As a vocal and public male survivor, I've taken on a lot of abuse, harassment and hate from those who don't want to hear our voices. I get it. Rape is an "icky" topic. Men are supposed to be strong and women couldn't possibly commit sexual violence.  They will quote legal definitions, espouse childish mythology and communicate taunts in an attempt to shame and silence.  There are any number of "reasons" why we are silenced, minimized, trivialized and outright mocked by the general public and often by sexual violence activists and advocates. Further, if the general public acknowledges male survivors, then it will also have to consider the possibility of female rapists beyond the "wink-wink" emotionally stunted ideology ascribed to at present.

 

Get over it. We exist.

 

I've been speaking on a very public stage since finally finding my voice in 2008. That was nearly two decades after I had been drugged, raped and blackmailed into silence. Since then, I've been called every name I can imagine, been publicly shamed in print, told that I "better not reveal the name" of my rapist and been subjected to a ton of other forms of intimidation and silencing attempts. I keep hearing how male survivors don't experience such shaming tactics, yet I keep experiencing such firsthand.  I wonder why the need to deny it happens?

 

As a male who does not identify as "ally" or "bystander" first, but as a survivor and actual stakeholder in sexual violence issues in my own right, I am saddened at how often we are used as cannon fodder by both men and women in battles over who has it worse.

 

That is yet another iteration of the Oppression Olympics. That is creating a hierarchy of suffering. That is NOT anything approaching actual advocacy work. 

 

If you don't care about our issues, that is fine. However, please stop co-opting our traumas to make the case that "X doesn't care about you and only brings you up to silence Y." Guess what, the advocates for "Y" are doing the same thing with regard to male survivors and our issues by using us as talking points and a "gotcha" in their never-ending gender wars.  Such ideological battles are more akin to a turf war or gang fight than anything even slightly resembling mature and reasoned advocacy.

 

Please. We are actual human beings. We exist. Our issues may not matter to some, but we deserve to be treated with a little dignity and a lot less shallow condescension from people who are only using us to score points in ideological arguments.

 

Our concerns, our struggles and our lives matter far more than your selfish need to score a quick point at our expense. Is that too much to ask?

 

Don't bother answering.  I'm not asking.  You don't actually care anyway.  Anyone engaging in such practices lacks the emotional maturity to comprehend why such  behavior is abhorrent in the first place.

 

Advocacy that is not based in compassion and focused on the lives of the human beings affected will eventually fail - and spectacularly.  Believe it.

 

 

About James A. Landrith

James Landrith is a healing rape survivor, public speaker, Vice President of Men Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma (MR. MST), internationally syndicated blogger, civil liberties activist and the notorious editor and publisher of The Multiracial Activist (ISSN: 1552-3446) and The Abolitionist Examiner (ISSN: 1552-2881). Landrith can be reached by email at:  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  or at his personal website/blog.