I’ve Got the T-Shirt and the Trauma Response to Go With It
January 15, 2012 By 142 Comments
James Landrith discusses life as a male survivor and recounts his experience of rape at the hands of a woman.As a vocal male survivor, when I’m not talking about sexual violence in writing or before audiences, I’m reading about it in many contexts and sources. A great deal of what I see on a daily basis is directed at men with the assumption that we know nothing about sexual violence or have no experiences that parallel those of female survivors.
Those making such arguments are often NOT sexual violence survivors themselves. Encountering such memes can be quite painful when you are a rape survivor yourself. The problem is not that female survivors receive the majority of the attention when sexual violence is discussed. The problem is that when sexual violence is discussed with regard to male survivors, there is often resistance, condescension, and outright mockery by people who quite often have not experienced such violence themselves. For those who have lived through abuse at the hands of women, that can be doubly wounding.
I’ve lived through sexual violence. I have my own story and my own experiences. I have my own triggers and my own issues. I don’t need to be educated. I don’t need to be taught what to do or not do. I don’t need any proven statistical bias to legitimize my life or my experiences. I lived it.
Approximately twenty years ago I met a friend at a club in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He came with a female friend. During the night, he disappeared leaving his friend by herself and without a ride. As she was pregnant and without a ride, I agreed to take her home when I left. She had not been out in a while and wanted to stay until the club closed that night. While she was not drinking, she bought me a few thank you drinks for agreeing to drive her home.
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