The rape of men
July 17, 2011 1 Comment
People (both men and women) often say to us, sometimes accusingly, sometimes defensively, occasionally in a matter of fact manner: ‘but men are also affected by violence’. And we always agree, because of course its true: men are affected by many different forms of violence, both directly and indirectly. And when we ambitiously say that we’re working to end sexual violence, naturally we mean violence directed at all/any human beings, whether male, female or transgender.
On a more personal note, one of the things that always worries me is that we tend to construct relationships and equations in shades of black and white. So if you like dogs, you must hate cats. If you work on gender issues, you must hate men. In other words, we must choose whom/what we support, and there’s never room for more than one. Anyway, this rant deserves its own time and place, but not right now!
To get to the point. The Guardian has a powerful, distressing and rare story on ‘The rape of men” (17 July 2011). Will Storr travels to Uganda, to speak to male survivors of sexual violence and finds out about the stigma they face and their reluctance to share their trauma even with their families for fear of rejection.
Warning: This isn’t an easy read (not that any article on sexual violence ever is) and contains a few graphic descriptions of rape/gang rape.