How To Be A Male Rape Victim

Hey Beautiful People, How are you on this fine Monday? What did you do this past week? Anything special/interesting happen? On my end, I just got back from a trip to a beautiful city where the food is great, the traffic is heavy, and the people can’t drive, especially when it rains. Oddly enough, it…

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Hey Beautiful People, How are you on this fine Monday? What did you do this past week? Anything special/interesting happen? On my end, I just got back from a trip to a beautiful city where the food is great, the traffic is heavy, and the people can’t drive, especially when it rains. Oddly enough, it wasn’t Lagos…. it was Houston, Texas. I had a blast on my trip, but while I was there, the ambience felt like it was getting tainted by the subject of various types of violence in intimate situations.

Before I even got to Houston, I was noticing a lot of conversations about everything from the Ray Rice situation, which Reni J covered a little in a previous post, to false rape accusations. However, the thing that really sent me spinning off the edge was reading a GQ article in which current and former members of the US military recounted stories of their experiences being sexually assaulted. It’s a heartbreaking read but I encourage every last one of you read it so that you’re aware that sexual assault is everybody’s problem. The reason I bring this is up is because I find it troubling that there are people out there who believe that men can never be raped. Trust me. I am very good friends with one of these people. She graduated law school in Nigeria. Given that she could have an impact on the future of legislation in Nigeria, her views on sexual violence are downright disturbing. A few years back, we were having a conversation about whether or not men could be rape victims. Her answer as was no.

The argument she gave me was that men can’t be raped be they have erections during the encounter, so they must be enjoying it on some level. To be fair, our conversation was almost unilaterally in the realm of assault scenarios involving male victims and female perpetrators, while the GQ article I alluded to earlier mainly features perpetrators and victims who are both male. You might almost be able to convince me that those are two separate arguments but irrespective, it still betrays an intellectually lazy thought process that is altogether callous and inaccurate. To me, that is the same kind of thinking that accompanies statements made to female victims, such as, “You didn’t really get raped because you didn’t fight back,” or “You couldn’t have been raped because you passed out.” (cough cough Cee-Lo cough Green cough cough cough).

Those kinds of statements portray a worldview in which the problem is always with the person whose dignity and rights were violated and never places any responsibility on the perpetrator. That’s like getting robbed and having someone say that it’s your fault for having all that nice jewelry….. Okay, maybe that’s not the best example because someone in this audience might think that too is a permissible thought. So let me put it like this: Making statements of that nature is like being attacked and having anyone (including you as a hypothetical victim) say that it’s your fault because your face was in the way of their fist!  Now ask yourself, does that make sense? I don’t think so. However, since some people don’t believe that this is possible, let me give you an abridged course in how it works:

Step 1 – Get to know someone: Most rape victims are assaulted by someone they know, so that’s a good place to start. Befriend a coworker, a Pastor, a new love interest, etc. It really doesn’t matter who, but it’s usually preferable if there’s a major disequilibrium in power, no matter how seemingly irrelevant it is at first. Bonus points if it’s someone who you would ordinarily trust, especially in life or death situations.

Step 2 – Find yourself in a situation beyond your control: This can be in the form of a night out, or as was the case for some of those military guys, a direct order from your commanding officer. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what the specifics are just so long as you feel powerless to prevent what’s about to happen.

Step 3 – When it’s all over, (don’t) deal with the aftermath: The key to successfully completing this part is fear. You must fear ostracism, mentally reliving the experience even if it’s inevitable. You must also be too afraid to speak up for fear that you will get laughed at or not be taken seriously. Lastly, you must fear retaliation from your attacker or anyone else who deems you a threat.

Step 4 – If you must speak about it…. well don’t because….: For one, you should have already read step 3 and taken it to heart. However, if that doesn’t suffice, just know that “Men don’t get raped,” and if they do, it’s supposed to be hilarious. Congratulations!!!! You have successfully completed your course in how to be a male rape victim. You may now go on and try to rebuild whatever is left of your life, your self-esteem, and/or your dignity. Anyway, you know the deal. Am I wrong? Is it unequivocally true that men cannot be raped?

Disclaimer: As if it needs to be said, I do not think rape is funny. My facetious tone toward the latter half of this piece is purely for the purpose of illustrating how ludicrous it sounds when people say that men cannot be raped. Furthermore, rape involving female victims is far more common and shouldn’t be overlooked. However, irrespective of the victim’s gender, notice that there’s a very specific pattern that follows for most victims of sexual assault. If you need further evidence of this, feel free to peruse  Efe’s Saturday column. Occasionally, some of our female readers and contributors have been brave enough to share their stories.

Responses

  1. fear
    Funny that I'm reading this after having a similar experience. U know how u watch those videos n u see a pastor sleeping with a church member all in the name of praying for her n u laugh n say how can she be that stupid n gullible. I used to think like that till it happened to me n I went thru all the steps listed above. In the name of praying for me I was intoxicated n well he did what he did. The first time I said never again n the same process repeated itself n I felt even more foolish. My sister had to drag it out of me n I've never seen my mum n sis that violent n it's by the grace of God that he is still alive. I'm not a kid, I'm an adult which makes this even more silly cos I should have said no I should have stopped him I should have resisted, but I was scared. I've resolved never to place myself in that sorta situation where I'll be weak. Rape is not funny n it's usually the people we trust that take advantage of us.
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    1. fear
      This may not apply cos I'm a girl but I just want people to be careful who they let into their homes n when u don't feel comfortable with a situition speak up or get out no matter how much u r threatened or how afraid u r. N if u know anyone that's quiet try n get them to talk cos they keep a lot in.
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  2. Funmi O
    I was just having a similar conversation with someone about child abuse. I don't have statistics but just from anecdotes, there is a scary number of guys who lost their virginity to or had an early sexual experience with older female house-helps or "aunties". Many of these guys deny that they were wronged in any way without realising the very fact that an older person touched them inappropriately at a young age is a grievous abuse of trust. If an older man did the same to a young girl, we would not hesitate to label the situation as abusive.

