He for she for me

What do we value in masculinity, and, more importantly, why do we traditionally hold it as being of such great value? I think it is largely evolutionary benefits that have led us to prioritizing strength, hyper-independence, and the ability to provide specifically in the male gender. If we go back to Unk the caveman, the man who was those things was more likely to survive to pass on his genes and provide for the people who depend on him as they either mature (in the case of his children) or care for the products of their mutual genes (in the case of the female partner).

I do not mean this as any sort of encouragement it was just a largely practical division of labor. An ability to suppress emotions in the pursuit of short term practical goals made sense for the member of the species that was out hunting a large, dangerous animal while attentiveness and nurturing were more sensible characteristics to the one left with child-rearing.

While all parties share largely similar brain chemistry and functions making the spectrums of emotion available, encouraging certain behaviors just yielded early survival and therefore reproductive values. The thing is, evolution (whether biological or social) is a slow thing, and even relatively progressive societies still largely hold to these patriarchal systems. This isn’t universally a bad thing.

I grew up with a mother who staid at home with the five kids of her own choice (she did have a college degree) and a father who was the exclusive breadwinner for most of my life. Both my mother and my father are strong people who made this decision of traditional gender rolls mutually and are (to the best of my knowledge) very happy with the lives they lead.

There’s actually quite a trend of women in my family who want to be housewives and teachers. No one should force a person into a traditional gender role, I’m just saying that we also shouldn’t look down on people who do choose to pursue an option that would conform to norms. But we have come a long way since man hunted mastodons and we need to start addressing the long term necessities of humanity. I believe feminism is a large part of the solution.

It is of course worth noting that I am writing this as a man. At the risk of mansplaining, feminism does have a focus on female empowerment; however, by empowering both women and the very concept of femininity (or else, blurring the boundaries between the genders) is also a good thing for men because it makes traits that would traditionally shame or emasculate men acceptable and/or empowering. This rising tide raises all boats.

Part of the reason I wanted to write about this is my coming to terms with the fact that a lot of my demons are traditionally associated with haunting women. Specifically, I am thinking about mental illness. While the Mayo clinic reports the big one, depression, is significantly more common in women than men, the link is not that simple. The World Health Organization found that women are more likely to report mental health issues meaning there is a disparity in cases known which hampers both research in the field as well as the health of those not reporting.

What I am arguing today is that this is because of the negative effects behind holding to traditional masculinity. Asking for help is considered feminine, and femininity is associated with weakness. Knowing when assistance is required is no vice, it is a great virtue. So perhaps it is not bad to associate requesting assistance with the fairer sex, but one of the great goals of feminism (in my understanding) is to remove the association of women with meekness. So even if asking for help were to be a feminine quality (which it neither is, nor should be), there is no problem with a man admitting a part of his feminine nature for his greater well being and health, and the health of society. Right now, masculinity is quite literally killing a lot of men.

The last sentence is based on my core argument that pure masculinity is outdated and bad for both men and women. One of the stark differences where this is made apparent is in suicide rates. Like I said, women are more likely to report mental health issues, a common symptom of which is suicidal thoughts. So, reports from Forbes suggest the same research problem is present with suicidal thoughts as with depression, but it looks like women do suffer suicidal thoughts more often. On the flip side, Forbes also reported men are dramatically more likely to successfully kill themselves in almost every culture around the world.

Significantly, this isn’t reported suicide, which would leave room for the same error from self-reporting, but actual deaths that leave no doubt about whether or not this symptom of mental health was present. This isn’t some minor difference of a couple percentage points. According to Americans for Suicide Prevention, a non-profit that sponsors scientific studies about suicide, men are three and a half times more likely to commit suicide than women, with similar numbers coming from the UK in a report from the Guardian.

This makes sense because most successful suicides are done with firearms, and (like it or not) studies show that the presence of guns can increase the likelihood of violence. Think about it, it is an immediate, dramatic, and very effective way to end life, and Pew Research shows than men are more likely to own or have access to firearms. This is another essential part of masculinity.

