Ever wish you knew where to find the Top 10 list of things to do when raping someone to not get caught? Yea, me neither. But someone thought it was critical to provide these tips to men at the University of Miami (the Ohio one). Because I mean, c’mon guys “RAPE RAPE RAPE, its college boys live it up!” as the last tip read.
No, I’m not lying. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.
Yea, I am angry. Disgusted. Frustrated. Furious. Etc. Yes, I may have cursed out loud on my lunch break at work when I read this on my Google News feed. But it does nothing to just be angry at whoever thought it was okay to put this up in the men’s bathroom in one of the Halls. It does nothing to be furious that no one immediately ripped it down and went to faculty to talk about this horrible excuse for an advertisement in the guys bathroom.
I am focusing my anger and disgust on asking why this even happens. I have an answer and I don’t have a concrete solution — which just adds to my frustrations. The answer is because men do get away with rape. All of the time. To the point it becomes somewhat comical among and leads to these offensive signs to be posted. Rape is becoming the norm on college campuses and throughout society. Our judges have not stood up against it. Our citizens sitting on juries have not stood up against rape. Our police officers have not stood up against sexual assault. Our faculty and administration at universities — small, large, Ivy league, or filled with athletes — have not stood up against the rape happening on their own campuses. If these people aren’t standing up against it and holding those who rape accountable, how can we expect men not to post these absurdly disgusting signs in their bathroom?
David Lisak, a clinical psychologist at the University of Massachusettes Boston, studies predators and has done extensive research on rape on college campuses. After talking to over 2,000 college students, he found that 1 in 16 men reported that they had committed. These men were also found to be repeat offenders with each men committing approximately 6 rapes. The rapists are also strategic in that they prey upon vulnerable freshman who do not have as much experience with drinking. Not only are these girls lacking control due to being intoxicated, but they now lack credibility in the criminal justice system due to the fact that they were drinking (under age) and probably wearing a skirt and low cut shirt. .
How often do you hear about sexual assault on campus? Not often enough, for one. Secondly, if you do hear about it it’s typically about an athlete (that’s the only reason you’re hearing about it) raping another student and often times avoiding a charge. Men know that they can get away with sexually assaulting a woman and we can only blame the rapist and society. We need to teach men not to rape rather than teach women how to “hold their liquor.” We need to ensure our law enforcement personnel, judges, and peers convict rapists rather than humiliating the victim in order to let him go free.
We need to read the research — starting with Dr. Lisak’s — to understand the predator aspect of rape. To understand why men rape. We can’t understand the concept of rape without digging into the why. And why does not mean blaming the victim. If women were valued or nearly equal (not even equal) in our society the ways in which we respond to injustices against them would be drastically different. For starters, we would think forcing a woman to have sex would be an injustice. Sadly, we aren’t quite there.