I think we can all agree that pedophilia, rape, and sexual assault are a horrendous thing to do. When someone is found guilty of it, society in general is of the opinion that a crime of this caliber should be met with the proper amount of comeuppance for the offender.
Unless it’s a woman, it seems.
Too often, I see reports come across my news feeds that describe how yet another female teacher was caught having a sexual relationship with one of her juvenile students. The media usually pulls punches when describing the report, especially in its titles.
These are just three in a long line of horrific headlines that seem to be absent of the word “rape” or “sexual assault.” Not only is the act horrendous, but the softening of the wording shortchanges the victims who were put in these situations. It’s insulting and unfair.
You would find few examples of the same kind of headline if the sexes were reversed. Because they are male, the victims in these stories aren’t as victimized. It’s almost as if the assumption by the media here is that the boys actually wanted, or enjoyed this. Even if the boys in the last example did, that would still matter very little if the roles were reversed. It still would have been sexual assault/rape in the media due in part to their youth.
Female-driven rape and sexual assault also seem to not be taken as seriously by the courts as well. Even in the examples I gave above, the woman who has sex with a 13-year-old and fondled a 15-year-old is facing no jail time. The women who drugged the children they raped only received just over two years, and the judge actually seemed to sympathize with the woman in the first story.
Pedophilia is a serious crime, but only if you’re a man. Men can lose their entire careers and face lengthy jail times for the act of touching a child sexually — as well they should — yet a woman may walk away with minimal jail time if any at all.
But this is the way we view sexual abuse towards men. It’s not a big deal. In fact, it’s even comical.
That our society believes women abusing men is comical has been proven time and again. The Mankind Initiative did a test in public to see the difference between what it looks like when a man abuses a woman vs. a woman abusing the man. The onlooking public, of course, reacted angrily and defensively when the woman was being abused, as they should. However, when the roles were reversed, and the man was the one being abused, the onlookers mostly laughed.
Other examples include Sharon Osbourne leading her audience in laughter after she said it was “fabulous” that a woman drugged her husband, tied him down, and chopped off his penis because he filed for divorce.
Here’s an example from the Jeremy Kyle Show, where host Jeremy Kyle became angry with his own audience for laughing at a man who had to jump off a three-story balcony to escape his horribly abusive girlfriend who had locked him in their flat.
The double standard is simultaneously one of the most shameful aspects of our modern society, as well as one of the most ignored. We generate hashtags that trend worldwide, entire movements are created, and celebrities even plan entire outfits, all around the cause of sexual abuse towards women. Yet when it happens to men it’s either not a big enough deal to warrant anything but a passing headline from the media that contains no correctly descriptive words, and little from the courts in the way of punishment.
Even when it comes to punishment, the very groups who crusade against sexual abuse towards women will suddenly become indignant when things like Title IX laws are used against them. This happened very recently at NYU when a female professor, Avital Ronnell, was found to have repeatedly sexually abused student Nimrod Reitman.
According to Reason, Ronnell would come to Reitman’s home, get into his bed, and force him to touch and kiss her. Reitman filed a Title IX case against Ronnell, causing feminists to come out of the woodwork to defend the professor with a signed letter:
Diane Davis, chair of the department of rhetoric at the University of Texas-Austin, who also signed the letter to the university supporting Professor Ronell, said she and her colleagues were particularly disturbed that, as they saw it, Mr. Reitman was using Title IX, a feminist tool, to take down a feminist.
“I am of course very supportive of what Title IX and the #MeToo movement are trying to do, of their efforts to confront and to prevent abuses, for which they also seek some sort of justice,” Professor Davis wrote in an email. “But it’s for that very reason that it’s so disappointing when this incredible energy for justice is twisted and turned against itself, which is what many of us believe is happening in this case.”
In short, feminists are angry that Title IX was being used against a woman. According to them, this alleged crime of sexual abuse shouldn’t be a crime in the eyes of the law because the victim is a man and the offender a woman.
This is, of course, ludicrous. Rape is rape. Sexual assault is sexual assault. It doesn’t matter what chromosomes you’re sporting.
It should be incredibly worrisome that we’re essentially telling our society that women are such a privileged lot that they can commit a heinous crime and it will be laughed at, and the sentencing — if it comes at all — will be minimal. How many boys and men have faced the worst kind of abuse, but will receive no justice for it? How many women have been encouraged by our society to abuse men because they’re under the impression that it’s not only not a big deal, but may even be applauded and laughed about?
Let’s be very clear here. A woman who commits rape is a rapist. A woman who engages in sexual abuse, engaged in sexual abuse. The sex of her victim doesn’t matter. The crime is still horrendous and should be treated as such.