If a willingness to ask for help is essentially feminine, willingness for violence is essentially masculine. Men are the ones who start wars, fight them, and kill each other. Certainly women kill, but it is no great secret that men commit violent crimes at a higher rate. Boys will be boys, and masculinity dictates that boys will be violent. Still, masculinity is privileged above femininity as “stronger” and “better” meaning that any man who would go through any act of femininity to get needed help has declared himself less of a man and therefore worse.

Men need to learn from women. I believe it is our duty to support the empowerment of our sisters not only for their sake, but also for our own. Or else we choose our own poison and live worse in our own pride.

A galaxy of possibility

With the arrival of The Force Awakens, I was thrilled to see back into my favorite end of the universe. I won’t say that it was perfect, I understand the argument that Ray & company basically recycled good parts of previous entries in the franchise, but there was still enough to look to justify six trips to the theater on my part. Okay, maybe not justify, but at least satisfy. There’s a whole argument about how this actually falls in the tradition of Star Wars cyclical nature. So let’s not talk about that right now, let’s talk about why I’m super excited by Rogue One.

Rogue One is easily better than the prequels, but that is a low bar to leap. My personal rankings (from worst to best) would go: Attack of the Clones, Phantom Menace, Revenge of the Sith, Rogue One, New Hope, Force Awakens, Return of the Jedi, and Empire Strikes Back. So, the brief adventures of Jyn (Felicity Jones) didn’t rock my world. Why am I writing about it? Because I love Star Wars and now I have a lot of hope for the future of the series beyond the central canon.

Member when Star Wars had a widely sprawling canon across multiple mediums? If you do, you almost certainly member when Disney reset the whole canon of the series beyond the films. Well, now we’re getting more non-movie additions, but there is still a massive graveyard of stories (mostly books and video games) that can still be drawn upon. Now, there is a chance to introduce them to the canon on a larger scale.

In spite of the fact that many Star Wars books (i.e. Darth Plagueis) and video games (i.e. Knights of the Old Republic) had great and well crafted stories, most people never paid attention because that was a bridge too far into nerdiness. If the Marvel movies, also under the helm of Disney, have proven anything, it’s that movies can make the really obscure and nerdy the very definition of mainstream.

The galaxy of Star Wars is (or at least was) far more consistent than the one from Stan Lee, but no less interesting. Still, I talk more about Marvel’s movies, just because the films have made it an easier discussion point. That’s where I can see Star Wars going.

I don’t want the stories to be churned out, but having a self contained story gives the universe a chance to produce more stories. A lot of the novels are games aren’t Star Wars in much but name and aesthetic, but that’s just fine by me. If that makes my favorite genre more wide and accessible to more people spurring more information and more discussion for me, that’s awesome. Is it possible this will go horribly wrong? Yup. Is it possible we’ll see more prequel-esque movies? Uh-huh. Is it possible we’ll get a Jar Jar Binks spin off? I choose not to think of it. But Rogue One gives me hope for future installments, especially with Donald Glover cast as young Lando.

Volante Fall 2016

SD legislative sessions too short (9/6/2016)

You don’t need to fear me, but you probably should (9/11/2016)

Virtual reality may be the next art form (9/18/2016)

Swipe right for feelings (9/26/2016)

Students have options to consider outside the two-party system (10/2/2016)

School Rivalries (10/10/16)

Domestic violence display reinforces silence for male victims (10/17/2016)

Cell phone plan prices are unreasonable (10/24/2016)

USD should provide greater outreach for male rape survivors (10/30/2016)

Printing is Outdated and Expensive (11/7/2016)

Virtual assistants need an update (11/14/2016)

Check before you share (12/6/2016)

Speakig Out: My Sexual Assault

(Hey, I also wrote an article about this for the Volante, so read that too.)

