Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Thoughts on Last Class

Shlomo's picture

I've been doing a lot of thinking about Tuesday's class, and I spent a couple hours last night discussing various issues around rape and sexual assault with a friend (not in the class).  Some of the questions we talked about (along with some of the questions I was left with) are listed below:

How can we talk about rape theory in class when, statistically, rape is so much more than a theory for 25% of college women?

Is the "theorization" of rape okay?  Or does it do violence to rape and sexual assault survivors?

When even GenSex professors and students (myself included) make elementary mistakes when introducing and discussing rape and sexual assault ideas, where is the hope?

Is it fair for Haverford to ask rape and sexual assault survivors to out themselves to their deans in order to receive adequate support in classes (i.e. extensions and/or exemptions from certain assignments)?

Should I have to change who I am to avoid rape and sexual assault?

How can I tell Haverford or my dean that they are NOT doing a good job at helping students who are dealing with rape and sexual assault?


lwacker's picture

I concur but also...

Shlomo, I am right there with you. But in light of class discussion last Tuesday evening I would challenge/prod/remind you that part of our response to Eve Ensler's litany was about engaging alliances that are most inclusive or creating alliances that no longer allow exclusivity when they seek to provide support. We must remind ourselves that...

About 3% of American men — or 1 in 33 — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.1

  • In 2003, 1 in every ten rape victims were male.2
  • 2.78 million men in the U.S. have been victims of sexual assault or rape.1 {Rape Abuse & Incest National Network}

When I tried to google rape statistics for lgbtq communities my search didn't provide any concrete evidence in stats from governmental agencies or non-profit advocacy groups. This speaks widely to the issue of consciousness that I think our Tuesday class instrumentally exhibited. Rape is a societal issue. An issue that effects everyone and everyone has a say in whether or not they are personally violated. If we are in the Humbachian mindset of right relationships that rape is a product of not having right relationships that extend between two individuals, a community and a global eco-system of living beings. Violating one another is an attack on an individual's rights. We need to support individual rights by acting in alliance and that means recognizing all rapes, like everything and everyone else in this world, come in all different guises.