    Sexual abuse does affect a lot of women and should not be overlooked but male victims should never be done a disservice either. Men can also be victims of child abuse, rape, domestic violence…. Name it. Treating their realities with scorn or disbelief makes it even harder for victims to do the unimaginably difficult work of speaking out amidst the pain and humiliation they already face(d).

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    1. Tola
      I concur. That's one of the reasons that I am very apprehensive about the idea of househelps. The possibility that I could inadvertently put my children in that kind of position doesn't sit well with me.
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  3. yeancah100
    I have two close friends who became sexually active at tender ages no thanks to house helps and dad's clinic nurse who wouldn't stop fondling one's penis and the other making the child fuck her. The misfortune of these stories is that they both don't agree they were abused. Infact, they think they were privileged.. It saddens me everytime I think about it.
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  4. Don Flowers
    Y'all should get off your high horses and refrain from trying to force guys to believe they were raped. This is a Lawyer saying a man cannot technically be raped under Nigerian Laws (though a man raping another man was not envisaged at the time) and most men would consider early sexual involvement with a woman a privilege and not an abuse.

    A woman being raped is horrible and inexcusable. But a dude is handicapped by his penis and the fact of his enjoying the process of sex

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    1. Tola
      Let me ask you, how would you feel if you were to walk in on a grown woman (or man for that matter) having intercourse with your young son (hypothetically speaking of course)? Do you think you would react positively to that situation? If you cannot react positively to either scenario, then perhaps it's not such a privilege after all.

      I hope one day that your opinions change. I hope even more that it doesn't happen from any personal experience.

      Because you're integral part of Nigeria's legislature, I implore you to help bring our laws into the 21st century. We are far from having a perfect society, but we inch ever closer to that goal when we update our laws and enforce them rightly.

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    2. C.S.O.
      For some reason Sir @don-flowers you find supreme comfort in legalese even when there is a moral, social and potentially psychological dimension to a discussion. However, critically, I find it most uncomfortable because you find this comfort in an issue as important as the issue of rape and it’s attendant manifold effects on potential victims.

      I will detail my response under three heads:
      1. A man cannot legally be raped. You are indeed very correct. Under the archaic and rather prejudiced system of Nigerian criminal law, a man cannot legally be raped.

      However, so also a legally married wife. Under Nigeria law a wife cannot be raped by her husband, but on a different articles I have shown you how outdated and rather dastardly this position of the law is.

      The bottomline is simple: Rape, is a crime, but is also moral, social and societal wrong! It is the one wrong/crime that deprives the victim of all of those fundamental rights of self -determination (including rights to choice, association, liberty of the person, thought and conscience, etc.) that makes us individual beings.

      So when people discuss and even legislate with regards to rape it is greater that a simple legalistic discuss. It is an elucidation of our collective disgust at such reprehensible conduct!

      This is why even though rape should ordinary be “rape”, society and it’s laws place a higher premium on the rape of a minor and creates distinct offences in this regard.

      I am quite such then that when this author was discussing the very important and highly ignored issue of male rape, it was not a legalistic discuss but was rather a moral and social discuss as to the wanton disregard and callous prejudice that male attends to male rape.

      2. Children who were exposed to early sexual activity deemed it a privilege. Yes I used the word children, because you seem to have glossed over the issue that the individuals under reference in your sweeping and highly unsupported statement are simply that children.

      I feels that the preceding statement is sufficient to make that points that I seek to make, but just in case it isn’t, let me explain.

      Society as a whole considering the vulnerable and precarious state of a developing child made certain decisions with regards to the things that such a child can and cannot do.

      Including things like a child cannot vote, enter into contract, own land, etc. This is principally becuae of the belief that a child has not attained sufficient “self” to make these decisions.

      Critically, one of such decisions taken away from the child is the choice to consent to ANY form of intercourse because a child has not attained the “self” to be able to make such a deeply personal, intimate and sometimes life changing decision.

      Therefore, it is of no consequence whatsoever that the child purportedly enjoyed the activity. Any adult who engages in any sexual relations with a child commits a breach of trust, abuses the child and commits a crime.

      And more critically being a person who was abused in such a way too, I feel very offended by your “they enjoy it” statement and that abused is a privilege! As a lawyers, you should know better than to make such statements.

      3. An erect penis is conclusive of absence of rape. My response is simple and scientific:

      “Nervous system control of your erection operates as follows:

      Reflex erection of your penis, which occurs after direct stimulation of the penis, is under the control of your parasympathetic nerves from the S2, S3 and S4 levels of your spinal cord.”

      Erection is reflexive with the individual having no choice in the matter. Therefore my dear it is rather insane and silly to opine erection = enjoyment.

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