I don't know if I should be the one to respond to this, but hey, I'm interested in these issues as well so I thought I'd give it a shot.
ishkabibble wrote:Yes, there are a lot of cultural and legal obstacles that prevent male victims from receiving help. But female victims face the same obstacles.
Except the whole point is that they don't.
Yeah, ishkabibbles argument does seem a bit weak there. If I had been raped I'm pretty sure I'd rather be a woman. On the other hand, I don't know much about rape statistics; I have one close male friend who was sexually abused, once as far as I know, when he was a young kid and that was pretty horrible. But kids are defenseless. I think defenseless groups like children and handicapped people, and to an extent women (who are physically weaker than men after all), tend to be victimized more often. I'd like to know - how often are men raped compared to women? If the figure is very different, then it is perhaps not that
unfair that one kind gets more attention than the other: it's simply a more common problem.
ishkabibble wrote:The point isn't that one type of victim "wins" over the other, it's that there's a universal lack of support for all victims of sexual assault.
That argument is only brought out when there's a suggestion that male victims specifically have a problem.
Here I think you are being too polemic. I completely agree with iskabibble that this shouldn't be some contest over who is being treated more unfairly. As a woman, ishkabibble naturally identifies with female victims more than with male victims, and is rightly of the opinion that they are often treated pretty damn poorly. You do the same from a male perspective. I think you are right that men are probably treated worse than women after they've been raped; let the contest end there. I'm also not sure that feminists specifically are the people you should try to convince of the plight of men. Of course we should object, strongly, if a feminist starts with the tired old "men are bad" stuff, but I really don't think ishkabibble was trying to do that. I actually think that we men have not the feminists, but ourselves to blame when it comes to a lack of public awareness of male victims. Although many men feel that there are societal rules and norms that give men an unfair disadvantage (I'm thinking of things like laws for alimony and custody over children in a divorce), we
never started a big movement to protest against all that. Now whose fault is that?
ishkabibble wrote:By far, the majority of posts on Feministing re: sexual violence are about violence towards women. This is a result of Feministing's culture and the general lack of coverage of male victims in the media. I would suggest the solution is to add your voice and concerns to the conversation. Several of the posts below are simply lists of links to other blogs and news sites. It would be great to have someone elaborate on those headlines and develop full posts for them - this is how many of the full length items on the site develop.
It's a result of feminism's culture more like - since domestic violence in particular is defined as a result of male patriarchal power, men can perhaps be victims of other men (though that's considered a minor issue) but never of women. Feministing doesn't even have a category for it - there's a "Violence Against Women" category, but no "Violence Against Men" or "Domestic Violence" one. The other problem is that Feministing's just not a safe space for this - too many comments about male victims being a distraction, or the impossibility of real violence by women against men.
This is really quite unfair. Before feminism changed our perceptions of gender, women were pretty much seen as children who could hardly do anything if they weren't told to do so by a man, unless it was cleaning the house and fixing dinner. Certainly in the past people would have been even less
ready than now to accept that perhaps a man might have been victimized by a woman. Of course, feminists did sometimes generalize quite horribly; to me it seems that feminism needed (needs?) to be counterbalanced by men providing their
perspective. But we never did; we just took it all in stride, perhaps feeling a bit guilty, perhaps being a bit resentful, without ever saying what we
think is unfair about the status quo.
So I think it's very refreshing that you're trying to do that now, but I don't think there is any need to blame a feminist website. If anyone, you'd need to blame the rest of us men for not standing up for ourselves.