Challenging the sexual assault culture Reply

Emily M. Kochanek – News Editor

A year ago I wrote a feature article on hookup culture and the effects on women. It was a daunting and sorrowful task, as woman after woman recounted a time where she or another were sexually assaulted at parties or other social situations.

Recently, Boston Globe reporter Matt Rocheleau highlighted how recurrent sexual assaults and abuse are on Boston campuses. The Globe reports, “Across 22 of the largest campuses in and around Boston, reports of “forcible sex offenses” rose by nearly 40 percent between 2008 and 2012,” and a total of 113 sexual assaults were reported in 2012 from Boston campuses.

The statistics show a sharp increase in reports, but many speculate the increase comes from more awareness of the sexual assault problems.

Even with better programs trying to educate students, the Globe reports 88 percent of students victimized remain silent. And in today’s rape and slut shaming culture, the numbers remain higher.

However, although the anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise, Lasell’s Clery Report for 2012 showed only two cases of sexual assault were reported. Two. Security isn’t to blame, but the fear of social backlash keeps victims from coming forward.

“Consent is sexy,” is thrown around too much. Consent isn’t sexy, consent is necessary. The problem that arises from these undocumented assaults is the culture behind them. The patriarchal mindset that blames women for being too drunk, wearing “slutty” outfits, saying women were “just asking for it.”

And when men joke about rape, there is no solace for victims. If rape is a joke, why bother anyone with it? Victims are overshadowed by nonchalant patriarchal bullying that comes from the hookup culture.

And we shouldn’t say, “Drink less,” “Dress more conservatively,” and “Stop acting sexual,” because a women is entitled to act the way she wants. What we need to promote is “Don’t rape. Don’t do anything to a woman or man without her or his consent.” Because a person should have the freedom to be who they are. No one should live in fear that going out might turn into a nightmare.

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