We need to address this. Now.
Most cis-het men rarely think about their physical safety or the threat of being physically violated. Stop. I feel your finger moving to close this article, but before you do, hear me out.
Yes, there are very real dangers to men in some situations. Yes, you might be worried about being mugged on occasion. You might even be worried about assault or being violated: Men are definitely victims of these crimes, too. You are not wrong. But also trust me when I tell you that the reality of being a victim is not the same as carrying the fear of being victimized with you all the time. It’s just not. When men fear being violated, assaulted, or otherwise, it’s almost always situational and specific to where you are or who you are with. Women are targets all the time, and we know it.
Going With Her Gut
In 2014, a woman went to police following a meeting with her attorney, Michael Fine. She told the authorities that she’d lost track of large chunks of time while meeting with Fine to discuss a custody case and had grown concerned when, upon leaving his office, she’d realized that her clothes were disheveled.
Miraculously, the officers believed her (I say miraculously because police skepticism when it comes to cases of rape and sexual assault is upsettingly common), and they formulated a plan. They wired the woman with recording equipment and sent her back into the office to meet with Fine (an admittedly questionable tactic, but… I digress).
What they found was harrowing to say the least.
Although he was an attorney, Fine had a tendency to offer to lead his female clients in hypnosis (“mindfulness sessions”) to help “relieve stress.” Look, I don’t know why they took him up on this offer, but trusting their legal council, they agreed to his help. The sessions apparently started innocently enough, but the scene soon turned sinister.
According to the report on the case by Fox 8 Cleveland, Fine moved the woman to the couch and the focus turned from relaxation and meditation to sexual history and more. “Every time I say the word pleasure, you cannot constrain or hold yourself back, your entire body is a vessel of pleasure,” Fine whispers to the woman who is clearly in an altered state. “Every time I touch you, it’s gonna be an incredible sensation,” he murmurs later.
Something to Consider
Apparently, the video and language gets too explicit after that, but you get the point. The police burst in and arrest the man, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison in November 2016… thank god. But here’s the thing:
It turns out that he did this to at least five other women and on numerous occasions. He was a respected local attorney, he was trustworthy, he was educated, and he was doing this in a place of business.
Think about that.