Student: Men who have been raped still have more privilege than women
Men who have been sexually assaulted are still more privileged than women, an Arizona State University student said in a recent editorial.
Kaelyn Polick-Kirkpatrick, an opinion columnist for ASU’s student newspaper, wrote that while “victims of sexual violence should never be silenced,” men do not belong in feminist conversations on that topic as they still inherently have more privilege.
"...Men have privileges that prevent them from being able to empathize with the struggles of women, even when they are survivors of sexual crimes.”
“Feminism provides a safe-space for women to cope with and fight back against the oppressive society in which they live,” Polick-Kirkpatrick opined in The State Press. “It exists because oppressed people often need support from others who can empathize with their struggles—men have privileges that prevent them from being able to empathize with the struggles of women, even when they are survivors of sexual crimes.”
Polick-Kirkpatrick alleged in her piece that when men participate in “feminist conversations about sexual violence,” women feel uncomfortable as men are “taking up much-needed space in their community” as, according to the student, women are most often the victims and men are most often the perpetrators.
“When men want a space in this feminist conversation, it indicates the already prevalent patriarchal desire to control how oppressed groups fight their own battles,” Polick-Kirkpatrick wrote. “When one comes forward to report and discuss the atrocities they have experienced, this should not mean they take up the space of others in the same conversation, even within the feminist community.”
Polick-Kirkpatrick goes on to blame men’s rights activists in her article for accusing feminists of not caring about male victims of sexual assault.
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), one in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape. The sexual assault organization also says that one in 33 men are victims of an attempted or completed rape.
In 2013, there were nine forcible sex offenses on-campus reported to ASU campus police. That number is down from 2012 when 15 forcible sex offenses on-campus were reported and in 2011 when 13 forcible sex offenses on-campus were reported.
Earlier this year, an ASU event discouraged women from learning self-defense, and instead encouraged men to convince other men to go on taco runs instead of potentially bringing a girl home from a bar. The event similarly encouraged men to convince friends that drunk women are “ugly” in order to prevent a possible sexual assault.
Polick-Kirkpatrick has written a variety of opinion columns for The State Press including a piece slamming a student club which advocates for men treating women with respect as sexist and a piece calling on the university to increase its gender-neutral bathrooms.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn