Tell Me Again Who Shames Male Survivors? (or Claudia Pandolfi Doesn’t Get A Veto Vote Over Male Survivors)
Once upon a time, I told my own story of rape at the hands of a woman. I’ve gotten my share of hate, shaming and victim-blaming for it. Men AND women alike are full of arrogant, stupid ideas about what does and does not constitute sexual violence, what they “would have done” and who is “allowed” to talk about this subject.
Then there are rape apologist pieces of shit like Claudia Pandolfi (NOT the Italian actress — just the same name). Claudia decided that she needed to co-opt my own story to make some sweeping claims and generalizations that should earn her lifetime radfem bragging rights to the best room at any of their future gatherings. Listed below in Italian first and then translated by a survivor acquaintance from Italy are Claudia’s repugnant, arrogant rape apologist comments:
*ATTENZIONE: questo post tratta i temi della violenza sessuale e riporta fatti senza censure, perciò non apritelo se intorno a voi ci sono minorenni.*
Scusate, lo so che susciterò un certo numero di reazioni negative, specialmente (ma forse, chissà, non solo) da parte di uomini, ma io vorrei davvero capire quale opinione hanno le persone che ho tra gli amici in merito a un uomo che dichiara di essere stato stuprato da una donna.
Qualche tempo fa Shia LeBoeuf (http://www.vanityfair.it/…/…/shia-labeouf-stupro-performance), e prima di lui il meno noto James Landrith, che dalla sua esperienza ha tratto la sua attuale occupazione di attivista per i diritti civili e la pubblicazione di un paio di libri (https://goodmenproject.com/…/ive-got-the-t-shirt-and-the-t…/) e la cui storia mi è divenuta nota tramite la lettura del post di un blog che traduce la sua denuncia in Italiano (https://abbattoimuri.wordpress.com/…/quando-un-uomo-viene-…/).
Ora. Senza negare solidarietà a un uomo che ritiene di aver subìto una violenza sessuale e che ne è rimasto turbato, quello che mi indispettisce è chi tenta di equiparare le due cose (e non sto parlando di generica violenza su di un uomo, né di casi in cui una donna possa immobilizzare, tramortire e seviziare fisicamente un uomo non consenziente): entrambe queste due “vittime” raccontano di essere state costrette a penetrare una donna contro la propria volontà, il primo durante una performance artistica, il secondo sotto l’effetto di fantomatiche droghe assunte con alcool la sera prima. Nessuno dei due ha fermamente tentato di interrompere ciò che stava loro accadendo, nessuno dei due ha riportato ferite o lesioni. Se del primo si può dire che si è trattato di un espediente per attrarre attenzione sulla propria figura pubblica, del secondo possiamo anche accettare -se lo si vuole- che sia rimasto traumatizzato dall’accaduto. Ma come può -come invece fa, nei commenti all’articolo da lui pubblicato su ‘The Good Men’- scagliarsi contro quelle donne che, pur dispiacendosi per lui, raccontano di aver subìto violenza da parte di uomini e sottolineano alcune differenze sostanziali tra le due situazioni? Vi sfido a farmi un elenco di anche solo dieci storie di uomini uccisi in seguito a uno stupro da parte di donne. Scommetto che, se mai ci riuscirete, vi richiederà dieci volte il tempo che serve a stilare una lista di cento storie di donne stuprate e uccise da uomini. Allora, pensate ancora si possano mettere sullo stesso piano la violenza sessuale donna-su-uomo e quella uomo-su-donna o uomo-su-uomo? Dati e fatti reali alla mano, per cortesia.
Vorrei l’onesto e schietto parere di chi ha effettivamente letto per intero il mio intervento e, meglio ancora, i link in esso riportati.
Aiutatemi a capire se e dove il mio giudizio e la mia opinione sono fallaci, perché non riesco a capacitarmi di come possano esserci donne che la pensano tanto diversamente su quest’argomento!
P.S. Detto quanto sopra, gli uomini possono eccome subìre violenza al pari delle donne: non nego questo e nessuno può farlo. I dati internazionali riguardo le violenze fisiche e psicologiche riguardano, purtroppo, donne, uomini, adulti, bambini, eterosessuali, omosessuali e in generale esseri umani di ogni razza, cultura, età, orientamento sessuale. Il #noallaviolenzavale e deve valere per chiunque, nessuno escluso!
