One of my favorite sayings is "A woman can do anything a man can do" because in every way I see it as true and important. In most cases, it comes to mind when I see something positive or historic about women (example: the first two female rangers!), not usually on a topic such as abuse.
Recently though, I have seen an abuse poster going around Tumblr (as many of you probably have) with a man's beaten face covered in this saying. This got me thinking more about a large chunk of the forgotten victims of abuse, boys and men.
I thought about and researched figures on this hidden male abuse, and even began writing a piece on it, but as I did a very recent and very chilling story again sparked the idea of "A woman can do anything a man can do."
Molly Shattuck, a 48-year-old ex-NFL Football Cheerleader, was recently charged with rape in the 3rd and 4th degree. She pled guilty, which puts her in a position of possibly seeing over 15 years in prison. I saw this as necessary (since she had given alcohol to, seduced, and raped a 15-year-old boy on multiple occasions), but some did not.
In Delaware, where the rape mainly took place and the home of Shattuck, a judge sentenced Shattuck to send only a few WEEKENDS in jail. Yes, a weekend sentencing. Similar to what a teenager gets for breaking curfew.
In Baltimore county (there are multiple locations where the rapes occurred) Shattuck was sentenced to no jail time. Her punishment was to register as a sex offender.
A young boy's rape went barely punished, because a judge categorized him as a horny teenage boy who got to have sex with an attractive and harmless cougar. Not only are these actions crude, but they tell the victim that his rape is irrelevant in its own court case.
n my opinion, this case is clearly founded off the sexist way society views both women and men. It's results are destructive, and set rigid boundaries for not only what men/boys can feel/face, but also as to what women/girls can do, even in the category of sex crimes.
This does not mean that I want women to so their worst onto the world to show their power or that I want boys across the world acting as if women are their enemy. I would rather society as a whole learn to except that gender has no control over a person's emotions or capabilities.
When we learn to accept that a person's gender does not disclose or deny the affects rape or tragedy in general can have on them, then we will be closer to equality.
When we understand that a person's gender also does not disclose or weaken the harmful or violent things they can do, then we will be closer to equality.
When we respect that a person's gender is only a small piece of who they are and their biology, that it does not define them, their actions, or the harm they face, then we will be one large step closer to equality.
Written by Carly Pierce: @l.uhvie