QotD: “What this man had realized is that although individual cases of rape are perpetrated by individuals or groups of individuals, the systematic targeting of women and girls for sexual assault is supported by the imagery and belief systems of our wider culture”

In 2006 I took part in a discussion for men who were attempting to address issues of men’s violence against women. Toward the end of the event, men began sharing why they had been moved to get involved. One young man spoke emotionally of dealing with the rape of his female partner by a mutual friend. Her body and rights, and their trust in a friend, had been savagely violated. He wanted to make sense of the assault without re-creating the cycle of violence. He wanted to support his partner and find support for himself. He wanted, much more broadly, to eradicate rape culture. He began reading widely and thinking deeply as part of these efforts, and he began to realize his own role in perpetuating the problem. He said:

‘I’ve never raped a woman, and I’ve never even been in a fight. I strive to treat women with dignity and respect. But I’ve realized that rape is in me. It’s in the way I look at women walking down the street. It’s in the music I listen to and the movies I watch. It’s in the games that I play. It’s in me. And I don’t want it there.’

What this man had realized is that although individual cases of rape are perpetrated by individuals or groups of individuals, the systematic targeting of women and girls for sexual assault is supported by the imagery and belief systems of our wider culture. That culture is the water we’re swimming in, and he was starting to realize that it was toxic … Rape is in me. That’s a powerful realization.

Matthew B. Ezzell

(Found at (ex)Gynocraticgrrl)

2 responses

  1. This is a test to make sure my comment will go through….

  2. Hi Jennie, I’ve let every one of your comments I’ve seen out of moderation.

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