Boys Will Be Boys: #MeToo Holding Men Accountable


Airman 1st Class Denise Nevins

Participants in the “living display” hold up signs during the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month kickoff event at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., April 1, 2016. The display included individuals holding signs depicting sexual assault statistics in order to raise awareness of the crime. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Denise M. Nevins/Released)

Louis Sanders, Staff Writer

It may seem that rape is just becoming a big issue all of a sudden in light of multiple high-profile cases, including the Bill Cosby case and Brett Kavanaugh. Both Cosby and Kavanaugh are men in power who were accused of sexual assault. In late September 2018, Cosby was convicted and sentenced to 3-10 years in prison for an assault from 2004. Kavanaugh was accused and came into questioning in late September 2018 going into early October. However, these men only highlight the bigger problem in America.

There is a massive issue when it comes to rape culture in America. Yes, it is hard to talk about. Yes, it is hard to learn and hear about, but think of the survivors. Reading it is difficult, but for survivors, telling other people their story is almost a nightmare. Generally, in western culture, people will believe the perpetrator over the survivors even if there is evidence that clearly draws the line between potential and actual survivors. Even in cases, in which the survivors receive “justice,” it is tricky, to say the least.

This was inherently obvious in the case of Brock Turner. Two international Stanford students found Turner sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. *It was later revealed that she was not coherent enough to consent during their interaction. With five counts of sexual assault related chargese was only convicted of three and sentenced to six months in jail and three years’ probation. However, he only served half of his six-month sentence.

To put this into perspective, Jesse Webster was sentenced to a life sentence without parole for an aborted drug deal. Webster was charged on conspiracy to possess crack cocaine with the intent to sell and tax fraud. A first-time nonviolent offender such as Webster was given a heavier sentence than that of Brock Turner.

While some may point to other factors as the reasoning behind the disparity in sentencing, one thing is obvious rape perpetrators are given a smack on the wrist and sent on their way. This all ties into the horrible rape culture that plagues America. The survivors are egraded both during and after the incident. The rapist is given the benefit of the doubt almost every single time.

Possibly the worst thing that happens in rape cases is not the actual crime but the backlash that follows. Angry, and perhaps guilt-stricken, men yell that she’s faking it, she deserved it, she had it coming, she shouldn’t have been wearing what she was wearing. The worst thing that happens in rape culture is shaming the survivors and making the survivors of a horrendous act feel as if it was their fault.

Consistently during the MeToo era, the main question is, “Why didn’t she come out earlier?” Consistently whenever women come out, they’re met with hostility and threats. Consistently, they’re ignored and neglected. Consistently, hate is given in the place of love. Why she didn’t come out earlier shouldn’t be a question that’s asked when the survivors are more endangered than the suspect.

Constant criticism rises from the belief that the MeToo and feminist movement holds women superior to men, false. It stems from the belief that men are silenced and pacified, false. The MeToo and feminist movement were established to address injustices and level the playing field. The MeToo and feminist movement treat men and women the same. However many don’t believe that is the true motive.

Men have also taken apart in the MeToo movement. A notable man is Terry Crews who spoke against sexual harassment and assault against men. However he was ridiculed by men, so surely the root cause of hatred towards the MeToo. The culture of America is so male-centered that when a woman is able to show that she is just as capable as a man, men feel threatened.

Rape culture is delegitimizing and scrutinizing the account of a survivor, male or female. Rape culture is “boys will be boys.” Rape culture is not holding those responsible accountable. Rape culture is punishing the survivor and sparing the rapist.

To solve the worsening pandemic that is rape, rape culture needs to be addressed. It has nothing to do with what the woman is wearing, but it has all to do with the perpetrator being a rapist. It has nothing to do with a man’s sexuality, but it has all to do with a predator being a predator. It’s time to hold people accountable.

*It was estimated that she had a BAC of .249-.250%, high enough to have alcohol poisoning a loss of consciousness

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted alert authorities and do not dispose of clothing.

For support from trained professionals call the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673