Random Drivel from your Average Tosser

...with your host, Binty McShae - whether you like it or not!

Friday, September 22, 2006

No means no.

Let me tell you a little story, one that is completely true, no matter how much you may scoff or sneer at it. It is the tale of a virginal student and an English teacher who found themselves in an illicit relationship, one which affected the student for many years...

With only two months to go before turning 19 this student was probably a little unusual in still being a virgin, although having always been a bit nerdy and mostly friendless it was probably not THAT much of a surprise. But despite being remembered (and still dismissed) by peers as the spotty swotty one this student's looks had improved a little with maturity and this particular English teacher noticed. The fact that the student was good at acting and the teacher was directing the school play brought them into closer contact with each other and eventually it became apparent that the student had a crush on the teacher...

At the cast party after the play, out at the teacher's house in the middle of the countryside, the situation developed and they kissed and 'fooled around' for a bit. And the teacher seemed to respect the fact that the student didn't want sex, wasn't ready for it... and so began the affair.

After a fortnight or so of clandestine meetings and journeys out to the lonely house (where the student would sometimes spend the night) the teacher's attitude changed slightly. The agenda became sex, although the issue was never forced... the teacher was just a little too persistent. Still the student resisted, naively believing that this was love and it could all wait... believing that the teacher had respect and would be patient for sex. Until one night the student awoke to find the teacher was just taking it anyway.

The student didn't know what to say or do, so just froze and allowed the teacher to finish. It was all so confusing... after all, this was love... wasn't it? And because the student still believed this the relationship continued for a few more days until it just got too much and the student jumped on a train and travelled to stay with family far away... the teacher quietly moved to another school and was subsequently sacked for trying to seduce 2 more students there whilst sharing a spliff with them.

13 years later and the student is now almost 32. Attitudes toward sex and male-female relationships have been coloured by this first experience, the professional diagnosis being 'a fear of sexual intimacy' which has played a large part in consigning a two-year marriage to the bin. It has also affected friendships, relationships with family, and generated a great deal of self-loathing that is only just now being dealt with through counselling sessions.

At face value it's a tragic case of a person abusing a position of trust and authority and raping an innocent - lock the bastard up! But then there's a twist in the tale, a piece of information that you might refuse to believe or accept. The student was male, the teacher female.

...!...

"A man cannot be raped by a woman!"

In general, I might agree. For the most part rape is performed by a physically stronger aggressor (or group), and for the most part men are still physically stronger than women. But then, not all women fight back, not all rapists need to be physically stronger - especially if they know the victim. A woman may simply lie there, and hope her attacker is quick so she can get away... or maybe, like the case above, the victim doesn't quite understand that what is happening to her is wrong, maybe because she deludes herself that she 'loves' this beast.

As for the physical - if a woman is enjoying a small degree of intimacy with a man she may become turned on. Being turned on does not neccesarily mean she wants sex. Just because her sexual organs have responded in the way they are supposed to and lubricated themselves does not mean that in her heart or her head she is ready... and if she vocalises that and says no? Well, no means no.

Likewise, even if a man is physically turned on and has an erection it does not neccesarily indicate that he agrees to participate in intercourse. If he vocalises that and says no - as the student above did MANY times? Three words. No means no.

No one is claiming that female-on-male rape is as widespread a cancer as the other way around. There are thousands of cases of men raping women every year, yet this is the only example I know of the reverse happening (other than cases involving much younger males which would be considered child abuse anyway). But I still find it absurd that because it is quite the exception it can be dismissed so easily (and it has been, affecting the guy even more). It doesn't matter who you are, what sex you are - no means no. And that counts for male-on-female, female-on-male, male-on-male or female-on-female.

This post has been inspired by FMC's recent post on the rapper DMX and the ensuing comments. Whilst I only know a little about DMX and personally find his story of being 'raped' by a woman a little suspect I did think it was worthwhile exploring a subject I know a little about...

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22 Comments:

At Friday, September 22, 2006 1:28:00 pm, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Interesting story. Poor bloke. When you hear a case like that it doesn't seem that funny. I think the DMX thing is just some bloke trying to get himself out of a fix, though. The man is no shrinking violet.

You're right of course about female on male rape being just as bad as t'other way around. I don't think people see it as something they or their loved ones are likely to face though, which might be why we dismiss it so easily.

