Men Can't Be Raped

by gabriel_heuvelink on April 7, 2014 - 9:10pm

The article “Like Chris Brown, This Teenaged Black Boy is Struggling with the Normalization of His Rape” by Kirsten West Savali looks into an unusual case of rape in Virginia. Patience Perez was a security guard at Renaissance Academy when she approached a 15 year old boy, who desires to remain unnamed, and gave him her phone number and e-mail address. He claims that although many would consider him “the man” because he got an older woman to sleep with him, however he considers himself mentally abused because of his ordeal. Perez’s crimes allegedly happened at her home while her husband was away and the boy’s mother was working. She confessed to her victim that she hater her husband, who she claims was abusive, and wished him dead, allegedly telling the boy that he could “save her”. However, the reason I summarised this article is because of the public’s reaction to this drama. The boy is quoted as saying “This has basically ruined me” however, the media does not portray the story as rape, rather saying that the young teenager was seduced by the security guard. When there is mention of a teenage boy being raped, there is often a reaction that includes scoffing and ridicule because teenage boys are “always horny” therefore rape is impossible. The author really explains this double standard in one sentence “[Power]That’s how male privilege, traditional masculinity norms and rape culture interweave to create an environment where girls can be raped, but boys can only be seduced.” This ties into my Superpost because it is definitely one of the contributing causes of depression in teen boys. 

Comments

Hey Gabriel, mentally the teenage boy can be disturbed by the fact that he slept with someone else' spouse. He could possibly be from a home where he was taught no pre-martial sex or childern out of wedlock. Just off the simple fact he feels like he violated rules estabilshed by an higher authority(God) he could very well be depressed. The notion that "men" or teenage boys can't be raped is obsurd. Yes they can. This boy was probably lied to by this older women just she can get over some feeling she has towards her husband. Yes "men' have feelings as well. Just because the media doesn't paint him the victim doesn't mean he is not. She seen him as an easy target, just like any other rapist that are out there. Plus he is 15 years old, some form of statutory rape law should be applied here.

Part of the problem is that as a society we are still clinging to some outdated and untrue characteristics of masculinity. People see a male rape victim as an anomaly when in fact statistics show that men make up 10% of all rape victims in our country. The number may be higher than that because the statistics are based on reported incidents of rape. There is help for male rape victims through a national organization called RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) which is America's largest anti-sexual violence organization. I plan to look into this organization and using the theory of change see how it can improve its services to the people, both men and women, that need it.

In today’s society we hear a lot about women being the victims of assault and rape. We view this as a crime and being morally wrong, feeling the pain of the young girl affected and wanting nothing, but justice for them. What drew me to this post was of the young 15 year old boy who clearly stated that he was raped by an older woman, but instead the media portrayed it as him being seduced. This is a great post because it points out the obvious which is ongoing assumption of only women being rape victims. Yet the obvious is not being addressed which was this boy was a victim of rape. Even more the boy stated that his life has been ruined due to this tragedy ,but all he gets is that because he was male he was viewed a horny young man and it is impossible that he was forced have sex with this older woman, but arousal is not the same thing as consent and no means no! Speaking about this it is true that men are viewed as having the greater power due to their masculinity and the history of rape cases revolving men raping women, but this assumption of rape for women and seduction for men is wrong. All in all the terrified boy may have perhaps had an erection at the time of his “seduction”, but it was unwillingly. Rape can occur with any object not just a man who has to have a penis penetrating a female.

The title of your write up initially caught my eye because I thought you were saying that men can’t be raped. After reading the write up I understood that was not what you meant. It is clear that the women suffered from some mental instability from sexual, physical, and/or mental abuse in her life (past or present) to be confiding in a 15 year old. I also agree with your reaction to how the media covered this story. If the roles were switched and the victim had been a woman this would be a completely different story. Rape is rape, male or female if you are having sexual intercourse willing or not with a child you have just committed rape. No societal excuses of boys will be boys, or boys are always horny, or women are innocent and always are victims. And enough of the “nicknames” of what it is; sexual abuse, harassment, ext. RAPE IS RAPE call it what it is. She took advantage of a minor and robbed a child of his innocence.
There is a large gap in equality in topics like this. It is very crucial that this gap is closed to insure equality and safety in our children. I agree with your reasoning to want to bring this to peoples attention. The inequality and stigma of males and females is a huge issue in our society and needs to be brought to more attention.

Great article and great write up!

Hello gabriel_heuvelink,

I found your article to be very interesting and found that you told this young boy’s story very effectively. If you look at this through a feminist perspective, you can see that the issue revolves around hegemonic masculinity. Hegemonic masculinity refers to a specific type of masculinity that is highly aggressive, sexual and dominating. If a boy were to admit to having been sexually assaulted, this would call his masculinity into question. Society teaches that men should dominate and that they should be highly sexual from a very young age. This leads to a society that would ridicule a boy for having been assaulted and would make him feel as though this makes him less of a man. boy who is sexually assaulted can not feel safe to tell anyone as society dictates that a proper man simply would either want it, or would use his strength to prevent it. The fact that society says he was seduced rather than using the proper term, rape, shows that in modern society, masculinity dictates that no man can ever be raped. This young boy was very courageous to come out and state that this woman sexually assaulted him, going against the patriarchal society we all live in.

Hey Gabriel, I appreciate the point that we should treat all rapes the same, however I would like to potentially open up a new possibility through a different lens. From things like the "Man Box", hegemonic masculinity, and issues in porn, young men are often brainwashed with ideas that they need to be alpha. Sex, especially with a person of authority, is often associated with a prize or some sort of success. Although I am not victimizing the perpetrator, I don't think it is entirely right to sympathize with those young men. The reason is that men and young men want to assert dominance and show their "power" and what better way to do that then to assert it and comply to the "man box" over someone who is older. Although it is statutory rape, these young men are not opposed to the sex. Here is an example where a young man continued the relationship with his teacher: http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/young-man-describes-alleged-affair-with-high-.... This is just to prove the point that these young men are not opposed to it and we shouldn't sympathize with them. A lot of these kinds of issues can be related to the porn industry. Teacher-student relationships give these young men fantasies and ideas where they will seek out those opportunities for social acceptance and personal pleasure.

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