Dear Male Rape Survivor,
Your timing sucks.
There’s nothing wrong in your message. Whether we like it or not, no matter how we try to ignore/downplay it, men get raped too (click here to read my story). It is an uncomfortable reality; one even some other males refuse to accept. However, speaking up ONLY when another female rape case is breaking makes you look bad.
It really is in bad taste.
I do understand it. I understand how it feels; to have your pain and torment and shame made light of – just because you’re some way. Something has to happen to a woman for it to be taken seriously, to get public attention/outcry – or at least for it to trend on social media. Men and their plight are largely ignored – unless they’re doing something wrong.
I’ll tell you something in case you didn’t know; men get sexually harassed ALL THE TIME. Men get propositioned frequently. From the attendant at the filling station to the cashier at the supermarket to the cashier at the bank to the customer care person to colleagues, co-workers, groupies; literary or otherwise – trust me. Sex is hurled at men with the frequency of power outage.
You don’t want to see some of the unsolicited messages in some men’s inboxes. I promise.
Unfortunately however, it’s not supposed to be a big deal. Men ARE SUPPOSED TO LIKE IT. After all, ‘men think about sex every nine seconds’ (I wonder how they arrived at those figures – tie a man down, activate a stopwatch and said, ‘every time you think about sex raise your hand’?!). Men LIVE, BREATH, SING, EAT, SHIT, DIGEST sex – or so ‘they’ say.
Men don’t think about anything else. Frankly, men don’t have the time to think about anything else. Not according to ‘statistics’.
So men smile. And laugh. And suck it up. After all, it’s not anybody’s fault you’re a man, is it? And that’s what men do – suck it up because complaining, whining, crying about – of all things – sex and attention; even when unwanted – is shameful and weak.
Because; as much as we think we know in this day and age, the idea of a man turning down sex is preposterous – almost blasphemy. Such a thing is unheard of.
‘So how is it ‘rape’ if you wanted it, anyway? Are you not a man? Don’t men like sex?’
No. Not all the time they don’t. Just like women.
But that’s beside the point.
I understand ‘men get raped too’ because it seems like it’s the only time ANY ATTENTION can be given to the unfortunate, oft-ignored minority – the male abuse/rape victim. It feels like, ‘shebi I shared my rape story and nobody said anything? How is her rape story different?’
It’s not. However, snatching the microphone from her and pulling a Kanye is not the best way to plead your case. Trying to downplay a rape story because ‘men get raped too’ is not the best way to get people to listen. It is not a competition. Nobody’s measuring dick length by who gets raped the most.
We should learn to talk about male rape whenever we can – not just when the story of a 14-year old raped to death breaks. It makes us look selfish and insensitive – even though we mean well.
Rape is a shitty, horrible thing for anyone to go through, and we should all talk against it. Please, okay? Can’t we all just get along for the good of all?
Not all the time gender war, biko.