I'm a feminist. It's a dirty word these days, so I figured I'd just get it out there.
I'm not one of those so-called feminists that believes in the eradication of the male gender, or one that wants women to be better than men. I want true equality, equal sentencing for sex crimes, to be able to feel the same blissful ignorance a man feels walking down the street as opposed to the much more common for my gender feeling of, "Is the next man approaching me going to hurt me in some way?" and for fathers to be given just as many paternal rights as mothers. Our society judges everything based off of gender, and I hate it.
But this is no feminist rant about the ways in which the patriarchy is offending me. No, this is a feminist rant about the ways in which the patriarchy is doing its own gender a disservice.
I'm in the UK, and here the law is as follows: Rape can only be committed with a penis. This means that if a penis penetrates the mouth or anus (and the vagina of, in regard to female victims) of a male or female without consent, it's rape. Unfortunately, it excludes penetrative rape of a male by a female — for example with a sex toy, or other object. This is legally classed as "Assault by Penetration," and as such tends to be less harshly punished (when reported and charges are pressed). "Forced Penetration" — a woman forcing a man inside of her, or refusing to stop after consent has been withdrawn — is also legally classed as Assault by Penetration.
This is where my problem starts. The very fact that rape must be committed with a penis, in the eyes of the law, means that a man has never been legally raped by a woman. Shouldn't this be a huge injustice in the eyes of every feminist worth their salt? Shouldn't we be trying to do something about this as people who want to cause positive change in the way our society sees gender?
But we're not. Nobody is, least of all the "meninists" of the world. In case you've been fortunate enough to never cross the path of a meninist — they're there to oppose feminists, for various reasons. Some think women should just "know their place" (I know mine — it's wherever the fuck I feel like planting my fat ass!). Some believe all feminists are out to eradicate men and want to counteract it. Whatever their reason, their general ethos is putting men first — but they simply don't. I don't see them out there fighting to get longer sentences for men who have been raped by women. I don't see any petitions on social media that speak out about the issue. In fact, most meninists are only hurting their own case — forcing an image of the strong, impenetrable male form upon the world, as if men cannot be vulnerable. Men cannot be hurt. Men cannot cry. But they can be all of those things, and it makes them no less of a man. All projecting that image does is make male victims of rape feel they can't come forward about it in case they seem too feminine.
The world we live in is so imbalanced in so many ways. But to be a true feminist, you have to see the ways a gender-biased society hurts men as well. Is it fair to give women the right to call their attacker "rapist" but not men? Is it fair that a man cannot see his rapist punished in proportion to their crime? No. Not to me.
Men can leave sexual attacks just as traumatised, injured, or broken as a woman, and the fact they cannot get the same level of justice as a woman could is a prime example of the way a patriarchal society hurts both genders.
Take a look at this link for more info on Male Sexual Abuse laws in the UK.