Male Rape Victims: Nothing to Joke About

I came across “Why rape is sincerely hilarious” as I was reading another blog earlier in the week. In the video, a rape survivor “jokes” about how rape is depicted in popular media when the victim is male. “When it happens to a female, rape is horrible, he says.” “When it happens to a male, rape is hilarious.” He goes on to list a few popular movies that have at least one mention of rape where a male is the victim. As he says, these scenes are usually played for laughs. And they’re all too common. As the survivor rattled off his list of “funny” episodes of rapes, I thought of several others. I’ve seen this trope on sitcoms, dramas, on television and in movies alike. Think about it. If you watch television or movies, you’ve probably seen this in action. The survivor then described how others viewed his own attack. His message is one that is also far too commonly heard: young men can’t be raped. At least not by older women. I immediately recalled Mary Kay Letourneau and Meghan Eagan and even thought of a scene in one of my favorite shows where an underage boy is raped by a (female) teacher AND it’s depicted as a funny episode. Real life responses to these situations are confusing and infuriating. “Where were these teachers when I was in school” is a phrase that I’ve heard countless times. These depictions and comments invalidate the experiences of male rape survivors, contributing to the culture of shame, denial, and disbelief that is associated with them.

It’s time to change how we view and show rape, period. If we’re going to depict rape in any form, then we should take care to show the truth about it. It’s no laughing matter.

See the video…

Resources for male rape survivors…


2 thoughts on “Male Rape Victims: Nothing to Joke About

  1. I am so glad to see this post, and I agree that this is an issue that is vital for us to start understanding as a culture. The amount of shame and secrecy that surrounds sexual assault against men and boys is often-times even worse than what women experience, which is saying something considering how bad things already are for women. This only further demonstrates the long arm of rape culture and how much it permeates our daily lives in both subtle and obvious ways.

  2. I agree. It is hard to progress towards gender equality, if one gender’s experiences are seen as laughing matter. The message that society sends of not believing male rape victims, is unfortunate but also alarming. Permeating this culture of discrediting male survivors’ experience worries me because it sends the message to young boys that if rape were to happen to them it would either not be considered a grave issue or would not be believed. It is time to change the “boys will be boys” culture that permeates American society.

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