Real Men Get Raped

Posted: February 11, 2012 in Fag Up!, Feminism, Gender Violence, Masculinities
Tags: , , ,

On seeing this promo poster for a rape survivors campaign, my initial reaction was: [redacted].

But that seems to be my reaction to everything to do with masculinity these days. So I thought I’d put this one to you, dear QRG readers, and ask you what you think of the ‘real men get raped’ campaign?

  1. It’s trying to do too much – critique the “real men don’t rape” thing, and also raise awareness of sexual violence towards men.

    It somehow makes the message too subtle and not subtle enough at the same time.

    It manages to almost come across as saying “if you’ve not been raped you’re a sissy,” which is similar to a feeling I often got from some flavours of (college?) feminism/activism – as in, if you’re not a survivor, you’re not entitled to an opinion.

    • excellent points. I was thinking would they have a poster campaign saying ‘Real Women Get Raped’? No. It isn’t needed because in feminist culture, it is assumed that part of the ‘rite of passage’ of being a ‘real woman’ is being a survivor. It’s awful!

      and, as a ‘survivor’ of domestic violence I notice that dv is treated as a poor relation to rape in the ‘real woman’ credentials stakes.

  2. As a survivor, of male-on-male sexual violence, I think any attention to the issue that doesn’t have “and that is terrible, but women are raped far more” appended to it is a real step in the right direction.

    But this is a pretty awkward step. Similar to what Erica pointed out, I find that the use of the phrase “Real Men” almost browbeats one into getting the impression that rape is a rite of passage for men, rather than a traumatic event.

    The nail in the ball, given the light, composition, and angle of the shadows looks an awful lot like penile penetration of the anus… which is in poor taste, given the topic. I’ll assume it was a blague on the artists’ part.

    But the symbolism then, of a rugby ball as the icon of “real manhood” narrows down the dialogue on who is and isn’t a real Man. It has an almost Hymowitz-esque note of Man-boyism to it.

    The imagery it also implies that a male sexual-violence survivor is somehow damaged in his Manhood. That he might be a “real Man” but he is a “real _damaged_ man.”

    I’ll give it a C+ because it is a step in the right direction, and a move away from the status-quo, but it exudes half-heartedness. As if the designers were too uncomfortable with the topic to give it the effort it really deserved. In bringing it up this way it actually makes me feel like less of a man rather than a “real man”, because it is so Other they couldn’t be bothered to be sensitive or put a human face on it.

    • Hi Brian

      great observations thanks. I wondered if the spike in the rugby ball is suggesting as you hint at that the ball represents ‘real manhood’ that is punctured by rape and will deflate, soften.

  3. john smith says:

    “Rape” or “Real Rape”

    The ad suggests a more limited definition of the term rape for men(when assaulted by men), rather than the broader term used by feminists and women’s groups use for women( when assaulted by men).

  4. Ginkgo says:

    It is a start and better than nothing.

    When you are trying to change perceprions and attitudes, that is cultural change, and cultural change is a diffuse process, and the means by which it happens are diffuse. That means that these messages don’t all have to be word-perfect. They are like artillery fire, which can be effective even if it’s a few meters off their target. What matters is the volume of fire, not the pinpoint accuracy of individual rounds.

  5. thanks all for comments. I just had another thought:

    If ‘real men get raped’ does that mean a man who commits rape is not a real man?

    Is it saying ‘only fags rape’?

  6. elissa says:

    Reading it with a generous eye, it could be read as subtle (not so much) irony on the “real men” meme – real men don’t cry when raped

    • Bernard Toast says:

      Oh, for crying out loud! the ambiguity is INTENTIONAL! it’s supposed to distract us from ithe advert’s DISGUSTING crass symbolism by forcing us to ponder the BLOODY OBVIOUS distinction between a statement of fact: “real men get raped” and the suggestion that being raped is somehow a condition of manhood. It’s FUCKING AWFUL!!!!!

      Imagine a young child on their way to the rugby with his Dad:

      “Daddy what’s rape?”

      “Well son, despite the fact that you are way too young to even know about sex between a man and women, and why it leads to babies – I will tell you, because it’s imporant to raise your awareness about this issue. It’s when a bigger boy puts his cock inside a smaller boy’s arse when he doesn’t want to have it there. Don’t worry about it though. Are you looking forward to the match?”

      “Thanks dad”.

      Touching portrait of family life under a Liberal Tyranny for you there, hope you liked it.

    • true elissa it could be read that way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s