Monday, September 14, 2009

Working together to prevent rape.

Check out this article on Jezebel, talking about rape prevention and different approaches on college campuses.

The article discusses the ways in which the weight falls on the shoulders of women to prevent rape. Oftentimes, the target group to educate is women, with the message being: "YOU have to avoid rape by not drinking, not dressing sexy, don't drink, don't be alone, don't stay out late..."

But (the article asks), what about educating men about rape, too?
The author of the article quotes Jaclyn Friedman:

"Schools would stop telling girls to mind their liquor so they don't "get themselves" raped and start teaching young men that alcohol is never an excuse to "get away" with anything. They would offer bystander training, so that all students on campus know what it looks like when someone's sexual boundaries are being violated and what to do if they see that happening. They would teach students that the only real consent is the kind that's freely and enthusiastically given, removing the "she didn't exactly say no" excuse that too many rapists hide behind. And their campus policies would support prevention, recovery, and justice, not dismissiveness, victim-blaming, and denial."

While I certainly agree with Friedman and the article, I think that Jezebel fails to ackownledge the campuses that already have active rape prevention programs that involve many men.

What's also important to note is that while a large percentage of reported rapes are by men and the victims are women, we must remember that women can rape and men can be raped.

I think the main point, and one that we can all agree on, is that we all (as women, men, and otherwise) need to be watching out for eachother.. be it ensuring that our friends are safe from rape and that (as hard as it may be for some of us to imagine) our friends are not commiting rape or sexual assault. It's about being safe and watchful, but also making sure that we all are intolerant of any kind of sexual assault.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

I also think it is important for students and young adults to monitor each other. I completely agree with the need for formal teaching and tips for both men and women to avoid sexual assualt or rape, but peer pressure or peer teaching can also be extremely useful. Encourage friends to talk about safe practices, such as staying together at a bar. Have guys and girls tell each other about tricky situations, everyones viewpoints, and how men and women can be seen in different situations. The more these issues are talked about in a less formal environment, the more people will be able to look out for each other.