Rape isn’t gendered, is men’s problem too

Rape isn't gendered, is men's problem too

by Emili JohnsonStaff Writer

By the time this article is printed in the Simpsonian, it will have been two weeks since my fellow columnist and news editor Mark Pleiss wrote his commentary “Men can stop rape…so why don’t they.” This happen to be the same day as the tearful Take Back the Night rally and I think something needs to be said behalf of the women on this campus that were offended and hurt by Pleiss’s column.

Now, I will for the most part give Pleiss credit for voicing his opinion at a time on the campus where it seems like the issues of rape is not only hot topic, but also is something that no one wants to talk about.

By writing his column, he is getting people to talk about a very touchy subject. But I think if Pleiss would have gone to the rally, he would think differently about rape and the slogan, “Men can stop rape.”

First of all, as a journalist and a woman, I am very frustrated about how after writing news and opinion articles about rape and its effects on the campus and a student, that following weekend, another woman was violated.

I personally do not understand what would make a man think that it is okay for him to use his penis as a weapon and how he could inflict that kind of pain on another human being. It seems as if he does not realize that the woman he has pinned down by the wrists is someone’s daughter, someone’s cousin, someone’s aunt, and could one day be someone’s mother. This woman has a right and one of those is NOT to be raped or violated.

In his column, Pleiss says that he feels that the slogan “Men can stop rape” makes the situation a “black and white one” and that the responsibility falls completely on the male involved.

I believe that is not what the slogan is saying and in fact, it is bringing to light that for centuries, rape has been considered to be a woman’s issue. No man should get defensive because like other issues that plague our society, rape is an issue that does not belong to one gender; it belongs to both whether it is a man raping a woman or a woman raping a man.

I think my favorite part of Pleiss’s column was how he feels that this wave of feminism is segregating the sexes rather than bringing them together. What he does not realize is that we are now in the midst of the third-wave of feminism where men are beginning to call themselves feminists because they believe in the equal treatment between men and women in society.

Contrary to his beliefs, not all feminists hate men and he can ask any feminists on this campus and they will tell him that they want men standing beside him or her in the fight against rape and that is why the campaign is so important. It is meant to bring the sexes together.

The day men put aside their egos and realize that rape affects them just as much as it affects women, then we will be able to stand together.

But as long as men like Pleiss keep taking things out of context without learning more about it, then the goal of standing together is prolonged.

I would like to close this piece by something that hopefully the men on this campus will think about.

If Pleiss and other men on campus that share his opinion would have been at the Take Back the Night rally, they would have heard the stories of some extremely brave women. They would have seen the unity that was created by both the men and women and the compassion that is often hidden.

They would have seen men and women bonding together and sharing their feelings of despair and triumph as these women not only told their stories, but showed to everyone that they were determined not to let this tragic event control their lives.

They would have cried and they would have realized that this is an issue that will be around until we all take control to stop it.

They would have realized that this is something that could happen to their own mother, sister, aunt, cousin and even grandmother.

They would have realized that once the problem is stopped, then women and men can finally take back the night and live in an environment where everyone is safe and no one is in harm’s way.

So, I say to you, Mr. Pleiss, yes men can stop rape, but until the other ego-oriented men get over themselves and realize this is their problem too, we women (and men) will continue to tell our stories in hopes that you will one day stand with us with pride rather than stand against us in speculation and criticism.