The above statistic makes me sick to my stomach. I have a daughter who will be off to college in a few years. But I also have a son. And as much as I pray for her to stay safe and smart, I'm teaching him to not be a rapist.
The statistics and numbers are staggering. Alarming. The case of campus rape and assault has been in the news a lot lately. The president addressed it in a speech. Rutger University students are creating apps to have on mobile phones to keep women safe on campus.
There's nail polish that changes color in a drink to detect if it's been roofied.
That's great. But we have a problem, folks.
We're not changing the culture of our society. As brutal as it sounds, The United States of America is a rape culture.
Because we still put the responsibility on the woman to keep herself safe. The problem is we aren't teaching our sons to NOT RAPE.
Now, while I really appreciate these apps and I will probably have my daughter download them on her own phone, it troubles me when I keep hearing of all these measures for women to protect themselves and I don't hear how we're changing our culture and society for men to protect women instead of victimizing them. Girls are responsible for not dress provocatively. They can't wear short skirts to school or school dances. Heaven forbid a boy would be distracted. Girls need to be responsible and not drink too much at a party. They need to stick together in a group. They need to check in with their friends. Reasonable measures indeed. But how nice it would be if men were gentlemen. Saints, even.
We need to change when even fashion can dictate what's cool for guys.
What about male clothing that promotes rape? Can you believe there are shirts with that message?
Foulmouthshirts.com (I will not offer the link, you can take my word for it) has shirts on their website, mind you, in over 350 colors and font styles, that read,
"It's not rape. It's a snuggle with a struggle."
Idakoos.com sells shirts that read "I Love Motionless Girls."
People. This is war.
We have to stop this. It's a huge battle on a steep hill, but can we please instill in our boys to respect women?
I know it's not fun to teach our kids the birds and the bees. I know the conversations can be awkward.
But we need to be straightforward about sex, boundaries and respect. We need to talk to them about porn and not to download it. Yes. It's degrading to women. So be up front with your boys. Tell them that is not how people have sex.
Tell them what is not OK when it comes to dating a girl.
Can we show them that the Ray Rices of the world are not heroes?
But let's focus on the campus situation. Women working together to protect each other is a great thing. Yes. Apps, buddy systems, staying sober; all of it, is important.
These are necessary, since according to the Department of Justice, a college campus of 10,000 students could experience as many as 350 rapes per year.
If those numbers are unsettling (I attended the University of Washington, a campus of 50,000 students, that's a potential 2,400 rapes per year) and make you want to bring your pitchfork to your nearest university, then listen to this:
According to the Crisis Connection website:
- Every 21 hours, there is a rape on a college campus.
- 43% of college men admit to using coercive behavior to have sex, ignoring the woman's protest.
- 1 in 12 college men admit to fulfilling the prevailing definition of rape, but don't consider themselves rapists.
- Only 10% of victims even report the rape.
And this is only the surface, folks. There's more stats where these came from. Shall we grab our torches now?
Do women just run around being all victim-y? Or are young men predators? I'm sure most of these sons are good kids in all other areas. Clearly, we aren't doing enough to keep them from thinking this behavior is OK. That along with teaching them to hold doors open for ladies, we haven't pointed out it's not OK to hold them down for a "snuggle with a struggle."
What has to change? Let's not make it the woman's job to protect herself.
Is it some good ol' boys club that encourages this behavior? That "bro code" is more important than the safety of their girlfriends, co-eds and friends?
We need to teach our sons what rape is and not to do it. That there is no "gray area." Where are the good boys? The gentlemen? Where are the young men to intervene in these frat house or dorm room situations? Because what is more important than a can of pepper spray to a woman is a man setting an example and pulling back the curtain on his friends' repugnant behavior.
I'm sickened after hearing even some of our senators and state representatives that still think there's some justifiable reason to rape a woman.
No. There's not.
What if she's drunk? Nope. Not then.
What if she's passed out? Nope. Not then.
What if she's wearing a short skirt and you're kissing her? Nope.
What if she came over when your parents weren't home and you both got naked? Not even then.
I'm telling you, moms and dads, it's time we teach our boys about how to band together and honor women, and not just teach our daughters where to kick a guy in the groin or buy her magic roofie-detecting nail polish.
Are you with me?
For more information and sickening statistics-