Editor, Daily Nexus,
I just wanted to applaud the intelligent and positive-minded young women on campus today near Davidson Library who were getting the word out about sexual violence on our campus and beyond. These women dare to speak the name “rape” when many men prefer they stay silent. After all, we dress up or make a euphemism of rape when we call it “date rape.” Date or not, rape is rape.
The volunteer who approached me was quick to equip me with a blue T-shirt that read “IT AFFECTS ME,” and remind me that there is no way sexual violence cannot affect me, even as an American man, because rape is, in fact, the open secret of college life, military life and most especially Greek life. I have no doubt that the recipe for that college cocktail we call “frat life,” one half hazing and one half living-it-up, subtly perpetuates a culture of misogynistic violence and male self-hatred. Men and women suffer when men feel as if they can’t measure up because men too often take it out on women. And so long as America continues to promote the first rule of Fight Club – which is that we, in American society, DO NOT TALK about the fight clubs both within our borders and beyond them – it is easy to see how patriarchy, still alive and well in 2007, silences all kinds of anti-Man dissent through a very un-gentlemanly inability to say it out loud, to speak what must be spoken: that women’s bodies and minds matter.
These brave new volunteers were doing just that this afternoon on our campus, and I applaud them for saying it. By getting the message out about rape in a positive way, these volunteers are doing us all a
service and reminding us that more men should mind their manners. So thanks to them!