Two points converge.
1. So this morning I was driving to the east side bus transfer location (where I would park and then catch the bus in). On the Bob & Tom comedy show (radio), one of the hosts started talking about the movie Deliverance. Just as every other time I’ve ever heard about this film, the point being made was related to the act of male rape that happens in the film.
2. After I got on the bus, I sat down. Across from and up top was one of the bus billboard/advertisements, but this one was about sexual assault. It had a picture of a woman covering her face with her hands, and it had the headline of “1 in 5 college age women will suffer a sexual assault or rape”–a number that has been documented elsewhere–and which is just part of the larger tragedy that–as I’ve documented– 1 in 3 women will be raped or sexually assaulted over the course of their lifetime.
Now—the convergence/realization came together when my brain compared these two things.
On the one hand, we have the instance of male rape that has come to play an almost iconic role in our society. We have a film that was “selected for preservation in the United StatesNational Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being ‘culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant’” and the one thing that everyone references it with–and which gives it this cultural significance–is that a group of 4 men are attacked and one is raped.
A man getting raped is grounds for cultural significance.
3 million college-aged women getting raped or sexually assaulted in the next 5-6 years is something we still find necessary to make people aware of and to try and pay attention to.
This is part of male privilege–and its part of the fucked-up system of gender relations that falls under the name of “the patriarchy” that many people are justifiably pissed about.
Now–before anyone even begins to complain about how men are also sexually assaulted and raped–I know this. If you read the links above, you’ll see that college age men have a 1 in 16 chance of being assaulted–so that’s a million men too… That’s also part of the partriarchy–and it’s also almost never talked about–except by people fighting against rape–because that’s not something that is supposed to happen to men.
But back to the numbers–why is that one movie more culturally significant than the 3 million sexual assaults that will happen? And why aren’t all of the sexual assault rape scenes involving women–Say like in The Revenant, The Watchmen, A Clockwork Orange, V for Vendetta for starters or the ENTIRE CATEGORY OF FILMS CALLED RAPE AND REVENGE that exists–more culturally significant? I mean–would Deliverance really be culturally significant if men were raped with the frequency that women are in our media (and the real world)?
I do not have any answers here–but I do certainly have more questions.
And so might you.