Should a man have to pay child support if he alleges that his then-girlfriend raped him? As Salon's Tracy Clark-Flory points out, the story, by his account, is a grim reminder that men can be raped too, no matter how hilarious or implausible the culture finds it.
Kris Bucher says that when he was 17, his on-again-off-again girlfriend Jessica Fuller pinned him down with one arm, slammed her hand over the lock of the car when he tried to get out of it, and, despite his repeated, verbalized lack of consent, raped him. (The two had vowed to abstain after she had a miscarriage.) Afterwards, he and his parents say Fuller admitted she'd forced him into sex in their presence, and Bucher says he called the Sheriff but wasn't taken seriously. Fuller got pregnant, had the child, and didn't ask him for help — but when she went on welfare, the state of Michigan ordered him to pay child support. He's currently fighting it in court.
Bucher's lawyer says, "I know society does not believe, I think overwhelmingly, that a man can be the subject of an involuntary sexual battery. And that is unfortunate because my client is." Clark-Flory notes that "much as woman can experience lubrication and even achieve orgasm during rape, men's physiological response can act independent of consent or desire — and in neither case does it make it any less rape-y," but that female-on-male rape is still seen as so implausible as to be hilarious. She points out 40 Days and 40 Nights and Wedding Crashers; we'd add two recent examples to the list.
Errol Morris's Tabloid is a documentary about a 1970s scandal currently in theaters. As you can see in the trailer, protagonist Joyce McKinney herself cites the cliched, "It's like putting a marshmallow in a parking meter. When I saw this at a screening of ostensibly enlightened elites, many laughed uproariously (perhaps nervously?) during the description of McKinney kidnapping and shackling her ex-boyfriend and by her own account forcing him to have sex. Rape, even with subsequent consent. To its credit, the movie (which is brilliant and engaging) doesn't leave this unsaid or its ambiguities unexamined.
Then there's this horrifying scene from Get Him To The Greek. Right after this clip cuts off, Jonah Hill's character tells the others, "I think I've just been raped." That's the last we hear about it — not only is it wholly unfunny, it's entirely gratuitous to the plot or character development. We're just supposed to get a queasy, wow-what-a-taboo laugh out of it. The only remotely positive thing I can say about this is that it shows that a man doesn't have to be aroused to be raped.
Memo to Hollywood and anyone else who needs telling: Men can be raped too, and it isn't funny.
When The Rapist Is A She [Salon]
Related: He Says He Said No To Sex, Now He Says No To Child Support [Tampa Bay]
Image via Robert Adrian Hillman/Shutterstock.com.