A Powerful Response To People Who Say 'Men Can't Get Raped'

"No I didn’t 'want it.' But it happened and I am here."

“In response to women who say men can’t write about rape.”

“You are wrong.”

That's how Akeemjamal Rollins begins his riveting slam poem "In Response" that he performed at the 2015 National Poetry Slam in August. Rollins explains how he's struggled as a male survivor of rape.

"‘Men can’t get raped.’ 'Boys always want it.’ Aggression is the only thing we safely have," Rollins says in his poem.

After naming off multiple people he knows who have been sexually assaulted he says: “This looks to be a really common rare thing. But men always want it. Boys can’t say no."

Traditional masculinity tells men they need to be aggressive and sex-obsessed in relationships and in life. Rollins explains that this often leads to the myth that men can't be raped. But 1 in 6 men will experience sexual abuse in their lifetimes.

"Is it justified because I’m gay? Am I really gay?" Rollins says. "Or do I just get off on re-living my tragedies?"

"No I didn’t want it," he says. "But it happened and I am here."

Rollins finishes his poem, telling women that he doesn't want to replace their pain, he just needs room for his own. "Now, women look I know you all lose so much. But, this is not only yours now. I’m not trying to tell your stories, just please stop telling me what my story isn’t."

Head over to Button Poetry's YouTube or Kickstarter pages to learn more about them.

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