I have a classmate who has a tendency to say stuff that is really offensive. Once he told the story of when he came to the United States, he expected brilliant professors, gold roads, and beautiful women. According to him, these things only exist in movies about the USA. (He then ended up sandwiched between the author and her roommate, for the rest of the car ride. My roommate asked slyly, “Shame about that lack of beautiful women, eh?” His face got ashen and we just laughed to ourselves, as he quickly backpedaled. Needless to say, he isn’t known for his deft cultural sensitivity. I had long since figured that he would never understand feminism.
Fast forward to a year later, and I have been telling him off every time that he used the word “rape” to describe exams, schedules, video-games and non-legitimate rape. After the third time I called on him, he asked why it mattered to me. And as I talked about rape culture, one in four, the twelve percent of men who inadvertently rape, he just sat and listened.
He said, “I had no idea that it was like that. I never thought about it that way before.” And he stopped using the word. Sometimes, those that we believed to be opposed to us are merely ignorant. They can be taught. Keep going, because you may not have made an impact the first, second, or even third time. The good ones can eventually be taught.
- Action Alert: Strike Out Rape Culture, NYC! (sherights.com)
- Rape Culture Sammich 1.0 (makemeasammich.org)
- Of Slut Shaming, Rape Culture and SlutWalk (fromawhispertoaroar.wordpress.com)
- GIRL ARMY!!! Cranks It Up 10 Notches (lineout.thestranger.com)
- A Fan Letter to Certain Conservative Politicians (whatever.scalzi.com)
- A follow-up on complementarianism and rape culture (sarahoverthemoon.com)