Not something we hear about too often, but it is a phenomenon that we can’t ignore. Why isn’t more attention being paid to sexual assault committed by women? The rates at which it happens where men are the victims compared to when women are the victims are equal or at least highly comparable. This might be a surprising result, but that’s what the studies show.
Just consider this report from USA Today. Admittedly, it is from 2 years ago, but the studies cited therein are just as eye-opening today as they were then.
Women as victims of male sexuality is a common talking point in feminist discourse, used to justify the notion that an overarching patriarchy exists designed to keep women in positions of subservience and sexual availability to men. But that narrative is undermined when actual data is brought to bear on the matter.
And let me make this disclaimer before I am misunderstood: The point of this post is not to minimize or belittle sexual assault that happens against women or to enable the slimebags who do abuse women. Rather, the point is to bring to light the pervasive phenomenon of sexual assault against men and what implications that has for feminist discourse.
Contrary to what we are taught and conditioned to believe, you can oppose violence against women and advocate for women’s rights (as defined by our worldview) and also not buy into the ill founded idea of patriarchy, which is extremely problematic as far as Islam is concerned. Why? InshaAllah will post more on that very soon.
“According to a recent study from the University of Missouri, published by the American Psychological Association, male victims of sexual assault are often victimized by women: “A total of 43% of high school boys and young college men reported they had an unwanted sexual experience and of those, 95% said a female acquaintance was the aggressor, according to a study published online in the APA journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity.”
“This shouldn’t be so surprising. Back in the old days, when talk of “rape” or “sexual assault” generally meant forcible penetration at the hands of a stranger, rape was unsurprisingly pretty much a male-committed crime.
“But feminists pushed for a broader definition of rape, going beyond what Susan Estrich, in a very influential book, derisively called Real Rape, to encompass other forms of sexual coercion and intimidation. And so now the term “rape” as it is commonly used encompasses things like “date rape,” sex while a partner is intoxicated, sex without prior verbal consent and even at Ohio State University, at least sex where both partners consent, but for different reasons.
“Unsurprisingly, when the definition of rape or, as it’s often now called in order to provide less clarity, “sexual assault” expands to include a lot more than behavior distinguished by superior physical strength, the incidence of rape goes up, and behavior engaged in by women is more likely to be included in the definition. (At juvenile detention centers nine out of 10 reporters of sexual assault are males victimized by female staffers.)”