In October of this year, it was brought to my attention that Chris Brown claimed to have lost his virginity at eight years old. The girl that he lost his virginity to was fourteen or fifteen years old- if this were a little girl and a teenage boy, the teenage boy would have had the book thrown at him, as he rightly should have. But the thing is, Mr. Brown was proud to have lost his virginity at that age. Why? What is different about this?
It is that men are taught that they cannot be raped because of their masculinity and, since rape is about power and control, a man has to be in control of his situations at all times. Rape also dehumanizes and objectifies a person; so, when men are raped, they are objectified and dehumanized, as are women. But, for many men, they feel that they become weak and that it takes away their masculinity.
Even as young boys, men are told to “man up” and to not cry. They are taught to be tough and to not “hit like a girl” or to not be feminine in any way. They are then pointed towards the ideal of masculinity and this contributes, in my opinion, to the low numbers of reports of rapes that are done to men.
Yet it is done. But what justice is served for these men that are raped? What grace and dignity is shown to them? Who reaches out to them? We hear about the sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church that are perpetuated against young boys, but most of the families are paid off. We hear about the Penn State sex abuse against young boys; but many of them did not come forward until they were young men. Most often, the predator that targets young boys is moved or the families and the victims themselves are paid off.
The reason for all of this is because of how women are treated and how men are treated. Men are taught that they have to be strong and resilient, while women are weak and need defense. Men are taught to be the bread winners, the defenders, and the ones who stand against bad things, in many cases.
How many men seem to handle it.
But then men are raped, or sexually assaulted. Many men push it to the back of their minds, as do many young boys and teenage boys, or they rationalize it as Chris Brown did, and chalk it up to being desirable.
The fact is..
- Rape is about power. Not sex.
- Any person that is raped has become dehumanized and objectified.
- It does not matter the age, gender, or sex. Anyone can be raped.
What is needed.
We need a paradigm shift that realizes:
- Women are not weak. Men are not the stronger sex. All are equal.
- Rape is not about sex!
- Stop objectifying women and it will be easier for men to come forward as it will empower them.
Reach out to those who have been raped and do not be disbelieving. Provide love, not hate. This is the primary thing that is needed.