Why women should be taught how to avoid rape compared to men?

Why women should be taught how to avoid rape compared to men?

 Should women be taught how to avoid rape compared to men? This is a question university of Arizona faculty and students need to review. University of Arizona has become unsafe for most female students as reported by the University police department. In 2011, several cases of forcible sex were reported both on and off the perimeters of the University (Rob 1). Generally, college life is full of activities with new experiences for young people including making friends; attending exiting events as well as studying. Many crimes are committed in colleges. It is common to find many students in college worry about crime within the premises. However, the recent increased rate of crimes on college campus in America is worrying. This is mostly associated with the drinking culture. Students while in college for some reasons are involved in illegal activities such as drinking. Colleges have become frequent platforms for generating news on sexual assault and even murder despite the security measures laid down by most campus. Even though security departments within colleges are responsible for protecting individuals on campus and also set strategies to ensure reduced risk, individual responsibility is strongly emphasized in most colleges as it is a requirement always for students. Others include guidelines on how to be safe providing reporting channel starting from the student organizations responsible for security and safety to the other authorities. Simple measures like, locking doors; keeping valuables out of sight and for female students’ emphasis is on ensuring that they are accompanied when walking around college campus especially at night. Measures for sexual assaults are also stipulated in many college campuses that have not helped much. A report by Rape, Abuse & incest national network confirms that 54% of rape cases go unreported. This means the number of rapes that occur in college campuses are high and there is stigma attached to it (Rob1).

Rape culture has hindered many victims from reporting because it encourages language, images and daily occurrence encouraging rape. This culture seems to favor men than women with the idea that, the women normally fall into the trap of men. Therefore, the same women need to change their behavior not men. It not a surprise to hear statements pointing out at women that: she deserved it (Tyler 2). The rape culture looks at men as weak and cannot control themselves while women are strong and can avoid being raped, which is confusing. This thinking is a norm in college surroundings given examples of Dean Saxton carrying signs accusing women that they deserved being raped. Dean Saxton a student at university of Arizona protested ahead of an event dubbed take back the night a forum that gives participants opportunity to talk about their experiences as victims of sexual abuse. He interrupted the event as he expressed his feelings expressing his support for his sign: women deserve to be raped (Brittny 2). He further explained that, what women wear leads them to be raped. This brought mixed reactions from students. Others were in support while others countered his protest to disagree that nobody deserved to be raped. According to Dean, the way girls dress portrays how they act because it is their personal responsibility to dress decently (Brittny 2).

With numerous complaints from students at University of Arizona who felt offended by Dean Saxton sign of accusing women, the authorities are yet to take action. Dean is an example of how rape culture has made it impossible for the survivors to heal. All the blame has been on women but not men. As a student of religious studies, Dean Saxton curses other immoral behavior like gay, pre-marital sex among others (Tyler). His view has been that people letting bad things happen to them are to be blamed. His way of expression is however causing attention in both ways. For example, he shouts and even wears T-shirt condoning these acts. Such acts equate to hate speech because it incites violence rather than promote peace (Tyler). For example, when he said women deserve to be raped, many students did not like his statement because it is degrading. The statement expresses hatred to a particular group in this case women that is similar to how Tyler describes hate speech. Saxton’s upbringing in a Christian way was not extreme, as he simply followed Christian fundamentals. Several times people have viewed him as an aggressive preacher as he often offended people with his preaching. He does admit that despite other ways of preaching he considered his preaching, as the one that touches people most according to Brittny.

Most students protested and wrote dozens of complains about the provocative sign. The internal Dean of student Kendal Washington stated that there was no action they could take against Dean because his sign was not directed towards an individual. As much as they felt offended by the sign, he had violated the code of conduct for students but the first amendment is above the code of conduct. The students argued that authorities should punish Dean for hate speech instead of tolerating him. This viewpoint might not be legally possible since it might contradict other existing laws especially the one that gives people the right to exercise freedom of speech (Carson). In Dean Saxton case, one of the college officials admits they cannot take any action on Dean. Their view is not strong enough to take any action because Dean Saxton has the right and he is not disrupting anything. Instead, authorities are more concerned about ensuring that the public are protected while also defending the individual according to the state laws (Carson).