Crappy, random, unusual things happen all the time - in fact if you were to lump all the crappy random unusual things under one heading of the same name it might even contain more misfortunes than say, annual skiing accidents or something. Perhaps, though, because they're not seen as major threats and more like some weird headline you'd gawp at in the queue at the newsagent ("Man Savaged By Seagull" or the like) we feel freer to gawk or even snigger at the oddness of it. It's crap, of course it is, but it's so far removed from most people's reality that maybe it becomes exotic and "safer" in some way to joke about. I think it's a kind of "Fuck, what weird shit are human beings doing to each other now, eh?" type reaction.

Most people wouldn't scoff at that bloke you spoke about but, in the grander scale, things look different in a what's-it'all-about-Alfie? way. I know I deal with a good deal of life's shittiness by laughing it off.

Is it really funny in the minutiae to laugh at, say Dick Cheney shooting an old man in the face? No. Noone would have laughed had they been there. But in the larger picture it's an anomoly and anomolies are inherently interesting and sometimes amusing. We don't know what to do with them so we laugh. We'd go crazy if we saw the pain in every situation and there would be no stand-up comedians left anywhere. So we laugh; it's crappy but we do.

Yours is an interesting counterpoint to the DMX bloke (who, to be honest, I don't believe would freeze in horror under the circumstances of a woman writhing around on his willie). I enjoyed sorting my thoughts out on it anyway, so cheers!

 
At Friday, September 22, 2006 5:10:00 pm, Blogger SheBah said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Friday, September 22, 2006 5:11:00 pm, Blogger SheBah said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Friday, September 22, 2006 6:16:00 pm, Anonymous sarah said...

(i'm so sorry.)

 
At Friday, September 22, 2006 11:39:00 pm, Blogger kari said...

Either way the act is heinous. My heart goes out.

 
At Saturday, September 23, 2006 1:58:00 am, Blogger Evil Genius said...

What a wonderful and well written post! And I agree, my heart goes out to all victims of this crime. And it is a crime, and no DOES mean no. Period.

Hugs!

 
At Saturday, September 23, 2006 2:14:00 am, Blogger Subhangi said...

[sigh]

Wrenching post, this.

Though this is the first time I'm *actually* hearing about an adult man being raped by a woman (I've always held the view that if the man is under 18 and the woman older, it is child rape), I am not skeptical (except in the case of DMX, of course.) I have often wondered about such situations, and in a weird, shocking way, I'm glad I got to read of this, because it has confirmed my view that it *can* happen.

I'm very glad though, to hear that it is a rarity - and I hope it remains so. It's bad enough so many women get raped; I just hope most of today's women who allow "woman power" ideas to go to their head do not end up raping their male acquaintances.

My sincere sympathies to your friend.

 
At Saturday, September 23, 2006 12:42:00 pm, Blogger The MacBean Gene said...

It's very easy to carry on about the teenage males raging hormones but in reality many young men do actually manage to keep them in check. To take advantage of any person is absolutly wrong and can cause untold emotional damage. It's about time the assumption that only men rape is rethought. In this world some women can be very aggressive. Very well said, Binty.

 
At Monday, September 25, 2006 2:51:00 pm, Blogger Monstee said...

Me hear story about group of female gangbangers who, for initiation into gang, take some guy off street at gunpoint, back to they gang place, strip him and tie him up to bed. Needless to say he am not up to performing, so gals rub on some of that "Icy Hot" blue stuff that am used when you rub down muscles. It am made to draw blood into muscles and help healing. Well, it have desired effect along with burning, massive pain and humiliation. The "ladies" were nice enough to put on condom before they took they turns getting into gang. By end of night, they dump the guy on street, naked and scared to death. Like many rape victims, he refused to tell police what happened. Being picked up naked was bad enough. Truth am, shit like this may happen more often than we ever know.

 
At Monday, September 25, 2006 6:40:00 pm, Blogger Kieran said...

A very similar case happened at my old school with our drama teacher there. Perhaps it's the same one actually. Either way, I cannot understand someone willing to go into education and do something like that.

 
At Tuesday, September 26, 2006 11:19:00 am, Blogger SafeTinspector said...

Binty: Since most men feel as if the situation sounds titillating to them, they can't sympathize or understand. "That ain't rape! She did him a favor!"
I'm sure thats the sort of thing the fellow in the story heard. Well, that's not right, but its the current state of human nature. Perhaps it'll get better over time.

Monstee:Are you shitting us? That sounds like some sortof urban myth. Are you sure the victim didn't wake up in a bathtub of ice with a kidney missing?

 
At Tuesday, September 26, 2006 2:14:00 pm, Blogger Monstee said...

