No Random Internet Stranger, You Don’t Get A Vote On My Rape
by James Landrith
As a male survivor of a female perpetrator, I’ve learned not to expect much of people. Really, not much — at all. Sadly, that sometimes means other survivors. When I first told my story in 2008, I was greeted by a storm of hostility, denial, mockery and outright hatred. Recently, a visitor to my story published at the Good Men Project wanted to let me know that she was authorized to decide if my experience was rape or sexual assault. I’m always happy to have an expert assess my actual, lived experiences and let me know that I don’t know shit about them.
“ I am very sorry for what happened to you. It is indeed traumatic and disgusting. You are indeed a victim of sexual abuse, just like me and many others. I am a woman though. I do not think that your assault was rape, legally or factually speaking. That woman didn’t penetrate you with an object, did she? I think you should not confuse sexual abuse with actual rape. Botj are wrong and traumatict for the victim, but you are not doing real rape victims any favour.”
Great. It happened in 1990 and I have waited nearly 27 years for someone like Lina to bestow her expertise upon me. I cannot possibly express how much I appreciate learning that a woman who was not present in that hotel room is capable of describing my experience for me. Double points for being able to cover for the crimes of other women.
This is an invaluable skill to possess. Good for Lina.
Now that that sarcasm portion of this programming is over, I will get on with it.
Lina, clearly you are an arrogant rape apologist who has internalized rape culture to the point where you feel ENTITLED and PRIVILEGED to dictate to a male survivor that YOU get to decide what they EXPERIENCED. Do you fail to see that as DISGUSTING behavior on your part?
I live in the U.S., where the laws differ from the U.K. (where I assume you reside based on your grammar). Laws regarding sexual violence are legislated at the state level in the U.S., not nationally. Further, most rape crisis centers in the U.S. and the U.K. consider my experience rape, regardless of state or national laws. It is important for adults to remember that reality exists outside of a courtroom and we do not need a judge to define our experiences for us. Your country is tragically and embarrassingly behind the times on this issue legally, but that will change eventually. There are organizations and activists working toward that end, who will not let it slide.
Lina, surely you know that some countries still don’t recognize marital rape as a crime. In the U.S., spousal rape was not recognized in a huge number of states until 1993. Even then, many states continued to classify it separately from other forms of rape and applied lesser punishments. You know, the way you did to me — a complete fucking stranger on the internet.
Do you now plan to inform victims of marital rape that their traumatic experiences aren’t “real rape”? Are you going to tell a woman who was raped by her husband before 1993, that it wasn’t “real rape”? If you are truly interested in consistency based on your comments to me, then you MUST DO THAT. If you do proceed in that manner, then you will undoubtedly deserve every bit of hate and derision extended you for your actions.
Or are you just a victim-shamer and utterly lacking in empathy and emotional intelligence when it comes to female predation or male survivors? If so, then you are also a hypocrite, as your belief in legal definitions is lacking in consistency and applied based solely on gender.
Newsflash Lina (and those who believe as you do), you don’t get to DECIDE for the rest of the world what is or is not rape. That is absolutely YOU ENGAGING IN RAPE APOLOGIA.
Just. Stop. It. Now.
Your behavior is abhorrent, you are not entitled to that and I don’t owe your position an ounce of consideration or empathy. You came to a male survivor, in a space not designated for you and proceeded to tell him that his rape is not real and insisted repeatedly on multiple article comment threads that you get to DECIDE what it “really” is for him.
That is inexcusable, unacceptable and an abhorrent defense of female predation. You should feel ashamed and I invite you to never speak to me again in life. I won’t be this kind in my next response.
In your followup comments on other articles I authored, you demanded to know why I continue to call my experience rape.
For the record, Lina, I don’t answer to rape apologists like you, nor do you possess a special privilege to label my experience for me. You don’t get to vote on what I experienced or how it is labeled.
Now, kindly fuck off and never contact me again.