Fox News and Tucker Carlson should be ashamed of themselves. Fox News contributor Jesse Watters was commenting on a rape case between a 46-year-old woman and a 16-year-old man, and he casually mentioned that when a male is in his teens and he has sex with an older woman, said male gets high fives. Tucker Carlson noted two weeks prior to this that sexual assault of an adolescent male was essentially a victimless crime, since any male in that demographic welcomed sexual contact. The unfortunate part about the comments attributed to these news journalists is that they almost trivialize the experience of being sexually assaulted for a group that has difficulty enough speaking out against sexual crimes perpetrated against males. Rape is no joke for either gender, but for men, rape is even less of a laughing matter.
Male rape is significantly under-reported, largely due to the stigma associated with it. Men are expected to be tough, virile and openly welcome sexual contact, particularly when they hit their teen years. This is something that has been popularized throughout media for years, so much so that many consider that first sexual experience for a man to be part of the rite of passage for his adolescence. However, there are many who fall victim to the imbalance of power that is so much a part of rape, such as when a teen boy is babysitting for an older woman. No one wants to have their most intimate parts grabbed unexpectedly or through forceful means, and in spite of Carlson’s claims that sexual relations with an older woman would be “the greatest thing that’s ever happened” to a teen boy, there would be a trauma that is visited upon the boy due to the unwanted nature of the sexual attention.
In fact, it does not really matter if the female is older, or is even a female. If the person is in a position of power over the male, and he or she sexually desires him, non-consensual sex could occur. It is a lot harder for men to admit to having been sexually assaulted, though, due to stereotyping of men that has occurred throughout society. However, male rape does occur, and male survivors of sexual assault may be even less willing than women to own up to having been sexually assaulted. What many in society appear to forget is that no means no, regardless of gender, and the broken trust, shattered self-image, and loss of faith that occurs in the aftermath of such a crime are only some of the effects that survivors have to live with.
Rape is not a joke, regardless of gender. Men should not get high fives because a woman came onto them so forcefully that they “had to” have sex with her. If sex is unwanted and it is forced upon someone, regardless of gender, that constitutes rape and can be even more traumatic for men than for women, depending on the full extent of what happened. It does not matter who perpetrates the crime, or what age the victims are. Watters and Carlson should have done more research into the matter of rape in general before making these completely destructive claims about rape.
Here’s what Carlson said:
Opinion by Christina St-Jean