A PSA About Male Survivors of Sexual Trauma from 1in6

I think it speaks for itself. 1in6 is an organization worth knowing about in this regard. So is MaleSurvivor.

This entry posted in Rape, intimate violence, & related issues, sexual assault. Bookmark the permalink. 

19 Responses to A PSA About Male Survivors of Sexual Trauma from 1in6

  1. 2
    Gracchus says:

    @Nancy: I would not recommend Reddit as a source for this information. Reddit is an infamous hive of “maninists”, MRAs and anti-feminists. It is no coincidence that the despicable redpill ideology was born on Reddit.

    I am all for promoting the voices of male survivors, especially those who have been abused by other men. But Reddit is not the place to do it, and the context of the discussion makes me really doubtful whether these are real stories, or exaggerations/fabrications designed to discredit feminists and feminist work to prevent rape by men.

  2. 3
    Ben Lehman says:

    Gracchus: Really?

  3. Gracchus:

    Leaving aside the question of whether Reddit is a reliable source for stories of men who’ve been sexually violated by women—which I say only because I have little or no experience with Reddit and don’t feel qualified to say much about that—your comment, especially this bit, is offensive on its face:

    I am all for promoting the voices of male survivors, especially those who have been abused by other men. (Emphasis added)

    Why on earth would you presume to privilege one set of survivors over another? Why would you presume essentially to erase the experience of men who have been violated by women? And I would add that this group includes boys who’ve been violated by adult women, as well as adult men who’ve been violated by women.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have time to go through the whole list of links that I have saved on this topic, but here’s an article from The Atlantic that contains links to other useful pieces to read on the whole issue of female perpetrators. I hope you will consider reading through some of them before you comment in this thread again. Thanks.

  4. 5
    Ben Lehman says:

    Richard: Thanks.

  5. 6
    Ampersand says:

    Nancy: Thank you for the link.

    Gracchus, I have to disagree. Reddit is large and varied, and although there are certainly MRAs and the like there, all kinds of people post on Reddit. There are feminist forums, for example.

    And although in a discussion with dozens or hundreds of stories, some of them are sure to be fictional or exaggerated, I don’t see any reason at all to doubt most of the stories on that thread. Some of them resonated with experiences I have had.

    I also agree with Richard: As a general principle, I don’t think it makes sense to say “especially those who have been abused by other men.” (Of course, there could be particular contexts in which that makes sense, or that could just be your individual area of interest, which would be fine.)

    (To be clear, I don’t mean that some are bound to be untrue or exaggerated because these are the stories of male survivors. I mean that in practically any thread, on any forum, with a “tell true stories” theme, in which there are dozens or hundreds of responses, some are bound to be untrue or exaggerated.)

  6. 7
    Gracchus says:

    I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to imply men who are abused by other men are somewhat more worthy of sympathy than those abused by women, or trans people for that matter. I do think the discussion about male victims is often excessively focused on the experience of those abused by women, not other men, but I don’t mean to use that to comment on any individual’s experience. I just think when looking at the discourse more broadly, it’s important to make sure we’re not privileging one victim experience. I think the female-rapes-male scenario is discussed way out of proportion to the degree it actually happens.

    I do stand by what I said about Reddit though. Here’s a good critique of the sight from a female POV: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/07/why-reddit-so-anti-women-epic-reddit-thread-counts-ways/325357/

    Within the Atlantic article this article is linked: https://jezebel.com/5904323/reddit-is-officially-the-worst-possible-place-for-rape-victims-to-seek-advice It’s even more pointed.

    So yeah, sceptical about the utility of discussion of rape on Reddit, and also sceptical about the wisdom of feminists promoting Reddit as a place for discourse about rape/to get information about rape.

  7. 8
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    Gracchus

    I don’t know whether you’ve read any of that thread, but the stories seemed plausible. There was little or no misogyny. There was some anger at feminists for not taking men raped by women as a serious problem, but it wasn’t obsessive rage.

    As stated, reddit is a very varied place.

  8. Gracchus:

    While I am not one of them—I was violated by men—there are men who read and comment on this blog who have been raped and otherwise sexually violated by women, and they deserve a lot better than the non-apology you have written, which is at best tone deaf and, at worst, willfully, insultingly, ignorant. Not only do you not address a single thing The Atlantic article had to say about the frequency with which women rape men, but the only link you see fit to say anything about is to an article that is at best tangentially related to your original point about reddit, which was not that female rape survivors have awful experiences on that platform, but that we should not believe the stories being told by the men at Nancy’s link. (I will leave the substantive debate about reddit to people who know it better than I do.)

    You say that you “think the female-rapes-male scenario is discussed way out of proportion to the degree it actually happens.” I wonder what you base that thinking on? My own experience is precisely the opposite. Whenever I have been part of discussions about sexual violence against men, the tacit assumption—until it is exposed or challenged—has always been that the perpetrators of such violence are always men. Men who have been violated by women are consistently made invisible in those discussions, or disbelieved, or, if none are present or willing to speak up, the fact of the phenomenon is trivialized, as you have done here.

