ICYMI, Jimmy Bennett is the former child actor who alleges that he was sexually assaulted by #MeToo leader Asia Argento in 2013, when he was 17 and she was 37. Bennett released his first statement to the New York Times on Wednesday:
Many brave women and men have spoken out about their own experiences during the #metoo movement, and I appreciate the bravery that it took for each and every one of them to take such a stand. I did not initially speak out about my story because I chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me. My trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself. I have not made a public statement in the past days and hours because I was ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative. I was underage when the event took place, and I tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time because I was not ready to deal with the ramifications of my story becoming public. At the time I believed there was still a stigma to being in the situation as a male in our society. I didn’t think that people would understand the event that took place from the eyes of a teenage boy. I have had to overcome many adversities in my life, and this is another that I will deal with, in time. I would like to move past this event in my life, and today I choose to move forward, no longer in silence. -Jimmy Bennett
Until 2013, men could not—according to the FBI's definition of the term—be victims of rape, which was defined as "the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will." Today, the definition is: “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” That, for the record, is not what Bennett is claiming (he says Argento gave him a bj and then had sex with him), but it shows just how little we've historically taken male victims into account. Men are definitely less likely to be assaulted than woman, but it does happen, and if we're going to #BelieveWomen we need to believe male victims as well.