The Only One

Originally posted on March 24, 2013

Whenever feminists talk about “rape culture”, they remind me of a theory from the anime series Fullmetal Alchemist called “Equivalent Exchange”. The theory states, “Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost.” In order to make their theory of “rape culture”, feminists sacrifice male survivors of sexual violence.

Feminists have engaged in this in many the Steubenville articles. Some leave male survivors out entirely. Some mentioned them in passing. Some ignore them because of statistical proportionality. I could explain why acknowledging male survivors is important, but I know most will not care.

Instead, I want to focus on what those views imply: that there really are no male survivors. If you are a male survivor, you are the only one. Continue reading

How not to have a discussion (or how to have a feminist discussion)

I have not read anything on the Good Men Project since Joanna Schroeder informed me that I am banned because of my critiques the site’s treatment of male survivors and specifically because I am a non-feminist male survivor. That was of little consequence as I only read articles from the site when they appeared in a Google alert, and even then I kept my participation on the site to a limit.

The reason I rarely participated there was because, like many feminist spaces, the Good Men Project suffers from stilted discussions. While some people running the site may want to have open discussions, many of them do not. Rather than exchange ideas, these people prefer conformity to feminist ideas and theories. Any critique of feminism prompts an increasingly hostile response that typically ends with one or more feminists declaring the discussion “impossible” and the comments critical of feminism suddenly disappearing.

In my opinion, that is not how one fosters a discussion. Exchanging ideas can be difficult. People do not always agree, and some disagreements can become testy. However, as long as the anger remains directs at ideas and not people, one should allow those testy discussions because they are the nature of the debate. Blocking such comments only prevents an honest debate from happening.

Sometimes, as is typical at the Good Men Project and other feminist sites, that is the intention. Many ideologues cannot handle any criticism. The more personal their connection to the ideas, the more the ideology forms the core of their identity, and the more likely the ideologues will dislike the comments. Blocking the comments and banning certain people is a way of “controlling” the criticism. It does not actually work, of course. There is nothing stopping people from criticizing those ideas in other spaces. However, it does effectively prevent that kind of discussion from occurring in their spaces.

Such is the case with David Perry’s article The Straight Married White American Male Feminist Manifesto. Continue reading

Senate panel hears about rape in the military

Today the Senate held a panel discussing sexual violence in the military. This is a growing issue primarily because of how the military covers up sexual violence. People who report abuse not only face a wall of silence, but some of them face counter charges and potential discharge. The cover-up, much like that of the Vatican, starts from the top. So many people in power are aware of the problem and yet do nothing.

The Senate heard testimony from three ex-service members — BriGette McCoy, Rebekhah Havrilla, Anu Bhagwati, and Brian Lewis — concerning the situation:

BriGette McCoy described how she was raped on her first military assignment, two weeks before her 19th birthday. She described how, later that year, she was raped by another soldier in her unit.

Then came sexual harassment by two officers — including one who requested that she be moved to work directly for him, she said Wednesday.

Testifying before lawmakers, the former Army specialist described the “anguish” and “entrapment” she felt, and the horror of the ordeal that followed.

“I no longer have any faith or hope that the military chain of command will consistently prosecute, convict, sentence and carry out the sentencing of sexual predators in uniform without absconding justice somehow,” she told the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on personnel.

“It even starts at recruitment,” she said. “We have quite a few of our men and women that are being raped and sexually harassed during the recruitment process.”

Continue reading