Have you ever heard the saying “I raped that test” or “he raped that guy on the football field”? I’m sure many of you have, and if you haven’t, consider yourself lucky. These two sayings are not only offensive but promotes a rape accepted society. Using these sayings is the same as using “that’s so gay” which promotes a homophobic society. Neither of these are acceptable. One in every four females and one in every six males will be sexually assaulted by the time they are 18. How does that make you feel? That means out of an average college size classroom about seven females and six males have undergone some kind of sexual trauma.
Rape is one of those tragic events that everyone thinks “that will never happen to me,” well guess what, it can! And as long as rape is accepted in this society it very well could happen to you. Using rape in every day language not only causes some people to feel uncomfortable, but can bring back traumatic memories for that person who is one of four or one of six.
I’m not writing this article to preach and say what is right or what is wrong, I’m writing to spread awareness of this issue so that the student body can look out for one another and help each other stay safe. I know going out to parties can be fun, but go with a group and leave with a group. Friends don’t leave their friends alone intoxicated.
As society progresses, I can only hope that we can start to be the change agents who put a stop to our rape accepted culture.
Rape is not about sex, it’s about power and control. Rape is not something that is an easy subject to talk about, but if we do talk about it then we can become more educated and make the world a safer place. Staying quiet only kills those who have been silenced through the violent act of being raped.
I encourage all of you to keep yourselves and your friends safe. Next time you think about using a phrase with the word rape in it as a joke, try to remember that someone around you could have been raped, and how would that make him or her feel. We are all adults and can take responsibility for our actions. So let’s start today!
Rebekah Balmer is a junior at West Chester University, majoring in Women’s Studies. She can be reached at RB649636@Wcupa.edu