“Getting lucky”, is the phrase we use when a guy GETS TO sleep with a woman. Somehow this ‘gets to’ means that collectively all men on earth have a problem of chance when it comes to sex. Women on the other hand give men that chance to experience sexual pleasure. The said dynamics is in itself a sexist way of describing the basic act of procreation(or pleasure).
It would have still been great if this idea of getting lucky would have ended here. Unfortunately, it extends even to the sexual abuse of young men.
More often than we care to admit, there is a big difference in how male and female sexual predators are reported by our media. Especially when the perpetrator is an attractive woman and her victim is a young man. The indoctrination of the assumption that a woman is incapable of sexual assault has kept many men from sharing their stories. It is also because of the presidencies where men who shared their horrors have been not only been ignored but ridiculed by their peers.
(Check : A small study on legal rights: Yes, All Men are ignored by the law)
The media’s narrative of sexual violence always paints a sensational picture. Because let’s be honest, sensational articles attract more gazes than boring facts. And most media houses are in the business of making money, not philanthropy.
Whilst this may sell papers, it is not necessarily the reality or true nature of sexual violence. These stereotypes have been swiftly badgered into our otherwise thick skulls by the media. It has filled not only western but global tabloids with the picture of convicted male sex offenders labeled with words like ‘SICKO’, “EVIL”, “PERVERTED’, and ‘DEPRAVED’. Headlines like “One of the local loners or village weirdos; the creepy old man that hangs around in parks” are somewhat standard discretion temples.
We are in no way defending abusers, and nor do we wish for anyone to go easy on them. In fact, we advocate the highest possible punishment for such offenders. But at the same time, we demand equal treatment for all such offenders in the court and in the media irrespective of what they have inside their pants.
A pedophile is a pedophile, it shouldn’t be convenient for people one gender to be labeled as ‘the giver of pleasure’ when they commit a sexual crime against kids.
It’s our subconscious habit of assuming that such offenders have specific physical or social characteristics and that they are separate from ourselves. This faulty perception prevents us from acknowledging sex offenders that predominantly offend within our own families. It also prevents us from understanding and accepting the fact that women also sexually offend.
“Acknowledging that women commit sexual crimes against children violates traditional gender scrips, yet by upholding these antiquated ideologies of women, we are marginalizing and silencing the victims that we endeavor to protect.”Journal of victimology and victims Justice, 2021
What’s more; if we do talk about female predators and male victims it’s often in one way. The men and boys are ‘lucky’ to be sexually assaulted. The underlying issue increases multiple folds when you realize that there is no legal system, or law in place to protect men from sexual assaults. To our horror, it is easier to have an innocent man punished for false sexual assault chargers than it is to convict a woman who has actually committed the crime.
Numbers & Media Presentation of Male Rape Cases
A 2018 survey of 1,200 adults found that 1 in 3 would not quite believe a man who said he was raped by a woman. And 1 in 4 believed men enjoy being raped by women.Sexual assault against boys is a crisis (the Washington post-2021)
This idea of men enjoy being raped, and that a woman can never rape a man totally changed how we discuss sexual violence against men and boys. This bias against the male victims is quite evident in news headlines.
The Vocabulary for the same crime is different for men and women. A woman is raped while a minor boy ‘HAD SEX with an adult woman. If we cannot see it for what it is, how can we ever teach our boys?
As an attractive killer doesn’t make you any less dead, a sexual attach from a woman is no less traumatizing. While all form of media is brimming with conclusively debunked ideas like patriarchy, wage gap, and misogyny it is high time that we focus on facts instead of gender, looks, and selling of newspapers.