“A woman was raped last night” is a phrase many men have become immune to hearing and reading. But “A man raped a woman last night” is not nearly as common.
So what’s the difference? The blame.
Men need to start taking more responsibility for the ever-present problem of sexual violence against females in our country and at our university, according to Jackson Katz, who visited CSU last week. Katz is the creator of the film “Tough Guise” and founder of Real Men, an anti-sexist men’s organization.
We feel Katz’s program seems particularly pertinent to our campus, following the string of sexual assaults that shocked our community last fall.
Katz’s main point, which we agree with, is societal change begins with the individual and it is the responsibility of each of us to confront the problem of gender violence.
Whether it is a girlfriend, friend, sister or mother, the odds are every male on this campus knows a woman who has been sexually assaulted, abused or raped – by a man. (Statistics say between 1 in 6 and 1 in 8 women are assaulted during their lifetimes.) Perhaps more disturbing, though, is that these are the same odds we associate with one of these male assaulters.
Although it is important for society to not look at every male with suspicious eyes, we feel men in particular need to become more aware of their tendencies toward sexual violence.
Swarmed with seemingly endless images of sex and violence through the entertainment industry and pop culture, men need to be aware of the role they may be playing in carrying on the sad tradition of violence against women.