On January 15, 2012, I told my story to the world via The Good Men Project. This article was quickly one of the most popular on GMP for months. It gained traction again lately, which garned new interest and the usual trolls and haters that all survivors find when they go public. The following comment was left on the article this week by "Allison":
"Though it is unfortunate that you went through something so traumatically disgusting, it wasn’t life threatening as it is when it’s men against women. Overall, men are far more violent (for example, war is not a product of femininity) and that sucks because men are physically stronger 99% of the (biological) time. Some women are raped SO hard that thy can never have children. Some women are even murdered after rape, because the rapist doesn’t want to be identified. Men don’t usually tell their stories of abuse because they want to appear strong, but for every man, there are hundreds of victimized (silent) women. So I apologize for not being too sympathetic, it’s just that your (rare) experience was merely unfortunate, NOT widespread & detrimental."
For the record, since "Allison" believes she is an expert: Rape IS traumatic. Rape is not cookie-cutter. Rape does not conform to a single format. Physical injuries are NOT universal for men OR women. Further, sexual violence is not trivial for ANYONE. Use of minimizing terminology and being informed that what happened to me is not "detrimental", but "merely unfortunate" is ridiculously commonplace. As a male survivor, I've run across this mentality repeatedly from both male AND female rape apologists.
Since "Allison", brought it up. Let us talk about the physical damage rape can do to men. I've known men who have recurring physical problems, needed surgeries (sometimes multiple) to repair the damage following brutal attacks. I know men who fight PTSD, deal with regular nightmares, self-harm, panic attacks, anxiety, suffer a complete loss of trust, have difficulty holding down jobs, interacting publicly and living full, happy lives. Yet because they are not female, "Allison" believes it to be of no consequence.
Compassion should not have gender labels, nor be attached to a cynical hierarchy of suffering. True compassion, sympathy and empathy are independent of such arbitrary and irrational excuse-making, arrogance and rape apologia. "Allison" is a rape apologist and a miserable excuse for a human being.
Male and female survivors need each other. Together, we can actually counter the shaming, victim-blaming and disbelief we face from strangers, friends and even family. We can use our unique perspectives and experiences to make our lives better. What we don't need, are examples of false compassion and blatant minimizations, as demonstrated above. What we don't need, are gender warriors co-opting our traumas to make broad-brushed, ideological statements that put personal politics above survivors needs.
I'm trying not to hate the world again, but arrogant, sexist, hateful rape apologists like "Allison" make it extremely difficult.