Why Shia LaBeouf’s Story is Important

Image and video hosting by TinyPicVery recently, Shia LaBeouf came out with an accusation that he was raped while participating in an art project. In the project, Shia was silent for five days while he sat in a room and allowed to come in and out to sit with him. He could not speak or communicate(he even slept at the gallery to insure he did not contact anyone), and unfortunately he was taken advantage of. A woman, whose boyfriend was outside the door, sat in the room with Shia and whipped his legs for ten minutes. After, she took all of his clothes off and raped him.

One woman who came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened, whipped my legs for ten minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me … There were hundreds of people in line when she walked out with dishevelled hair and smudged lipstick. It was no good, not just for me but her man as well. On top of that my girl was in line to see me, because it was Valentine’s Day and I was living in the gallery for the duration of the event—we were separated for five days, no communication. So it really hurt her as well, as I guess the news of it travelled through the line. When she came in she asked for an explanation, and I couldn’t speak, so we both sat with this unexplained trauma silently. It was painful.

The story is heartbreaking, but what is worse is the reaction that many people have had. Piers Morgan, a news anchor challenged LaBeouf’s claims saying that he’s “faking” his rape.

What a load of absolute baloney, and what a repulsive insult to every single person who has ever been genuinely raped.Shia LaBeouf is one of the toughest actors in Hollywood. He recently cut his own face with a knife during filming of Fury to make his scars look more realistic.If he’d wanted to stop this complete stranger supposedly ‘raping’ him, all he had to do was physically stop her himself or shout for help.But he didn’t. He just let it all happen…Rape occurs when someone does not give consent to a sexual act.Try telling a judge you weren’t able to signify consent or not because you were ‘acting’, and see how far you get.Any Californian lawyer will confirm that whatever went on in that room does not meet the state’s legal definition of rape.LaBeouf is a very good actor.But when a man like him cries ‘rape’ in an interview over an incident like this, I cry ‘fake’.Shia LaBeouf has reduced the most serious of sex crimes to a shameless PR opportunity. A chance to garner headlines, to promote himself as a ‘victim’. It’s an appalling abuse of his fame and influence.

If I can be frank, Morgan’s comments are disgusting. Men are capable of being raped, and while the chances are lower than women’s (one in sixteen compared to one in five for women), it still happens. The reasons he give to invalidate LaBeouf’s claim are typical of rape culture. At first he attacks his profession, as if him being an actor has any causation for the rape. He claims that Shia is used to acting out situations that aren’t real, so this could just be another skit to raise his publicity. Personally, I did theatre all four years of high school. I actually had a teacher outside the department say, to a class full of students, that all actors were basically “liars” and you could not trust them. While we weren’t being accused of something as serious as lying about rape it still hurt. To judge someone’s validity solely based on their profession is a coward’s tactic. It says, “I don’t want to believe this but I need an excuse to support my reasoning”. As someone in the entertainment business, I would like to think Piers Morgan would be an expert on not judging someone based on what they do. I mean, should I expect news anchors to talk only about current events and nothing else, because that’s what reporters do right? It’s a ridiculous reasoning.

Then Morgan resorts to gender stereotypes to disprove Shia’s argument. He said that Shia could have just fought the woman off. This argument is used a lot in rape cases involving men as the survivor. Society expects men to be symbols of strength, willing to do anything to protect their masculinity. He probably could have easily physically stopped the woman from raping him, but he didn’t and that should not be blamed on him. Shia was willingly participating in a project in which he did not talk and he took that vow seriously. He could have called out for help, but to him this silence was something in his emotional being that he needed to stick to. He called this vow of silence a result of an existential crisis he was having. For LaBeouf, this period in his life was supposed to be a transition of realization, but instead his rights were infringed upon.

Many people are having the same reaction that Piers Morgan had, which in my opinion is dangerous. Society has this view that men can’t be raped, which is very wrong. By enforcing this stereotype and trying to discredit Shia’s story, people are pushing men who have been raped back into secrecy. If Shia is telling the truth about his rape then he can become an inspiration for men everywhere to come out against their attackers. A story like this hasn’t affected me as much as this one has, and I am very passionate to see the outcome of this.

So, what are your opinions? Do you believe the accusations? What are your opinions on the reactions the media has had, and what do you think the correct response to a story like this should be?

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3 thoughts on “Why Shia LaBeouf’s Story is Important

  1. I love this post. What happened to Shia was unbelievably unfortunate and saddening, but what’s worse is the fact that no one takes it seriously. Men can be raped by women; women can be raped by men; women can be raped by women; and men can be raped by men. Rape is rape, regardless of the sex of the participants. The fact that people don’t take his case seriously or criticize it says a lot about our society and rape culture. I understand he was apologetic and wanted to take his art piece seriously, but he shouldn’t have let this happen. In a way, I feel like he was punishing himself for what he did before by letting this woman rape him. The whole situation is messed up and I truly feel bad for him.

    Like

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