“I am a man, not a victim” : Males and Abuse

“But the problem with feminism is, if we say women are equal to men, then they’ll start raping men..”

 

You see there’s this great misconception that men cannot be victims of abuse.   Because they’re expected to be strong and invulnerable, a lot of men don’t admit to sexual abuse and a lot of women don’t acknowledge that it occurs.   

 

Possibly due to the fact too that women are only considered care givers and motherly, it would be difficult for a lot of people to realize that we could as easily perpetrate Evil as the next man. 

 

Gender roles and stereotypes that teach who can and can’t be dangerous mean that a lot of the time we let out guards down based on assumptions.  We’d keep our kids from the uncle who gets too tipsy at family gatherings  and usher them off to the maid when in fact she could be the one considering selling your kids. 

 

A few years ago I read an article about a maid who’d been sleeping with her employer’s 6 year old son. She gave him an STI and said she was doing it to “cleanse her blood”. The article I remember centered on the fact that she was a woman who’d done what’re considered  “male crimes”, child molestation, and statutory rape.  A few months after I read this I came home early from school to find our maid at the time in the living room asking my brother, who was 7 at the time, if he knew what a condom was because at some point he’ll need to use it, which was followed by a giggle from her.  There was so much for my mind to process at that point. First of all, wait, what? Second of all, What? Third, why? Fourth, Hold up.  See in that instant my mind was reeling. Why? Is this what she does when we aren’t home? What else does she do? 

 

It’s a difficult subject to broach with a child. “Did she touch you and make you uncomfortable?” Because as Oprah once stated, the problem with sexual abuse, sometimes when your body responds, it makes you wonder if it’s actually as bad as it is.  I had to do it because my mother would have broken down.  He replied with a “No” but then again, he was confused, there’s a question mark over the whole thing and I know that, should the day come when he remembers, he’d sooner say “She was teaching me” than, “I was abused.”

Because “abuse” is considered a feminine thing. Something that happens to vulnerable females who can’t protect themselves and when the roles are reversed, whereas the daughter of the family would go for counselling, the son will be told to man up and focus on “serious things”.

Someone I used to know lost his virginity at 9 to a woman who was 21.  See, he never spoke about it as what it was. To him, he was “mature”, they were in a “relationship” and they  “loved each other”, according to him, I just didn’t understand and I asked him, if  the roles were reversed, what would it be? Rape. Simple. But he said he appreciates that she taught him and that’s what he sees as “Real Love”. I don’t bring it up anymore. 

 

The need to portray themselves  a certain way means a lot of men never admit to and deal with the abuse they’ve suffered.  They carry it, swaying between feeling manly and pathetic, shameful. They hate themselves for not having been able to defend themselves, and for feeling like what happened was wrong. A “real man” should be proud. Should appreciate the lesson, isn’t it every man’s dream to be initiated that way?

 

Men are victims. Women are victims. People are victims and suffer at the hands of others. Suffering is not meant for any specific person and whatever doesn’t help/heal you is not for you. 

And to women; Our struggles are not unique. It’s wrong of us to think just because a select few men do not appreciate or relate to them, all men can’t. A lot of us will advocate against rape and yet laugh at a man who says he’s been a victim. We still carry misconceptions and exclude those who feel as we do sometimes based solely on the fact that they are different [male]. A lot of us are yet to learn that men hurt as we do, they just don’t always know what to do or how to do it. 

Things are only “different” when you haven’t left your Self and put yourself in the other’s situation. What happens to you/has happened to you, has happened to someone else and expecting healing through solitude can’t always be the way forward. 

Evil is a human trait. Some suppress it and some don’t. It is not Manly, it is not Feminine, it simply Is. 

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– Last image courtesy of PostSecret.com

 

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