A while back I wrote about a spokesperson clarifying that FBI’s new definition of rape would include male victims being made to penetrate the perpetrator. /u/Femmecheng (a feminist and at that time a regular at /r/Femradebates) and I have tried to see if FBI at some point did carry out the suggested changes to the guidelines for the reporting agencies. We didn’t have much luck.
This post was also published on Feminist Critics.
On February 28th RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) published their recommendations for the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, which President Obama has charged with creating a plan to reduce rape on college campuses.
RAINN is the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization and is generally well-respected. They run the DoD Safe Helpline on behalf of the Department of Defense. So I think we can safely assume that RAINN does have some lobbying clout on this issue.
RAINN really went against many of the more common feminist talking points/strategies against rape in their recommendation. This hasn’t gone completely unnoticed among feminists as can be seen in this post on Feministing and in some of the comments on RAINN’s Facebook post about their recommendations to the White House Task Force. But I have to say I expected a bit more discussion of this in feminist circles, all things considered. So let’s look at what RAINN wrote which I think will be viewed as problematic by some feminists.
The Scottish police department and advocacy groups have launched a new anti-rape public awareness campaign called “We Can Stop It“. They have several posters and they include the usual token male-on-male example while pointing out that sexual attacks on men have been legally classed as ‘rape’ for the very first time. As usual for such campaigns there are no female-on-male examples. Nevertheless, the language seem to be clear and gender-neutral when they state that sex without consent is rape (screen grab from the site):
[I have been asked by the bloggers at Feminist Critics to join them as a co-blogger. I am honoured by the request and have accepted this opportunity to reach a wider audience. In practice this means that many, but probably not all, of my articles from now on will be published both on Feminist Critics and this blog. This is the first post published both places.]
Derailing And Hijacking Rape Discourse?
I’ve more than once experienced that bringing up the existence of male victims of rape and mentioning statistics about it when rape is discussed has led to people castigating me for derailing the discussion. One particularly egregious example was on a thread on a Feministing post titled The dangers of a gender essentialist approach to rape, where bringing up the statistics from the NISVS 2010 Report was called hijacking and derailing the thread by a commenter, and a ban was being called for. This was even more ironic considering the Feministing blogger (Jos) asserted that:
“Obviously, the feminist take on rape has much more to do with reality than the MRA take.”
The rest of this post is based on my response.
This is just a quick post to put into writing which has been apparent for some weeks now with work and family crunch-time towards the holiday season; this blog will take a hiatus until the holiday is over. I have some posts in the pipeline which most likely will be finished and published at the start of January.
I hope everyone have a happy holiday although I know this can be an especially difficult time for some. If you find it so due to being exposed to DV or sexual violence, please consider seeking help:
Or look at the link in the sidebar on the right.
One of the main barriers male survivors of sexual violence face is a lack of services. Most existing sexual violence services only assist women and girls. Of the services that do assist men and boys, most provide limited counseling and referrals.
Male survivors need services, however, even when those organizations are created, they face dismissal by the existing female-only groups. For example:
Survivors Manchester, a service which supports men and boys who have suffered sexual abuse, received a letter stating that the Rape Support Fund would only be allocated to women and girls over the age of 13.
The service is the only support centre for male victims of sexual abuse in Manchester and is only one in five across the UK as they received 48% more referrals from last year after the high profile arrests of several famous figures.
The letter explained that the fund was for ‘rape…
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