Blog: Men can, but can they?

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Bill Cosby, the star of the “The Cosby Show,” has been accused of drugging and raping multiple women dating back decades. Cosby allegedly sexually assaulted girls as young as 15. This was not the first time he was accused. I guess people didn’t care when he was on television once a week.

Now, it seems that people realized that there may be actual validity behind these women’s statements. CNN’s Don Lemon completely mangled his interview with one of these women, Joan Tarhis, who was allegedly raped by Cosby at 19 years old, but people quickly came to her offense and he issued an apology. We might actually be getting somewhere.

And then Shia Labeouf happened.  To be honest, I have been always been a Labeouf fan, dating back to “Even Stevens.” When he revealed that he was raped at his performance art show, I was quick to take his side, the victim’s side. I soon realized, after reading articles surrounding his accusation, that it doesn’t matter whether it is true or not. The way people have responded to this allegation is so archaic and horrible.

What I noticed is that people didn’t point out that Labeouf could be lying, but rather that rape against men doesn’t exist at all. Even though his art collaborators confirmed that he was, in fact, raped, the media immediately went back to the same rape shaming act it has always done. I was surprised.

Maybe I shouldn’t be. Many people may think that men can’t be raped, but we need to get that mentality out of the public’s head. It would be just as sexist as it would be for someone to think this about rape against women. Any time a person has non-consensual sex, it is rape, and the gender of those involved doesn’t matter.

The way people have responded to Bill Cosby’s accusations makes me proud, but people need to reserve the same amount of sympathy for Labeouf as they do for Cosby’s alleged victims. The public’s perception of rape is slowly becoming more severe, but more changes need to be made if Labeouf’s story elicits this reaction.

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