Rape Culture’s Dirty Little Secret

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This top 10 list was found in the men’s room of a co-ed dorm at Ohio’s Miami University, encouraging boys to live it up by raping as much as possible.

If you can’t bring yourself to read the entire list… skip to Number 8 “If you are afraid the girl will identify you, slit her throat.”

What the hell is going on at our college campus?

I work in Afghanistan, where rape is often flipped around so that an accusation of adultery or prostitution can be placed upon the victim’s shoulders.  I have met many women in jail under convictions of these morality crimes, having done nothing wrong except endured an unwanted, violent sexual attack.  Only two years ago President Karzai bowed under the world’s pressure to officially rescind parts of a law he had previously signed that legalized marital rape.

But lest we consider America far above these sorts of oppressive and dehumanizing laws… consider that in Texas, marital rape was still legal in the 1990’s.

And now this….

I’m not sure what’s more disturbing… the fact that college boys came up with this in the first place, or the fact that the university administration did little to warn or protect its student body when they found out.  When questioned, Barbara Jones, Vice President for Student Affairs stated the flyer “didn’t pose an immediate threat.”  Considering 27 sexual assaults have been reported since 2009 at Miami University, I’d have to disagree.

But I’m sure a list found in a co-ed campus bathroom that ends with “Rape Rape Rape – it’s college boys live it up!” doesn’t post an immediate threat.  Its just a joke right?

Tell that to 1 in 4 girls raped at college campus across the country.  Funny, right?

My stomach hurts, but not from laughter.

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5 thoughts on “Rape Culture’s Dirty Little Secret

  1. Often people laugh at things they find abhorrent, because it opens up a way to express about the issue, without being too confronted. Things are likely much more complex than you have comprehended. A more inclusive approach is necessary, so we can finally have full equality for all.

    Comments like “Tell that to 1 in 4 girls raped at college campus across the country. Funny, right?” are not helpful in finding a way forward.

  2. You know what is helpful, Cam? Dedicating my life’s work to fighting for women in conflict zones and here in the US. I am victim of rape. My sister was raped on campus as well. I a mother of a young daughter. I comprehend just fine. Better than most I’d guess. I am deep in the trenches with this issue to make the world better for women worldwide. But this is a blog with my thoughts and emotions that allows me to tackle discussing issues like these from my perspective. Its not a news piece. Its not a dissertation on the issue at hand. Its real, honest, emotion.

  3. Cam :: There is nothing “more complex” about it. It’s very simple actually. This list and its very public display is promoting rape culture, period. No one, man or woman, should be “more inclusive” of such lists or of the people who promote violence against another person. In fact, insinuating that someone who calls out the insidious nature of rape culture should be “more inclusive” is very much a mantra of rape culture. In other words, stop telling those who are fighting for a stop to violence and rape that they’re not comprehending fully, that they’re misunderstanding, that they need to change the way they do things (sound familiar? ‘you shouldn’t have had so much to drink’, ‘you should dress more conservatively’, ‘you shouldn’t walk alone’, etc)…….what crap! Start calling on change and accountability from those who actually commit threatening and heinous criminal acts!! We’ll have “full equality” once you and everyone else, college administrators included, start fully comprehending reality and reacting appropriately.

    Thanks, Shannon, for calling this out. It’s horrific and students/parents should be up in arms about it. Women and men students on that campus should file a suit against the administration for not reacting appropriately to threatening behavior/acts. Hell, if I were a parent of a student there, I would gather a group of parents to file a suit too.

  4. Sheila: And exactly that attitude is why people like you are part of the problem. You need to be more inclusive and thorough in your understanding of these issues. It is of course abhorrent and disturbing, but your knee-jerk responses are in no way helpful. You need to understand other peoples perspectives, and include people, to get anywhere. I do what I can to educate people about issues like this, and will continue to until the day that neither men or women are assaulted in any way.

    I have no doubt people will learn about why and how inclusive approaches work, and the more aggressive type responses don’t… over time. I hope that you think about this, and work to help improve the situation, rather than use the old “us and them” approach you display here.

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