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Grudgingly, I enter the “Real Men Get Raped” debate

Grudgingly, I enter the “Real Men Get Raped” debate

This is why people in the UK think that gays in the US are thick as planks.  SurvivorsUK took a very provocative approach to male rape and ran with it in London:

SurvivorsUK is undertaking the advertising campaign after Metropolitan Police figures revealed that one man every hour in London is the victim of sexual crime.

Government estimates say only up to 11% of male victims report attacks.

With new Met Police figures showing that in 2009/10 a total of 945 sexual assaults against men were reported, the true figure is probably more than 8,500.

The poster reads: “Real Men Get Raped and Talking About It Takes Real Strength”,

The image will be featured on 140 escalator panels in central London Tube stations during the Six Nations rugby tournament.

The adverts will also feature on two 48 Sheet billboards at Clapham Junction train station and on big screens at Waterloo station on 25th February and 17th March, when England are playing at home in the tournament.

Michael May of Survivors UK said: “We’ve chosen to use an alpha male sport in our advertising to challenge assumptions about the type of men who get raped. It’s just as likely to be a rugby player as a librarian, a suited city banker as a hooded gang member. And we hope that by challenging our innate assumptions about the identity of male victims, we can make it even fractionally easier for a male rape victim to ask for help.”

Professor Kim Etherington, University of Bristol and Fellow of BACP said: “Males are taught from a very early age that they should be ‘strong’ and ‘in-charge’. To be successfully masculine is to be sexually potent, competitive with other males in sexual matters, and dominant with sexual interactions. Being raped challenges and negates all these pre-conceptions.”

So, where do US bloggers get stuck? On the term “real men”.  To wit:

Not everyone is comfortable with the campaign’s message, however.

Blogger Jessica Wakeman of TheFrisky.com challenged the signs’ slogan.

“Why do we have to call it ‘real men’?” she wrote. “Isn’t that just feeding into the same stereotype that there IS such a thing as ‘real men’?”


I have no clue what The Frisky.com is, (or who the fuck-all baptized Jessica W as an authoritative head on male rape)  but sadly this comment is getting traction everywhere and the entire point is being missed.  Because. People. Just. Don’t. Read.

Getting raped is not a rite of passage that men must endure in order to claim their masculinity, (and on an aside, I think it’s hard to find credibility with anyone posting an article that uses the tag “Fag up”.  See Quiet Girl Riot for this mess.  I’m not about to link to it)

Getting raped, as a man, challenges the very notion of masculinity.  As a rape survivor who was held captive for 10+ hours by three men and raped repeatedly I know firsthand that feeling of being less than male.  I didn’t even feel human, I felt like garbage and it took a very long time to mentally get past that.

“Real Men Get Raped” is simple.  Here: try reading it another way.

Real men do get raped.  Now, try thinking of this entire public service piece with that altered sentence from a male rape survivor’s perspective.

Make sense now?  It never ceases to amaze and depress me how some bloggers and gays in the US will get totally distracted by the bright, shiny thing in the corner and totally miss the message entirely.



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