Unspoken abuse: Mothers who rape their sons

Of all the types of sexual violence that occur, sexual violence committed by women remains the most taboo. Of the women who abuse, mothers remain the most hidden .

It shocks people’s senses to consider that a mother would rape her own child. We perceive mothers as nurturers and inherently good. While most of us are aware that there are bad mothers, people react negatively to any suggestion that a mother would abuse, let alone sexually abuse, her child. This notion of the inherent goodness of mothers and the need to view them positively is so ingrained in some communities that it can be used against them.

That attitude, coupled with people’s tendency to ignore female-perpetrated sexual violence, makes it difficult for victims of mother abuse to come forward. People will  take an incredulous stance and see the victim as impugning their mother’s character rather than sharing their experience. Even when people believe the victim, there is still an attitude of disbelief that anyone would share something so negative about their mother. This is laundry, whether dirty or clean, that should be tucked inside the washer never to be seen.

University of Canberra researcher Lucetta Thomas wants to change. She researched the topic with 23 men who shared their stories of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of their mothers.  In one case, a mother repeatedly abused her son. When the boy became old enough to physically stop his mother from raping him, she brought in an accomplice to hold him down. The man eventually committed suicide.

Thomas decided it was imperative that she complete the research. Continue reading

Woman claims Islamic upbringing led her to abuse boys

A New Jersey woman blamed her religion for her repeated sexual abuse of several boys:

A high-school teacher who was jailed for performing sex acts on her underage pupils has blamed her strict religious upbringing for her crimes.

Linda Hardan, from Prospect Park in New Jersey, was jailed to three years in prison yesterday after sending scores of sexually explicit text messages to pupils, aged 14 to 16 years-old in 2014, and then engaging in sex acts with them.

Her defense lawyer, Alissa Hascup, said the Muslim woman was driven in part to commit the offences due to her strict religious upbringing, and suggested that she be treated by a therapist as oppose to serving time in prison.

I do not claim to be an expert on Islam, however, based on what I know of the religion it does not condone, encourage, or teach that adult women should have sex with boys. It actually teaches the opposite: that women should have not sexual contact with any male until marriage. As such, I am curious how Hardan explained this contradiction.

The judge appeared to make the argument for her: Continue reading

Feminist explains why it’s “okay” to objectify men

Who does not love a good double standard?

One would think that movement supposedly built around respecting people’s agency and humanity would avoid anything that would make it appear they do not follow their own standards. For example, if a movement argued that it was wrong to sexually objectify one sex because reducing a person to an object is inhumane, one would expect this to apply to the other sex as well.

Yet one would be wrong. Sabrina Maddeaux argued in a National Post article that it is perfectly fine to sexually objectify men because it is “different”. As she explained:

Male objectification isn’t threatening because men don’t suffer from a severe power imbalance that puts them at risk economically, socially and physically.

A two minute Google search proves this wrong. People judge whether to hire, date, or befriend men based on the men’s appearance. The notion that unattractive men have it easy or that men’s appearances have little impact on how people treat them is nonsense. The evidence suggests that unattractive men do face severe power imbalances due to their looks.

We do not even need to look at studies to demonstrate this. We can follow Maddeaux’s model and use movie stars. Actors like Paul Giamatti and Steve Buscemi do not headline most films. They are fantastic actors, yet they are rarely given the leading man role.

Let us use another example: Aaron Paul. Continue reading

“13-Year-Old Student Seduces His Female Teacher On Instagram, But Now She’s In Jail”

If I had to pick a title that would fail to convey that I thought an adult woman raping a 13-year-old boy was a criminal, immoral act, this would be the title:

13-Year-Old Student Seduces His Female Teacher On Instagram, But Now She’s In Jail

This was the title of a Thought Catalog article written by Gray Collins. I will set aside the notion that a 13-year-old can seduce an adult. More curious is how one would do this on Instagram. What person is unable to avoid the advances of someone online? You could either mute them, block them, or stop using the service. Yet we are meant to believe a 13-year-old boy was such a cunning linguist that he could seduce a woman twice his age,  and one who claims she initially had no interest in the boy.  Continue reading

Male victims share their stories about female rapists

Crimes make people uncomfortable. They particularly irk people whenever victims describe what happened to them. I think, however, that people sometimes need to be uncomfortable. People need to hear what happens. As much as those stories may ruin a person’s day, I think it is important to understand how experiencing those things can potentially ruin a person’s life.

This is all the more important when it comes to taboo topics like female sex offenders. People avoid the topic for a variety of reasons. In turn, victims of female abusers learn to keep the experiences to themselves. The only people this helps are female sexual predators. It does nothing to help the public understand how these women operate. It certainly does not help the victims who suffer in silence.

A recent article presented the stories of several men abused by women. Continue reading

New study will research men forced to penetrate by women

Dr Siobhan Weare of Lancaster University’s Law School will head a new study seeking to investigate female-perpetrated rape:

This research project is looking for men in the UK who have been ‘forced to penetrate’ a woman to participate. The term ‘forced to penetrate’ is used to refer to any and all cases where a man engages in penile penetration of a woman without his consent. This could include non-consensual penile penetration of a woman’s vagina, mouth or anus.

This is, to my knowledge, the first study to specifically research this type of assault. Weare asks for people to participate in the online study. It is anonymous and the team allows people to withdraw from the study up to two weeks after completing it.

The survey is limited to UK residents or those assaulted while in the UK, and participants must be at least 18.

I encourage male survivors living in the UK to participate in the study. It will go a long way in helping people understand the scope of female-perpetrated rape.

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Female Sexual Predator

What does it say about our society when we are only acknowledging the reality of female sexual perpetrators at the end of 2016?

As much as I detest the “it’s the current year” argument, I feel it is applicable in this instance. Despite all the progress made in victim advocacy in the last thirty years, we still hesitate to admit that women commit sexual violence. The hesitation comes in part from cultural norms about women’s capacity for violence, in part from assumptions about male victimization, and in part from a political movement that frames sexual violence as a “gendered” crime.

I have written numerous times about female sex offenders. While the topic receives less media and scholarly attention, there are plenty of studies showing the prevalence of female sexual perpetration. I previously noted that if one looks at these studies in chronological order, the reported rate of female perpetration, particularly against male victims, increases over time. The more we study the topic, the more obvious it becomes that not only do women commit sexual violence, but that they represent the majority of people who sexually assault men and boys.

As shown above, none of this information is new. I pieced it together without access to scholarly publications. Other advocates, men’s rights activists, and even feminists have done the same. The information is scattered and somewhat limited, yet it is not hard to find.

It is simply not discussed. Continue reading