    That kind of anecdotal evidence aside, however, I have to ask why you seem to have paid absolutely no attention in your comment to the statistics cited in The Atlantic article, which establish pretty clearly that female-perpetrated sexual violence against men is far more common than previously thought. I also wonder what you make of this, which is a quote in the article from one the papers the author cites:

    Tellingly, researchers have found that victims who experience childhood sexual abuse at the hands of both women and men are more reluctant to disclose the victimization perpetrated by women (Sgroi & Sargent, 1993). Indeed the discomfort of reporting child sexual victimization by a female perpetrator can be so acute that a victim may instead inaccurately report that his or her abuser was male (Longdon, 1993).

    Male victims may experience pressure to interpret sexual victimization by women in a way more consistent with masculinity ideals, such as the idea that men should relish any available opportunity for sex (Davies & Rogers, 2006). Or, sexual victimization might be reframed as a form of sexual initiation or a rite of passage, to make it seem benign. In some cases, male victims are portrayed as responsible for the abuse. Particularly as male victims move from childhood to adolescence, they are ascribed more blame for encounters with adult women.

    Reading through your comment, in other words, it’s hard to see how you’re not “imply[ing] men who are abused by other men are somewhat [somewhat?] more worthy of sympathy than those abused by women.” (And I wonder if you could parse your reference to “trans people” at the end of that sentence; it’s hard for me figure out if you’re talking there about trans people who perpetrate sexual violence or trans people who experience it.)

  9. 10
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    That reddit thread convinced a man who thought it wasn’t feasible for women to rape men that it’s actually feasible and it does happen.

    It’s so unusual to see someone convinced by something they’ve read online that this is worth noting.

  10. 11
    Gracchus says:

    ” I wonder if you could parse your reference to “trans people” at the end of that sentence; it’s hard for me figure out if you’re talking there about trans people who perpetrate sexual violence or trans people who experience it.”

    Both. I just wanted to make sure nobody felt like my apology didn’t address them – the discussion hasn’t yet touched on rape of, or by, trans people, but I didn’t want to assume that it wouldn’t go there eventually.

  11. 12
    Mandolin says:

    Gracchus:

    Most trans people are men or women… I think maybe you mean non-binary people.

    Richard’s experience with the dialogue around female-rape-of-men more closely matches mine in *most* spaces, including feminist and mainstream spaces. Emphases in MRA spaces may differ, but I don’t think conceding to their well-poisoning gets us anywhere useful.

  12. Gracchus,

    So I am going to assume that you will address the other concerns I raised in my comment at some later point. Please do not comment on this thread again until you do. Thanks.

    Also, what Mandolin said about trans people.

  13. 14
    Ben Lehman says:

    On Reddit: It really depends on what part of Reddit you’re on. It’s not exactly my favorite site, and there are some structural problems which exacerbate the bullshit there, but “AskReddit” is basically just a general interest discussion forum, whose ideological slant is generally the same as American mainstream culture.

    As for whether or not it’s a good place to talk about being a rape survivor, I think that the objective, immediate evidence presented in this thread is that, in this case, the mods did a good job providing a supportive, well-structured space for these guys to disclose and receive limited support.

    It is hard for me to comment on the rest of this thread without breaking the code of conduct for this blog. The routine dismissal of both male rape survivors and victims of female rapists, particularly in a feminist contexts, is extremely personal and I’m not really able to be charitable about it.

  14. 15
    Ben Lehman says:

    Brief mention, because apparently I can’t leave it alone: All victims of female rapists, very much including female victims, are dismissed, belittled, and erased in these ways.

    I just feel a need to mention this so that they’re not missing from the conversation.

  15. All victims of female rapists, very much including female victims, are dismissed, belittled, and erased in these ways.

    This is so very true, Ben. Thanks for saying it.

  16. 17
    Sebastian H says:

    “As for whether or not it’s a good place to talk about being a rape survivor, I think that the objective, immediate evidence presented in this thread is that, in this case, the mods did a good job providing a supportive, well-structured space for these guys to disclose and receive limited support.”

    So far as I know there isn’t really a good space for male rape survivors to talk. So while Reddit may not be ideal. It’s certainly better than the alternative of ‘nowhere really’

  17. 18
    Gracchus says:

    Comment deleted by moderator.

  18. Gracchus,

    I’ve just deleted your most recent comment because you still have not responded to the issues I raised upthread in a way that addresses your comments’ patently offensive nature regarding the experience of men who’ve been sexually violated by women. (There are other aspects of your comments that I find at least potentially offensive as well, like your reference to “trans people” here, but I am focusing on this issue since it seems to me the most prominent in what you’ve written.) I asked you here not to comment further on this thread until you address the questions I asked. Please don’t do it again.

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