The following video is a mini documentary illustrating the threat of prison rape as well as sexual coercion for incarcerated inmates. The first thing you should take notice of is the distinct prescriptive tone of it all. It appears that our society is very comfortable taking the suffering of and sexual assault of men and disseminating what amounts to… instruction manuals that tell them, essentially, to “figure it out” when it comes to prison rape. Sure some helpful tips are provided, some recommendations, but the bottom line is that men incarcerated in New York state are not going to have any incensed social justice slut walkers parading on their behalf demanding the various wardens of american prison systems acknowledge that accepting prison commissary, meant by those who intend sexual predation on vulnerable inmates as an “in” for impending sexual coercion “isn’t rape” or isn’t “asking for it” etc.
Also not included will be men lining up with glee donning prison fatigues flashing signs announcing their hatred of their own masculinity in a self flagellating display of “walking a mile in his shoes”, there will be none of that, because when men suffer, our society will devise the means to find a way to justify it, or ignore it completely. Neither men, nor women will stand up for these men, they are after all just criminals. They are after all just men.
What i do find interesting is the aspect of coercion that is discussed here. Many of the inmates talk of the days of the stereotypical violent prison gang rape in showers and unwatched blind spots where guards conveniently seem to avert their gaze, giving way to a culture of coercion, subtle, but pervasive in which inmates are slowly persuaded to yield to unwanted sexual advances as repayment for prison “luxuries” or for protection that the facility incarcerating them is responsible for providing in the first place.
I want to make clear that this “culture of coercion” I speak of should not be conflated with what feminists may refer to as patriarchal sexual objectification of the female sex. Plenty of women trade sexual access to men they would normally never touch, for financial tradeoffs, physical protection etc. While i encourage men to reject these arrangements, I do not consider the men and women who voluntarily enter into these arrangements to be locked into the same type of coercive sexual arrangements that proliferates within the sexual milieu of the micro society that makes up a modern prison facility.
The main difference between the sexual milieu found in wider society in comparison to the sexual dynamics taking place in a prison system is that of fluid of mobility. The capacity for a free woman, to escape a coercive relationship, is a simple matter of packing up and moving away from a man she feels is coercing her. This may be difficult for someone facing financial hardship, but the option at the very least exists. Western (In this case American) minimum wage laws further subsidize a womans ability to round up the necessary capital to escape an abusive cohabiting relationship, tax payer funded domestic violence shelters available to women that exclude men subsidize it even further.
Compare this with your average male inmate who, if a job is made available to him can be legally compensated for pennies on the dollar. The city of Boston for example, uses its inmates to shovel snow, compensating them for their efforts with ¢0.20 per hour of work. Yes that is twenty cents an hour or 2.42% of the minimum wage. An inmate cannot find better employment, an inmate cannot research the incidence of prison rape in his place of incarceration and decide to go elsewhere, and in a reality where a for profit prison industry is incentivized to have the least amount of paid prison guards watching the most amount of inmates, he is particularly vulnerable to coercion and rape. I will be talking more about this issue in the future, for now though here is an older video if mine where I’ve previously broached the topic