The band Fishbone will join forces with Men Against Rape (MAR) to demonstrate against sexual assault at a rally in Storke Plaza today at 11.
State Assembly Representative Hannah-Beth Jackson, 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall and UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang will speak at the rally. The director of Students Stopping Rape, keynote speaker Joseph Weinberg, will speak on the myth of masculinity, male responsibility and the relationship between the two.
Finance Board contributed $7,100 to the rally and the Residence Hall Association contributed $1,500 for T-shirt production. In addition, two of the rally’s organizers have contributed approximately $4,000 of their own money – costs they hope will be offset by community donations they are still waiting for.
Jeffrey Bucholtz, a representative from Men Against Rape, said he hopes the rally will motivate students to become more involved in rape prevention and encouraged students to join MAR.
“Including faculty and staff on campus, there’s about 10,000 men on campus and only seven doing the work [against sexual assault],” Bucholtz said. “People can make a difference by showing up, by showing that they care.”
One out of five women in college reports being forced into sexual activity, and 77 percent of rapes are committed by someone known by the victim, said Rita Ornelas, Rape Prevention Education Program assistant coordinator.
“[Sexual assault] affects all students, and it will continue to affect them their entire lives,” Ornelas said. “The rally is about awareness and people taking responsibility to further educate themselves. It is about men taking responsibility and action against rape.”
Bucholtz said men should take responsibility because they commit a large majority of sexual assaults.
“The rally is about raising awareness among men,” said Bucholtz. “Men Against Rape is an organization that believes 99 percent of rape committed against men or women is committed by men. Men have to acknowledge it’s an issue.”
Chris Keith, a member of Men Against Rape, said he believes the real issues involved in rape are power and gender roles, and men should not leave women to deal with sexual assault on their own.
“This is a very different perspective,” Keith said. “This is a perspective of men who are working for the cause. We are reaching out to men to say, ‘Hey, this is your issue too!’ ”
A series of educational workshops titled “Reforming Masculinity” will follow the rally at 2 p.m. in the UCen Chumash Room. Keith said the goal of the workshops is to reform the idea of masculinity, gender roles and the socialization of young men.
By discussing these topics, Men Against Rape hopes to change the stereotypes placed upon men and women by society, and ultimately stop sexual assault altogether. Keith said it was reassuring that this issue will be addressed in a public form.
“This is an event for all students,” Keith said. “[The rally] is going to help people realize how big an issue this is on campus. It’s a nice thing to know that there are people working on it.”