Why is it different for the boys?

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I’m pretty sure every powerful man in showbiz, politics or sports that has ever done anything shady in his sexual life is waiting, with his balls in a twist, for his turn.

He is waiting for that one assistant, actress, dancer or employee to step forward and say #metoo. Oh, wait, did I say actress? I meant actor. Because Kevin Spacey has taught us two things over the past few weeks.

#metoo doesn’t only apply to females. Click To Tweet

First of all: #metoo doesn’t only apply to females. Boys and men are amongst the victims as well. And second – and this was someone’s very astute Twitter response to Spacey’s statement – there is actually such a thing as “bad timing” when you come out of the closet. [perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” size=””]Under normal circumstances, we would obviously applaud a famous actor for coming out in Hollywood. But not this time, not when there is abuse involved.[/perfectpullquote]

Yet here is where my mind went when Anthony Rapp came forward about Kevin Spacey. I am being totally honest here. My first response was: “well, okay, that’s not great behavior, but you know, he was drunk and did it really happen?”.

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I am so sorry. Don’t start trolling me for thinking this. I am not that person. I am not the person that says “they were asking for it” or “they are lying”. I never think alcohol is an excuse. I firmly believe there is no excuse for sexual abuse.

Don’t start trolling me for thinking this. I am not that person. Click To Tweet

 


 

So, why did my mind go there? Well, first of all, for selfish reasons. I love the actor Kevin Spacey. I love House of Cards. And I simply didn’t want it to be true and I certainly didn’t want to be “inconvenienced” (read: not be able to watch him on Netflix) by his behavior.

I love the actor Kevin Spacey. I love House of Cards. Click To Tweet

A similar thing happened when Johnny Depp beat up his wife: everyone got mad at Amber Heard. Or when Angelina Jolie had the balls to leave the most beloved man-boy of our time. She still gets so much hate, it’s insane. It infuriates me, that these women are blamed for the behavior of their alcoholic, abusive men, just because those men happened to be someone’s idol. And yet, here I was, doing pretty much the same thing with Antony Rapp.

It infuriates me, that women are blamed for the behavior of their alcoholic, abusive men. Click To Tweet

But there was also a second reason as to why I reacted differently to Spacey’s abuse versus Weinstein’s. And that is because this was about boys and men being molested. My mind is wired to see men as perpetrators and women as victims. If something happens that doesn’t fit this deeply rooted assumption my mind goes into acute denial. I will automatically think “It probably isn’t that bad”.

My mind is wired to see men as perpetrators and women as victims. Click To Tweet

But it is.

[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” size=””]My mind is wired to see men as perpetrators and women as victims.[/perfectpullquote]
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It is that bad. Sexual harassment, rape, abuse: it is one of the most horrific, painful, shameful and traumatic things a person can go through. it doesn’t matter whether you are male or female. It is not different for the boys. And to have that happened to you and speak out in front of the whole world to hear and see, that is incredibly brave.

Photo Credit: Duncan Hill via Flickr. See license here. “A street mural of Kevin Spacey by Akse p19 crew in Burnage as part of his “psychopaths” collection.”


Kari van der Heide blogs at ColumnsbyKari.Com. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.


 

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About Suchitra

Suchitra is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at theParentVoice.Com. In a previous life, she has worked as a journalist, and a professor of Communication Studies before trading professing for parenting full-time. She is the author, co-author, and co-editor of three academic books. She is also a dot mandala artist and runs a small business from her home studio.

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