What are some things that you expect to hear from a 6’3″ 245 LB black man?
“I bench 1,000 pounds.”
“The club that I bounce at serves great beer.”
How about “I was sexually assaulted.” ? Not as common right?
Former NFL player, actor and Old Spice pitchman, Terry Crews, revealed this when discussing sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein. The offender was an unnamed male producer in Tinseltown.
This is a provocative admission in a society that hasn’t fully come to terms with the seriousness and legitimacy of male sexual assault. Race and size are the wildcards that make this equation even more puzzling. There are many people who see the idea of a man being sexually assaulted as a punchline. There are even more who chuckle at the idea of a strong & tall black man, a beacon of unwavering masculinity, being compromised in a sexual manner.
Over the past few years, female teachers have been making the news on a daily basis for having sex with male students. The narrative is one that’s often told with a comedic spin. Late night talk show hosts and regular Joes alike chime in with the same sentiment; lucky kid, where were these teachers when I was in school?, etc.
As years of Law & Order SVU re-runs have taught us, sexual assault is always about power; whether physical or mental. It does not discriminate based on gender, size, race, age, attractiveness or socioeconomic status.
As a public, our receptiveness and treatment of victims is discriminatory and that needs to change. Male victims should be met with the same level of concern and care as female victims. In being transparent, let’s also acknowledge that there is room for improvement in how female victims are received. Every accuser is not a whore, groupie or scorned lover . Male or female, most victims are….. victims.