You guys remember how I went public about my depression about two years ago on here? I’ve decided to open up about something else, because I have lost too much sleep over this. A lot of people reading this won’t believe me. Others will feel shame in me. I don’t particularly care. Okay, maybe I do. I’d much prefer my family not disown me, but the pain is greater than the fear. It’s a scar. You can take me or leave me.

Hello, my name is Jordan Smith and I am a survivor of female-on-male rape.

A few years ago I also wrote a post about under-represented male issues, and in there I brought up the frequent skepticism that men can be raped, so I won’t talk about it too much. Suffice it to say I can count the number of people I’ve previously told on one hand.

Here’s the hardest part of this, in spite of the mass proliferation of information and support with the internet, there really aren’t many resources out there. Go ahead, do a Google (or Yahoo if you’re weird) search for male rape support. You’ll find a couple general purpose things, but the vast majority of results are for those who suffered from another man or just redirect you to general results for rape support, which would be fine, but it is heavily catered to women.

I’m not saying it isn’t understandable. Most victims of rape are women, and most perpetrators are men. Numerically, it makes sense that there would be more information for those individuals, but it doesn’t mean materials for people like me shouldn’t be more widely available. But that doesn’t excuse popular conception from questioning if it can even happen. Not just the usual victim blaming of people arguing whatever crap comes to mind, but a basic question if it is possible.

Remember when Shia LaBeouf was in the middle of a performance art piece and was violently raped and everyone was convinced it couldn’t happen because they didn’t think that could happen to a man who was unwilling? I do, and, quick note, that’s not how biology works. Why was that even a question? Maybe because this stigma is so widespread that even the FBI defnition limits rape to a man forcing penetration? There’s this insistence because of how awful traditional masculinity is men are universally seen as perpetrators and women are victims.

It is impossible to describe the loneliness that comes from this survival. Of course there’s scarce a survivor of any gender who doesn’t suffer from some form of trauma. Maybe I’m wrong.  I can’t know what being anything but a heterosexual man feels like, so I apologize for any misunderstanding. But at least there is some amount of support structure available. There’s certainly challenges for women to find people to believe them and a stigma attached with something that isn’t your fault. Beyond the trauma, the societal reaction to women after assault is deplorable. Still, if nothing else everyone’s first personal advisory, Google, will bring useful results without much digging. Regardless, I feel like it’s different for men.

Many probably noticed earlier that I described masculinity as “toxic.” I stand by that. Men are supposed to be unfailingly strong pillars, not allowed to, or even capable of being, vulnerable. We are supposed to want sex at any given moment with any woman whose pants we can wiggle into. To admit that you had sex against your infinite masculine willpower and in spite of your limitless sex drive is preposterous. To not have another conquest to add to your list would be preposterous. And how can a man be overcome by a woman? I’ll tell you.

Rape doesn’t necessitate physical force. It can also just be a threat or manipulation through other means. I was coerced and manipulated as if I wasn’t human. I’m not going to share many details. Why? I don’t have to. I’m not pressing charges, I’m just trying to heal myself and, if I’m lucky, help others. If you don’t think I provide enough detail, sorry, I don’t feel like hurting myself like that again. Do you know how hard that is? Or just the pain that comes from being a survivor too scared to say anything? If you do, I’m sorry, and please get in touch with me. Not just so I can help you, but I think that talking is the best way to recover. Everyone else, just understand that it is the most emotionally scaring thing you (or at least I) can imagine.

That’s the worst part of rape, it’s a crime against who you are as a human being. What makes us human? Most philosophers and religions would agree that it is our ability to act as rational beings capable of choosing our own path and ruling over our bodies and the world surrounding them.That’s what separates us from beasts. Of course, just asking someone to do something isn’t any remarkable evil, but I work hard to make sure I don’t force anyone to do anything, no matter how small. I never want to violate another person’s sovereignty.

