George Anderson(14 Posts)
A male nurse raped an unconscious 3 yr old girl and filmed the ordeal. He has been jailed for 19 yrs, something similar happened to me at the same age however I never disclosed this to anyone and it's only now in my late 20s that I am coming to term with the abuse.
Everyone of my close female friends has had unwanted sexual contact from men which all started when they were under 18 for alot of us under 5.
I honestly don't think I am being reactionary or hyperbolic to think men are a threat to women and girls. I have never left my son alone with a man (separated from his father). I don't think my opinions are over the top I think they have been formed by a lifetime to male sexual violence.
Thank you DJBaggySmalls growing up I thought it was just me and that I was dirty and did something to provoke it. Finally talking openly and honestly with other women I have realised that men as a class are sexually violent to women and girls and I did nothing to deserve what happened to me at 3 and the times men held me in a way I didn't like or pushed my knee up against their crotch wasn't because I was dirty but because they believe that women and girls exist to service them.
I’m appalled and saddened, although not surprised, to hear of your experiences - I can’t begin to imagine. I fully understand how your experiences have shaped your views.
I would like to challenge your views in one or two ways. This is not to upset you or to disagree with you and if I do I apologise unreservedly in advance but, as you have posted on a discussion board, I feel discussion is justified.
Male violence to towards women, and particularly male sexual violence towards women, dwarves violence the other way around. However, I feel it is problematic to go as far as you have in your views of men, I understand why, but that doesn’t make it fair.
Also, will you view your son as he grows up - as a permanent threat to you and all other women? If he grows up to want to be a teacher of young children will you be happy for parents to ask the head to have their children moved to a different class because he can’t be trusted to not sexually abuse them?
Please, please believe me when I say I’m not trying be confrontational and if I’ve offended you I’m so sorry as that really wasn’t my intention.
I will hopefully raise a son who will respect women's private space and not be the sort of Man who intrudes into inappropriate situations. I am hoping I will raise my child to be the sort of Man who is aware that sexual violence is an epidemic and even though he will hopefully be a kind gentle man he will understand that women and girls children might still find him threatening and so certain situations or careers might be inappropriate. There is a world of career choices I don't think it will impact his life negatively.
Thanks you for taking the time to respond. I admire your courage and your dignity - your son is a very lucky child. I wish you both the best in life.
I am so sorry for what you've endured, OP.
I was lucky. I was so safe as a child, with loving parents and brothers. It was only outside the home, as I grew up, that I encountered male violence and sexual predation.
I have tried to pass on my feminist values to my two DS. It's all any of us can do.
I see you're in a very tricky position. Your feelings about men are entirely understandable but they aren't rational. Male violence is an epidemic, I'm not ignoring that, but most men are horrified by what happened to you, to the toddler in the court case you reference, and indeed sexual assault in general. There are more men like my male relatives than there are men who molest women.
It wouldn't matter how you feel about men if you didn't have a son. Children pick up more than we realise and I'd be concerned that he's likely to absorb the message that he is a member of the sex you fear and distrust. Do you not think he is likely to be harmed by your feelings about his sex and, by extension, him?
I assume you have had counselling for what you suffered. Perhaps you would be wise to seek guidance on how to cope with your feelings and your son?
I love my son very much and I want to protect him from harm also, I don't think my thoughts and feelings about men as a sex class are irrational. I think they are informed by a millenia of male sexual violence.
I think it's important to discuss men as a sex class rather than in the personal sense. I have men in my life who I love and think very highly of. That being said the first man who assaulted me was a family friend and a respected member of the community.
Men take up so much of our public and private sphere that asking for privacy from them seems like an imposition when in reality i am just asking for redress. I think its because we have been socialised to always make ourselves available to men.
I think your point about my son absorbing that he is a member of the group I fear is valid. I don't want my son to think that he is responsible for hurt but it's important that men as a class are aware of the consequences of male sexual violence. Also why are the possible upset feelings of men such a priority as a opposed the very real violence women and girls face.
I don't doubt your love for your son. It's apparent in what you say, and I hope you don't think I am attacking you in any way
It's not the same but I am reminded of a man I knew. He and his two sisters had been seriously abused for years by a male relative. When it all came to light and the man was imprisoned, he and his sisters were given extensive therapy. He said it was in one way more straightforward for his sisters, as their vile attacker was characterized as "other" - not a girl like them. He was told his attacker was an evil man, but no one addressed his dreadful fear that he too was growing up to be a man, a potential abuser.
All three of them took a long time even to start to recover but he had significant unaddressed issues. He said the system is set up to help girls who are abused. No one really understands how to deal with ideas about masculinity when counselling a male victim. "I am the same sex as that monster. How can I be a man but be sure I won't become a monster myself?"
Oh TheXxxxx I'm so sorry for your experience. Your feelings aren't irrational.
But it interesting that over half the responses appear to be more worried about the feelings of men.
Your son will be fine. You seem very grounded and caring .
prawn the system isnt set up to help girls or women. I also think we have to do more than just pass on feminist values to boys. We need a structural change. Patriarchy isn't just interpersonal it's woven into the fabric of our society and all of our institutions.
Male violence exists in all cultures and countries and I think we need to organise around it in a more radical way. I dont want to be curt with you but it seems you think predatory male violence is unfortunate but not common. Well it's exceedingly common even amongst naice middle class families.
I get frustrated when reading about the topic because although people will concede that sexual violence against women is wrong any kind of redress is almost always seen as being excessive and the feelings of men are immediately centred.
I am not sure why you brought up male victims of sexual violence I am aware that they exist and want more than anything to protect my son from them. But the perpetrators are still men!
Everyone benefits from addressing male violence. Everyone! Young men and boys will benefit from seeing male violence interrogated and knowing that being hyper masculine isn't a pre requisite to being a "man" will comes as a relief.
Women and girls will benefit by having spaces to themselves which are essential.
Thank you for your kind words scallop he is already an absolute treasure, he spent ages ummmhing and ahhhhhing over which books to take the park to read in the sunshine and just took all of the ingredients out of the cupboard out to make banana bread without me asking (most of them are wrong but that's beside the point)
Sorry, perhaps I didn't explain myself very well, OP. The reason I brought up this bloke was as a potential parallel with your DS. He knew he was of the sex who violated him and was therefore, as a child, extremely frightened that he might end up being a monster in his turn. His sisters could happily identify with women, but he was repulsed at identifying with men.
I think you have read me wrong in another way. I am no apologist for male violence. I have experienced it, been raped twice, and sexually assaulted or harassed more times than me can recall. And, as I said, your views are entirely your business except that I feel a bit concerned for your DS, particularly as he matures. I've seen the harm done to boys whose mother is very bitter about men, with far less cause than you.
My DS is bright and bubbly I hope that I raise him to be kind and thoughtful and aware of the realities of the world we live in. I really don't think you need to worry about my DS I also don't think wanting to dismantle patriarchy makes me bitter.
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