Why Didn’t *He* Scream?

by Liz Anderson on June 13, 2023

If you follow college football, you probably heard that Glenn “Shemy” Schembechler was recently forced to resign from his post as assistant director of football recruiting at University of Michigan shortly after he was hired.  This occurred after news emerged that he had liked  numerous racist tweets.  Glenn is the son of “legendary” Bo Schembechler, who won 13 Big Ten championships as coach of UM football from 1969–1989.  Apparently it wasn’t enough to prevent Glenn’s hiring that he denied that his brother Matt had told their father that UM team doctor Robert Anderson had sexually assaulted him during a physical exam.  Glenn insisted that “Bo would have done something. … Bo would have fired him.”  Yet law firm WilmerHale had already issued a report confirming that Bo had failed to take action against Anderson after receiving multiple complaints from victims about Anderson’s abuse.  Matt has testified that his father even protected Anderson’s job after Athletic Director Don Canham was ready to fire him.

Women are often asked why they didn’t scream when they were being raped, or why they didn’t immediately report the rape to the police, as if these inactions are evidence that the rape never happened.  This post is about why Bo didn’t scream after his own son complained of sexual victimization by his team’s doctor.  The answer offers insight into the political psychology of patriarchy, which is deeply wrapped up in the kind of denial of reality that Glenn expressed, and that Bo enforced.  It also illuminates why women don’t scream when they are assaulted.

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