We talk about the objectification of human beings through the media (particularly women, because the male gaze sucks). I see rape as the logical, perverted conclusion of objectification. It’s not just bad because of the manipulation and pain, it’s the blatant disregard for your humanity. You are literally a tool. Not a person. Just a means of satisfying an urge. That’s the part that keeps me up at night. Not the memories of coercion and force but the demeaning nature of it all. The seizure of my control has haunted me ever since.

When you have trouble getting someone to even consider the possibility that you could be treated that way, it can feel like you’re having your heart ripped right out of your chest. I remember sitting at my eighth grade lunch table, when I was still figuring out what sex was, and being surrounded by a conversation about how men couldn’t be raped. I remember the abstinence oriented youth conference I attended in Chicago. I remember every time rape and sexual assault ever came up in the news or school and there was never a man who had suffered. I internalized that. All of it. It’s what kept me quiet for so long.

Now I don’t even know if I can trust what I think. You know that logic experiment from Descartes that concludes with “I think, therefor I am.” I used to find a beauty in that simplicity, but it isn’t that simple any more. If we are the sum of our experiences, then what happens from the traumas? We might want to move past those experiences, and return to our natural state, but how? How do we return to a portion of a natural state that we can’t remember. I don’t know how I would feel about sex and women without that experience in my past, so how can I know who I really am? Was I ever something special?

It’s not all so bad. There is an evolving climate. As feminism continues to enter the mainstream it isn’t just empowering women, it is also becoming more acceptable for men to be vulnerable. Furthermore, by making femininity not inherently associated with weakness, it is becoming okay for men to do female things, both positive and negative. I should also mention that my girlfriend knows, and she has been nothing but supportive of me. This blog wouldn’t exist without her giving me the emotional support to write my pain out.

I’m rambling, but, once again, I don’t really care. This is stream of consciousness. This is what’s haunted me for too long. During my orientation at Mines, we had an absolutely incredible speaker, Angela Rose with PAVE who ran our Title IX training and I started counseling to get to the point where I was strong enough to open up. This is an act of courage on my part. This is terrifying. When I opened up about depression, I knew people would believe me, the worst that could happen was a stigma. I have no doubt at least one person will read this and laugh, thinking I’m making this up for attention. My pastor could see this and think I’m now bound for hell. If anyone finds out that I was hurt and stop loving me, maybe I’m better off. If anyone doesn’t want me around because I was hurt, then I’d really rather not be around.

John Wayne, the picture of masculinity, once said, “Courage is being scared to death, and saddling up anyway.” Well, I’m sure scared. So, here we go. Riding right into the storm with the hope that it will be less painful for other people to follow. If courage is manly, then I now know that I am truly a man.. A man, and a survivor. To all my brothers, you don’t need to say anything. More than anything, I just wanted to tell you that you aren’t alone. For me, this is seizing back my humanity. She no longer controls my body, or my voice.

Welcome Back From the Dead: Ghostbusters (2016)

