Today was a quiet day, but I thought I’d do a quick check in about what’s going on.
The university I’m working at had an incident a couple of weeks ago where a Twitter account was created saying messages such as when a woman does x, y or z, she wants “the D” (aka she is willing to have sex). As has been repeatedly noted by members of the community, this is troublesome because it undermines the very concept of consent and erodes the power and choice women hold over their own bodies. This, to me, is a much larger issue because it speaks to the attitude of our culture and the view of rape, not only against women but men as well. The idea that consent can be given by something such as walking through a door that is opened for you, perpetuates the victim blaming that is so pervasive in our culture and is an enormous barrier for survivors to seek help and begin the healing process. While this particular account was specifically talking about females, I think this is even more severe for male survivors of sexual assault. As I found doing research as an undergrad, as well as just through personal experience, there are many more barriers for male survivors to come forward, largely because of our constructions of masculinity, femininity and gender roles. This is a HUGE reason why I wanted to get involved in this work — to try in any way I can to challenge these constructs and make our culture more accessible and empathetic with survivors of violence.