Random fact encountered last night:
Each year twice as many men are raped in jail in America than women who are raped on the outside. [Found this in Antero Alli’s new book. He cites Jim Hogshire (1994) You are going to prison.]
Now there are issues with reporting of rape of women, but hell, I imagine there are also issues with reporting of rape in prison, and I haven’t read the original, so let’s take the numbers at face value for the moment.
I guess what strikes me about them is that rape of females is regarded as a Big Deal, a thing that is Wrong and a bit Fucked. And that is fine. But, in contrast, male rape, and particularly prison rape, is pretty much a punchline. However, I wonder if it is any less damaging as an experience.
(Hmm… maybe the context of prison matters? Being in prison is already a separate reality, whereas being not safe in real life is more messed up? OTOH, in prison you are trapped, and may have less ability to protect yourself. And some idiots would probably start muttering that they deserve what they get.)
The sheer numbers are surprising to me, and I would guess not widely known. If they were, perhaps it would be perceived more as a problem rather than a sick joke? Also, the ratios involved are alarming – the male prison population, even in prison-loving America, must be a fraction of the female population outside jail…
And also, since prisons don’t seem to work in any useful way, a systemic clusterfuck of that scale seems another argument for finding a different way to deal with our social issues… especially since we are looking into US style privatisation of prisons in NZ at the moment…