Now this blog post probably isn’t going to be funny. I like to inject a little sarcastic humour into everyone’s lives, but this topic is sensitive and serious. Any writer that can make rape ‘lol’ humorous and not be handed a trophy for insensitive toilet specimen of the year, probably deserves a medal. In my opinion, the only people who are ‘allowed’ to make jokes about rape are people who have been raped. And I haven’t. So I have no humour credentials here folks.
The question is, when is sex actually rape?
Chris Brow hit the headlines once again, this time not as an abuser, but as the abused. Weird thing is, HE doesn’t seem to think he was abused.
The Guardian writes:
“He lost his virginity when he was eight years old, to a local girl who was 14 or 15. Seriously? “Yeah, really. Uh-huh.” He grins and chuckles. “It’s different in the country.” Brown grew up with a great gang of boy cousins, and they watched so much porn that he was raring to go. “By that point, we were already kind of like hot to trot, you know what I’m saying? Like, girls, we weren’t afraid to talk to them; I wasn’t afraid. So, at eight, being able to do it, it kind of preps you for the long run, so you can be a beast at it. You can be the best at it.”
Um. Yeh. So I am really disturbed that he finds this funny. Now, an article I read over at Clutch magazine about the same issue (see link below), basically insinuated that this episode is probably the root reason for Chris Brown’s obvious life issues. I’m not sure about that either. There are just so many unknowns in this case. And the law seems pretty murky on this issue as well. I’m no law expert, but from what I understand, and I’m sure one of you can correct me, statutory rape is different from other forms of rape. Statutory rape is when one of the participants is under the legal age of consent. In this case, both participants were under the legal age. There’s also something commonly known as ‘Romeo and Juliet’ laws, when both participants are teenagers. In this case, the age gap between Chris Brown and the 14 yr old is probably too big to be regarded in that light. Chris Brown seems fine with it, he indicates that it was consensual, and he doesn’t seem to believe that he has any lasting issues from the incident. Is it our place to tell him that it was rape and that he’s severely damaged if he seems to be dealing with it just fine? Modern psychology tells us that he must be messed up for sure, but modern psychology also tells us a lot of poopy things that make no sense whatsoever.
On the other hand, even though we don’t know the emotional and sexual maturity of the 14 yr old, I DO know what I was like when i was 14. Folks, 8 and 14 is a stonking massive big age gap . When I was 8 I knew what sex was functionally, but I definitely didn’t understand what sex was. When I was 14, I was still pretty naive about sex but I knew a truckload more than when I was 8. I never, ever, looked at an 8 year old boy when I was 14 and was sexually attracted to them. Probably not even an 11 year old boy. In fact, at 14, I think I pretty much was only attracted to teenage boys the same age as me, or J-Boog from B2K (don’t judge me). If my 14 year old daughter came home and told me she fancied one of the 8 year old lads from the local primary school, I think I would internally combust, and repeat over and over to myself “Oh my goodness. My child is a paedophile. What on earth am I going to do?”. I think most of us would be at least slightly disturbed by this, right? Right?!
I’m pretty certain that a 14 year old having sex with an 8 year old boy is rape. Why? because rape has everything to do with power and consent. An 8 year old boy in a Western society almost definitely does not have the emotional and mental resources to understand the ramifications of sexual intercourse, and therefore cannot consent to it. The 14 year old girl is in a position of significant power in comparison to the boy, both physically, sexually and emotionally.
What’s sad, is that our conversation around sexuality, rape and manhood has probably left many young men proud of experiences that may have significantly damaged them emotionally. Women are taught that their sexuality is something to be somewhat ashamed of – we’re supposed to be pure, virginal, and ‘give’ ourselves away to a deserving Prince Charming. Men are supposed to be virile hunters, amassing as many points on their sexual score table – almost like their sex lives are some sort of PSP game. Although the culture is changing – I don’t think being a virgin at my age is seen as ‘good’ anymore, probably slightly weird but possibly admirable – I definitely think if I was a man I would be subject to a lot more ridicule.
This needs to stop. Little boys need to be taught that their emotions are just as important and valuable as little girls, even if they choose to express them in a different way or not vocalise them as often. Fathers need to stop congratulating their sons on having as many girlfriends as they can, and sewing their wild oats. Real men are responsible. Real men are kind to their own hearts, and understand that just because they have different genitalia from women it doesn’t mean that the sexual act has no impact on them. But real men don’t just materialise, they are molded. It doesn’t always have to be from a father (although that is ideal), it can be from a mother who takes time out to talk to them, and who places positive male role models in their son’s lives. Or from the romantic relationships they enter with positive women who allow them the space to grow.Or even from life experiences. Most certainly from a relationship with God. So many men unfortunately, don’t have these opportunities to be molded, so they just make the best of what they’ve been given.
I feel sorry for Chris Brown, because I just don’t think it’s possible that he’s escaped from this experience completely mentally unscathed. But then again, I’m not Chris Brown – which is why this situation isn’t as clear cut as maybe we’d like it to be.
When is sex rape? And why are men so hesitant to admit that they’ve experienced dome kind of sexual abuse?