The other day K brought to my attention a new ad gracing the local city buses. The ad was very simple - a yellow background and white text. The ad was for survivors of sexual abuse.
But, here's the kicker that has led me to my keyboard --- the ad was for the BC Society For Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse.
When K told me of the ad I immediately searched for the website. I wanted to know more. It's not that I haven't heard of male sexual abuse - university courses on gender, family, and sexuality have amply exposed me to the issue. What was new, was that I was seeing and hearing about this issue out in the open... in our contemporary society... outside of the classroom.
So many people are silent (or snicker and raise eyebrows) when male sexual abuse is voiced as a concern. A raped man? I can't even recall a media story on this issue... or a novel, for that matter. A man with a black eye? "Oh, he surely got that in bar fight," we all assume. It is refreshing that these presumptions are beginning to be challenged in our society... and in large part due to third wave feminism.
Some of you may know that I am a self-declared feminist. Feminism, and particularly Jessica Valenti's work, brought me out of a bout of self-destructive behaviour a few years ago. Feminism addresses tough gender issues such as sexual reproduction rights, eating disorders, and male sexual abuse.
So, here's my Shout-Out:
Thank you, third wave feminism, for bringing awareness to male sexual abuse. And, thank you for empowering people to be themselves without excuse.