The New York Daily News reports on one University of Oregon student’s response to the Steubenville rape case:
A film student was disgusted with the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case coverage, so she directed a short video to spread a message she felt was glaringly absent: Real men do not rape.
Samantha Stendal, a sophomore film student at the University of Oregon, gathered a few friends to act in her anti-rape public service announcement, “A Needed Response,” after the high-profile trial of Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond, who were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl.
“I just wanted something positive out there,” Stendal told the Daily News, “especially after there had been so many negative responses and people going directly to victim blaming.”
The video shows a man stumble upon a sleeping woman.
“Hey bros, check who passed out on the couch. Guess what I’m gonna do to her,” the man says, before he places a pillow under her head, tucks her in with a blanket and places a mug of water beside her for when she wakes up.
“We all need to treat one another like decent human beings,” Stendal said. “My video was a direct response to the Steubenville rape case. But even though my video is of a guy and girl, I want it to relate to anyone. No matter what your gender, you should treat one another with respect.”
You can watch the video, which has gotten over a million views, here.
I don’t want this post to be construed as a criticism of the video or video maker herself. She had good intentions behind the message of treating each other with respect no matter what condition we happen to be in, but it misses a larger one that we as a society have been conditioned to ignore and that is that it shouldn’t just be men who respect women, but women should also have respect for THEMSELVES and try to avoid situations that could potentially lead to this type of life-altering trouble in the first place.
If more women would heed the following three simple words, they’d have to worry less about finding themselves in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong guy – and would not have to deal with the agony of living their whole lives with the memory of rape:
Sounds pretty simple, right? Unfortunately, a lot of women don’t listen. 60s era “feminism” in the modern era has taught women that “liberation” equals being able to do what you want to – no matter how dangerous, and to ignore the potential consequences. That if you get pregnant, it’s the guy’s fault, that if you are attacked, nothing you could have done could have prevented it in any instance.
Neither are necessarily true, and I wish this point had been emphasized in the video. Something like: yeah, guys, don’t take advantage of a woman who gets slobbery drunk. But ladies, avoid getting that drunk in the first place. You can still have a good time!
I get in trouble sometimes for making this argument because some people think I’m “blaming the victim.” Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a difference in saying something might have been preventable versus blaming the victim for what happened. No victim of rape deserves to be raped. Period. Full stop. My point is that I want there to be less victims of crime, not more, and the best way to reduce your chances of being a victim is to start by being responsible for where you are and the condition you are in and who you are with. Why is this so controversial to say? Parents tell their kids not to play too close to the street. Husbands remind their wives not to drive or walk in a bad neighborhood at all, especially at night and especially not alone. Mothers strongly urge a buddy system for their teenage daughters when a group of them get together for a beach trip. Why not encourage women, especially young high school and college women, to avoid getting drunk? Doesn’t mean you can’t drink, but it also means to not have so much to drink you forget who you are, where you are, and who you are with —- and what you’re doing. This applies to guys as well, of course, but fortunately for them they don’t have to deal with being date raped very often. Ladies – don’t put it all on the guy to be responsible. You need to be responsible, too, just in case.
These are common sense suggestions that aid in keeping people safe. They aren’t fool-proof, of course – you could take every single precaution possible and still find yourself in a situation you’d rather not be in – but you lessen your chances of being a victim of crime just by following simple advice on how to protect yourself.
Yes, we should be able to go where we want to go, and do what we want to do without fear that we’re going to be attacked – and that goes for men, too. We have the “right” of free will. But having “the right” to do something in our society doesn’t always = being ok to exercise it. With freedom comes responsibility, and we must be responsible for ourselves, and in our decision making, because our society is not perfect. And that is the reality of it – we don’t live in a perfect world, and there are people out there who will always be up to no good, so we must guard ourselves against such people. Amazingly enough, I’ve been able to do this for years and still – gasp – have managed to have fun!
It wasn’t always like this, however- when I was younger I DID find myself in situations that could have gotten me in a lot of trouble. I was VERY fortunate that ultimately they did not. I’ve done a lot of maturing since then, and my hope is that anyone reading this who has the mentality that they are invincible, please do a little soul-searching …. and growing up, too. Most men don’t rape (newsflash for “feminists”!) but there are bad people in the world, and taking precautionary measures to try and prevent yourself from being hurt could save you a lot of pain and grief and agony.
Isn’t it worth it to at least try?