Well I consider myself a feminist and I am deeply concerned about men who get raped.
You are also correct to point out that there is a great deal of confusion regarding what constitutes sexual assault. This is why better information and training is necessary at various levels in educational settings as well as in places of employment, and certainly in prisons.
I understand that the Department of Educations statistics are controversial, but without having an understanding of the methodology used to arrive at the statistics, I am in no position to question those statistics. I do know, however that studies have been conducted: and several different sources have found the statistics to be alarming. One thing has been made clear recently and it is that usually most colleges and universities do not handle complaints of sexual assault very well. Certainly this is merely indicative of a broader societal ill, here in the US.
You reference statistics from the Congo, and while the type of sexual assault and rape that is used as a weapon is far more extreme and deadlier, than the type of sexual assault and rape would expect to see in the US — this doesn’t mean that sexual assault of some kind cannot be just as pervasive in the US as it is in the Congo. But by and large, this really isn’t a fair comparison. Rape as a weapon in a place of conflict is very different than your typical college campus sexual assault.
There is a spectrum — and in those extreme cases, in war torn countries, rape ends in murder and is a form of torture.
Sexual assault and rape affect everyone, as far as I’m concerned these are crimes against humanity, especially when they are used as weapons and especially when they involve children.
The scholars, who have studied sexual assault and rape extensively, and have provided the protocols on how to most effectively respond to victims of these crimes, tend to be feminists scholars. To be fair, some are uninterested in providing assistance to men, but that is certainly not true of all.
It is not true of the advocacy group that I volunteer with. In ACTS, Action in Community Through Service, volunteers are told, a victim is a victim and gender does not matter.
As advocacy groups receive more funding to respond to and prevent sexual assault and rape, they become better at providing necessary resources to both men and women (and most importantly children) who are suffering.
Sexual assault and rape should not be considered women’s issues, because these crimes impact everyone. However, because of feminists involvement, they are often viewed this way.
With regard to sexual assault, intimate violence and rape, it would be great if more diverse groups were involved in studying the impact. At this point, so much assistance is needed, from law enforcement, the medical community and the legal community. This is a huge problem and all hands on deck are necessary to find the right solutions.
Still I give credit where credit is due, feminists have been on the leading edge with regard to scholarship and advocacy of these issues; and dismissing feminists as people who hate men is ridiculously demeaning to people who have been involved in this groundbreaking work — and more importantly its just not true.