Terry Dresbach

Outlander Costume Designer




The first male rape scene I ever watched was in the movie Deliverance. It was one of the weaker men of the four who were canoeing in the Appalachian back country (I think that’s where it took place). It was basically a hillbilly who did the raping. It was pretty shocking for the time. I think the most prevalent occurence of male rape is in prisons where young men or smaller men are turned into women, basically. I don’t remember all the names they are called, but basically they are looked down upon and gain status from the larger, more powerful men who hook up with them, or else they are continual victims. Another sort of manifestation of the contempt for women, in a sense, although I certainly don’t want to denigrate the trauma that men in prison go through. I think the other male rape I know about is really pedophilia, where a boy or very young man is taken advantage of by a mentor or father figure; a boy scout leader, a priest, or other men who abuse the trust of these children. It is horrifying and very shaming and again some of those boys/men never really recover. But I do think a part of it is because there is the underlying expectation that a real man would never allow himself to be used that way or be in a position to be treated like a girl or a woman. I think the attitude that that kind of abuse for women is just to be expected exists to a very large extent, whether it is a conscious belief or just an underlying feeling. I want to say that I personally have some of the same prejudice, a greater horror at a man being raped than a woman being raped, a greater sense of the shame it causes. But at the same time I know I am really wrong in that sub-rosa belief I carry. Again I have to say I think it’s because it’s been so huge a piece of our history and even our expectations for what is always there waiting to happen to us, that when it does, we are not quite so shocked. And we also look to blame the victim(s); you should have been wearing a burqah or equivalent.
I hope I am making myself clear here, or at least as clear as I can around this quite emotional and rather murky subject matter.
I’m loving our conversations here and I’m hoping to not just learn but maybe evolve in my thinking about all these issues we’re tackling.