Male rape: Not funny

distress-1We all know rape isn’t funny. Obviously, it’s a very serious subject. Obviously. It can cause serious, irreversible permanent physical and psychological damage. So why would anyone think rape is funny?

Rape jokes, though–those are something completely different, right? Everybody knows they’re just jokes. Nobody ever means anything by them, and it’s only overly-sensitive people who would protest against something so harmless as a little joke. Am I right? I mean it can’t hurt anyone, right? And male rape gets the brunt of the jokes because it’s the funniest, right? Rape jokes are funny even though rape isn’t… Right?

Wrong. Rape isn’t funny, and that means rape jokes aren’t funny. Call me sensitive if you wish, but It’s. Not. Funny. Ever. And male rape–domestic violence and all–is even less funny because. for whatever pathetic reason, we have so many double standards that we as a society take it upon ourselves to strip the victim of an assault of his perception as masculine. Somehow, shaming victim-blaming has not set in when dealing with male victims.

I saw this video on rape jokes and male rape; it sparked me to read more about something I was largely unfamiliar with. I did not realize that, while male rape isn’t really men getting jumped in an alley (although rape against women usually isn’t either), being taken advantage of is equally traumatic. I found that joining the military increases the chances of males being raped by nearly 100 times, and that the response to military sexual assault is often “Son, men don’t get raped.” I found that what we think would be legally and morally impermissible to happen against a female rape victim is far from unusual for male victims.

USA Today ran an article on male rape and double standards, and I encourage you to read more than this summary excerpt:

“…Courts hold boys responsible for the consequences of being raped. In a case involving a 15-year-old California boy raped by a 34-year-old woman who gave birth in 1995, the courts declared, “Victims have rights. Here, the victim also has responsibilities.”

In Kansas, the courts said the same thing about a 13-year-old boy raped by his 17-year-old babysitter. In Ohio, courts have ordered child support in a case involving a 15-year-old boy and a 19-year-old woman. Sexual abuse of men and boys by women is far from unheard of. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 5 million men and boys have been “forced to penetrate” and that 80 percent of the perpetrators were women.

Male victims of statutory rape are thought of as culpable for child support because, as males, they are not seen as victims, but always as perpetrators of sex, no matter how young. After all, they were asking for it and should have kept their pants zipped. Isn’t this what we used to say about female victims of sexual abuse?”