I don’t like to discuss rape and sexual assault on this blog, but I feel like MRAs and feminists are missing out on an opportunity to merge the conversation when it comes to rape. By only recognizing and remembering our own narratives, we miss out on where they may intersect. Hear me out here.
When we acknowledge that men get raped, it becomes all the clearer that it has nothing to do with what they are wearing. When we acknowledge that women can be perpetrators, it becomes all the clearer that we are not accusing all men everywhere of being rapists. When we acknowledge a man can have an erection and not want to have sex, than it is becomes all the clearer that women’s physical responses to sex also do not constitute consent.
When we remember the variety of circumstances that constitute female rape, we can remember that there is more than brute force at play. This mindset should eliminate the idea that men cannot be raped because women are less likely to be able to use brute force against them. This is also dependent on expanding the definition of rape to include that one can be forced to penetrate someone or something against their will.
When we decide to treat victims and survivors, regardless of gender, we decide to acknowledge many narratives and possibilities. We remove the single story of what we believe about rape and instill a better awareness of what rape is and who rapists are. Rapists are people, of any gender, who ignore the autonomy of their sexual partner and make the choice to have sex for them. They are people who take what was not given to them freely. They are criminals.
We also must get away from the idea that false accusations are the male equivalent of rape. This idea negates the experiences of male victims and survivors and it is done primarily by other men. When men insist that false accusation are male rape, than they don’t make society face real male rape. It also takes our focus off of the reality that men can be raped and what should be done in regard to victims and survivors. Yes, false accusations are a problem when they are made, but should that really be allowed to detract from the actual rape of men?
All of this benefits the feminist stance that rape has nothing to do with what a victim wears, and that she can be physically aroused and still decide that she does not want to have sex.
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