Men can be sexually harassed too?

The following scene is fictitious and did not happen in any way.

A male TV show host named Jacob is chatting backstage with a female contestant on a reality show… let’s call it “The Widow’s Web”. This female contestant named Brittany just beat out three other contestants for an immunity to elimination and Jacob is looking to get her thoughts on her win. Brittany is wearing a crop top and yoga shorts with Air Jordans.

“Now,” Jacob says, looking her up and down, “do you wanna train me after?”

Cue the shock and horror gasps from the many in the audience. How dare Jacob say something like that? It objectifies not only Brittany but women everywhere… right?

The following scene did happen and it happened just recently.

Matt Cooper, NRL great and former premiership winner with the St George Illawarra Dragons, participated in the final episode of this year’s season of Dancing With the Stars  as a kind of support for fellow contestant, Lynne McGranger. He was dressed in a cop outfit. Now, for everyone who knows Matt Cooper, they will be well aware that he won Sexiest Man in League for obvious reasons.

Irene is under arrest apparently.

Irene is under arrest apparently.

Edwina Bartholomew is wrapping up her post-dance interview with Lynne and turns to Matt, in his cop outfit best, and says “Are you doing hens parties now?”, implying that he looks like a stripper or is a stripper. Matt Cooper goes along with the joke and everyone laughs it off.

He even posted the above picture on his Instagram page with the caption: “My cameo appearance locking Lyn & Carmelo up for there last dance of the night.
I’m taking bookings for hens nights for those who are interested? Haha
#magicmike @dancingau”

I’m glad Coops can see the light side of the situation and am happy he wasn’t offended (or wasn’t aware of the implications made by the comments).

Wait a minute… a female show host just made a sexual joke at the expense of a male contestant, so why aren’t people up and raging about it?

There’s always a stigma that comes to men being sexually harassed or assaulted, especially if it is at the hands of women; men like to think that they are masculine and dominant and that no one can undermine their sheer manliness. So for a woman to objectify them and take advantage of them in a sexual manner is emasculating, or at least appears to be. Men don’t want to appear hurt by these advances to keep up their bravado facade.

I wish this stigma would just disa-fucking-ppear.

I don’t know about you but sexual harassment and/or rape is what it is, and it should be equally viewed in all aspects: a man assaulting a woman, a woman assaulting a man, a woman assaulting a woman, etc. No one deserves to have their sexual rights stolen and their bodies taken advantage of.

Just like there’s a stigma saying that men sleeping with a lot of people are “legends” but women who do the exact same thing are “dirty sluts”, this stigma targets old gender stereotypes that have existed for centuries. But they didn’t have the internet, or books, or any other type of education where information can be used to broaden people’s minds and open them up to labels other than “male and female”.

Now, I think Edwina Bartholomew is a fantastic journalist and she may have made that comment in the heat of the moment; I’m not blaming her or 7 for the comments made. I just think people, especially those in the public eye, need to be more wary of their words.

Because men can be sexually harassed as well.

– by The Black Widow

Confessions of a Sex Assault Victim

NOTE: The names in this article have been changed for privacy reasons.

Daphne was only 15-years-old when she was sexually assaulted by a man nearly double her age. She had already been going through a lot for a teenager to deal with but this crime nearly pushed her over the edge.

Three words could save someone's life.

Three words could save someone’s life.

As a teenager, Daphne had a low self-esteem; all her friends were getting boyfriends and were living the “dream life” while the only boy that Daphne ever loved had denied her, requesting that they only “stay friends”. Desperate for that connection with a male, she turned to seedy online sites in an attempt to find that romance. After many failed attempts at finding love – including men who sent her indecent pictures of themselves – she met Dean. A tall, lean and handsome man at 29-years-old, he offered Daphne everything she ever wanted in a boyfriend and more.

“It was comforting to know I had someone to turn to,” she said.

At first, everything was so sweet that it was surreal. He admitted his deep feelings for her after a short period of time and Daphne, being naive and young, felt that she loved him as well. She couldn’t wait to move out with him and start her “dream life”.

It wasn’t long after, however, that Dean became more perverted and obsessive over his much younger girlfriend. He began requesting nude pictures of the girl who obliged to satiate her man. His requests to meet her grew more urgent and her overwhelming need to keep Dean happy ultimately took over and she agreed to meet him.

One night, he picked her up in his car and the couple drove off to a nearby park. Daphne knew something was going on but she was too scared to say anything. Dean began to pressure Daphne into engaging in sexual activities and Daphne didn’t feel comfortable. She told him no several times but he insisted that it was the right thing to do.

“I had told him that I was down for whatever, but really, I was talking myself up. I knew I wasn’t going to do anything,” she said.

Dean grew tired of Daphne turning him down, so he took matters into his own hands. He pulled his pants down and climbed on top of her and pleaded her to have sex with him, all the while giving her no say in the matter. She screamed. As much as she pushed him, Dean was relentless in his advances on the girl. Finally, after seeing a break, Daphne managed to kick him in the face and escaped the car, a complete emotional wreck.

“Lucky I was near home, otherwise I wouldn’t have known where to go.”

Dean hurled abuse at her through his car window as Daphne ran home. She disappeared into her bedroom without telling her family or friends what had happened.

Having her heart broken, her trust destroyed and her mental stability demolished, Daphne thought of “an easy way out”. The following night, Daphne tried to hang herself, but as fate would have it, she was not successful.

“It was the lowest point in my life,” she said.

Daphne’s family had discovered her pictures and conversations on her computer and confronted her, which led to her confessing to her family what had happened with Dean. However, he disappeared off the radar and Daphne was unable to report him to the police as it was found that he had given her a fake name.

Now 20-years-old, Daphne thinks of the situation as a “terrible but important learning experience”.

“It toughened me up and has made me the woman I am today,” she said. “Looking back at it, I wish I would have spoken to my friends or my parents about it.”

It’s for this reason that Daphne is a big advocate of R U Ok? – a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging conversations to prevent suicide. She feels as if someone would’ve asked her this simple question, her choices may have been different.

Daphne also remembers a time where she saw Dean briefly at a shopping centre when she was 18-years-old where he was with another young woman, probably around her age.

“I froze,” she said, “I didn’t know what to do, so I just froze. He walked past me and didn’t look at me, and it was one of the biggest reliefs of my life.”

5 years on and the experience still haunts Daphne, although to a much lesser extent. She believes that she has anxiety due to the bad memory, as she suffers from panic attacks occasionally. I admired how brave she was to calmly talk about this to me and how confident she was.

If you see a friend that looks unhappy, a simple three word phrase like “R u ok?” can do so much for that person.

Another three word phrase to keep in mind: “No means no.”

– by The Black Widow