This weekend when I was at a friend’s Grandparent’s house she got involved in a political discussion with them. I tried to stay out of it as long as possible but ended up throwing my 2 cents in anyway.A debate is like chocolate, I just can’t resist.
We ended up on the topic of people joining together to stop rape. My friend’s Grandpa asked me what I thought should be done and I related a story of my former college about an on-campus rape that when reported to Campus security the woman was encouraged NOT to file a report and that the campus police would “handle it”. Not being an isolated incident, schools seem to do this to keep their crime statistics low but it is detrimental to the women (and men) that are sexually assaulted on campus. Needless to say the situation was not handled, the rapist was allowed to stay on campus and eventually began harassing the woman who he had raped both in classes and on campus. To me this is en example of how attitudes of officials can be accomplices to rape.
The importance of this discussion is based around the reaction I received to it, disbelief. The story “sounded” like it wasn’t true so the Grandpa thought it couldn’t be true. He didn’t believe the Campus Police would do this nor did he believe the rapist would be follow the young woman around and harass her. He doubted the truth of a story heard second hand to which I replied that I knew the girl personally and heard her relate this story with my own ears. Then it became that it was her fault for not reporting it to real police, not “Rent a Cops”. I looked up those police today on the school’s website. These officers are armed and fully sworn police officers who work on campus, not baton wielding “rentals”.
This is too often the double edge sword of women’s experience of sexual assault. Its either too much to believe so its just s lie or so common place that its no big deal and shouldn’t be brought up. This is a lose lose situation. Often men who experience sexual assault have an even harder time just to to social constraints of masculinity.
This of disbelief of women’s experiences is exactly one of the factors that helps rape happen. I decided I should look up some organization of men who are working to stop rape to send to Grandpa so that even in his age he can learn the reality of what rape is and does to our society. I hope you share these organizations with those you know as well. There are National and Regional groups. I encourage you to find one in your community and offer support to the men involved in this important work.
I really like this quote from a website I found: “Rapists are not born, they are made”. It takes active resistance to that “making” to ensure justice and equitable treatment of men and women.
If you have a story you like to share post it in the comments below.
Here is a list of some Men’s Organizations dedicated to Stopping Rape. If you find others that you think should be in this list post them to the comments and I’ll add them.
-Men Can Stop Rape: http://www.mencanstoprape.org/index.htm Features some great videos, like THIS short one
-Men Ending Rape: http://www.menendingrape.org/info.htm
-Men Stopping Rape, Inc: http://www.men-stopping-rape.org/
-Men Against Sexual Violence: http://www.menagainstsexualviolence.org/
-Educational Video “Tough Guise”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3exzMPT4nGI
-Article titled “Masculine, Feminine or Human?”: http://www.slepton.com/slepton/viewcontent.pl?id=1845 (Thank you to Feministing for the link)