Friday Finds: The #SVYALit Project Edition – More on how we fail the male victims of sexual violence
Earlier this week, librarian and blogger Angie Manfredi brought Rob Bittner’s review of Althea & Oliver to my attention. I want to make sure that everyone reads his review here. I was so excited to see this review because author Brandy Colbert and I had been having some of these same discussions behind the scenes. Rob raised some of my concerns, which I talk about here. This discussion is also very timely as many people seem to be talking about the various ways in which we fail the male victims of sexual violence in the news.
Part of that conversation is how we often fail to call sexual violence against male victims what it is – rape. Role Reboot also dives into this topic of conversation in a post entitled Creating Outrage: Three Factors That Predict The Public Response To Male Sexual Assault Victims. As Rob mentions in his post above, we often fail male victims of sexual violence because of the many dangerous beliefs we hold about men and sex, including the belief that all men want to have sex all the time and that their body being able to respond physically implies consent . This article takes a pretty good look at some recent examples in the press and breaks the issues down.
In other news, another school has suspended their football program as they investigate reports of hazing, some of which definitely falls into the sexual violence territory. Hazing is unfortunately in the spotlight at the moment due to several incidences at high schools across the country. Author Eric Devine shared with me this discussion piece that reminds us all that sometimes acts that are considered hazing should more appropriately be labelled sexual violence: “What allegedly happened isn’t just hazing, it’s rape,” says Mel Robbins at CNN. This too is an example of how we fail to properly identify male sexual violence.
These are important conversations for us to be having because far too often male victims of sexual violence are overlooked in conversations about sexual violence. The truth is, anyone and everyone can be a victim of sexual abuse regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation or ethnicity – and all victims matter.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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