Men need to be aware of actions

July 7, 2014 Editorials Print Print
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In recent months, concerns regarding sexual assault in the U.S. have drastically increased — and with good reason.

“In the last year, one in 10 teens have reported being physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend, [and] one in five young women have been sexually assaulted while they’re in college,” according to www.whitehouse.gov/1is2many.

“1 is 2 Many” is an advocacy campaign against sexual assault pioneered by Vice President Joe Biden.

Along with these numbers, young women still face the highest rates of sexual assault as well as dating violence and one in nine teenage girls will be forced to have sex, according to the website.

It baffles me to consider such circumstances in an era in which women are state governors and corporation CEOs.

Moreover, it’s baffling to consider that people can commit such morbidities in the 21st century. This isn’t an episode of “Game of Thrones” — it’s 2014.

While men comprise a smaller number of sexual assault survivors, “99 percent of [sexual assailants] are men,” according to www.oneinfourusa.org/statistics.php.

In his blog entitled “A Gentleman’s Guide to Rape Culture,” Huffington Post writer Zaron Burnett hits the nail on the head when stating, “If you are a man, you are a part of rape culture … You’re not a rapist, necessarily, but you do perpetuate the attitudes and behaviors commonly referred to as ‘rape culture’ … .”

To put it lightly, since men commit the majority of sexual assaults, men are naturally going to be suspected of committing such indecencies — especially in certain situations. And rest assured, this is not sexism nor misandry. These are cold, hard facts.

As Burnett cites, if a man and woman are found alone in a setting such as a dark alleyway, the woman’s basic instinct is to protect herself.

Some might consider this behavior a bit exaggerated — comparisons are often been drawn between sexual assault victims and the ‘Boy Who Cried Wolf’ — but when considering the previous statistics, I think it’s only appropriate for a woman to be hesitant when alone with a man with whom she is unfamiliar.

Women might not ask for respect — and not all women have earned respect — but I personally believe all women deserve respect. Without them, the human race would cease to exist.

Since the dawn of time, masculinity has grown synonymous with carnal, animalistic behavior. However, such behaviors don’t make you a man.

My advice to all men is to consider what you say and what you do — not just when you’re trying to impress a woman or take her on a date, but when you’re passing a woman on the street, holding a door open for a woman or simply sitting next to a woman at a stoplight. You can still be a bro without being berating.

Be chill, be smart and stop participating in rape culture. Be a gentleman, make a girl laugh, and be considerate of how every action might affect her — not just because you’re a man, but because you’re a human. Sexual assailants won’t disappear overnight, but perpetuating positive masculine behavior can eventually help them disappear over time.

For more information about the “1 is 2 Many” movement, visit www.whitehouse.gov/1is2many.

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