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  • Writer's pictureAram Weibe

Old Colony Mennonite: A Survivor's Perspective

The adolescent/young adult men I grew up with were victims in a way. The conversation about how they would love to do things to the younger women in the community. They never specifically mentioned rape because it wasn't even a concept they understood. See in their respective innocent minds they weren't saying or thinking anything wrong. They were never taught to understand what a healthy sexual mindset is. They were just told to leave the girls alone and never to touch them. There was never any proper sexual education for them. They all believed that as soon as they got married the woman was free territory to explore their sexual desires with in any way pleasing to themselves.

There is a natural component to this also. The males of our species have a natural aggressive side. It was a necessity for survival in times long past. It can easily be managed with proper education, sport competition or heavy physical labor.

This natural aggression manifested itself often. The boys and sometimes men would get into physical altercations. Often with severe consequences. Broken ribs, broken noses, teeth gone and even broken arms. That is just the physical damages. I'm just imagining the psychological scars this also leaves. Most of them are just victims of their environment. So the sexual atrocities aren't just the result of men or boys being evil predators. It is the result of not giving the young men the proper education. Fathers cannot educate their sons because they also have no concept of this.

So to expect them to understand it the way we do is it's inconsiderate.

See the younger teen boys in my community would sexual molest each other often. I was a victim of this game also. I never participated in doing it to someone else but sure had my share of it from the others. They would gang up on you in groups of 3 or 4. They would overpower you and sexually assault and abuse you. Some of the younger teens were forced to participate in acts involving others for sexual gratification. This behavior was considered normal. I remember trying to explain to the group of young men I was in group with on Sundays. How these things were wrong. They laughed and said that I probably enjoyed it and that's why I was saying it. If I really let my mind go back to that time I can now realize how it all starts. Those boys have no concept of consent or rape. They are not taught personal agency and so in their mind a girl or woman has no say in the matter. In their mind a girl or woman enjoys the aggressive behavior because they observe it in the animal world. Cats, dogs, cows, chickens, ducks etc. I mean those chickens and ducks were horrible.

Boys always talked about sex amongst themselves. The conversations were always more about personal pleasure. So in a way the sexual atrocities in conservative communities is probably more the result of a collective mismanagement of the males in their communities.

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