Posted by Samuel Gilleran (’11)
I speak up to briefly defend men and then share some thoughts of my own. I do not seek to defend the two children quoted in Miss Koval’s posting – I could not do so even had I wanted to. There are men who care, however, and it is short-sighted to rage on against “a culture of men” unless one intentionally wishes to turn men off. Nobody wants to support a cause if it involves self-vilification. Don’t expect men to join the fight against sexual assault until we are no longer made villains.
Further, just who is KEWL attempting to convince with their posters and banners, and yes, the cards on the wall? It obviously isn’t the people who care about sexual assault, as we already know about the problem. It obviously isn’t the rapists themselves – no amount of information is going to change their behavior. Is there really a squishy middle on this issue of sexual assault?
There may be. I don’t know one way or the other – but assuming there is, is this the best way to convince them to join your cause? If I, a man who cares about this issue, feel marginalized and vilified, imagine what a man in the squishy middle thinks.
Rewinding a little bit, let’s talk about this: how on God’s green earth are rapists even showing up on this campus as students? Perhaps the way to change campus culture is to change the people who create the culture – the students. Admissions should probably get on that. And if it makes this school less fratty, well, it’ll just have to be okay – and maybe, just maybe, the Greek system will fix itself if we quit admitting frat lords.
Another thing: unless the law students or the Class of 2013 comes through for us, next year’s Executive Committee will be all-male. So the EC last year took jurisdiction over sexual assault cases, but what young woman, after having been abused, is going to pursue a case in front of an all-male body? Don’t blame the system for this – the system has elected female candidates in the past. Females should step up into student government to sit in judgment of these sorts of cases. Out of all the officials elected to next year’s student government so far, precisely ONE is female. Don’t blame the system – there were only TWO female candidates.
One final note: cards stating “My left one is bigger!” or “One of my labia is ½ inch longer than the other!” make a joke out of the situation. Nobody needs to know which breast is bigger, and for the love of, I don’t know, anything – nobody needs to know that you use your roommate’s tweezers to pluck your nipple hair or about your frequent use of your roommate’s vibrator. That has nothing to do with sexual assault, and it turns people off to the entire mission.
I think that’s about it. There are misogynistic people everywhere, and we’ll never be able to stamp it out entirely. What we can do better is regulate our student intake and be willing to remove students who perpetrate sexual assault. Really, what happens at the frat house shouldn’t stay at the frat house.