Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault
I was recently on my final weekend camp with cadets and I realised that there is a lot of sexual assault that goes on between male teenagers. Usually after the first night of the camp there are stories of boys ‘tea-bagging‘ one another and other similar activities. Now, this isn’t a new thing, but I’ve only just realised how odd/illegal it is.
Firstly, it’s non-consensual as it is usually done to someone when they are asleep, so it’s clearly a form of sexual assault. Secondly, most of these boys insult each other with gay slurs but they are quite happy to put their genitals into other boy’s mouths or on their faces (not that I’m suggesting gay people do this non-consensually or at all), which seems slightly hypocritical. This type of behaviour is generally accepted as normal, not just in cadets, but in most, if not all, teenage boys. So I never really thought about it being wrong, as I thought it was a weird boy thing. However I started to imagine what would happen if girls started to do this to one another. I’m sure that, if it happened on camp, the girl doing it would get kicked out of cadets at the very least and may also be arrested, which would be completely justified. But with boys none of this ever happens. It’s usually laughed of as ‘boys will be boys’, and nobody ever complains about it, but the fact remains that it is sexual assault. Just because the boys don’t complain about it doesn’t mean they’re okay with it. It probably means that they are under a ridiculous amount of social pressure to conform to the twisted norm of ‘masculinity’.
On the theme of masculinity (kind of), there is a lot more acceptance of gay/bi girls in cadets than there is of boys. There is a significant minority of girls who are openly gay or bi, but no boys that I know of. This seems to be because a girl being gay or bi is seen as more masculine, but a boy being gay or bi is seen as being feminine. Not that any of this is the case but it seems to be people’s perception of it
To conclude I think we not only need to teach teenage boys that it’s not okay to sexually assault one another but also that it is okay to tell people about it if someone has done something to them without consent.
Final note: I’ve finished all of my exams now so I should start posting more… If I remember…
Bye for now!