Edited by kucha, 16 November 2009 - 08:48 AM.
Body Rights, Body Image, Body Ownership
Posted 16 November 2009 - 04:24 PM
Posted 16 November 2009 - 10:07 PM
I was relating about my uncle's stay in bootcamp, where everyone was forced to march naked in close proximity as the superior officers screamed sexual obscenities at them. How one soldier killed himself, after another man held him down in his bed at night and threatened to rape him. When he approached his superior officer for help, he was a called a worthless ***** for not handling the situation like a man. I was saying that men are safer when there is no sexual context allowed in situations like that. When things are out of people's control.
Why I feel so strongly about this is because a few years back, I was sent to a hospital for being suicidal where I was forced to strip by another man and found it very traumatic. I tried to reason with him, asking if there were any alternatives, or if we could discuss the situation rationally, yet his words were "if you do not strip right now, I will forcefully strip you and tie you up naked for the next 24 hours." He snapped his rubber gloves, and grinned at me maliciously, he was obviously taking great pleasure in his role in the situation. When I refused again, they locked me in a room with a camera, and said that if I didn't strip for the camera, they (one man and two women) were all going to come in and force me naked and tie me up.
I've never stopped being angry at that man, so I could only imagine how much more traumatizing it'd have been if he had been openly gay with me. I don't know if this man was gay or not, but the idea of someone finding sexual satisfaction in that kind of situation just sickens me.
Anyway, on the other site, amongst the insults, I was told many reasons why I was wrong for feeling the way I do:
1. Only a man insecure with his "manhood" would refuse to strip for any other man, including openly gay men.
2. I'm proud of my hot body and would gladly strip for any lesbian. Men should feel the same way about doing the same with men
3. Men including gay people strip with men all of the time and there are never any problems, ever
As for number one, don't men also have the right to feeling insecure with their bodies? I'm not extremely secure in my body, (mixed feelings about it,) but what does that have to do with not wanting to strip for strange people, who may even be openly sexual?
As far as number two, why are people so "proud of their bodies?" I mean, proud of what, exactly? Proud that they weren't born with severe deformities, or visible illness, or physical problems that make their lives more difficult? Proud of genetically clear complexions, conveniently faster metabolisms? Why would anyone feel proud of that? Isn't it kind of sick to feel pride that you are more fortunate than others, rather than counting yourself lucky and hoping other people who may have been dealt tougher cards will be ok in a pretty cruel world?
Lastly, one of the only places I know of where men are forced to strip with each other is in prison, and there is a higher rate of rape there than there is to women across the United States. Men can and do abuse each other. They sexually harass each other, they insult and demean each other, they rape each other, and are just as bad to each other as they are to women, you know? But no one acknowledges it. It just gets the silent treatment, while a woman can get a man fired for making an offhand comment about her body at the workplace.
I just can't stand hearing excuses, as to why someone else gets to decide a context in which they own my body. Like the hospital told me, "you might be hiding a weapon." Yeah, maybe I brought in a weapon all the way to the emergency room and sat with the weapon concealed up my ass for 10 hours while I voluntarily committed myself, just so I could use it during my three days there, right? Instead of using a weapon when I got home? That makes no sense at all.
I think more likely, people just like power and love making excuses as to why you're inferior and why your judgment is poor, and creating demeaning situations for you to suffer through. I just can't trust people. Every time I've ever tried, it's always the same story. Power comes up and your rights, your feelings, none of it matters anymore. People will tear the **** out of you if they think it will give them more power and boost their "pride."
Posted 16 November 2009 - 11:17 PM
I am absolutely horrified that you had to go through this situation. Anyone- man, woman, whatever- has the right make choices regarding their own bodies. It doesn't matter how attractive or unattractive that person is or who the audience may be. It is a basic human right to have complete control over your own body. I can't imagine anyone forcing me to strip in front of another person. It wouldn't matter if it was in front of my own mother. I wouldn't be comfortable getting naked in front of anyone, especially against my will. We are taught growing up to have some modesty and that is is a very personal thing to share nudity with another. It is old fashioned values but there is nothing wrong with that. Your rights were violated. Plain and simple.
My heart goes out to you for having to deal with such an experience. I hope you know that we are not here to judge but to support you. Screw that other site. Those people sound like they are looking to feel better about themselves by knocking others down. We aren't like that here.
Posted 17 November 2009 - 01:47 AM
Thank you. I was a bit afraid like I'd be silenced and insulted again for feeling the way I do. It helps to know I'm not the only one who feels I should have that right to make choices about that.
I think you're right, that it's become old fashioned to not be willing to proudly display your body to anyone. Me, it's not necessarily about whether I'm confident in my body (probably depends on the context), I just don't want it to be viewed by strangers I don't know, especially by people with potential sexual interests. I'd be confident showing my body in a trusted relationship with someone exclusively, but not with random people.
Anyway, I hear a lot of people saying nudity is "contextual" and there is nothing sexual about it. That's never been my experience. I guess I don't have popular beliefs. It's just scary when these people think they should have the power, and not me over what should happen with my body.
Edited by kucha, 17 November 2009 - 01:52 AM.
Posted 17 November 2009 - 06:57 PM
It seems particularly prevalent that any dissenting opinion, any expressed belief that is outside the norm for the group, and any ability to state, without hesitation or apology ones thoughts and feeling is anathema.
I guess I don't have popular beliefs. It's just scary when these people think they should have the power, and not me over what should happen with my body.
Popular opinion, the encroaching influence of media, anonymity, and more than a certain judgmental superiority of some internet sites can leave anyone feeling emotionally and/or mentally abused.
I unconditionally agree that our bodies are our own and that ownership should be unconditionally respected.