Gentlemen, May I Have a Word With You?

And that word would be “rape.”

Just so we’re clear: when you hold someone down and force a broomstick inside of them against their will, you are raping them.  If you open a door into a room and see a group of boys holding someone down and looking like they’re on the verge of sticking a broom inside of someone you don’t tell them to break it up and assume everything is okay.  What you are witnessing is attempted rape.

See, I bring this up because I see over on Yahoo this headline–“Horrific football hazing case shakes NM town” and I read the description of this case, which involves football players holding down other football players and shoving broomsticks up their butts while the coaches acted as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening (and perhaps nothing out of the ordinary was happening, if you’d like a sickening thought for the afternoon.  Maybe this is what boys on the team had done to them and that’s why they’re turning around and doing it to others.  I don’t know.) and I keep waiting for the term “rape” or “attempted rape” to come up.

Yeah, sure we get into some sexual assault stuff there towards the end.

But the reason I bring this up is that it occurs to me upon reading this article that the coaches literally did not understand what they were seeing or hearing about.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not at all letting them off the hook.  I’m just saying that that’s fucked up, so fucked up you have to say it “fu-u-ucked up.”

You’d think “Don’t put things inside other people without their permission” would be an easy concept for folks to understand, but there’s always some bullshit–“But what if she’s wearing a really short skirt?  Then can I put something inside her even if she doesn’t want me to?”  “But what if he wants to join the football team?  Is it okay then?”

Seriously, no.  Just don’t put things inside other people if they don’t want you to.

It’s just not that difficult.

I suspect that this kind of sexual assault is far more common than I’m aware of and I suspect that part of the problem of even beginning to address it is that so many people refuse to recognize it for what it is.  I mean, look at this article, calling it “hazing” or “bullying.”  No, it’s raping.  You have a bunch of rapists on your football team.  And a bunch of coaches who don’t think that’s such a big deal.

And let’s be frank about why that is: Because it’s happening to boys.

And that’s unacceptable.

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8 thoughts on “Gentlemen, May I Have a Word With You?

  1. This happened during my undergraduate days at UNC-Asheville. Several of our jocks got a buffy to trick a goofy kid with terrible social skills into her room thinking she was going to give him some play. Then several players from various sports held him down and raped him with several things including a Louisville Slugger.

    They were all charged with sodomy and rape and were kicked out of school without being able to return. Sad thing was that most of the student body and profs got it, but several coaches and much of the jock and buffy set defended them and called it just a “joke” gone a little bad. And this at a hippie college.

  2. I’m officially ill after reading this story. Oh, it’s a damn important story and word needs to get out on this. It’s the fact that I know nothing will be done to the rapists that is making me ill.

    1 in 3 girls are raped. 1 in 6 boys are raped. It is thought the statistics are higher than 1in 6 for boys, because they are less likely to report a rape. And it’s stories like the one you just linked showed it’s just boys being boys, you know, it’s not really rape…it’s just a bunch of guys having fun.

    Just ask those guys with the broomsticks up their ass how much fun they were having.

  3. casey, the amazing thing from your story is that the rapists were just kicked out of school. Whoop dee doo. No criminal charges. No jail time. No permanent sexual offender listing.

  4. They were charged, but the charges were referred to the campus judicial system and school admin decided to suggest counciling for what the termed otherwise good boys and girls.

    Ex, I agree with you, by the way, most of the campus was outraged that they recieved no jail time. In fact, one of them, a basketball player, went on to be a star athlete for one of our rivals.

  5. I think one of the problems is that there is still this thought lying around that “a man can’t be raped.” We all know that this is bullshit, but it’s still prevalent especially in the older generation. Because of that, fewer men and boys are likely to step forward or press charges because they’ve been taught that a man just CAN’T be raped – “only women get raped and you’re not a girly-man, are you?” This stupid, sexist, pseudo-macho thinking ends up perpetuating the cycle of abuse.

  6. I think one of the problems is that there is still this thought lying around that “a man can’t be raped.”

    Well, I know that here in VA, the law has only corrected that within the last decade. Prior to that “rape” was still legally defined as being act committed by a man against a woman. It’s since been changed to to be gender neutral, but it’s disturbing that it’s only been a recent change.

  7. I came here via abbyss2hope. I want to say that there is a great deal of understanding about this case in the media. I know, I live in Las Vegas and RHS is my high school alma mater.

    (1) There was never any attempt to cover this case up. The woman working the camp who called the police actually happened to be the wife of the chief of police. The police were involved in this case from day one.

    (2) The coaches at the camp did take action and attempt to investigate/put a stop to it. The problem was not their disbelief that it was rape, the problem was that they did not believe the alleged actions were actually occurring and therefore they failed to take decisive action. This is not to excuse their behavior; they should have taken the allegations seriously instead of treating the whole thing like a joke. Their real crime was not ignorance but hubris. They simply couldn’t believe that that a sexual assault was happening to “their” kids.

    (3) Not only were six students suspended for a year. Most of the coaching staff lost their jobs. This case was taken seriously and dealt with severely. The police have yet to determine if criminal charges will be filed.

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