An Italian rape survivor, disgusted by Claudia’s comments, was kind enough to translate her rape apologia into English below.
* WARNING: This post discusses issues of sexual violence and provides facts without censorship, so do not open it if you are around minors. *
Sorry — I know that this will elicit a number of adverse reactions, especially (perhaps — who knows — not only) from men; but I would really like to understand what opinion people have, among my friends, about a man who declares he was raped by a woman.
Some time ago there was Shia LeBoeuf (http://www.vanityfair.it/people/gossip/mondo/14/11/28/shia-labeouf-stupro-performance), and prior to him the lesser known James Landrith, whose experience led to his present occupation as an activist for civil rights as well as the publication of two books (https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/ive-got-the-t-shirt-and-the-trauma-response-to-go-with-it/) and whose story I became aware of by reading the blog post that translates his account in Italian (https://abbattoimuri.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/quando-un-uomo-viene-stuprato-da-una-donna/).
Now then. Without denying solidarity to a man who believes he has been the victim of sexual assault and who has been troubled by it, what annoys me is that there are those who try to equate the two different things (and I’m not talking about generic violence against a man, nor cases where a woman can immobilize, stun and physically torture an unwilling man): both of these “victims” report being forced to penetrate a woman against his will, the first during an artistic performance, and the second under the influence of hallucinogens taken with alcohol the night before. Neither of them actually tried to stop what was happening to them, and neither of them suffered wounds or injuries.
Whereas — concerning the first case -one can assert that it was a ploy to attract attention to a public figure, concerning the second scenario we can also accept — if you wish — that he was traumatized from the experience. But how can he — or rather how does he, as in comments on the article he published in ‘The Good Men’- lash out at those women who, while feeling sorry for him, share their experience of having suffered violence from men and emphasize some substantial differences between the two situations? I challenge you to make a list of even ten stories of people killed as a result of a rape by a woman.
I would bet that even if a list could be made, it would require ten times the time needed to make a list of a hundred stories of women raped and killed by men. So, you still think you can put female-to-male sexual violence on the same level as male-to-female or male-to-male? Give me hard data and real facts, please.
I would like the honest and forthright opinion of those who have actually read all of what I’ve written here — and, better yet, the links I’ve included.
Help me to understand if and where my judgment and my opinion are fallacious, because I cannot imagine how there could be women who think differently about this topic!
P.S. Having said the above, men can definitely be subjected to violence just as women are: I do not deny this, nor should anyone else. International data about physical and psychological violence unfortunately includes women, men, adults, children, heterosexuals, homosexuals and generally human beings of every race, culture, age, sexual orientation. #notoviolence can and must apply to everyone, without exception!
Claudia assumes that I owe people like her, who promote a hierarchy of survivorhood and “legitimate rape”, my fealty when telling my own story. She asserts that it is okay for random women on the internet to tell men who have been raped that their own experiences with sexual violence are not a big deal and they should just shut up and stop whining. Contrary to the lie she promoted above, I did NOT lash out at women for talking about their own experiences in the comments to my own story. I actually thanked them for their support. What she takes exception to is the fact that I took a disgusting victim-blamer to task for telling me that she lacked sympathy for me because I was not at risk of being pregnant due to rape.
Let that sink in for a second. Claudia Pandolfi says it not okay for a male survivor to disagree with a woman telling a man who was raped by a woman that his experience is trivial and he is not deserving of sympathy. Fucking. Really. She actually promoted that concept and has the nerve to be incensed at a male survivor for defending his right to control and frame his own narrative — on his own article.
She uses pretty language and a lot of projection to make the case that men should not be able to talk about their own experiences as rape survivors. She bizarrely promotes the idea that random women — any woman — gets a veto over whether a man’s experience as a survivor is legitimate and worthy of empathy and compassion.
Attitudes and barely veiled hatred like this are a large reason why so many male survivors remain silent for decades. As is, few men are willing to talk publicly.