Here’s an interesting example of a man working in a very visible (but anonymous until now) way to speak out against rape. Eric Lostutter revealed that he was the member of Anonymous who helped to raise national attention about the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, OH by outting some of the members of the football team who had posted videos of and tweeted about the rape.
From the article:
… the man behind the mask is not who you’d (or I guess who I’d) expect him to be. Lostutter, who gave an interview to Mother Jones on Thursday, lives in Kentucky, seems to be part good ol’ boy and part bro. The 26-year-old is a cybersecurity consultant who likes motorcycle riding, Bud-drinking, flag-flying, and turkey hunting. He’s also an amateur rapper who goes by the name Shadow.
This is a case that men are an important ally in the fight against rape, while also raising some important ethical questions regarding privacy and our justice system.
The part of this that caught my attention the most was the excerpt from the article. He said he was surprised by who the man behind the mask turned out to be. This is important to realize because many people have a stereotype, to an extent, of what a rapist would look like. This image could come from media and what is portrayed on television, in books, etc. or from the gendered norms that we associate people with. I’ll admit, if I was walking alone and a muscular and tall man started to walk after me, I would be nervous because he has the strength to overpower me. However, being strong isn’t the only way to be taken advantage of. A scrawny man could just as easily take advantage of me by slipping something in my drink. Along with that, women can be rapists as well, further proving strength isn’t the only way. You cannot look at someone and assume or expect them to be a rapist, which is why it is so important to take precautions to protect yourself from any possible harmful situation.
Eric Lostutter is definitely a hero. Not only did he stand up to more than one individual about the rape of a young woman, he made his knowledge public. That takes an immense amount of courage. Sexual assault is an issue that is not spoken of or reported enough. Lostutter overcame the bystander effect and made a direct impact on this young woman’s situation by offering the support of a man during a time when she was probably viewing men in a very negative light. I believe if more people learned to speak out about the transgressions done against them or others, this issue would be brought to the surface and dealt with rather than ignored. Sexual assault happens every day; the more people know, the more power they have to stop it.