Welcome Back From the Dead

Let me get it out right away: yes, I am a feminist. Yes, I am a progressive. And yes, I have a confessed love of funny women. I also hate to see my movies injured. Now that I think about it, Dan Aykroyd has particularly bad luck with both with Ghostbusters 2, and particularly Blues Brothers 2000 serving as examples of awful Hollywood cash-ins creating abominations of cinema; however, this foray showed promise. So I walked in the theater for the reboot of Ghostbusters without either excitement or dread.
I considered adding a tangent just for Kate,
but I’ll leave that to another day.
Obviously there was a great deal of controversy regarding the feeling that the all female cast was too much of a push for PC diversity. If it weren’t for Paul Feig‘s incredible ability to be a man who can also make good femal characters, I might have had no hope. Recently I read Bossypants by Tina Fey, and she made an observation that seems suited to respond. I pray my Lady Fey can forgive any misquotation, but “Only in comedy can an obedient white girl be considered diversity.” Tina Fey, like a sizable portion of both the original and new Ghostbusters casts made her name with Saturday Night Live. I find it interesting that a renowned institution long plagued by the misogyny (see John Belushi) is capable of producing such outstanding actresses, and they all shine like diamonds in this movie. Make no mistakes, no one pretends the characters are anything but women, but they shake the standards of the witty love interest so often reserved to the women of comedy. This movie is feminist in the best, most subtle way. It has well written, intelligent, and strong female characters, and it doesn’t make a big deal about it. Great characters who just happen to be women. All of the principal actors (Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones) are brilliant, and perform their roles marvelously. While everyone made a great performance, I must say that McKinnon stole the show. With her typical devotion to character, McKinnon provided an element of randomness that helped differentiate the reboot (?) from the original.
I think that’s why so many people are getting angry here, where they were okay with the equally stellar Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As much as I truly love The Force Awakens, and think that it is a terrific movie, it followed the story beats of A New Hope almost to the letter. Thanks to J.J. Abrams, it was an unquestionably well made movie, but it was also supremely familiar. Feig decided to do something different. While there are certain allusions to the prior series, including cameos from surviving actors (RIP Ramis), the film uses an old firehouse to mock the idea of failing to differentiate. This is not the original, and for a comedy, that is a good thing.
Is the new Ghostbusters as good as the original? It’s hard to say that was the best Sci-Fi Comedy ever made, and this is different. In a good way. This movie makes smart decisions to make itself unique and different from the rest of the industry. I can’t hate a movie for not being as good as the best to ever exist in it’s genre. More importantly, even if the OG GB can’t be beat, a joke is only funny for so long. Example: Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side! (Insert laugh track). It’s not technically a bad joke, but no one laughed at that because we’ve all heard it before. A comedy revival can’t be exactly like its predecessor because we know the punchline. Feig made a movie that not only progressed the series (who only had two good entries including an Xbox 360 game), but also did a lot to progress the comedy genre as a whole. Having women placed comfortably and intelligently in the limelight continues to open the door for more women to follow into further terrific rolls. You should go see Ghostbusters. It’s a good movie, and worth a watch, but it’s also an economic product. Still prefer Bill Murry? I can’t blame you, but that movie is easily available in the format of your choice. It’s even on UMD. Get over your nostalgia. If we want more good movies made by talented directors, starring superstar women, you need to vote with your wallet. Go and prove once and for all women are funny.

