Heartbreaking. Absolutely Heartbreaking.
The brilliant author and essayist Roxanne Gay writes about being fat. She ascribes it to the gang-rape she experienced when she was but 12 years old.
Like racism, hunger, homelessness and the seemingly countless other sins of our benighted species, rape is becoming intolerable. Slowly but surely — glacially — we’re coming to condemn both the acts and the culture in which they thrive.
And I’ll say this as a member of the gender that’s responsible for the vast, vast majority of rapes and molestations: We are all to blame for this epidemic. Each and every one of us males has, at the very least, had to squelch the impulse to rape, to molest, to fondle, to grope, to leer, to comment, to make the object of our aggressions — macro- and micro, both — feel like nothing other than a pussy to be grabbed. Not, in any sense, a human being.
If any of us has a shred of decency, of sensitivity, of respect, of dignity, for chrissakes, we teach ourselves to value women — including those who stir us both healthily and not so — as peers. I like to think of myself as one of those enlightened fellows. Maybe I’m not, though, in the eyes of some, or even all, women. All I can accurately say is, I try.
Too many other males don’t try. I don’t care why. A woman being raped by one or a dozen men doesn’t care why.
We must begin when a male child is in kindergarten — hell, preschool! — to teach him to resist those urges. To teach him to love girls and women. It must be a concerted, directed effort, a pedagogy, as the educators like to say, to get him to recognize those aggressive impulses and to control them.
A boy is never too young to start learning how to be a civilized human being.