Growing up as an adolescent in the 1970’s, I attended college at Sewanee, a primarily male institution that had just allowed women to enter its gates. Back then like today, some young men were aggressive, some sweet and kind. Women and men participated in drinking and drugging on campus and date rape sometimes occurred.
Nowadays, with rape so common nationally and globally, we have to wonder why men still abuse women? Why do men use their strong bodies or weapons to physically overpower women? This is not just the rape of strangers in dark alleys but rape in fancy educational settings, housing privileged kids where rape is an institutional hazard, a nightmare, and a disgrace.
The Nashville trial of young Vanderbilt men this past week illustrates that rape, or even alleged rape ruins lives. For women, men and families. However, many women still do not speak up and admit to being raped because of embarrassment and horror as well as anger toward themselves for “letting it happen” and toward a society that allows it, fearing that nothing will be done and that they themselves will be slut-shamed if they do report.
Do we need stiffer penalties and punishments to show men that women will not stand for such treatment, that rape is abominable?
Let’s also wonder about the nature of human beings wherein all genders have conflicts at times with each other and within ourselves, especially when power is involved, which is every day. Complex dynamics and messy situations occur.Who dares to think that pushing anyone to have sex with them is OK, that having sex with an unconscious body is all right? When will more women and men speak up to stop these men?
Men will have a far better time in life if they respect that women have rules. Rules like, “Don’t violate my body without my permission” for any reason whatsoever. Just like when we women ask our legislators to stay out of our bodies and out of making important decisions about our bodies.
We need to respect each other and not expect anyone else to do what we want just because we want it. If we become good, decent people and look at others as being just the same and as equal as we are, maybe we will decrease the violence we tend to do to each other in all sorts of ways. Maybe if men felt better about themselves, they wouldn’t rape.
To those men who rape, drunk, high or not, please ask yourselves why you need to harm someone else in order to build up your self esteem that is surely lacking. Rape only displays your inadequacy as a man, someone who has to violate others to experience power. Only the weak, scared, angry and confused lash out violently. Raping a woman does not make you a man. It makes you a criminal, who needs help and punishment.