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Betrayed': Male rape victims slam Oscar-nominated filmmakers over focus on women

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Natalie Cass / WireImage via Getty Images file

Michael Matthews, left, and director Kirby Dick attend "The Invisible War" premiere after party at Innovation Gallery last month in Park City, Utah. Matthews has blasted the filmmaker for abandoning male victims.

Two male rape survivors who appear in "The Invisible War," an Oscar-nominated documentary about military sexual assaults, are criticizing the movie's brief focus on male victims as an ironic snub — and, in a fiery diatribe, one of the film's characters says the director "should be ashamed and embarrassed."

"We're being abandoned by (director) Kirby Dick. The guys feel betrayed," said Michael Matthews, a 20-year Air Force veteran who, in the movie, tells of his 1974 gang rape by three other airmen. The publicity campaign hawking the film — and its Academy Award candidacy — includes a website that shows the faces of six female victims of military sexual assault, and no male survivors of that crime, as well as formal screenings to which only female victims have been asked to attend, Matthews said.

"What the (bleep) is that about? They don't list any of the men on the website. He's making millions of dollars but he's not bringing any of the men to any these appearances all over the country like he's bringing the women," Matthews told NBC News. "I appreciate them putting us in the movie but, now, the men are not being represented at all. He has turned his back on us. And the movie, some of it, is hurting us."

Navy veteran Brian Lewis — who was raped by a male, senior non-commissioned officer in 2000 and then discharged from the Navy shortly after reporting the attack — said he and Matthews are disturbed that the film's fleeting attention on male victims, both on screen and in promotional tactics, symbolizes the way male sex-assault survivors have been marginalized by society and by some lawmakers investigating the issue of rapes within the armed forces. Lewis has a 10-second soundbite in the documentary.

"'The Invisible War' runs for just under two hours (99 minutes) and men received probably a lot less than five minutes. How frustrating would that be?" asked Lewis, 33, who serves on the board of Protect Our Defenders, an advocacy group for service members who have been sexually assaulted by fellow troops.

by on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Replies (11-14):
autodidact
by Platinum Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 9:09 PM


Why wouldd what was done TO them hurt their reputations?

Quoting Kaya529:

I do agree but in this case I see why the men are upset. They put enough in the movie to hurt their reputations but not enough to draw attention to the problem, which is why the men put their stories out there in the first place. The filmakers should have either cut that portion all together or gave them more time.

Quoting Woodbabe:

Sounds like the movie is focused on the women...maybe these guys need to push to get their own movie specifically focused on the men's aspect. Every thing doesn't HAVE to be equal, for everyone, at every time.






Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Feb. 8, 2013 at 9:12 PM

 :(

Kaya529
by Silver Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 11:52 PM

They actually kind of explained it in the article. Many people actually look down on the victim when the victim is male even more than they do with women. They could lose their jobs, family, and friends because they made their situation public. Plus, it is very embarrasing for men to admit they have been raped because men are expected to be strong and it shows them as weak.

Quoting autodidact:


Why wouldd what was done TO them hurt their reputations?

Quoting Kaya529:

I do agree but in this case I see why the men are upset. They put enough in the movie to hurt their reputations but not enough to draw attention to the problem, which is why the men put their stories out there in the first place. The filmakers should have either cut that portion all together or gave them more time.

Quoting Woodbabe:

Sounds like the movie is focused on the women...maybe these guys need to push to get their own movie specifically focused on the men's aspect. Every thing doesn't HAVE to be equal, for everyone, at every time.




Thomigirl
by Gold Member on Feb. 9, 2013 at 12:32 AM

The topic itself is SUCH a sensitive issue - hence the reason for the documentary. I feel for them, I do, but to a certain extent at least they were actually IN the documentary. 

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