Sexual Assault, College Campuses, and Silence

June 23, 2017

How did we get to a place where it’s okay for young men to rape young women on college campuses? How did we get to a place where the women are blamed by administrators and police personnel for the clothes they are wearing or the amount of alcohol they have consumed? How did we get to a place where young men think it’s okay to mock women and degrade them publicly?

It Happened Here is an incredibly important documentary that every young man should watch prior to entering college. (Frankly, it’s nauseating to expect women to watch it.) Why should women have to attend seminars about how to protect themselves from men? The answer is they shouldn’t – men should be trained that it’s not okay to assault women or take what they want when they want it.

The stories contained in this documentary should shock and disgust viewers. Watching college deans (many of them women which is extra nauseating) blame the victims, or the so-called “hook-up culture” is disgusting. Watching women tell their stories is heartbreaking and change is obviously needed.

I applaud these young women for telling their stories and for fighting against rape culture on campuses. I applaud them for suing campuses under Title IX laws, as well they should.

Going further, it is very clear to me that the culture has to change and that starts at home. Boys should be taught from the start that women’s bodies aren’t there for the taking. There is a little thing called consent that’s really important. A lot of this starts with the media and Hollywood. It’s disgusting that women are constantly portrayed in movies as vixens and overtly sexual creatures. We are praised for our sultryness and our sexiness. “Winning” a man is the only thing that counts in countless rom-coms. It’s nauseating and it has to stop.

I would strongly encourage families to start these discussions with boys when they are young. Teach them to respect women. Teach them that women have brains and are not just sex objects. Refuse to watch movies with overtly sexual female characters. Refuse to participate in a system that objectifies women.

Thank you to film Director Lisa F. Jackson for your work on this film. It was raw, poignant, and incredibly important. My eyes are wide open now and I hope it is opening eyes everywhere.

Galatians 5:14-17 (NRSV): For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. 16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want.

Serve all with love.

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