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Letter to the Editor — Rape Culture exists

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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

9 Comments

9 Responses to “Letter to the Editor — Rape Culture exists”

  1. Thank you. on September 14th, 2017 9:03 am

    Thank you.

    [Reply]

  2. You speak for all of us on September 14th, 2017 10:11 am

    Thank you

    [Reply]

  3. Fire on September 14th, 2017 12:33 pm

    Get ready to get a letter from Fire helping define free speech and from guys saying how bad they have it.

    [Reply]

    Rape Culture Reply:

    “The girl I raped said I ruined her life? She ruined my life! Now I have this reputation for raping her. She needs to just get over it because she’s ruining my future, my education, and my job opportunities…all I did was rape her. It’s not a big deal. She has ruined my life. She needs to get over it.”

    Rape Culture is a blaming, shaming, and denegrading culture.

    [Reply]

  4. WSUGrad on September 14th, 2017 4:46 pm

    That banner didn’t rape anyone. Let’s get that straight. Boys wanted to meet girls. End of story. Hardly a scandal. Free speech is under attack on college campuses everywhere. It is a right that must be protected. Surely we can differentiate between real sexual assault without having to violate first amendment protections. Over-reactions actually harm efforts to support sexual assault victims by making their claims feel more trivial. Serious actions deserve serious discussion. You look like an idiot.

    [Reply]

    Nice Strawman You Got There Reply:

    She didn’t say the sign raped someone. She said it perpetuates rape culture. Not sure if you’ve noticed your comment is among a lot of comments of support, so clearly, these “harmless” actions have a negative effect on people who have experienced the very thing the sign perpetuates. So of course, you will drone on about free speech while conveniently forgetting that free speech also includes public scrutiny of shitty behavior.

    [Reply]

    Tired of explaining this... Reply:

    The more you defend the actions of these frat boys, the more it validates the presence of rape culture on this campus. Rape culture exists when you actively refuse to believe it’s there, despite survivors telling you, over and over again, this is what it is. Listen to us. Do the work.

    Y’all were so proud of these boys a month ago when they were traipsing around campus in high heels.

    [Reply]

  5. Survivor on September 14th, 2017 6:03 pm

    Thank you. I am a survivor and it is obvious nobody gets what is at play here. To watch people call rape survivors stupid and ignorant is disheartening at most. They’re the monsters we have to watch out for.

    [Reply]

  6. To Survivors on September 14th, 2017 6:21 pm

    It’s really a beautiful thing. It seems like survivors are coming out of the dark places they hide and are finding their voices right in this moment. I am really, really proud of all of you. You are strong, brave, and courageous. Stand up. Speak out. Hold your head up high. The time is now.

    [Reply]

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