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On March 17, 2018, dur­ing Nas­sau Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege’s Sex­u­al Harass­ment Aware­ness Week, I was invit­ed to speak about my expe­ri­ence as a sur­vivor of child­hood sex­u­al vio­lence. One of two events focused exclu­sive­ly on men’s expe­ri­ence of sex­u­al aggres­sion of any sort—a pro­gram­ming first for the orga­niz­ing committee—this talk was the sec­ond time dur­ing the 30 years I’ve been work­ing there that I spoke pub­licly at my school about being a sur­vivor. The first time, which I describe dur­ing the talk itself, I spoke out as a pro­fes­sor in order to make room for my stu­dents to speak about their expe­ri­ence; this time, because had the hour all to myself, I was able not only to tell my sto­ry, but to start to make an argu­ment for why male sur­vivors should nev­er be, a pri­ori, just because we are men, exclud­ed from con­ver­sa­tions focus­ing on sex­u­al vio­lence. It’s not only that we deserve to be seen and our sto­ries deserve to be heard; it’s also that a bet­ter under­stand­ing of our expe­ri­ence on its own terms can­not help but con­tribute to a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the cul­tur­al changes that need to hap­pen for sex­u­al vio­lence to become tru­ly unac­cept­able. I post­ed the text of the talk here.

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