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I'm suddenly asking myself, what is happening with our society? Why are we seeing such grotesque treatment of one another? And then it hits me, we as a society are living in a rape culture where people, both men and women, are no longer respecting one another. They are seeing each other as nothing more than a physical object to their own sexual desires. But there's more. My friend Brittany Plothow started a non-profit called We Are One In Three (WAOiT) to:
... create a safe and shame-free community for survivors of sexual assault of all genders while also educating the public on rape culture, its dangers, and how to combat these issues in communities. WAOiT offers free educational presentations to the public and believes in treating the source of sexual assault and not its symptoms.Brittany is trying to help make a change in the world so we can end Rape Culture and help make it safe for everyone. I am so impressed by what she is doing with WAOiT I wanted to share her work with you all. She wrote a piece defining the term Rape Culture in more detail and how we can put an end to it. While it's not easy, Brittany suggests a couple of key steps to start changing the culture:
So, what do we do about rape culture? Education is the first step. Once we know what rape culture is we can start to recognize it in our everyday lives. We can then choose which media to participate in and where to give our time and money.So why am I writing about Rape Culture on an educational site? Because as educators we all have a role to play here. The more familiar we are with the concept of Rape Culture, the more aware we can be in our schools to make sure we aren't adding to the problem as well as helping our students to see the negative effects of its dangerous ways.
One way we can help end the Rape Culture that exists is through more Digital Citizenship training for both students and adults in schools. I recently came across a link to a video that deals with men reading terrible tweets to female sportswriters in eye-opening PSA that really made me uncomfortable the first time I watched it. Please take a minute to watch the video below, but be aware, it contains some harsh language, although partially edited, that may be unsuitable for students. I do think you should watch it because it's incredibly important we see how awful some people act when they have a bit of anonymity online.
Did you see how uncomfortable the poor men selected to read these awful tweets to the female sportswriters? I can't even imagine writing those things down let alone tweeting them out to someone. And this sort of thing happens all the time with students. Maybe not so harsh or violent, but unfortunately, it's sometimes much worse. We need to help our young people realize words hurt and sometimes lead to death. Please take the time to help educate young people on the negative aspects of Rape Culture and how it can start very young and somewhat simple.