Letter to the Editor — Rape Culture exists


Rape Culture exists, and it breathes through our daily lives. It is almost like it weaves into unexpected places and brings you back to a time where the world tears into you until you are small. You spend years contemplating what happened, if it did happen or if it was an insignificant moment that you should just get over.

There was a time in our society where sexual assault was barely talked about. And now? We do talk about it. But it seems like society continues to rationalize it, to forgive its actions, and all while leaving behind the people who should matter the most — survivors.

People, and statistically speaking, cisgender men, will go out of their way to make sure you are nothing but an object. They will melt all over you, smudge down your multifaceted traits until you are nothing but just a one-dimensional sentient that only aims to please them. And it destroys you.

But violations also do not just come in physical form. They come in multiple forms. When I was 15, I was cat called. When I was 23, I was going home and this man tries to grab me in the bus. When I was 24, I had a man follow me every day during my work commute home, asking me if I was single yet. Throughout the years, I’ve learned to find ways to cope and to learn safety tactics.

But it isn’t enough.

We know the alarming statistics on college campuses and that most of the cases involve someone you know. However, people rather view the world as just. It was disheartening to see the banner. It was worse when I read the comments in defense of the fraternity. But I wasn’t surprised. It’s easy to rationalize this. But to survivors? To people who have experienced being humiliated and harassed? They have seen this before.

The students who saw this banner knew what these boys meant. They knew that new members referred to the mostly freshman students who were visiting sorority houses. And they knew that these boys were not offering housing tours. And anyone who defended them, especially those who are parents, should really learn better critical thinking skills.

This university must do more instead of censoring activists who were just building awareness. They should be more transparent about these sexual assault cases and they must stand with survivors who need their support and resources the most.

To the students who felt afraid, just know that I see you, that I believe you, and you are valid.

If you need support and counseling, the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center is here to help with their 24-Hour Crisis Line (316) 263-3002.


Deborah Ojeda-Leitner