Equal Means Equal

Recently, I came across the image below on Facebook, shared by a friend of mine.
Seem Reasonable?
The two of us have discussed women’s rights in the past, and almost unilaterally agree. As many of you know by now, I consider myself a male feminist. That doesn’t mean I don’t think there are certain injustices toward men deal with that women don’t receive. I want equal rights for both genders. As far as I’m concerned, if both are going to have equal rights, then there should be the maximum amount of rights possible. The sort of with us or against us mentality that seems to dictate neo-feminism is something that should not be allowed to continue.
Gender differences in society are not like race differences in society. In America, seemingly every statistic is in favor of the white majority. Speaking as someone in almost every majority, I am not worried about police brutality because of my race, I don’t lose sleep worrying how my community will react to my faith. However, I do worry about what would happen if I ever had to fight for my child in court. Gender is a different story from race.
Let me clarify something. In my humble opinion, there does need to be more progress for women’s rights. The point of everything I’m saying within this is that both men and women need progress for their rights. Though there are more difficulties facing women, but that does not mean that men should be ignored.
Let me examine a bit of precedent behind that statement. Specifically I want to look at Karen DeCrow, who passed away last year. At one point DeCrow was the President of the National Organization for Women. As an attorney, she was able to win many court cases in favor of feminism, and was considered a major leader of the feminist cause in the 1970s and 1980s. That wasn’t all she did, though. Not seeing feminism and masculanism as mutually exclusive, DeCrow actually argued some major cases in favor of men’s rights. For instance, she argued that if a woman has the right to opt out of parenthood through an abortion, then a man should have the right to opt out as well, and leave the process. This incited a large amount of backlash from feminists claiming she was supporting the stereotype of the cruel seductress using her feminine whiles to trick a man into becoming her husband. In reality, DeCrow simply believed that men are no given advantages in every aspect of society. I agree with her. It’s not that there aren’t gender differences that negatively affect women, it’s that there are things that negatively affect men and women.
Marriage is something that is cited as putting women at a disadvantage; however, marriage is a broad thing that has effects on many parts of life. The idea often goes that after being married more work is expected of married women than men, so despite the fact that women and men both have jobs, women do more work on the whole. That is not true. On average men in 2011 spent an average of 47 hours between work and household duties while women spent 39. While it is true that women are far more likely to be stay at home mom’s, I have one myself, that is largely because there is a societal perception that men can’t or shouldn’t be stay at home fathers. When a family starts, many fathers want to stay at home and help the mother of their child raise their child. Unfortunately, the University of Oregon found that only 10-15% of men have that option. Is this a worse harm to men, than the glass ceiling is to women? No. No it is not. That doesn’t mean this should be changed for men.
Let’s look beyond successful relationships though. Crumbling marriages are surprisingly harmful to men. First, let’s look back to the children. Child custody battles do not go well for men. The Census Bureau stated in 2011 that less than 20% of custodial parents are fathers. Anecdotally, when a relative of mine entered a custody battle, one of the first things his attorney told him was that he was unlikely to win because few judges will grant custody to men. There’s no reason to assume that mothers are better than fathers. In fact, Texas A&M found that father’s are very important to childhood development. While a child being able to have both parents is obviously preferable, there is no reason to grant women preference. It is a horrible to think that there are good men who can’t get custody of their children because of gender.

Men can also be called on to do further service to their country than women. It took a ridiculously long time for women to be able to serve in combat areas in the US military. It is insulting to assert that women aren’t capable of things that men are. In all seriousness, I truly believe most women are more suited than me to serve in combat scenarios. So, why don’t they sign up for selective service? While women can opt in to the selective service, it should be mandatory. Men and women ought to have unilaterally equal rights. Rights come with responsibilities. The draft is a necessary evil and if men have the responsibility of defending their country, then so do women.
Something I hate is the portrayal of women in many forms of media. People have learned that sex sells, and so female characters are often portrayed as being there just for visual appeal, or else as only a love interest. That’s not only sexist, but also poor writing. Want to know what else I hate? The portrayal of men in media. Starting at the beginning let’s think of children’s television. There’s a family with three children, two of whom are boys. One is smart and unpopular, the other cuts class to hang out with his numerous friends. Sound familiar? How many shows can you think of where the coolest person/protagonist on the show is a dumb boy? While this problem can certainly extend to women, I can think of very few male characters who are portrayed as intelligent as well as broadly liked, and that is a problem I still have. Just look at the 90’s TV hit Friends. You have three main guys. Two are intelligent. Ross is portrayed as socially challenged because he’s intelligent. The second half of that set is Chandler. Chandler doesn’t win many points socially so he has to resort to humor to get support. Finally, there is Joey. Joey is not smart, but he fares all the better for it usually. He is better looking, gets more girls with less effort, and is generally liked. Regardless of age, we all have an innate desire for acceptance, and we will follow the models set forth to get it. That can translate to problems down the road.
Education is more important for success than ever before. Since 1994, both men and women of all races have become more likely to attend college, a great thing for the progress of our country; however, Pew Research found disparity of gender enrollments has grown. In 1994 women led men in enrollment by a whopping 2%. Small enough that I would call it negligible. That number is up to 13%. College is not for everybody, man or woman. But presuming men and women will want similar jobs at similar rates, there should not be nearly so large a gap. I’m not saying that media portrayal is the only cause of this disparity. Other potential sources cited by Pew include disciplinary disparity towards boys and girls in schools, as well as barrier of entry to the work force, but if every character a boy or man can identify with is unmotivated toward success, what more can you really expect?
Finally, let me address one of the most hot button issues I can. Sexual and relationship violence are monstrosities. The idea of having humanity stripped on such a basic level is horrifying to me. In my mind, rapists are some of the lowliest human beings on the planet because of the way they treat another human being, and I don’t feel sorry for saying that. Anyone harmed in such a way deserves every support they can get. So, why don’t men? If you are reading this and thinking that I’m going off on a tangent about something that isn’t a real problem, then you’re part of the problem. Sorry, now let me explain.
Men get raped. Shocking? Men can be raped by both other men as well as women. In fact, the National Crime Victimization Survey found that roughly 38% of rapes take place against men, which was confirmed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. That’s no paltry amount of victims. So, why is the perception that only women get raped? It’s because men are less likely to report being raped. The idea is that men always want to get laid, so why would they ever say no? Many men won’t even realize they have been raped, thinking they somehow gave consent without realizing it. According to Brown University, men are unlikely to report being raped because there is the societal perception that men need to be able to protect themselves at all times from anything.

