I read an article in the local paper today, reporting the rape of a man locally. The differences in reporting were staggering. There was no ‘alleged’, no ‘suspected’, no ‘reported’, there was no ‘forced sex’, there was no suspicion or doubt or lack of belief, there was none of the usual crap we see when one of the thousands of rapes of women is actually even reported and acknowledged.
Just a few weeks ago, there was an article describing the rape of a pony and once again the language was so starkly different compared to that used to report on the rapes that women face.
Man raped in ‘appalling attack’ in *** town centre
Police investigate horrific sex attack on Miniature Shetland pony in fields near ***
Police rescue suspected slaves after raids on brothels, car washes and restaurants in week of action
Notice the difference? Notice how it’s ‘suspected’? Read the rest of the article and you find things like ‘alleged offences’, ‘suspected victims of ‘modern day slavery’’. Despite the fact that there were 24 arrests, despite the fact that the police have clearly taken action, despite the fact that there is nothing alleged or suspected about this, look at the language still used.
One of the most disgusting examples of this recently was this –
‘Police investigate after reports two girls, aged 15 and 17, were raped in *** city centre’
Again, there’s the use of the word ‘reports’ though thankfully lacking ‘alleged’ in the title. What I found most disgusting about this case is the way it was handled by the police and the subsequent reporting.
‘Police say claims two girls aged 15 and 17 were raped in *** city centre were false’
Of course, this could be one of those very, very rare cases where it was actually a false report, but I don’t believe that for a moment. Even the article makes it clear that that wasn’t the case.
‘They have now determined that no offences of rape took place. Detectives however say they are still investigating reports that the girls were victims of sex offences.
They want to trace a man seen with them in the *** Street area of the city centre and a fresh appeal for witnesses has now been issued. Both teenagers are still receiving specialist police support.’
These two young women were clearly harassed and abused by an older man and instead the headline and the police demonises them as being ‘false’ claims. I’d say it was likely these young women were raped and instead found the same barriers we all face when it comes to reporting until the point where they felt the need to back away from their claims.
The whole thing just makes me sick, but it’s clearly not a universal problem for survivors. When male rapes are reported, they’re treated with respect, treated as being automatically true, treated with the validity in which all rapes should be treated. Fuck, even when animals are sexually assaulted, they garner more respect and belief and compassion than that which women receive.
Women are automatically disbelieved, their rapes are always ‘alleged rapes’, we’re always ‘suspected victims’, even when police action is taken we’re still just ‘suspected victims’ and the moment the oh so infallible police say it’s not rape, the survivors are demonised in response.
And the wonderful irony of all of this? This was also a recent headline from my paper.
Shocking number of teenagers don’t report sex crimes over fears they won’t be believed
Well, no shit, I wonder why that is?
Journalists need to get their fucking act together. This is just my local paper, sure, but I’d say there is probably zero difference in papers across the country and across the world. Women are always survivors of ‘alleged rapes’, men are survivors of ‘rape’. Animals will always be treated with more respect than women, because we’re always going to be seen as less than. If I ever see the phrase ‘alleged rape’ again, I’m going to scream (so probably tomorrow because men are fucking shit.)