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Jezebel Says Teh Menz Don't Get Victim-Blamed, Then Victim-Blames Teh Menz PDF Print E-mail
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Written by James Landrith   
Sunday, 22 April 2012
Doug Barry, writing for Jezebel, on "German Woman Tries to Hold Sexhausted Man Prisoner in Her Apartment"

"By all accounts, however, the initial hook-up was consensual and, even after being stopped from leaving, the man had sex "several more times" with the woman who detained him. It'd be interesting to see what becomes of these charges, and whether a German defense attorney chronicles this man's entire sexual history in an effort to discredit his accusations and make him seem way too promiscuous in an effort to prove that it was his own fault in the first place for sleeping with a complete stranger. Can you picture a bunch of German talk radio hosts calling this guy a "slut" or suggesting that he was just asking to be held as a prisoner in this woman's apartment? Now that would be quite the gender reversal."

Let's correct the record right off the bat.  The man did not have "sex" with her several more times.  He was raped repeatedly.  Were it a man not allowing a woman to exit his apartment unless she "consented" to more "sex", the Jezebel version of this article would look a fuck of a lot different.  This does not appear to be an editing error.  Doug clearly doesn't get it.  Or, he is just a victim-blaming asshole masquerading as a human being.  Perhaps both.

I was drugged and raped repeatedly by a woman. I was victim-blamed by men AND women. I've seen all manner of excuses, "she must have been abused in her past", "how did you get an erection if you didn't want it", "why didn't you just throw her off", "what man wouldn't want that?!" and so on to infinity. My rapist was pregnant and also used her fetus as a human shield to keep me compliant when the drugged drink wore off in the morning - after she had already helped herself to me during the night. I'm sure Doug would find that all kinds of hysterical and there would be some soulless Jezebel commenters spewing apologia for his behavior.

If Doug honestly believes that men don't get victim-blamed then he has ZERO competency to speak on sexual violence issues. We get victim-blamed. WE DO. Anyone claiming otherwise knows nothing about what male survivors face when they speak out or report.  While there are some apologists who claim Dougie was attempting a satrirical examination of male rape and victim-blaming, I have to think that Jezebel would not have published a similar piece were the genders swapped.  Prove me wrong Jezebel.  I won't hold my breath, nor do I truly wish to see such a horrible article in print.

Erin Gloria Ryan, writing for Jezebel, on "What if Penn State's Coach Had Victimized Girls?"

"After details of the Penn State case broke on Friday, response was swift and certain. Joe Paterno must resign. The University President must step down. Everyone involved in protecting a child rapist for the sake of a football team needed to be purged from the University's ranks.

A sexual abuse case of this magnitude should always be taken this seriously, but sexual abuse is simply not taken as seriously when the victims or victimizers are female."

I take exception at the implication by Erin and outright claim by some of the Jezebel commenters that male survivors don't get victim-blamed. That is a gigantic assumption that hurts all survivors by promoting a hierarchy of survivorhood based on gender of both victim and perpetrator. It simply isn't true and it helps to promote further silencing and shaming, whether intentional or accidental. The result is the same and that is simply unacceptable.

I'm not saying that attitudes are exactly the same with regard to child vs. adult and woman vs. man, nor is there a feasible way to actually measure such scientifically.  Such attitudes are, by nature, completely arbitrary and subject to personal bias. The way victims are treated varies greatly based on how the rape occurred, where it occurred and who is doing the reporting.  Even this month, Jezebel engaged in disgusting victim-blaming and minimization as I discussed above, which is fortunately being taken to task, even if some apologists are running in bizarre circles to excuse it.

The idea that male survivors have it easier with regard to victim-blaming is based on the false assumption that there is only one type of victim-blaming - that which is directed at female survivors and looks exactly like this or exactly like that. To assume that model is all that exists with regard to victim-blaming is very much a form of ignorant arrogance practiced most often by those who know nothing about male survivors and aren't the slightest bit interested in learning.  We are props to such people, not actual, living and breathing human beings.  Erin asked a question, but at the same time promoted a generalized falsehood based on a cherry-picked case that really wasn't about the boys, but almost solely about the famous football program. Most media coverage of this crime really has focused on the perp and accomplices after the fact, with the victims as a tiny afterthought. Erin completely missed this in her analysis.  That isn't hard to understand when you realize that she wasn't really concerned about the boys in the first place.

Yes, misogyny plays a role but is not the sole factor involved and in some cases, not always dominant either. I've been hurt hard by both male and female victim-blaming. Some of the men were misogynist knuckle-draggers, clearly. They felt the need to "police the herd" to prevent signs of weakness, or they felt that "a lil ole girlie could never hurt them." But guess what? I've gotten victim-blaming from female survivors and some feminists as well who simply cannot muster the emotional and intellectual maturity to comprehend how a man can be raped by a woman. Victim-blaming of rape survivors is far more complex than portrayed by Erin and some of her supportive commenters.  It does a disservice to survivors to paint our experiences with such broad and inaccurate strokes.

We really don't need a conversation about whether or not male survivors deal with victim-blaming. We need a conversation about why there are so many people who want to pretend we don't experience victim-blaming.  We need to be asking how they benefit by spreading this insidious piece of rape culture and who they are trying to protect.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 22 April 2012 )
 
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