Truth SafeT. Heard if from guys brother.

Oh, and that story about kidney harvesting being urban legend am in fact its own urban legend. Me know MD in Chicago area who personally seen 3 cases of illegal kidney harvesting. He took pictures and had to attend seminar on subject.

 
At Wednesday, September 27, 2006 2:29:00 pm, Blogger Binty McShae said...

Thanks, all, for your comments... especially those of you who are commenting for the first time - you're very welcome here.

To the commenter who deleted - I obviously know who you were and what you felt the need to say as I receive e-mail notification. You obviously had second thoughts, but should you wish to e-mail me privately with any further thoughts or to discuss in more detail my e-mail address is on my profile - just click my name to get there.....

 
At Wednesday, September 27, 2006 5:57:00 pm, Blogger SheBah said...

Binty, you have given me pause for thought. Too long to put in an email, so I have tried to do it lucidly on my blog.

 
At Thursday, September 28, 2006 9:50:00 am, Anonymous Ferny454 said...

Having been a 911 Fire/EMS dispatcher...I can tell you from experience that these things do happen. As Binty says, not nearly as often as man on woman...but the damage they do is the same for the victim. It's not funny. And for those that don't know ..there is a battered men's syndrome too. Women are getting pushier and more violent. I have heard horror stories from some friends of mine. Lines are being blurred and I no longer automatically pass off on stories of the evil women can do. It's just a fact of life.

 
At Thursday, September 28, 2006 12:59:00 pm, Blogger Binty McShae said...

I've known a couple of battered men too... one of whom was married to a woman with severe menstruation-related depression and took his lumps because he loved her and knew that she couldn't control how she behaved at those times (I never really took it all that seriously until I saw them once on a camping weekend when she had forgoten her medication...).

The other guy used to get beaten by his wife with a broom handle (yes, sounds very Andy Capp cartoon style, I know...). But with her it was malicious and vicious. She only ever hit his body so there would be no visible bruising. Eventually the Police intervened and he got relocated - partly to get away from her but also to start anew where he wouldn't be known as 'that pansy who was scared of a lass'.

All that macho crap? It can fuck right off.

 
At Wednesday, October 04, 2006 10:29:00 pm, Anonymous Clarice said...

Agree with all of this, but I think it's strange and rather telling that when this stuff happens to women, it is so prevalent as to be almost normative, and no-one hardly turns a hair. When it happens to one single man, suddenly it makes men think. Men don't seem to like it much when even one woman starts behaving as men have done with impunity since the year dot. I am reminded too of Myra Hindley in this respect.

The fact that the gender of those involved is presented here as the "twist" in the tale, that the readers' expectations are so predictable as to be exploited to this effect makes me feel rather sad. Perhaps I don't get it. What is the "surprise" of the genders in this case supposed to tell us?

Why should it be different (any more or less upsetting) depending on the gender of those involved?

Well, I'll say one thing. He was less likely to get a disease, and completely unlikely to have to risk his life or reproductive fitness carrying or aborting a child as a result of the encounter. Also, because of the stereotypes in our culture, he didn't have to feel secretly that he was a slag - he may have felt like people would say he was asking for it, but a man who asks for sex does not carry the same stigma as a woman who does so. So there are similarities, but also differences I feel in the male-female experience.

If people can realise that sexual stereotypes damage men as well as women, maybe things could change. It's just a depressing shame that the knowledge that they damage women is not a good enough motivator by itself. That by itself kind of tells me that they're here to stay.

 
At Wednesday, October 04, 2006 10:39:00 pm, Anonymous Clarice said...

On reflection, I think the "twist" in this tale is supposed to tell us that the male concerned felt emasculated as well as everything else. He experienced something that as well as being upsetting and unpleasant, traditionally only happens to females. The extent to which this adds another layer of hurt to the experience kind of depends on his view of females, doesn't it?

This state of affairs is a double-edged sword. If I am raped, at least that's par for the course of being female, looking at the stats. On the other hand, if I am made to have sex with someone I do not like or respect, or who does not appear to display very much humanity, you could say that's par for the course of being male, looking at the boom in the sex industry these days. These are muddy waters.

 
At Thursday, October 05, 2006 9:32:00 am, Blogger Binty McShae said...

Wow, Clarice... I never for one second intended it to be read that it is normal for a woman to be raped. It is a beastly, disgusting crime, and I for one turn more than one hair when I hear about it. Of course, you don't hear about it because it does happen so much, in the same way you don't hear about a car crash, but you do if it's a plane...

