Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Because men cannot be raped, see. . .
Short version: Man is accused of drugging and raping several men, all but one of whom is in the military. He gets caught and the defense? All those victims are claiming rape because they're gay and don't want to be kicked out of the military, but the sex was consensual.
The ways in which this skeeves me out are nearly endless. Let's see, there's the whole undercurrent of 'well, if they're gay, they can't really be raped because hey, they like the sodomy'. Oh, it's not spelled out explicitly, but you can tell it's there. There's one victim who admits to having willingly had sex with him before, so hey! If you say yes once, that means you can't say no ever again, right?
And, I'm sorry, but does anyone really believe that all these men -- ALL of them -- would rather let the world believe they were raped, because that's easier than being kicked out of the military? OK, I grant you that being outed in our particular military is not of the good. And at least one of the victims is a married man. (Who says he is straight and well, why would I not believe him?) So, in our culture of Macho Military Men, do you really think men who have not been raped would be willing to declare that they have, just to stay in the closet?
Because, frankly, since a whole hell of a lot of people think that men cannot be raped, then the mere reporting of a rape by a man is enough to get him labeled gay by a whole lot of people. So it's a no win situation. If you're a victim, you cannot report your attack without a good chance that you're not going to be believed and that you're going to be labeled gay. And if a straight man cannot be raped, then gods know a gay man cannot be raped. (Bullshit, of course, but a disturbingly common belief.)
So. You've been raped. That's traumatic enough, but then you know you cannot report it because no one will believe you. Futhermore, the act of reporting it could very well endanger your job. So what are you supposed to do? Are there even support services for male victims of rape? Are they welcomed in female dominant support groups?
I'll admit it, when someone tells me they've been raped, I believe them. I have no reason not to believe them. Nor do I feel the need to make them prove it to me. Because I cannot conceive of a person who would claim to be that brutalized when they haven't been. Yeah, yeah. Sure. I'm sure some people do. But most people? No. So when someone, male or female, tells me they've been raped, I believe them. Period. And when someone tells me they were drugged, like the victims in this case, I believe them even more. Anyone who resorts to drugging people to get laid is just sick. Sick and a criminal, who deserves to be locked up for a long, long, long time.