Sexual assault has an affect on everyone

A spokeswoman for Harvey Weinstein has claimed that the accusations of rape and sexual assault against him are false. But considering the amount of women that have made those accusations, it would be hard to believe a word that he, or in this case his representatives have to say.

The frequency of sexual assault occurring within our nation is alarming, especially considering many victims are not given the justice they deserve, or even believed. The issue is typically seen as one regarding women – I as a male cannot provide true insight on women experiences in dealing with such atrocities, other than saying the men who commit the crimes have not one person or thing to blame but themselves. They should and need to restrain themselves from doing what they have done; no woman ever asked to be sexually assaulted.

But this issue extends to men as well. In light of the accusations against Weinstein, actor Terry Crews has come out and detailed his own experience of being sexually assaulted just one year ago. Yes, the six foot three and 240 pound former professional football player, a man known for being incredibly muscular, was sexually assaulted. 


Of course many were dumbfounded as to someone who possesses his strength and stature could let something like that happen to them. How a man could let something like that happen to them? In the same way, these people are trivializing and even blaming Crews for the assault he experienced. The questioning that constantly goes against the victims of these crimes is completely backwards. How can people continue to place victims in the corner that says they are part to blame for the reason behind their situation?

In this case, hyper-masculinity stands in the way. Men are afraid to “not be a man” and come out against what they have faced because society says they should be able to defend themselves. They should be able to brush off anything, because they aren’t soft. They are men, so they should act like it. All of these beliefs many still hold cease the expression and complexity behind men and the human beings they are.

By silencing what they feel, it can lead easily to things like depression and other internal issues. These “shoulds” should no longer exist, after all they essentially allow for any person to sexually assault a male and be free of punishment if they get away. I’m not sure what men who live by pure masculinity are afraid of, what they may find if they were to move past those ideas that were drilled into their brain.

Crews is a reminder, something like this can happen to anyone, no matter how “tough” you think they are. We need to help each other when we can refrain from asking the victims male or female what could you have done to prevent what happened. They didn’t cause what happened to them, period.

This is not to take away anything that has happened to the women who have accused Weinstein, or other women who have gone through something similar, but instead show the issues we face go deeper than some expect. But as Crews said himself, he hopes his story will “deter a predator and encourage someone who feels hopeless.”