“Manhood” Born of the Past
We are failing boys.
We bombard them with images of sexuality they cannot possibly understand.
They see pornography at too young an age and are unable to form healthy concepts of intimacy or sexuality.
They are taught that women are objects, and any woman who feels otherwise is undesirable. They are taught that submissive is sexy. They are taught a thousand incorrect things about fellow human beings.
All of a sudden these boys are men. They are full of fear, rage, and libido. They are unable to understand women, so they continue to reenact what they see in pornography and on television. We still wonder why there is such a problem with sexual violence in this country.
We need to redefine what it means to be a man in our society. The concept of “being a man” is becoming an issue of public health. I have heard manliness defined as objectifying women. “Real” men interact with women solely for the purpose of having sex with them. “Real” men do not see women as human beings, let alone equals. A “real” man views women as a commodity, nothing more.
The Present Rape Culture
One only needs to look at RAINN’s statistics to understand the magnitude of this problem:
1/6 women will be a victim of sexual assault.
60% of sexual assault goes unreported.
Every 2 minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the US.
The statistics are overwhelming.
It’s hard to contemplate what they really mean.
It is easy to feel helpless looking at them.
The question remains: “Well, what can I do about it?”
Of course you could volunteer, donate, or otherwise become involved. But most people won’t, and that’s expected.
If you’re not going to volunteer your time, help change the dialogue.
Don’t subscribe to the notions of victim blaming.
Reporting sexual assault is a harrowing, invasive, and often humiliating procedure. False reporting statistics can be confusing and contradictory.
Two comprehensive studies (The British Home Office and The Victoria Police) found that false reporting statistics are very low. Between 2-3%
A significant other can still be a rapist.
Rape is rape. Past sexual encounters between a rape victim and rapist do not discredit an allegation of rape.
Alcohol and choice of clothing do not make rape any less severe.
A person is entitled to wear what they want and (if over the age of 21) legally allowed to drink. While this certainly may put them in a dangerous situation, it does not put them at fault.
Words Have Power.
When you say “slut,” “whore,” “bitch,” “cunt,” or a variety of other demeaning words, you are subscribing to an ideology. A very ugly one.
How do we redefine what has become ingrained in our culture?
We must start at an early age. We need to stop “Role Models for Girls” and “Role Models for Boys.” We need role models for all genders.
Imagine if boys learned to look up to women at an early age. No boy is born a compulsive chauvinist. No boy is born hating women. No boy is born a rapist.
As a society, we need to stop focusing on our differences. We need to ignore what it “means to be a girl” or what “every man has to do.” Why not focus on what it means to be a human being?