As far as Myra Hindley goes... she is just another person in a list of killers, and to me her being a woman makes little difference... she's there alongside Fred West, Dr Shipman... and of course her pown partner in crime, Brady.

I acknowledge I somewhat exploit readers expectations with the 'twist', but only because I wanted people to view this as something wrong. If I started with "This is a tale of a man raped by a woman" there are many who would have refused to take it seriously. By presenting the seriousness (because everyone views the rape of a woman as serious) before the perhaps unusual feature it was intended to raise thought - which it succeeded in doing.

You say why should it be different depending on gender? That is entirely the point of my post...
I thoroughly disagree that he was less likely to get a disease - that comment suggests that only men can carry and transmit STD's - and although I agree that he was never going to get pregnant or have to have an abortion what if she had got pregnant? Possibly deliberately? And kept the child?

Maybe you're right that he didn't need to feel like a slag, but just because he didn't NEED to doesn't mean he didn't... and the affects of rape are usually deemed to be more traumatic on a personal emotional level, rather than a physical one - who knows exactly how he felt? Remember, this guy had always been a bit of a nerd and had been picked on... who is to say that he didn't fear what others might say or do to him?

It is depressing that knowledge of the way women are treated is not a motivator in itself, but don't kid yourself into thinking that the story in my post will suddenly change the perception. Saying "it happens to men too" only raises more questions, it doesn't provide any solutions. Mankind (and womankind) has a history of people hurting and abusing others - that isn't going to change any time soon.

As for your second comment, I thoroughly disagree. I say that because I know the guy well.It's difficult to explain... I don't think he ever felt 'manly' enough to ever then be 'emasculated'. And as all his closest friends, both at school and since, have usually been female I don't think he ever viewed them in a macho bullshit way. But maybe it was that breach of trust that hurt the most?

These are indeed muddy waters...

 
At Monday, January 15, 2007 4:42:00 am, Blogger soubriquet said...

I also have heard a similar terible story from a friend. He had attempted suicide, about a year before I heard the story.
He'd been taunted by people at work because he didn't go out with girls, was nervous in their company.
One evening, after a few beers he told me his story. He was a medical student, and one evening, quite drunk, he met a girl in a london pub, who invited him home.
She wanted sex, but he was too drunk to oblige, she started shouting at him, and hitting him, then he passed out. When he woke up, he found he was tied hand and foot and the girl and her female housemate were masturbating him, with waking, he, concerned at being tied, remembering her rage, lost his erection, at which point they both started hitting him. Then he was brutally sodomised with a brush handle.
They then poured spirits into his mouth until he was again very drunk.
When he next woke, he was in a small london park, partly dressed, barefoot, and in considerable pain.
It was early morning. A passer by called an ambulance, which took him to hospital, where he had surgery and a blood transfusion. The hospital was the one where he was a student.
The Police were not very helpful, the women were not found. He abandoned his studies, and attempted suicide for the first time.
He could not explain to his family what had happened to him, why he had changed, was afraid, wanted to stay in his room. Last year his third and final suicide attempt was successful.
The women who killed him will never know the result of their actions.

 
At Wednesday, January 17, 2007 1:19:00 pm, Blogger Binty McShae said...

Soubriquet, that is truly awful... words fail me.

 
At Monday, December 15, 2008 9:35:00 pm, Blogger energizerisbetter said...

The story soubriquet told about his friend made me cry, literally. It's so sad. And those women are just going to get away with it. Where is the justice for that family?

Clarice said: Well, I'll say one thing. He was less likely to get a disease, and completely unlikely to have to risk his life or reproductive fitness carrying or aborting a child as a result of the encounter. Also, because of the stereotypes in our culture, he didn't have to feel secretly that he was a slag - he may have felt like people would say he was asking for it, but a man who asks for sex does not carry the same stigma as a woman who does so. So there are similarities, but also differences I feel in the male-female experience.

And my response: What if the woman were to get pregnant and have his baby? She could sue him for child support. (Assuming he didn't go to the cops, and even if he did she may or may not be granted child support. After all, he is the father, right?) And every time he makes that payment, it's like the whole thing happens all over again. And no, guys don't necessarily have to worry about being called a slag or a whore, but a lot of guys (and even women) will make fun of them for saying, "No." Men are supposed to want sex at all times, right? (I'm not saying you were implying this, but that seems to be the way people think.) That being said, apparently it's okay for women to say no but not okay for men to say no.

I think it's wrong to put that kind of pressure on men.

 

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