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Our first kiss. It’s something most of us hold to a high standard, thinking of it as something that should be dear and special. Some people save it for the right moment when they feel they can give it away to someone special. But then, someone steals it. In this case, it’s someone you know of, but you’ve never met before. Someone who you told you’ve never kissed anyone and that you had your reason for this. However, that someone doesn’t care and tricks you into kissing them. How’d you feel? The first word that comes to mind is uncomfortable, and the more you think about it, the more you feel like you’ve been assaulted. You’ll never get that first kiss back, and the memory of it will be always tainted.

This is what Katy Perry did to Benjamin Glaze, an American Idol contestant who had never had a kiss, and had stated he was saving it for “someone special”. She decided he needed his first kiss and gave it to him without his consent. Let me reiterate, the contestant had already said he couldn’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship. A statement the artist decided to ignore and went on and tricked him into giving her a kiss on the mouth. Once that happened, he looked shocked and uncomfortable. In later interviews, he mentioned that he was saving his first kiss for someone special, but he did also mention he didn’t feel harassed. However, this situation brings to light a topic mostly ignored: sexual assault towards males.

In Benjamin’s case a lot of people say, “He is so lucky!” or things like that, but they don’t see what she took from him. She took his decision of having a first kiss. She stole that special moment from him, and she made it look like her kiss was a favor and something he should be grateful for. However, reverse the roles and make Katy a famous guy and Benjamin a girl; the indignation would have been greater. The artist would have been shunned. This is an example of how people think men should act or what they should want. They should count themselves lucky if an older woman gives them affection or engages in sexual activity with them when they are fourteen, people say. After all, that’s what all men want, right? So, in the case that a guy speaks up about being assaulted by a woman, they are laughed at or are called derogatory names and all-in-all not taken seriously.

Men are harassed as well, and it’s more common than we think, but we ignore it. They stay quiet if they feel uncomfortable because that is what society says they should like. They are laughed at if they say someone raped him. “You can’t rape a man; all they want is sex.” This mindset is not okay. It makes men into impulsive being who have no control over their actions, who do not have a right to make decisions about when or where their sexual encounters take place.

It’s about time to stop diminishing the sexual assault towards men. No more “It’s just a kiss, it’s no big deal” or “It was Katy Perry! He should be so proud she kissed him!” It’s time to start listening to the men and taking them seriously when they feel harassed. It’s not the fact that it was “just a kiss” that should bother people. It’s the fact that she did it without permission and everyone thinks it’s fine, she did him a favor. That’s the real problem. Consent is not just for women.

 

Image credits: 12, 3

 

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