July 18th, 2015
” Nah! How Can Men Get Raped? That’s So Funny! ”
He looked at the marks on his neck. They were almost purplish now, they pained less but they still made him shudder. Bites on his neck, nails dug in his back, impressions of fingers on his wrists. His penis hurt, it was an ugly red color, and his testicles were horrifyingly bluish black. They were physical evidence of what had happened to him. It was true, he admitted to himself. I was raped by a girl.
He remembered every little detail of what had happened, up until it got blurry and painful. He was at a party with his friends. There was a lot of drinking going on and he had had a beer or two when his friends insisted. He found her sitting next to him, sober but with a drink in her hand. She was flirting with him, touching his arms, occasionally roving her hands over his thighs. It made him uncomfortable, but she was pretty and it was the first time a girl had touched him. He didn’t know what to do. She pulled him into an isolated room and locked the door. Everything suddenly changed then. He was inebriated but he knew he didn’t want it. But she forced herself on him. She pushed him and held his arms down as she climbed on top of him. He resisted, but what she said made him stop, ‘I’ll blame it all on you’. As he lay there with pain and fear on his face, she satisfied herself with an evil smile. She left him there afterwards, telling him he should be happy that now he was a stud.
He hadn’t told this to anyone, he didn’t know he if he could. Admitting it to himself had taken courage too, admitting the fact that something like this could happen. He had avoided his family and friends for the last two days. He couldn’t go to college either. He couldn’t do anything but replay everything over and over in his head again. His bruises were healing, but the emotional pain kept increasing. When his mother insisted he get out of his room, he walked over to his best friend’s house.
‘Do you think a girl can force herself on a guy even if he is unwilling?’
‘Nah bro, I don’t think so. Any guy can easily overpower a girl. It can’t be forced because a guy is always willing. Why would a guy give up sex? He would have to be a faggot if he did that.’
His friend told him that if anything like that would happen, it would probably be the best thing to happen to him. The pain he was suffering told him otherwise. He tried looking up male rape on the internet. He was relieved when he found out there were others like him, but dismayed at the majority of responses that said a woman can’t rape a man. Any man should be happy if a woman willingly had sexual relations with him. It wasn’t even possible for a man to be raped by a woman in India, because the definition of rape meant penetration. And in that case, he was at fault. He had been disgusted at his body’s response to her forced advances. He had not wanted it to happen, and yet he had had an erection. It was true that his erection had nothing to do with arousal, it was a physical response to stimulus. But who would care for his explanation. No one would believe him that it had happened. People would brush it off just like his best friend had. The thought of confronting the girl scared him, because he knew she would blame him.
It was eating him from inside, the fact that he couldn’t share his traumatic experience with anyone. Be a man, he could almost hear people telling him. You don’t want to be called gay, do you? He broke down and started crying when he was alone. He didn’t care about being a man if it meant suppressing so much pain. He avoided people, especially girls and would freak out if anybody touched him. He saw the girl a few days later and she smiled at him. He was scared and revolted, disgusted at how she could behave that way after violating him and using his body. He would be called unmanly, he would become a joke, or even worse, he could be blamed as the rapist while being the victim himself.
He was locked in his room, examining his wounds and trying to stifle his anxiety attack. He wanted a way to end the pain, possibly through his own end. His father knocked on the door, and he had to hide everything as best as he could, pushing the suicidal thoughts away for later. He usually never bothered, but his father looked concerned.
‘Son, I know you have something to tell me. You don’t look so well lately. Honestly, I’m worried. Should I be worried?’
He looked at his father’s concerned face and suddenly he couldn’t hold anything back. Words flowed uninhibited, mingled with tears.
‘I don’t know what to do. I’m sorry,’ he said through tears, unable to meet his father’s eye.
‘You don’t have to be sorry. It wasn’t your fault. Victims are never at fault ’ his father said and hugged him.
The pain subsided once he had let it all out. His father shared his own dark and painful experiences with him. They decided there was no point in taking action against the girl. It could not be proved that the perpetrator had been the girl. His father accepted his decision to change his college, because he wanted to leave behind friends who’d think his experience had been a joke. He wanted a new start and his father supported his without a question. Years later, he would forget the bitter experience and be comfortable and happy with his sexuality. But he had to take the first step of sharing his experience and it had taken all his courage. Acknowledging it didn’t make the pain go away, but neither would anything else. He decided to move on keeping in mind that it was never his fault.
– Afreen Zeb (The Anonymous Writer)