Wednesday, August 4

Sexual violence, influencers and male complicity

A few days ago the influencer Naim Darrechi, who has 26.7 million followers on his TikTok platform, gave an interview to YouTuber Mostopapi, who has 1.8 million followers on his channel, where he addresses issues of sexual content through interviews that performs among others athletes, influencers, porn actresses, etc.

In that interview Naim Darrechi said it was very difficult for him to use a condom and that is why he did not use it directly, that it seemed strange to him that in so many years he had not made any girl pregnant, so he has started to ejaculate inside as long as any girl manifests discomfort “I tell them that you are calm that I am sterile, I have had surgery not to have children.” The Ministry of Equality quickly announced that it would inform the prosecution of what the ‘tiktoker’ said.

These statements are a clear manifestation of how naturalized sexual violence is and how much we still need to work on it. Many men continue to believe that unknowingly removing the condom, cumming inside, lying, and vitiating consent in sexual intercourse are normal things. Or that as Naim himself affirms, when “there is already trust and you already know that they will not report you for it, of course you already have a free hand, with one that you do not have confidence you have to comply and behave well.”

It is necessary to educate, although it bothers some, it is necessary to talk about how the culture of rape is present in daily life, how it justifies and normalizes sexual violence and not only in young people. I think that almost all women are capable right now of recalling a moment when they have pressured or lied to us in the middle of a sexual relationship to access what our partner wanted.

Now, I want to dwell on something that seems relevant to me and that is being left out a bit in this public debate that Darrechi’s statements have provoked. It is about the reaction of his interviewer Mostopapi, who at the answers of his interviewee only laughs out loud. Although at some point he was seen with a slight intention of questioning him, laughing was what he chose to do. The next day in his Instagram stories he said that he knew that what Naim had said was wrong, that is why at the end of the video – when he had already closed the interview – he had insisted on not paying attention to Naim’s techniques of not using the condom, “don’t do it, don’t do it”.

That scene, that talk by Mostopapi and Naim Darrechi is very descriptive about how the mandate of masculinity works, the one that dictates what it is like to be a man and what a real man does. In that interview, a young man admits that he abuses the women with whom he has sexual relations and that he completely vitiates their consent, but whoever listens to him only laughs complicitly, despite not fully agreeing with what he was saying, laughs that are equal to those that occur in almost all areas in which men socialize.

I am thinking right now of my friends from the University, when someone tells of emotional or sexual aggressive behavior about their partner and everyone responds with jokes or laughter, the same ones that appear in work spaces when a colleague talks about the tits or the ass of the coworker, the one whose cleavage is looked at instead of her face when she speaks, or the infinite world of sexist conversations that can occur in WhatsApp groups. Perhaps in any of the examples mentioned, many men, despite being aware that this was wrong, have preferred to remain silent in order to avoid judgments and accusations from their colleagues, but also, because the mandate of masculinity requires complicity, because above the defense of any woman is her brotherly relationship and her camaraderie, in English there is even a saying for that: “Bros before hoes “-I admit that to get to this level of details of friendship between men I had male help – something like “friends over aunts”, although beware! That this hoes literally translates “whores”. Yes, because it does not matter, if it is about women, it is also about whores if you talk about any aunt with whom you want to relate sexually. And that complicity, that order of the male mandate is a stronger barrier than any intention of defending the victims or women. By the way, a simple internet search turns up huge amounts of memes about it.

The feminist movement has insisted on the need for men to rethink the masculine mandate, to make their daily practice a space for constant reflection and criticism. That they are able to question their colleagues, that they stop overlooking all kinds of sexist aggressions. Men, it takes much more than your demonstration of support in the networks, in the 8M marches, in the cañas or in the rallies. It takes a real questioning, even if it means contradicting what they have been told all their lives. That of course it is a process, it is uncomfortable and it costs, sometimes even, to lose friends. Many of us have been doing it for a long time. So you who read this: if Naim Darrechi seems disgusting to you, but in that scene you are a Mostopapi, check it out, because you are still part of the problem.

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