I’ve often wondered if the fact that I am male has a had an impact on how my abuse at the hands of P.S. and Captain McRae has been viewed by the authorities.
Society expects girls and women to be the victims of sexual assault.
Society also expects that boys and men will be the perpetrators of sexual assault.
Things get really turned upside down when boys or men are the victims of sexual assault.
And things really get turned upside down when males are the victims of other males.
When I was receiving my counselling from Canadian Armed Forces officer Captain Terry Totzke the area of concern wasn’t so much that I had been sexually abused but was that I had been caught having sex with another boy.
In the aftermath of being caught in P.S.’s bedroom I had often wondered if I would have gotten in trouble if I had been a girl instead of a boy. Even at age 8 I understood the gender bias that existed.
When I used to swap clothes with Megan on CFB Griesbach, it wasn’t so much that I wanted to be a girl. It’s just that I couldn’t understand why boys couldn’t wear dresses. I’d like to think that I was ahead of the curve with understanding that artificial society enforced gender roles were harmful and toxic. But more than likely it was just that I couldn’t understand why it was wrong for boys to wear dresses. And still no one has been able to explain this to me.
I remember girls on base who got touched by same age boys during episodes of “doctor”. The father of the girl would often unleash a can of whoop-ass on the boy who touched his daughter. The father of the boy would often give his son an “understanding wink” as if to say “good job son!”. The daughter never received any type of admonishment for the game of doctor as there was no way possible that the girl could have instigated it. But again, that’s just one of society’s biases, “girls are weak and can only be victims, boys are strong and can only be perpetrators”.
While living on CFB Griesbach I had developed feelings for a boy my age. He lived two doors down from me in PMQ #68. Nothing sexual at all. But we did kiss one day. His father was furious. Mine was even more so telling me that if he ever heard reports from another parent on base that I had kissed their son that he would “break my fucking neck” and that I would never have to worry about kissing another boy again.
Now, I realize that male-on-male child sexual abuse also existed out in the civilian world and that in the civilian world the victims of male-on-male child sexual abuse weren’t treated all that fairly. I still have a copy of an actual educational film from the ’60s called “Boys Beware” in which a teenage boy is groomed by a hebephile and coerced into sex. The hebephile is arrested and the boy is sentenced to juvenile detention. But there was possibly something else at play in the Canadian Armed Forces.
In 2014 when the French magazine L’actualité published its bombshell stories about sexual assault in the Canadian Armed Forces, one of the stories it ran was about male-on-male sexual assault. The writer of the article was told that male-on-male sexual assault in the military was all about control, humiliation, and punishment, and not about sexual gratification.
Is this why male-on-male sexual abuse was not taken all that serious in the Canadian Armed Forces? Obviously the victim must have done something wrong and deserved to be sexually abused, right? Don’t forget, the men sexually abusing other members of the Canadian Forces often had children at home. If these men participated in the sexual humiliation of other male members, how likely were they to take the sexual abuse of their sons as a serious offence. If these men participated in the sexual humiliation of other members, how likely were they to abuse their own children as a form of punishment or to exert control over an out of control child?
Let’s say that a soldier of the Canadian Forces had an out of control teenage boy at home, and if this member of the Canadian Forces had been involved with episodes of male-on-male sexual abuse in the military as a form of humiliation or punishment, would it be feasible that this member might also make use of male-on-male sexual abuse in an attempt to reign his son in and bring his son under control?
Oddly, when Maclean’s ran the English versions of the L’Actulaite stories they dropped the entire article about male-on-male sexual assault. Is French society that much more advanced that it can handle topics like male-on-male sexual abuse? Are the Anglophones of such delicate sensibilities that Maclean’s was worried about causing their English readers to faint, and swoon, and need PTSD counselling?