Sexual assault is something that should not be taken lightly. Over the years one thing I’ve noticed in the media, it’s practically impossible for a man to be overpowered by a woman. Shows like Law and Order: SVU has opened the door to conversation about men being abused and more reluctant to come forward. Where exactly does it stem from?
The double standard
I’ve heard countless times from men that they don’t believe a man can be assaulted by a woman mainly because it’s a guy’s fantasy to be woken up with oral sex… At least in their opinions.
What they fail to realize is that without them being awake to give consent, the lines get blurred and a potential crime could have taken place.
Ultimately, what I’ve come to realize is our assumptions regarding male and female sexuality are directly linked to the way we perceive sexual encounters. It’s more socially acceptable for a woman to coerce a man than the other way around. It is also difficult for society to see men as victims because, in the eyes of that same society, men only want one thing: sex.
The interesting thing about it all is when a woman does it to a man, it gets laughed off or downplayed as if the situation never happened. We as women are often told things like that happen to us because we asked for it or because our skirt was too short. We’re still the ones being told to abide by these standards society sets in place, yet we could be the very people causing the problem.
What do statistics say?
According to The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, a nationally representative survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that “over their lifetime, women were vastly more likely to experience abuse perpetrated by men, as were male victims who were penetrated without their consent. “But among men reporting other forms of sexual victimization, 68.6% reported female perpetrators,” the paper reports, while among men reporting being made to penetrate, “the form of non-consensual sex that men are much more likely to experience in their lifetime … 79.2% of victimized men reported female perpetrators.” 79.2% is a large percentage. Imagine how many cases go unreported.
How to protect yourself?
On many occasions, sexual assault can more likely take place when alcohol becomes involved. One of the many ways to protect yourself is to always be aware of your surroundings. And I don’t mean having to look over your shoulder constantly, but to be wary of leaving drinks unattended or someone being a little too friendly. In any case, trust your gut.
One of the best ways to prevent sexual assault is simply asking for consent. We’ve heard the saying over and over again “no means no” and the same goes for a woman pursuing a man.
As a man, I’m sure it must be difficult enough with the toxic masculinity and standard society holds you all to, but women can still victimize you. In an ideal world, when responding to allegations and cases of sexual assault or abuse, things should be gender inclusive and proportionate.
It’s always fascinating to see the difference in how men and women perceive things, especially something such as sexual assault. Although it isn’t extremely common for women to be the perpetrator, anyone can be a victim.