really are looking at the world or just looking at the benefits men get and comparing it to the negatives women get. She won’t even post my comments ;), I’m sure I am an MRA to her (I am egalitarian, no allegiance to either side). But don’t forget guys, WOMEN GET IT WORSE!!11eleventy1!11

  12. Her latest comment included “Note: this is a feminist blog leaning heavily to the radfem point of view. I support women’s rights. I do not support “men’s rights”, because that’s as ludicrous as supporting “white power”. There’s already a system in place that favors “men’s rights”. It’s called the patriarchy. “Men’s rights activists” who attempt to troll my blog will be swiftly disposed of at a local hazardous waste facility.”

    There is absolute proof that she really got much of a clue when it comes to the rights of men especially when the old trope of trying to compare it to race comes in. Is being against male circumcision or supporting male victims of abuse in anyway related to an actual surpemacy movement? She doesn’t support men’s rights I’m guessing because she doesn’t realize there are cases where women have more rights than men, selective service, conscription, financial abortion and other areas where men do not share equal rights with women. Not to mention the countless social issues men face such as the extremly high levels of violence they face, especially the violence inflicted by women which doesn’t get anywhere near enough attention to adequately support the males.

    So often I’ve heard from feminists that they are for equality for all, they are egalitarian, which would make them men’s rights activists by default. I truly wonder what they think of gynocentric radfems (which I believe she is calling herself?). Her utter lack of understanding of female privilege alone makes me question if she really does bother to investigate the harms men face, or if she is only focused on where women suffer. It’s clear to me that both males n females suffer quite a lot, in similar areas for some issues and other areas are quite unique. Hell it’s clearly obvious to anyone that knows a thing about history that patriarchy itself as their definition includes would be very much against men’s rights, because conscription is one of the worst rights abuses the world has ever seen. What rights did men have when war came around? So so many had zero choice, they were to goto war or be killed, jailed, whatever. There are areas where “patriarchy” benefits men but there are areas where it’s very much misandric.

    I can’t for the life of me understand why some people find this hard to understand? The excuse I hear is because women were seen as weak and the men were seen as strong, so they could goto war. Yeah? The men were EXPECTED and FORCED to goto war, women were seen as physically weaker yes but men were seen as DISPOSABLE and that their life was worth LESS than a WOMANS. How is that misogynist only? It’s misandrist and misogynist at the same time….

  13. She posted my comment, but the answer left me without a word.

    This part is funny:

    “You can read more about this at http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com. It’s trans-friendly.”

    Given I HAVE been there, and it’s been everything BUT trans friendly. The blog author seems more pro than anti-trans, but the commenters include haters that make nazis look tame. And everyone who follows trans stuff on blogs knows there is a Super Flame War about trans stuff on that blog every now and then.

  14. Schala: I almost had a beverage-through-nose-onto-keyboard moment when I read her description of IBTP as trans-friendly. It’s been a long time since I’ve read IBTP, but it’s not long ago since the last trans flame war on IBTP were talked about on several of other large feminist blogs.

  15. I love how she advocates for disposing of MRAs as hazardous waste. Were an MRA to advocate such for a radfem, there would be breathless and frantic calls for their heads and 8,000 word blog expositions about how it was a veiled death threat and needed to be taken seriously ‘cuz ZOMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Fascinating and sexist double-standard from a radfem extremist.

  16. So this Hajdin is against MRAs and even against men’s rights. That can only mean that she’s against the right of male victims of rape’s rights to be recognized and to get help. It’s not like the society (or patriarchy as she calls it) sufficiently provide that right to men now. According to her anyone advocating for male rape victims should be disposed of as hazardous waste?

    I think many feminists are very pleased that think they’ve found a loophole which allows them to be sexist assholes; they don’t think they have institutionalized power. Well, when the ridicule and dimsissal of male victims are accepted by society then one is wielding institutional power when they themselves do so – just like Hajdin does when she don’t support men’s rights and when she thinks a male victim’s story would be reduced to manplaining if he didn’t include some mention of how women got it worse.

  17. As someone who has always considered herself an unwavering feminist, yet has come to question what that identity even means anymore, I really appreciate this commentary.

    I am fortunate, I have never myself been sexually abused. I consider that a privilege of sorts, in the sense that it is an experience that has the potential to deeply and negatively influence one’s entire perspective of their own life and the world round them, and one who has not been sexually abused can never fully understand that view point. (See: people who don’t understand those who take offense to rape/molestation jokes, etc.)

    That being said, I am the daughter of a women who experienced traumatic, horrifying abuse in the foster-care system of the 1960’s. She was raped, beaten, starved and told countless times that she was a worthless piece of shit who deserved to die. I wish I could call my mother an abuse “survivor,” but I do not believe that she survived. My mother died on my 21st birthday from heart failure directly related to the opiate addiction she developed in an attempt to numb herself and suppress her memories. She was not alone growing up like this; in her own words, her little brother was raped and beaten more often and worse than she was.

    I grew up in poverty, and very much so aware of my mother’s experiences, and the experiences of many others that came into our lives during the periods when my mother was in and out of Narcotics Anonymous. Many of these people were men, some gay and some straight, mostly aboriginal (I am from British Columbia in Canada, for those who are not aware we have a disproportionate amount of disenfranchised Aboriginal abuse survivors still trapped in the survival sex industry and living with addiction) and survivors of sexual abuse in residential schools. This exposure had given me, from a young age, an outlook on life that was rather grim, but was at least quite egalitarian. I knew that various systems of oppression existed (sexism, classism, racism etc.) and more importantly, that women could commit abuse. My mother endured the worst abuse (although not sexual) from her foster mother, who essentially ran a child slave ring on her farm in eastern Canada. A woman who used to babysit me was arrested for sexually abusing a baby when I was only 6 years old, and I was questioned over and over again by my parents if I had been touched (I have an excellent memory, and I was not.)

    I was horrified to discover, when I entered the world of academia, that my naive assumption that everyone understood that abuse and violence happens to all types of people was wrong, and that one of the loudest groups screaming that it wasn’t true was radical feminism. It broke my heart to know that the same group responsible for highlighting and bringing into the public the issue of child sexual abuse and rape were also denying that an entire group of people (men) were also victims. It doesn’t make sense. How can you acknowledge that children (male children) can be abused, but as soon as they grown up and lose the perceived innocence of childhood, they are thrown into the group of “other” and are granted no compassion for their experiences. I get so much shit from my women’s studies instructor when I claim that I believe that at least in western culture, men have it far worse than women in the event of rape and abuse because at least women have an entire movement and resources behind them to support when it happens to them. Men have no voice when it comes to these experiences.

    My mother raised me to understand that sexual violence doesn’t occur in a vacuum, it is not always the case that perfectly normal and ok men decide to up and rape those less powerful than them. She found out when she was older that the boys who took turns raping her in the foster-care house had been raped by older teens and adults themselves, and certainly receive any help. I don’t believe that the feminist objective of “ending violence towards women by men” can be reached by ignoring and invalidating men who have suffered abuse at the hands of men or women. If anything, it can contribute to perpetuating a cycle of hatred towards women who have either abused or ignored the abuse of men. And this doesn’t even TOUCH the cultural acceptance and even APPROVAL of male prison rape.

    In short, I agree that feminists to need to think about the question of “what about teh menz?” when it comes to rape.

  18. Pingback: Please stop “helping” | Toy Soldiers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s