Sexual assault and rape is buzzing in news and social media over the last year. The terms such as the #MeToo Movement and the accused movie producer, Harvey Weinstein and USA Gymnastics national team doctor, Larry Nassar. Weinstein has been accused of decades of sexual abuse. Nassar is a convicted pedophile that was found guilty of sexual abuse to over 250 girls in April 2018. Nassar is scheduled to serve 140 years in prison, at least. These men caused the uproar and feminist reaction for the abused to come forward. This painted the picture of women standing up against rape culture; it not only effects women, but men too.
Many times in the media, women are known to be the victim whilst men are often the abuser. Men find themselves to be victims as well. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 6 men have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
The problem is that people do not also consider the male victims. Stories of these victims have been deaf among the public. Sexual assault is thought of being caused by men assaulting women, but that is not always the case.
There have been myths going around that men cannot be victims of sexual assault or that they are considered weak for being assaulted; both of which are wrong.
The #MeToo Movement focus has been on female victims and has shunned the voices of men. Some of these victims include MET Opera music professor and bassist, Chris Brown who accused 74-year-old conductor and pianist, James Levine for abusing him. Brown felt excluded from the movement. “Men are historically the bad guys,” Brown quoted to NPR. “If some men abuse women, then we all are abusers ourselves… so therefore when it comes to our being abused, we deserve it.”
This is disappointing for a movement that is formed to fight against sexual assault but male victims are being turned down by women. “The spirit of much of what has been the #MeToo Movement is to divide men and women,” Sean Penn made his opinion about #MeToo during an interview on TODAY.
Penn made a good point about this as the movement does seem to divide men and women because radical feminists shun men from ever speaking up due to the past events after Weinstein.
#MeToo leans towards more on women’s argument of sexual assault than the men’s because of the stigma of men always being sexual predators. The #MeToo Movement needs to recognize these victims into the community where they can feel comfortable of expressing their voices of their experience of sexual assault.
Even with all the news of famous men assaulting women, male victims should have a chance to speak out. They should not be left out just because their gender is associated with the issue.
They are people who need to feel like they are not alone with their situation and that they need to be a part of community.