12 April 2013

There have been two extremely disturbing news stories this week about teenage girls who committed suicide after being gang raped. 

What is going on with so many young men today where they find this kind of behavior acceptable? Given the binge drinking that’s so prevalent in high school and college these days, it seems like there’s been a culture shift from “No means no” to a lack of protest, even if the woman is passed out and can’t speak, equals consent.

Where is this coming from? Are parents not raising their boys to have respect for women and for themselves? I don’t want to get into whether girls are being raised to respect themselves because even going down that road can make it sound like a woman is one iota to blame if she’s raped due to some bad behavior and judgment on her part. What kind of man feels good about himself after he sleeps with someone who was an unwilling, or simply unaware, participant? 

How much are TV and movies to blame?  Let me qualify that last remark... I don’t believe in the government censoring any kind of freedom of expression, but we can’t believe that music, movies, and TV have the power to lift us up, but not bring us down and influence us that way as well.

A few weeks ago after the Steubenville, Ohio verdict, there was a viral video that featured a college-aged guy talking about the passed out girl on his couch and what a good time he was going to show her and how he was going to treat her right... you think it’s leading somewhere else and then he takes a blanket and covers her with it, takes a pillow and puts it under her head, and (I may not be remembering this totally correctly), I think he even, in the ultimate move of consideration and smarts, put a garbage can in very close proximity. Every boy and girl should be shown that video over and over and over again. That is the only acceptable way to treat a girl who's had too much to drink.

Today’s $10 goes to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. The NSVRC is an off-shoot of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and it focuses on training and communications initiatives to address and prevent sexual violence. According to the center, 1 in 6 women in the US will be a victim of sexual assault. 

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