Male Attitutdes Toward / Myths / Rape / Rape Culture


I’ll never forget their faces, even though I only met with them once: A mother and daughter, both looking terribly shaken, both wishing they could be anywhere but where they were.

Where they were was with me, inside a small room used for counseling at our local rape crisis center. They were there because the 14-year-old girl had been raped a little more than a month before by a young man she knew. He’d ignored her when she said she didn’t want to have sex, and when persuasion failed to do the trick, the blade of a knife convinced her to comply.

She hadn’t reported the rape for a week. That’s not unusual. There’s no telling how someone might respond to a rape. Some become “expressive” and are visibly upset. Others turn it all inward and try their best to pretend nothing happened. They might feel numb and look stunned, but won’t talk about the attack or seek help.

The teenager in front of me had tried to keep it all inside, but after a week, she finally told her family. They took her to the hospital for treatment and a police interview, but it was too late by then for her to make use of the “Plan B” contraceptive pill. All they could do was wait and see whether the unthinkable happened.

It had.




2 thoughts on “Legitimate.

  1. Um, I have no real frame of reference for your blog, as either a victim or perpetrator – and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thankful for that. But I am the loving father of a daughter and 3 sons. I’m a son myself – obviously – who loves his parents, partner and friends. I am fortunate to have many women in my life – some who I know have been raped and others who sadly must have been. I am an Aussie too, so I have no direct experience of the truly horrible politicisation of “legitimate rape”. But I just wanted to say Thank You for what you write and do. And Thanks especially for being so candid, frank, sensible and smart. I hope that you have lots of happy parts in your life to balance this – Best Wishes for everything that you do.


    • Thank you, Andrew. The unfortunate truth is that sexual violence doesn’t know gender, and it can happen to anyone. So don’t feel you have no right to speak up. But the good news is, compassion doesn’t know gender, either. It sounds like you are a man who understands the value of love and of caring for one another. Your family is truly fortunate. (And my life is honestly better now than it is has ever been – thank you for your good wishes!)

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