Posts tagged Sexual violence.
Resources for Male Survivors
[tw: sexual assault, rape]
I posted last week asking people if they knew of some good resources for male victims of sexual assault. Here is the list people came up with:
As a culture, we still refuse collectively to accept that most rapes are committed by ordinary men, men who have friends and families, men who may even have done great or admirable things with their lives. We refuse to accept that nice guys rape, and they do it often. Part of the reason we haven’t accepted it is that it’s a painful thing to contemplate – far easier to keep on believing that only evil men rape, only violent, psychotic men lurking in alleyways with pantomime-villain mustaches and knives, than to consider that rape might be something that ordinary men do. Men who might be our friends or colleagues or people we look up to. We don’t want that to be the case. Hell, I don’t want that to be the case. So, we all pretend it isn’t. Justice, see?
Actually, rape is very common. Ninety thousand people reported rape in the United States in 2008 alone, and it is estimated that over half of rape victims never go to the police, making the true figure close to 200,000. Between 10 and 20 per cent of women have experienced rape or sexual assault. It’s so common that – sorry if this hurts to hear – there’s a good chance you know somebody who might have raped someone else. And there’s more than a small chance he doesn’t even think he did anything wrong, that he believes that what he did wasn’t rape, couldn’t be rape, because, after all, he’s not a bad guy.
What I do want to tell you is that you need to stop using the “wives, sisters, daughters” argument when you are talking to people defending the Steubenville rapists. Or any rapists. Or anyone who commits any kind of crime, violent or otherwise, against a woman.
In case you’re unfamiliar with this line of rhetoric, it’s the one that goes like this:
You should stop defending the rapists and start caring about the victim. Imagine if she was your sister, or your daughter, or your wife. Imagine how badly you would feel if this happened to a woman that you cared about.
Framing the issue this way for rape apologists can seem useful. I totally get that. It feels like you’re humanizing the victim and making the event more relatable, more sympathetic to the person you’re arguing with.
You know what, though? Saying these things is not helpful; in fact, it’s not even helping to humanize the victim. What you are actually doing is perpetuating rape culture by advancing the idea that a woman is only valuable in so much as she is loved or valued by a man.
The Steubenville rape victim was certainly someone’s daughter. She may have been someone’s sister. Someday she might even be someone’s wife. But these are not the reasons why raping her was wrong. This rape, and any rape, was wrong because women are people. Women are people, rape is wrong, and no one should ever be raped. End of story.
Here’s the thing - when you argue that it’s impossible to teach men not to rape, you are saying that rape is natural for men. That this is just something men do. Well I’m sorry, but I think more highly of men than that. (And if you are a man who is making this argument, you’ll forgive me if I don’t ever want to be in a room alone with you.)
And when you insist that the only way to prevent rape is for women change their behavior - whether it’s recommending that they carry a weapon or not wear certain kinds of clothing - you are not only giving out false information, you are arguing that misogyny is a given. That the world will continue to be a dangerous and unfair place for women and we should just get used to the fact. It’s a pessimistic and frankly, lazy, view on life. Because when you argue that this is “just the way things are,” what you are really saying is - I don’t care enough to do anything about it.
— Rape Is Not Inevitable: On Zerlina Maxwell, Men and Hope, my latest at The Nation (via jessicavalenti)
what a beautiful powerful human being
I will always reblog this when it comes up on my dash
I hope this lady sees all the supportive reblogs. Because she deserves it.
This shit makes me ache every time it comes cross my dash.
I watched that video all of ONE time and that was enough.
She was so courageous to do this, but I see them tears on her face and I wanna KILL that motherfucker.
Survivor Community Tag
On tumblr, some people make community tags. The example I can think off the top of my head is #actuallyautistic, for people on the autistic spectrum to post in.
The tags generally serve the purpose of being a place to talk, share things, and seek advice and opinions from others who may have a similar experience to you.
I’d like to see such a thing for survivors so to that end I had the idea of #traumasurvivor for the tag. The usual tags are very cluttered with a lot of different things, and while that’s not bad, it would be nice to have somewhere more personal.
What would the tag be for? Anything related to surviving through trauma, including personal experiences, anything. If you’re a survivor your post is welcomed.
Who is welcome to post? Survivors of sexual assault, rape, abuse of all types, and trauma. Trauma is a varied concept, and hard for me to nail down. I don’t feel right dictating who can and cannot call themselves a survivor, and to that end I leave it up to the individual. If you feel like a survivor and that your posts belong there, feel free to use the tag.
