Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Men in the Movement--Part 4

Today's question to the awesome guys who have weighed in on the role of men in the anti-rape movement: What would you like to say to people who don't understand your interest in this issue?

A1. "A culture of sexual violence survives and thrives through collective bystanderism, apathy, and silence.  The culture of sexual violence permitted by our society reflects an absence of social responsibility and empathy for others.  Storytelling is key.  We have to share real stories -- and fictionalized stories, if necessary -- to help people connect.  We have to create compelling entry points and learning experiences -- through news articles, blogs, Tweets, Facebook updates, museum exhibitions, fiction, film, television storylines -- that force people to confront other people's violent realities.  But we can't stop there.  We also have to give people the tools to take action and speak out."

A2. "I think a lot of people are confused about my advocacy here, because it’s definitely an outlier from most of the things I talk about. However, to me it represents a way to help people who have been hurt and betrayed, to lend my voice to those who are unable to speak at this time, and to provide a different measure by which to define my masculinity."

A3. "Do you know more than four women? Statistically one will be a victim of some type of sexual assault, all will probably be a victim of sexual harassment and certainly all will be victims of sexual discrimination. Why would you not be interested?"

A4. "That what some men do reflects on what all men do. I’m not asking for people to march in a parade, or arrange boycotts; what I am doing and asking others to do is stop being the silent conscientious objectors."

A5. "There’s nothing to not understand! Men are part of the solution to ending (men’s) violence against women – only a small part of us are the problem so we shouldn’t let the actions of the few define the many. Again, when our gender is committing the vast majority of the violence it is up to us to take responsibility."

A6. "If you don't think it's important for men to get stand up as allies in the movement to stop sexual violence against women, you're straight trippin'."

1 comment:

Suzi said...

I love seeing these posts. All these guys have great points.

So many men (and women too) are apathetic because they don't think it affects them. But that's because it's a subject that people don't talk about. But if peer pressure is used, in a good way, it would help so much.

You'll never completely eradicate rape, but if a guy steps in and says to his friend--hey, that's wrong. What if it were your sister?, it could change the outcome. Peer pressure has a negative connotation, but often it can be good too.