Will Self-Defense Classes Be Taught in San Diego Schools?
[Video embedded after the jump]
My first thought upon watching this clip was "Awesome! I wish more cities would implement something like this!" But then I thought some more about the approach/language used ("The idea here is to not focus on the bad guys. Instead focus on the potential victims.") and the comparatively minuscule efforts to target the actual people most responsible for committing rape: men. While I fully support and applaud Sen. Christine Kehoe's efforts, I can't help but feel frustrated that she isn't also pushing for rape prevention education aimed at young men.
Have you seen this excellent piece of satire floating around the internet that manipulates all those "rape prevention" tips aimed at women? I kinda wish it could be posted all over the place in real life too.
Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work!Reading this list might throw you for a moment because--gasp--it's talking to men about all the things you as a young woman have had drilled into your head for years and years. Don't go out alone. Don't go out at night, period. Don't drink. Don't be honest with others about how much you enjoy sex. This list could go on and on but I'll stop here because I'm sure you're already overly familiar with the types of messages I'm talking about.
1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.
2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!
3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!
4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.
5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!
6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.
7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.
8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.
9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!
10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.
And, ALWAYS REMEMBER: if you didn’t ask permission and then respect the answer the first time, you are commiting a crime- no matter how “into it” others appear to be.
As my blogger-crush of the week Heather Corinna at Scarleteen explains in her post How You Guys--that's right, you GUYS--Can Prevent Rape,
Rape is often framed as about women, but it's not. Something done TO us really isn't about us. It's the things that we choose to do which are about us, which is why it's such an error for rape to be framed as a women's issue or about women: it's almost always a men's issue and really about men.Took the words right out of my mouth.
So, what can men do to stop sexual violence against women? This list of suggestions comes from the Florida Council against Sexual Violence.
One men's organization worthy of your time and respect is Men Can Stop Rape. Their website has tons of great resources related to ending sexual violence against women. For example, take a look at their state-by-state list of men's anti-rape organizations and pass it on to the guys in your life. I've seen their Strength Media campaign posters around and I have to say I like them. Gotta love any anti-rape campaign that's bilingual, acknowledges racial diversity, gays & lesbians, and the prevalence of sexual assault within the military. Here are some of my favorites:
- Be aware of language. Words are very powerful, especially when spoken by people with power over others. We live in a society in which derogatory words are often used to put women down. Such language sends a message that females are less than fully human. When women are seen as inferior, it becomes easier to treat them with less respect, disregard their rights and ignore their well-being.
- Communicate. Sexual violence often goes hand in hand with poor communication. Our discomfort with talking honestly and openly about sex dramatically raises the risk of rape. By learning effective sexual communication -- stating your desires clearly, listening to your partner, and asking when the situation is unclear -- men make sex safer for themselves and others.
- Speak up. You will probably never see a rape in progress, but you will see and hear attitudes and behaviors that degrade women and promote rape. When your best friend tells a joke about rape, say you don't find it funny. When you read an article that blames a rape survivor for being assaulted, write a letter to the editor. When laws are proposed that limit women's rights, let politicians know that you won't support them. Do anything but remain silent.
- Support survivors of rape. Rape will not be taken seriously until everyone knows how common it is. One out of every four women and one in seven men will be sexually assaulted during their lives. By learning to sensitively support survivors in their lives, men can help both women and other men feel safer to speak out about being raped and let the world know how serious a problem rape is.
- Contribute your time or money. Join or donate to an organization working to prevent violence against women. Rape crisis centers, domestic violence agencies and men's anti-rape groups count on donations for their survival and always need volunteers to share the workload.
- Talk with women... about how the risk of being raped affects their daily lives; about how they want to be supported if it has happened to them; about what they think men can do to prevent sexual violence. If you're willing to listen, you can learn a lot from women about the impact of rape and how to stop it.
- Talk with men... about how it feels to be seen as a potential rapist; about the fact that 10-20% of all males will be sexually abused in their lifetimes; about whether they know someone who's been raped. Learn about how sexual violence touches the lives of men and what we can do to stop it.
- Organize. Form your own organization of men focused on stopping sexual violence. Men's anti-rape groups are becoming more and more common around the country, especially on college campuses.
- Don't ever have sex with anyone against his or her will. No matter what!
Here are some other organizations and (hopefully) useful links related to ending sexual violence:
- Males and Rape Prevention from Wayne State University
- Safety & Crime Prevention Tips for New Students With Emphasis on Sexual Violence
- National Organization For Men Against Sexism's Taskforce on Ending Men's Violence
- A Call To Men Committed to Ending Violence Against Women
- Working with Men and Boys to Prevent Gender-Based Violence
- Men Stopping Violence
- Defining Masculinity: Fraternity Men, Media Analysis, and Violence Prevention ("A blog that provides community support for people working in the primary prevention movement and for those interested in masculinity issues.")