This is a pretty tricky issue to talk about but I’m going to put my thoughts into words as best I can and you are welcome to your opinions, you can even post comments telling me I’m wrong, because that’s perfectly ok.
In recent months the media seems to have exploded a little with articles on ‘rape culture’ and the concept of ‘consent classes’. This is something that, as a female university student, you actually have to think about. It doesn’t mean you don’t-trust-any-man-ever-because-they’re-all-only-after-one-thing. It just means you’re taking an interesting in the world around you because studies have shown that 1/3 of women will face some kind of sexual assault at university, this ranges from unwanted verbal advances of a sexual nature to rape.
So…. here are some of my thoughts
- We live in a society where we (women) have been told to be empowered, to reclaim our sexuality and sensuality and flaunt it. Only to become ‘sluts’ or ‘whores’…. or ‘targets’.
- You are more likely to be sexually assaulted by someone you know ( a family member or a friend) than a stranger. But strangers will still grope you in a club, strangers will still look at you as you walk down the street in a dress you never thought was ‘too short’.
- Victims of these crimes are still too often blamed for what has happened to them. ‘What were you wearing?’, ‘Why did you walk alone?’, ‘Why didn’t you report it sooner?’. These might be questions a lawyer has to ask but that doesn’t mean you should EVER ask these to someone who has been through sexual assault – you don’t ask a kid who breaks their arm riding their bike ‘why didn’t you wrap yourself in bubble wrap because you might get hurt doing something completely normal’.
- Yes, some people lie about being sexually assaulted. It is not ok. But do not let that make every victim a liar in your mind.
- Teach your daughters to tell the person they are with what they want, teach your sons to tell the person they are with what they want. Teach your daughters to ask what the person they are with what they want, teach your sons to ask the person they are with what they want. Teach your daughters to listen, teach your sons to listen.
Here are some spoken word peoms/slam poems that address rape that I think everyone needs to listen to: