[Trigger warning for mild discussion of rape.]
There’s a new community blog that’s started up to discuss men’s rights issues from a pro-feminist perspective, called No Seriously, What About Teh Menz? Yesterday, they started a campaign to get RAINN to change the wording of their website to more accurately reflect the reality that many male victims’ experiences are not counted as rape in the study from which they get their statistics. Particularly in cases where the victim isn’t penetrated, but rather enveloped, it’s assumed that it’s physically impossible for men to be raped because “if he didn’t want it, he wouldn’t be hard.” Around here, we know that’s not true. Arousal is independent of desire, and the assumption that desire is necessary for arousal is particularly bad for asexual people. Most often this idea comes to us in the form of the “if you masturbate, then you’re not really asexual” type of idea, or the idea that you can measure how attracted to a person someone is by their level of arousal (penile plethysmography and such). But coupled with the idea that men always want sex, this becomes a very toxic idea, which leads to things like men actually being congratulated on their rapes. So whatever we can do to call attention to this, we should.
Also, I’d be remiss not to remind everyone that the survey is still open. I’m still looking for more people willing to share their experiences of rape/sexual assault with me for this massive awareness project. It’s been on the back burner, but I’m still doing it. And since I’ve had three or four male survivors ask me about this now, I’ll clarify up front: yes, this includes CSA.