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The Poitras Point

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The Poitras Point

“I want to be free to express myself... Man up. I want to be weak sometimes.” -Slam Poet, Guante

“I want to be free to express myself... Man up. I want to be weak sometimes.” -Slam Poet, Guante

Pixabay

“I want to be free to express myself... Man up. I want to be weak sometimes.” -Slam Poet, Guante

Pixabay

Pixabay

“I want to be free to express myself... Man up. I want to be weak sometimes.” -Slam Poet, Guante

Emily Poitras, Staff Writer

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On March 11 millions saw Katy Perry make an unwanted advance on a teenage boy on an episode of American Idol. A few days later she sexually harassed another male contestant. The response was, “Katy just likes to have fun.” If Perry was a 30-year-old male and made unwanted advances on a 19-year-old girl, everyone would be losing their minds. Perry would likely have lost her job and there would have been a movement to boycott the show.

Another recent concern was when Kiefer Sutherland who acted in “The Lost Boys,” talked about being molested during the time it took place to film the movie in 1987. The co-hosts of The View responded, “You can’t just run claims willey nilley, this is a billion dollar industry!” What makes the difference between men being assaulted and women being assaulted? Nothing. The only difference is their gender.

One of the biggest reasons for this double standard is the ideology of toxic masculinity. We expect men and teenage boys to want sex all the time. I remember a couple of months ago on social media an article had been posted about a male high school student was assaulted by his teacher and Facebook trolls (men and women) began commenting, “Do you see how hot she is! Why would he be complaining about this?”

Both men and women have created an idea that men are constantly thinking and wanting to have sex. I have heard boys say that if a girl ever initiated a sexual act, even if he didn’t want it, he would “sit back and enjoy it.” I have also heard girls say, “He probably only has an interest in you because he wants to be with you.”

Men can be raped and women can be rapists. According to Slate, 46 percent of male rape victims reported a female perpetrator. Thirty-six percent of rape victims are male. Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) says that every 98 seconds an American is raped. Male college students are five times more likely to be raped than a non-student. One in 33 males will experience an attempted or completed act of sexual violence.

In order to stop sexual assault we could just tell these men and women to stop, but that’s not realistic. A start would be to demolish toxic masculinity. When a male peer confesses that he was raped or is being sexually harassed, listen. That’s the biggest thing we can do for any victim of sexual violence. Offer a place to stay if they need, ask them if they are safe.

Men, like women, have moments of not wanting sexual acts. To sit here and watch a teenage boy be sexually harassed and say nothing about it is absurd. It’s not just happening to females, and we need to start adding male victims into the conversation about unwanted sexual advances.

1 Comment

One Response to “The Poitras Point”

  1. Jane James on April 4th, 2018 6:14 pm

    Amen!!! Great article!

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