Anyway, to spare those of you who are more faithfully keeping up the blogbargo on alas let me repring the post in full here:
This is in response to Richard Jeffrey Newman’s comment about male survivors of sexual abuse/assault being left out of the sexual-assault discourse.
It’s a real problem that merits attention. Too often it gets mentioned as a way to attack efforts to fight sexual violence directed at girls and women or as an excuse to attack feminism or feminists. That exploits male victims and they deserve better.
Unless RJN loosens the restrictions, comments can only be made by male survivors.
The comment referred to goes a little something like this:
I still find her characterisation of those who advocate for the admission of male rape victims to the discourse as “wankers” who “whine” to be offensive. “Respect” is not a one-way street.
You know, Daran, as a man who was sexually abused when I was a child, I have quite a lot of sympathy for a position that is critical of the way in which men are often left out of the sexual-assault discourse, feminist or otherwise. When I was in my late teens and early 20s and just beginning to come to awareness of what had been done to me, no one, and I mean no one, was talking about the fact that boys were sexually abuse; people were just beginning to acknowledge publicly the degree to which it happened to girls; and the one or two pieces I was able to find in the library where I was going to school focused, at least in my memory, on the common (mis)perception that boys who were sexually abused by men were most likely to grow up to be homosexual. I was, my experience was, rendered almost entirely invisible and that hurt.
I would love, therefore, the opportunity to be part of a conversation among men about what it means to be a male survivor of rape and other forms of sexual assault that takes as its starting point not the fact that feminism does not include men in its discourse, which is where you inevitably start these discussions, but rather our experience of men of being sexually violated (and, yes, also of having our experiences dismissed, etc. and so on). Instead of trying to muscle your way into feminist discourse, or trying to force feminist discourse open in a way that is antithetical to feminism itself, why not do the work of developing a discourse about the male survivors you claim to care so much about that will remove the need for the adversarial stance you take because it will have the kind of integrity that will inherently command the respect not only of feminists, but of anyone who wants to talk about sexual abuse as a phenomenon?
That discourse does not now exist in our cultural imagination, or it does so only barely. Carving out a space for it would be valuable work indeed, far more valuable than coming here and derailing conversations that are started with the entirely valid intent of focusing on women because what is being talked about takes place, by your own admission in other posts, overwhelmingly in the realm of female experience.
Okay, now that that's all out of the way, let me add:
First of all the comment by daran is bullshit, bullshit through and through, male rape survivors are not actually excluded from the discourse or the feminist movement as a whole - what is excluded is this idea that female feminists have to actually do someting about rape that is experienced by men beyond what is being done to fight and combat rape as a society wide problem that (and do excuse me for stating the obvious here) disproprotionately affects women.
Now don't take that the wrong way, I don't mean that we need to "prioritise" or anything of that sort, what I mean is that, and this may just be because I haven't actually done much thought about it, I can't realy think of much that female feminists can really add to any such struggle against the rape of men.
This comes on the heels of the fact that most feminists groups, activist or otherwise, are pretty thinly stretched trying to put a torneque on the wounds that Bush's America has give to all women, and there isn't much we can even add to discussion about the rape of men, we're not men, we don't come from a male social perspective (yes I object to the transphobia of MWMF, my views about "male" and "female" social perspectives are, suffice to say, a bit more complex than "if you once had a peepee get the hell out of our music fest, you, you, non-woman person!") so even those of us who have survived rape can only add general advice and help, help and advice which has pretty much already been given afaik.
And then there's the current tact of the "vanilla" anti-rape movements (i.e. those that focus almost exclusively on the rape of women by men), which is making the whole thing much more, ahem, "male dominated", in the sense that men are gradually being more routinely given the responsibility of controlling their behavior and are admirably beginning to take up the slack that has been given men by their society with regards to dealing with rape, so that even the "vanilla" anti-rape movement is putting the focus of dealing with rape on the backs of men.
Finally there's the biggest problem - which is that for all the MRA's constant talk about how feminists don't care about male rape survivors, fighting against rape and for the female victims of rape isn't exactly a gender specific task, any so-called-feminist who seriously put forth the arguement that any rape survivors, of either gender, some how deserved to get raped or is at all to blame for getting raped, would promptly be looking for their teeth in the gutter after an actual feminist punched them in the jaw for being an anti-feminist toolbag.
We're working against rape, and the cause of rape doesn't change and won't be dealt with in different ways with regards to gender - blaming the rapists, attacking heteronormitive and misogynistic social diseases like the myth of "fragile masculinity" that produces the rapists in the first place - and all of these things are being done by female feminists already.
Now I'm not saying that women don't have any part in discussions or movements that focus on male rape, or that it isn't our concern what happens between men, but I personally (and as I say, this may be my own lack of imagination more than anything else) can't think of much that we can really add to such things.