Wright, Gomez conflict reveals societal double standard between perception of male, female assault survivors 


Jack Wright - YouTube

In January 2021, TikTok Star Jack Wright posted a Youtube Video entitled “what sienna mae did to me,” where he came forward with sexual assault allegations against her.

Jack Wright, an 18-year-old TikTok star, posted a YouTube video entitled “what sienna mae did to me” on Jan. 21, 2022. In this video, he discussed the history of his and fellow influencer Sienna Mae Gomez’s relationship and explained that Gomez pursued him sexually numerous times without his consent. The allegations follow a months-long exchange of both private and public messages beginning with Wright’s friends first posting allegations of the sexual assault in May 2021. 

As each involved teen held massive followings, their fans felt connected to the story and were equally shocked by the allegations, but also that Wright, a male sexual assault survivor, was publically coming forward. The fact that so many were shocked at the prospects of a male sexual assault survivor—thus impacting who did and did not believe him—presents the societal double standard of men being faced with far more criticism when coming forward with their stories. So, the most important take away from this event is that we, as a society, must believe sexual assault victims first. Until it is confirmed that there is a reason not to, sexual assault victims should be supported throughout their process of coming out with allegations.

The reception of the continuous stream of content regarding the allegations have shown how differently victims are treated when they are a) male and b) in the public eye. 

— Lea Rivel ’22

Although we have made progress as a society, many people still do not believe female victims, and when a sexual assault victim is male, the support is near non-existent. The allegations and lack of belief in Wright’s claims for months highlight how little society believes male victims of assault. It is true that the majority of sexual assault victims are female, but that doesn’t lessen the validity of any male victims—as studies show that sexual victimization is as psychologically distressing to men as it is to women.

However, being that this situation revolves around two people—teenagers in particular— in the spotlight on social media, it’s important to note that it’s not our job to speculate upon what their private lives look like. What occurred between Wright and Gomez is not simply “TikTok drama,” as many of us are accustomed to. If the claims are true, Gomez did not just “make a mistake.” She committed sexual assault. This matter is much more serious than a typical social media drama—sexual assault is a serious crime and lawyers have already gotten involved because of the severity of the claims. 

The matter needs to be handled seriously and privately, and it’s inappropriate for someone to deny what happened because they had watched Gomez on TikTok in the past. Not everybody is how they seem to be portrayed on social media and we must believe sexual assault claims against someone, even if that person has previously been beloved or is a public figure. 

Additionally, just because the allegations revolve around two TikTok stars, does not mean the subject should be treated lightly. This is no joking matter, and they were both minors throughout much of this situation. Wright’s video should be looked at with great empathy. It takes incredible strength to come out with stories about assault, and the doubts and disbelief only make it harder to deal with. The reception of the continuous stream of content regarding the allegations have shown how differently victims are treated when they are a) male and b) in the public eye. 

In a day where it is far rarer to see male sexual assault victims share their stories, having empathy for all survivors and ridding society of the double standards for men are of utmost importance.