I don’t normally post about things that are not food related, but I was so angry and appalled by this that I decided that I had to post it.
This afternoon on my Facebook newsfeed, I saw someone had shared an article detailing the sexual assault of a man by four women in Toronto. The posting of this article was accompanied by what was supposed to be a fun or humorous question that essentially asked why a man would complain about being raped by not one, but four women. Excuse my language, but: are you fucking kidding me?
Yes. Isn’t that every man’s dream- to be sexually assaulted? To have his dignity thrown away, and human rights violated?
I don’t personally know this person, and the only reason this was on my feed was because one of my close friends had commented on it. While I understand that his comment was supposed to be humorous, it is a perfect example of why it is so crucial to address society’s understandings (or lack of…) and misconceptions about sexual assault. This is why a rape culture exists- because people do not seem to understand the nature and severity of rape; that it is violent, harmful, and is not, in any way, supposed to be funny. It doesn’t matter that, in this case, it was a man who was assaulted, and not a woman. Just as it is wrong to rape a woman, it is equally wrong to rape a man. I would, however, like to point out that if it had been a woman who had been raped by four men instead of the other way around, there would be an uproar. I also highly doubt he would have posted this article in such a humorous fashion.
(I would also like to point out that his portrayal of rape by a woman as something ‘desirable’ is further proof of society’s over-sexualization of women. Furthermore, my friend Margaret has pointed out that this is the result of a damaging idea that men constantly want sex, no matter what the situation is.)
By making a seemingly light-hearted joke out of this situation, this person is perpetuating the existing rape culture. The worst part is he probably doesn’t even know it, because no one with any ounce of awareness about this issue could have had the audacity to make such an ignorant comment. Remember Steubenville, and how CNN sympathized with the rapists? That was just a few weeks ago, not too long ago. Oh yes, rape culture is very much alive.
The only thing worse than being a bystander is being someone who is allowing rape culture to stay alive by perpetuating the idea that it is okay to rape. No, it is not okay. And before you proceed to tell me that I have a stick up my ass, and that I should learn to take a joke- I’m going to tell you that, yes, I do have a sense of humour. And no, this is not me being an angry, raging feminist- because everyone should care about this, not just feminists- because what I stand for is important, and is nothing to be made fun of. This is an important issue, not just for ‘women’ or ‘men’- but also for everyone who has, and will, suffer sexual violence.