Sexual assault needs to be eliminated
On sept 27, the University of Minnesota increased security due to multiple cases and attempts of women being sexually assaulted.
More troubling, a growing number of female students believe that the prevention of sexual assault is their own personal responsibility. Fox News recently released a video in which young women gave tips on how to avoid getting raped. Some advice included, “mix your own drinks” and “avoid the fraternity scene entirely.” Though this may be helpful, the message being sent is occulted. Women are being told by other women that it’s their responsibility to change their sexual assault-inclined behaviors in order to avoid something that should not be happening anyway.
The fact that women have to alter their lifestyle appeases the seriousness of sexual assault by placing significant pressure on women.
When people concentrate on what women can do to evade sexual assault, they wander away from the more important issues.
Instead, people focus on superficial aspects like what women wear, do and whom they’re with at the time of the assault. This doesn’t accomplish very much.
The clothing a woman chooses to wear is most likely a marginal factor to a sexual predator; moreover, it does not change the culpability of the act. By advising women to wear less revealing clothing, society is reverting back to a time when women had fewer rights.
All this does is limit freedom of expression, as well as allowing her to feel comfortable in her surroundings. It is not fair that as women, we have to be terrified of mixed drinks, large groups of men (despite their age) and low-cut shirts.
Rarely do you hear cases in which a man is afraid to go jogging without a shirt on. Women, on the other hand, must constantly be mindful of petty things like how high the volume on their iPod is, and whether someone is slowly creeping up behind them. This is true because we seem to be limited to only morning runs, given that the UV rays and heat are too intense midday, and the evening/night is too dangerous.
Also, men of all shapes and sizes seem to always confidently run by with exposed torsos, while, as a woman, I am limited to wearing a heavy-cotton-sweat-absorbing t-shirt due to fear of exposing too much skin and attracting unwanted attention.
There should be a stronger incentive in society to create awareness in the reality of sexual assault and how to fight it — and ultimately end it.
Camila Cossa is a creative writing sophomore and may be reached at [email protected].