A couple of weeks ago I posted a news story on Facebook about the allegations against former NFL cheerleader Molly Shattuck repeatedly raping a 15-year old boy. I post a mix of stories about male and female victims, because rape and sexual abuse happens to both. The reply I got from one of my male friends was surprising to say the least, and I was most of all taken aback that someone I knew had this attitude towards rape culture.
In the comments below the story I posted, we had this exchange:
Him: now why in the fuck couldnt I have met her when I was 15????? Sorry had to XD
Me: Not even funny
Him: come off it 15 years old,shes an ex cheerleader you honestly think he didnt want it?it happens all the fuckin time,some women just get caught doing it and its illegal so its called rape,I doubt it was against his will
Me: This attitude is called rape culture. It lets people idiotically believe a rape victim “wanted it” even though you were not there to know for sure. You know what? Rape happens to boys too. It is not what every boy wants just because he has a dick. And just because he got an erection doesn’t mean shit either because especially at that age it happens involuntarily. Only the way ignorant when are the ignorantly submerged in rape culture say shit like he wanted it. I bet that’s going to be her defense in court too, just like every other rapist.
Him: I know what youre saying Im saying when its a guy,15 years old and his so called rapist is an ex cheerleader and still looks good for her age does that it doesnt look like rape,it al goes back to that teacher Mary Kay Letorneau,did she not have sex with her student who was 15 at the time?had 2 kids with him,they got married and whatnot,however,she got charged and convicted of rape and did her time,he did NOT want to charge her thought because he loved her but thats the law,now fast forward to now,theres countries with children being married to grown fuckin men,fucking disgusting nd disturbing,you mean to tell me a story like this is worse than a story like that?why because its in a different country?I started having sex at a very young age,it happened whatever,I cant change it nor would I want to,being 15?fuck thats laughable these days considering you have a show about girls being 16 and prego,think about it,this is really that big of a deal?Im thinking it wasnt rape,thats just what the charge is called.if it happend in BC out here?itd be legal just so you know. now there is a lot of sick shit out there but in my opinion,better a 15 year old guy than a 10 year old girl and by the circumstances it doesnt look as bad as they make it sound.
Me: The legal age of consent in Canada is 16. And again, not every teenage boy is a horndog. What makes you think she is not sick enough to use her supposed good looks to take advantage of him? It happens. I am well aware of what happens in other parts of the world. Guess what? Sexual abuse of boys runs rampant here just as it does for girls. It is just not talked about as much which leads to ignorance and the assumption it is what every boy wants. Really? Why is it suddenly OK for boys to be victims but not girls?
The conversation ended there as I unfriended him and another female friend commented to say that even boys can be pressured into having sex they don’t want, which is completely true and still rape as there wasn’t consent. If there is not clear consent and you still force someone into sex, it is rape. I don’t understand the attitude that just because he is 15 and the older woman is pretty that it makes this ok and that he wanted it. Not to mention in the article itself from the Huffington Post, it says that the boy is the one who reported her to the cops, which tells me that it was indeed unwanted sex. She also contacted him first on the Internet, which in itself is luring a minor, indicating she had the whole thing planned.
I have a hard time wrapping my head around this societal norm that boys cannot be victims of a crime so horrific. The gender lines don’t matter here. I wonder, would this guy have said those things had that been a little brother or cousin or his own son, shaming someone he knows versus shaming some kid he has never heard of before? Would that even make a difference for someone who holds this viewpoint?
And that is what has to change in our society, for all victims.
The Huffington Post article can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/05/cheerleader-molly-shattuck_n_6108168.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000021
People’s website also touched on this case: http://www.people.com/article/molly-shattuck-sex-scandal-friends-react
Photo by Lavinia Thompson