An Import Note
Content posted to this tag may be triggering, and to the end I urge everyone to make use of posting trigger warnings at the top of their posts so that content is clear and may be avoided if necessary.
CASUAL THINGS YOU DO THAT TRIVIALIZE RAPE (SO PLEASE STOP DOING THEM)
- Making rape jokes. Examples: ‘rape is just a struggle snuggle’ or ‘it’s not rape if you say surprise first’ or ‘if you rape a prostitute, is it rape or shoplifting’ or ANY OTHER RAPE JOKE.
- Calling situations that are nothing like rape rape. Examples: ‘that math test totally raped my ass’ or ‘the IRS really raped me this year’ or ‘i would absolutely rape something to eat right now’.
- Questioning survivors. Examples: ‘are you sure you didn’t just change your mind in the morning?’ or ‘I don’t think it’s rape if he’s your boyfriend’ or ‘are you just saying that so you won’t be called a slut?’
- Talking about rape as a positive. Example: ‘I would love to get raped by a hot girl’ or ‘I wish [insert attractive female celebrity here] would rape me’,
- Pantomiming rape. For some reason, the guys at my school think it is the absolute height of humor to sneak up on each other and simulate humping one another while yelling ‘rape!’. PRO TIP: It isn’t funny at all and it makes you look like a complete and total asshole.
- Calling all physical contact rape. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen (usually, but not always) guys at my school engage in minor physical contact like accidentally bumping someone in the hallway or seen two of them wrestling, and one or both will start laughing and screaming “RAPE! RAPE! HE’S RAPING ME!”
This is obviously a very incomplete list, so please feel free to add your own.
PS - If you do any of this stuff, you are an asshole and you need to stop right now
how to have sex with a survivor* —
- don’t expect it of us. like, this is a given, absolutely, but between partners with varying experiences and sex drives… this has been a constant struggle for me in relationships. every person i’ve been in a relationship with could never fully reconcile that sex and a relationship were not inherently tied. our relationship did not give them a pass to intimacy. my lack of desire for intimacy for stretches of time would, to them, signify a failed relationship. that impression on their part in turn made me feel like a failure. that fucks up relationships. that fucked me up. whether or not you are a survivor, sex should never be expected of you. ever. and someone who believes they deserve that from you under any circumstances is a piece of shit.
- on that note, don’t plan sex. partners of mine have often tried to be seductive in saying things like, “i can’t wait to do this to you later tonight…” but, to me, that simply meant that it became an obligation for me. that made sex an obligation. and, therefore, it made sex undesirable. i would feel this pressure to perform for them rather than to engage in sex for my own pleasure and it became this thing where i would attempt to start for them but i could never fully commit because i felt pressured. not to say this is what my partner was intending. at all. but it affected me negatively.
- don’t make our kinks about our sexual trauma. yeah, me, personally? i really like being choked. a lot. but don’t ruin the pleasure of that by tying it into my trauma. is it your place to figure out the source of my kinks or is it your role as my partner to realize pleasure with me? we both know the answer to that. don’t “figure out” how your partner has been affected by their sexual trauma. what does your curiosity have to gain except for the make your partner feel dissected? partners have done that to me, and all it did was make me feel like personality was compartmentalized into pre- and post-rape.
- validate us outside of our sex life. i have long felt that my worth is perceived by others as purely sexual, and this was horribly exacerbated by my assault. while i love feeling desired by my partners, if that is heavily emphasized over the other aspects of our relationship, i will withdraw. i will resent them for seeing my purely in that light, and i will often be triggered. even when having casual sex, or sex in any capacity without a committed relationship, respect is key. making me feel like a whole, full human rather than only your sex partner is vital to my comfort and feeling of safety.
- use a safe word. it can be as simple as “wait.” it doesn’t matter what the word is. its function is purely to remind us that we hold power over our sexual interactions and it will always stop if we want or need it to. when i begin the spiral and feel like sex is becoming less mine and purely yours, having a word to center us and bring us back together and to affirm my own control makes a world of difference.
*i have received asks about this in the past, and felt it made sense to share a general post to address some issues i have answered asks on. this does not mean that my issues are the issues of all survivors, or that non-survivors can’t share these issues with me. these are things that i have experienced and i have come to this understanding of them.