Can We Focus on Consent, Rather Than Scapegoating Teh Boyz?

Betsy Shaw, writing for Momformation on Teaching boys how to stop rape:

The New York Daily News reports that programs aimed at reducing violence against women are being implemented in at least three New York City area schools.

But New York isn’t the only state to do get in on this.

Men Can Stop Rape, a Washington-based nonprofit organization devoted to preventing male violence, has created a youth outreach program in inner-city schools called The Men of Strength Club (MOST).

This after-school program, designed to educate middle school boys about violence against women, is being taught in over one hundred school in ten states. The program strives to teach boys that girls are their allies not their enemies.

Contrary to some of the comments, the problem isn’t teaching boys not to rape or hold doors open for girls. Being polite and considerate is a problem that both boys AND girls have trouble grasping these days.  Further, little boys don't owe little girls special consideration simply because they are little girls. Respect and civility are not the sole domain of boys to master. Also, the Mean Girls meme is not fictitious, nor is it harmless bullying (as if those two words could ever go together).  Often, it can be quite violent and traumatic to the people relentlessly targeted, regardless of gender. Plenty of girls commit violence against boys and quite often use weapons or other boys as proxies to commit said violence – and get away with it on a regular basis. But in reality, that never happens, cuz you know, girls don't do that kind of stuff.  Amirite or amirite!

Also, most mothers really seem to have no concept about the pressure that some women can exert on men with regard to sex.  Coercion, blackmail, threats, mockery, questioning of sexual orientation, drugs and alcohol have been all been used by some women to force men into sex.  Where did these women learn such techniques?  I really doubt it was from their fathers.  Jacob Taylor of Toy Soldiers shares his thoughts and some stats regarding female predation on boys and men at this link.

Let’s be careful not to bash or stereotype little boys while putting little girls on pedestals to be worshipped where we ignore their own rude or violent behavior.

The problem with regard to rape advocacy is teaching enthusiastic consent to both boys AND girls, not treating boys like potential perps bound to commit rape unless educated not to do so. As a father of two boys, I find that idea very offensive. Teaching boys (and girls) about consent and sexual violence is definitely a necessary tool in fighting such violence. However, assuming that all sexual violence is directed at women and only by men is a dangerous concept that has kept many men quiet for decades. Further, it silences female survivors of female perpetrated violence.

As a male rape survivor of a female rapist who used a drugged drink and blackmail, I find the recent "boys/men must end violence against women" meme to be minimizing and incredibly insensitive. It also sets boys up for abuse and ensures their silent suffering by teaching them that only males commit sexual violence and only against females. According to stats presented on the website of the organization 1 in 6 (1in6.org), by the time U.S. boys reach the age of 18, 1 in every six of them will be the victim of sexual violence

How about we care about those boys for a few minutes too? Society is completely failing them and most people are quite happy to continue to pretend they don’t exist while holding them accountable for the actions of other males, and simultaneously expecting them to be the protectors of all females.

I don’t think that is asking for too much. Really.

Also, take some time to read the stats at 1in6 before taking the recent CDC study, which re-classifies female on male rape as not rape at face value. Let me be blunt.  If a mother forces her son to penetrate her, that boy has not been raped according to this CDC study.  Yeah, that is fucking crazy boat loads of accurate, innit?  Recent media coverage and summarizations by certain bloggers don't tell the whole story and willfully omit key problems with the manner in which the stats were compiled. Seriously.

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