Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Support for Male Survivor

WARNING: The first, third, and fourth links in the first paragraph of this post lead to written descriptions of rape. For those interested in this topic, a listing of all posts at The Superfluous Man concerning sexual violence and related issues can be found by clicking here.

It's only come up as a post topic on this blog once, because I don't feel qualified to do the subject full justice, but one issue I have a strong interest in is attitudes towards male victims of sexual violence, and particularly adolescent and adult rape victims and abused children who have reached adulthood. I grow more and more convinced that mainstream attitudes towards this issue are an invaluable and largely ignored window into the monstrous callousness that lies at the heart of statism's justifying ideology, and I hope to write about that some day if I can put my thoughts on the matter together well enough, but for now I simply hope to encourage greater attention to this evil as a matter of basic humanity. Libertarian blogger and activist James Landrith, who endured a torrent of ridicule and contempt to speak openly about being a male rape survivor, was the principle catalyst that led me to delve more deeply into the issue; Wendy McElroy was also invaluable.

Whatever spats they may have, the cultural Left and cultural Right come together on this issue: These men don't exist, if they exist they don't matter, and if they dare to claim that they do exist and matter they should be despised, shamed, stigmatized for supposedly being future predators themselves, and silenced, and their suffering denied, belittled, minimized, anomalised into irrelevance, or blamed on the victims themselves. One runs into all sorts of vile things on the internet, but routinely and unashamedly expressed attitudes towards this issue from both young and old, feminist and traditionalist, male and female, are still singularly astonishing in the staggering quantity and intensity of stupidity, malice, cruelty, and sheer evil on display.

I bring this up because (Hat tip to Toy Soldiers) the organization Male Survivor has suffered a drop in donations due to the economic downturn. Male Survivor is an extremely admirable organization dedicated to helping male victims of rape and sexual abuse and providing information about this largely ignored issue. Politicians seeking political points for their "compassion" have no reason to care about them. Celebrities looking for a hip social cause to attach themselves to don't talk about them. People aren't pinning ribbons to their shirts to express their concern and support. But these men and boys are real, and the crimes against them are real, no matter how hard the rest of the world tries to avoid thinking about it. If you give to charitable causes and have something to spare, please consider donating to or otherwise assisting Male Survivor.

Update: Had a few of the links jumbled. It's fixed now.

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Mike Gogulski said...

I grow more and more convinced that mainstream attitudes towards this issue are an invaluable and largely ignored window into the monstrous callousness that lies at the heart of statism's justifying ideology...

I really do hope that you write on this topic. Not because I'm a victim, but because I've recently found myself coming to much the same conclusion, and there is a long-running process in my brain that's been trying to organize thoughts and feelings around the topic, but hasn't yet come up with anything solid. Peace.

Anonymous said...

I have been meaning to write about this issue as well. And, as much as I hate to admit it, among my reactions to the piece is the desire to minimize the seriousness of the attack and Landrith's suffering. All the standard rationalizations are there: Come on now, how bad could it have been? It's not like you were ambushed in the street by someone bigger and stronger! Where are the marks of resistance, the evidence that you were beaten into submission? As a feminist, it is unnerving to discover these knee-jerk victim-blaming reactions in myself.

At least this gives me insight into understanding the mainstream reaction to the rape of women, which I usually find incomprehensibly dismissive and obtuse. But the rape of women is more widespread and our society has had more time to deal with the issue, yet Neanderthal reactions are commonplace. It will no doubt be even harder to find relatively enlightened responses, such as yours, to the problem of sexual violence committed against men.