This comment was from Justin Cascio on James Landrith’s post “I’ve Got the T-Shirt and the Trauma Response to Go With It.”
Thank you for sharing your story. “The problem is that when sexual violence is discussed with regard to male survivors, there is often resistance, condescension, and outright mockery…” and that should be the problem, full stop, whenever we are talking about any kind of suffering. I’ve been shocked and saddened to find that even among my close friends and acquaintances, there are people, including trauma survivors, who have this response to narratives like yours. It troubles me when we bury stories and their implications because they don’t match what we think or want to believe about the world, and it happens on both sides. For people who are traumatized and yet still don’t feel comfortable putting such a loaded label on their experience, and who will feel those “sideways” effects as a consequence. And also for those who withhold their empathy and concern, because it threatens them: they believe a story about how and why rape happens that explains why it happened to them, but not to you. At least, this is what I think I’m seeing in the hostility of my friends’ responses to the pain of men.