The first amendment does not allow any institution to ban speeches just because they are not in agreement with the message. Therefore, this amendment advocates for freedom of speech as the only way a society can be open. Without the first amendment, many minorities could not express themselves especially on religion. This means there would be only one religion nationally. In addition, the governments could not be put on check by the press without the First Amendment therefore citizens cannot collectively come up to bring changes on issues affecting them. This is the same law that protects people like Dean Saxton (Brittny).

LoMonte, one of the college officials explains that the college code of ethics cannot override the First Amendment. In cases where the two laws need to be enforced the First Amendment comes first. In support of Dean Saxton, some students felt that Saxton did not go against any law and suggest that the only way to take action if one felt offended by Dean’s preaching: they should also utilize the same right they enjoy as dean to counter attack his ideas (Brittny). How does one therefore prove that Dean’s sign of women deserve to be raped is an incitement will not be easy to prove.

Even as the rape culture prevails in the University, the College is beginning to ensure prevention measures are in place. Survivors of rape have varied options. They can file criminal charges with the police department. They can also opt for informal process of addressing the issue by considering joint counseling for both the perpetrator and the survivor as safe options for confrontation (Carson). The acceleration point of change in rape culture was witnessed when two students from Steubenville Ohio were sentenced for rape. Other reports indicate that various measures are taking shape. For example, at the University of Arizona the open forums that give participants opportunities to talk about their rape experiences continue. Instead of blaming Saxton, students have created signs to put down Saxton’s ideas. This means the rape culture is now taking the required direction as compared to earlier on. People have started viewing rape as an unethical behavior that affects both men and women not women alone according to Carson.

Reports recommend that when addressing rape culture it should be the other way round. Instead of accusing women and design programme targeting women, men should be put at the frontline, as they are the perpetrators. Men should be engaged to know the dangers involved in raping .This means discouraging patterns of victim blaming and advising women on the precautions they should take to avoid being raped. Instead, the starting point to look for the root of the problem: teaching men and boys not to be rapists in the first place (Carson). A cultural shift can only be realized when perpetrators are educated on the importance of ensuring that they get consent. Acquiring consent will require that one is not drunk, unconscious or sleeping that cannot count. In addition, men should consider viewing women as people with decorum. This is a virtue inculcated early to enable children know when they grow up how to treat women (Carson). It can be modeled so adults also need to set a good example for children to follow. Everyone is involved when it comes to rape. Ending it means having an all inclusive process where everyone is involved in airing their views and taking appropriate actions where necessary.

As said earlier, first changing the question being asked about what women can do to prevent rape will change the messages passed where men think it is a woman’s affair not theirs. Eventually, the way rape cases are reported will change. As known in rape culture, women who are raped do not invite it as assumed by men. In order to prove this point, men should be the ones spearheading the cultural shift messages. Rape can be viewed from men’s point of view not women. Men can be involved in creating awareness about the predicament of rape and its impact on society. Any positive action taken by men in this endeavor will be condoned in the hope that this will reduce the number of rape cases in the campus.

Works Cited

Brittny, Meija. Student’s Preaching Sparks First Amendment Debate on UA Campus. The Daily

 Wildcat. 2014. Internet resource.

Carson, Suggs. New Dialogue Needed to End Rape Culture. The Daily Wildcat.2014 .Internet

   Resource.Rob, Monteleone. Only Responsibility Can Stop Rape. The Wildcat .2014 .Internet resource. 

Tyler, Kinkade. You Deserve Rape’ Sign Held By ‘Brother Dean’ Outrages University of

            Arizona Students. The Huffington Post. 2013.  Internet resource.