By Spenser Hickey
This editorial was meant to be an appeal to the campus community, particularly men, to take part in SlutWalk, which was planned for this evening.
Sadly, as I sat down to write it, though, I received an email from the Sisters United cabinet saying that the event had been postponed until October.
While we may not be marching tonight, the message of the event—speaking out about sexual violence and survivor-blaming—is still very important.
The article on Pages 1 and 2 about the Delhi rape case provides a clear picture of what these societal ills can cause if they go unchecked and unchanged.
This is not just a problem with India, but an international problem that affects almost all if not all nations. During the violent upheavals in Egypt, there were reports of hundreds of sexual assaults against women at the demonstrations. There were the extremely violent gang rapes that occurred in India and Brazil, and here we had the case of Stuebenville, as well as reports of shocking mishandling of sexual assault cases by colleges around the nation.
And yet these cases are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sexual violence. The vast majority of cases never see this kind of attention, and they can affect both women and men, survivors and the family and friends of survivors.
We can all be hurt by sexual assault and all have a stake in speaking out against it, and that is one of the messages of SlutWalk.
The college campus environment, sadly, is one of the most prominent sites of sexual violence in America today. Colleges often lack adequate services to prevent assaults, punish assailants, or support survivors.
The measures used to prevent sexual violence also often include warnings about unattended drinks, not walking home alone or taking self-defense classes.
While these can prevent sexual assault in the short term, to really address the problem in the long term we the conversation should be about consent and teaching men (overwhelming the offenders) not to rape. That’s what SlutWalk is about.
We may not be walking tonight, but we will take this time to improve the event and spread the word. The march will take place in October. I hope to see you there.