By Sarah Jensen
A couple of weeks ago, the feminist blog Jezebel posted an article, “Rape Culture at Boston University”, which specifically addressed collegiate problems of sexual assault. First of all, for rape and sexual assault to be distinguished as a culture is problematic to say the least. This past year, there has been an overwhelmingly large number of assault cases involving students. Most notably, a few instances concerning hockey players. Several students, who were interviewed, commented on how normal it is to experience assault in the campus community, as if it were encouraged: “‘there’s an emphasis on praising the aggressive, violent aspects of sports culture’” said recent graduate Allison Francis. It was noted that the BU administration could be at fault, for not putting enough emphasis on solving the problems or even providing adequate support for victimized students.
One female undergraduate who once wrote a paper on “Douchbaggery at BU” for an anthropology class said that “everyone has at least one story of a friend who had a bad run-in with a hockey player or rare frat guy.” She cited a campus staircase that for decades students have jokingly referred to as the “rape stairs” — for a series of alleged assaults that may have taken place there in the 1980s — as an example of “the type of normalization [on campus] when it comes to sexual assault and rape.”
The sad truth is that any large university with a prominent sports program is subject to this type of behavior. One might wonder whether the school administrators are more interested in keeping up the money-making images of the sports teams or in maintaining the integrity and safety of the entire student body. University students, faculty, and administrators should be advocating for the well-being of the student body as a whole. The issue of “rape culture” is something that plagues many universities. It is in our best interest to instigate discourse about the topic and to offer up solutions in the interest of eliminating the problem as whole.
[Photo credit: Jezebel.com]
Join us today from 12-2pm at the UMKC campus in Royal Hall (800 E 52nd St) for Sexual Assault Awareness Month tabling event. Come check out our tables with information about sexual assault, how to deal with it, or help a friend deal with it. We’ll also have information about campus and community resources.
Sponsored by the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project
For more information or with questions contact the Women’s Center at 816.235.1638 or email@example.com