In an effort to stop blaming women for sexual assault the White House has shifted the conversation to focus on men: you need to look out for your wives, girlfriends, and daughters. In the PSA featuring celebrities from Steve Carell to Benecio Del Toro, and even Joe Biden and Barack Obama, the message that it’s men’s responsibility to prevent, report, and support the victims of sexual assault comes through in a chorus of deep, manly, and almost scolding sound bites.
Although the White House tackling sexual assault is a victory for advocates for sexual assault survivors and prevention, the way the task force is framing this issue is fundamentally flawed. This PSA, while an honorable effort, promotes an extremely patriarchal view of women — a view that fundamentally goes against what research says is necessary to stop sexual assault.
Both the UN and the CDC have published reports showing that in cultures with greater gender inequality and adherence to gender norms, women are at a greater risk for sexual violence. Research shows that in societies that emphasize male honor and physical strength, rape is more common. So this framing of sexual assault — that women are these delicate muffins who need to be protected by men, who are stronger and have more power — is actually promoting the very cultural norm that creates the environment for sexual assaults to happen in the first place.
Says Gina Scaramella, LICSW, the Executive Director of Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, “The conversation about prevention and response should be framed as a civil and human rights conversation. Everyone should be encouraged to prevent sexual violence and all people should not hurt all people — not because you’re a man but because you’re a human and care about other people. It’s not just about men not hurting women, it’s about saying violence isn’t okay period. Saying that women are a special class in need of protection by men only ignores male and transgender survivors and underlines the dynamic we are working to dismantle. We need to create a culture that sees all people as having intrinsic values as humans… not one that says the exploitation of only certain groups is not okay, and only certain other groups are responsible for not being violent.”
I’m a little shy. The idea of going up to a guy and initiating something makes me uncomfortable, but I’m trying to get better at it.
guess whose headshot proofs are finally up!!
Deputy Parrish [ and the burning Sheriff’s car ] in the Teen Wolf Season 4 Mid-Season Promo