By: Mia Hazlett
I watched this TED talk by Jackson Katz, Ph.D about men’s violence against women http://www.upworthy.com/a-ted-talk-that-might-turn-every-man-who-watches-it-into-a-feminist-its-pretty-fantastic-7 . It was extremely valuable knowledge and gave a perspective that I had never really considered until I watched this. It made me beg the question, how young are men when they first hear, comprehend, and fear rape? Now Dr. Katz was not solely speaking of rape, he was speaking about all violence against women.
But as a woman, this made me think of all the lessons I’ve learned as a woman, to protect myself against being attacked by a man. As a woman, when I think of a man attacking me, I instantly think rape. I think back to a time when I was in college and of a self-defense class me and some of the girls in the dorm attended. There were no men in the class, less the one teaching it. I also remember flyers being handed out on campus, when one of the prisoners escaped from the nearby prison, with warnings not to walk late at night and to stay in groups. Then there was an Oprah episode I watched which focused on self-defense, taught by a man of course, but I remember him saying something along the lines of never get in the car with them and let them get you to a second spot. In my mind, the second spot was where I could be raped. Even watching shows or movies and the girl gets drunk and is around men, I think rape, sometimes it is the plot, sometimes not.
My point is, women think about rape and from a young age we are taught to protect ourselves. In fact, I just saw this picture on Facebook. Yet another way us women can protect ourselves from this horrid raping monsters. I mean if you read the line, “…at least one girl…” This is just one of the many signs I’ve seen in my lifetime.
The one thing I’ve never seen is the picture of a girl walking by this predator and he turns around and walks away. I’ve never seen a picture telling a man if he feels the need to slip an illegal drug into a girl’s drink, STOP. I’ve never heard anything beyond, “NO, MEANS NO”. Maybe that saying should end with, “if you don’t listened to NO, than you are a RAPIST.”
This may seem extreme, but I have two daughters. They are the women in these pictures. I don’t want them to grow up feeling like they have to carry the responsibility of knowing self-defense, because they exist in a world where men are not constantly educated on self-control. They dress appropriately because it is the virtuous thing t, not because someone with no self-control thinks she’s older and feels the need to put his hands on her. If she has to go to the bathroom when she is out, she should not have to be taught to “Never leave her drink unattended” because some monster may put a drug in her drink so he can take advantage of her lifeless body.
This isn’t to say I won’t teach my daughters these lessons. It’s to say, as a mother with daughters I pray those with sons will raise them up right so they will never leave those ways. I pray that our society will start investing in messages to young boys about self-control and plague them courses and signs. Because ultimately, if you have to use self-defense and are lucky enough to get away, you are still a victim of assault.