Thursday night’s “Take Back The Night” rally gave many women from the CSU campus and community a chance to speak out against sexual assault. The women-only rally provided a comfortable environment for survivors and their friends to share their feelings openly and come together in support.
Unfortunately, the men were literally left out in the cold.
Poor weather and a venue change contributed to the small turnout for the men’s rally, but the exclusion of men in the march may have made them feel unwelcome to participate in any part of the evening.
We feel that having a seperate rally for women to share intimate stories is appropriate, but the issue of sexual assault is not only a women’s problem. With the increase of assaults in Fort Collins, survivors of assaults should be able to have as much support as possible.
For every man committing an assault, there are thousands others who respect women and would never violate them.
Several speakers in the rally made sure to mention that most men are not at fault, and emphasized being careful when choosing a partner.
The rally succeeded in creating a sense of unity for the women involved, but missed out on a larger issue. Sexual assault is something that affects both men and women, and speaking out against it shouldn’t be based on gender. Other gender-related issues, like breast cancer, affect not only the women who contract it, but the men that stand by in support.
To fight the injustice committed in sexual assaults, we should start by fighting gender labels.