It is not a man’s fault that he is raped anymore than it is a woman’s fault. Victim blaming has no productivity. That’s not the way the problem is handled, unfortunately. As highlighted by House of Cards, rape is a major problem in the military. In fact, military statistics show that over half of the victims are male, and 38 men are raped daily in the military. In interviews with GQ some men opened up about their experiences. I admire their courage for speaking out. A man formerly in the Navy named Steve Stovey was bound, blindfolded, and sodomized by three men the day before his father would come to ride on the ship with Stovey. He didn’t say anything for fear of shaming his father. Had Stovey reported the incident, the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy of the time would not only have had his attackers kicked out of the military, but also Stovey himself. Trent Smith allowed was scared to fight back because his assailant was a ranking officer, and he feared reprimand. And those who report are, like civilian men, met with skepticism. A man going by the name Neal reported being raped to his doctor. The doctor responded “Son, men don’t get raped.” For more accounts, follow the link to the GQ article. This perception is wrong.

LeBeouf wore a paper bag for the project.

Want a high profile example? Look at Shia LeBeouf. If you didn’t hear, Shia LeBeouf was raped during a performance art project called “#IAMSORRY.” Viewers got to see LeBeouf in a room in private with Shia. LeBeouf has opened up about the experience with the magazine Dazed. LeBeouf stated that a woman came in and whipped him for ten minutes, and then proceeded to rape him. The most insulting part? People are questioning whether he was raped at all. Evidence shows that what he says is true, but that doesn’t stop people from saying that he couldn’t be raped. In fact, CNN newscaster Piers Morgan wrote a series of Tweets victim-shaming tweets toward LeBeouf. Morgan said “Shia LeBeouf’s claim to have been raped is truly pathetic & demeans real rape victims. Grow up, you silly little man.” If being whipped, stripped, and forced to have sex isn’t a real rape, then what is? If a woman had this happen to her, it wouldn’t be a question if she had been raped. I know the threat of sexual assault is greater for women. I’m not challenging that. What I’m saying is that the fact that this is even a question is an insult.
The societal perception of masculinity needs to change. Men can be raped. Men are not always strong. Men don’t are just as important can be smart and likable. Fathers are just as important as mothers.
As I said at the beginning of this, I truly believe that women have more social rights issues than men. I think to say that men are dealt the worse hand would be ridiculous. My problem is the asssertation that men do not face any damages to our rights. My problem is the idea that if you support the rights of men, then you must be a misogynist. I’m not. I just support human rights. If we are to support equal rights, then we need to remember that equal means equal, and the rights of one should not be prioritized over the rights of another. If you are bothered by the societal harms to men, and thus are a feminist, I encourage you to also be a masculinist.

For more information on anything I talked about, follow the links scattered throughout. If you have any thoughts, leave a comment below.