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Meat is murder: the wrongs of sexual harassment, assault

April 5, 2013

Sexual assault and sexual harassment are two things that everyone should be conscious of. Maybe you or your friends do not see these things as a problem on this campus. If that’s the case, there are probably two reasons.
The first is turning a blind eye. We all do it to some degree or another. We see that something is wrong, but because of positive re-enforcement, we choose not to stand up. If a woman is being sexually harassed at a party, I have found, other women choose not to stand up for the one being harassed. A common reason I have heard is that the woman who was being harassed was just overreacting, that these comments and “jokes” are made all the time. Maybe they do believe that, but there is a bigger reason behind those comments. If women stand up against the men at parties or events, they are stepping outside of what is socially acceptable and are no longer being submissive to men. They risk loosing friends or a chance at a date. What these women are really doing is telling other women who are harassed that they are to blame and giving the harasser permission to continue.

The second reason for people not seeing sexual assault and harassment on this campus as an issue lies in the fact that we have become desensitized. It is common for people to make jokes about women; it is common for people to have sex with women who are too drunk to have sex; it is common for people to cat call; it is common for people to touch women when they don’t want to be touched. All of these things are wrong. Just because we have normalized it does not make it right and does not make it hurt any less when it happens.

Maybe you are thinking, “Well obviously, I think sexual harassment is bad.” That’s good, but do you know exactly what qualifies as sexual assault or harassment?

First and foremost, sexual harassment or assault is any unwanted comment or action that is derogatory and, most importantly, makes someone feel uncomfortable, saying anything that is demeaning to/about a woman (degrading or putting a woman’s worth in association with an object) and, finally, rape.

Rape is any unwanted and non-consenting penetration. The media usually portrays this as a physically violent assault against a woman, but that is not what is most common on college campuses. What is common is what the ever feminist “Cosmopolitan Magazine” calls “gray rape.”

That is a terrible name for what it is, but “gray rape” is essentially when a girl is too drunk to consent. Maybe she does say yes, but if she was unconscious at any point in the night, it is still considered rape to have sex with her. Try and argue with it as much as you want. It’s not that she regrets it, it’s that she doesn’t remember it or doesn’t remember most of it. It is no one’s right to take advantage of someone who is that drunk, and it is not her or his fault if they are that drunk.

We are allowed to drink, we are allowed to flirt, we are allowed to wear what we want, we are allowed to sleep with as many men as we WANT to and we are allowed to walk alone at night. No one is allowed to rape us and no one is allowed to harass us.

The Slut Walk, happening this Saturday, April 6, and the Coalition for Women’s Awareness are working on raising awareness of these issues and working to create a better campus for women and equality.

Kaitlyn Pfau
Contributing Writer

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