With rare exceptions, no one who is throwing a party spends the time, energy, and money so that people will get assaulted. Yet there is a clear connection between college party culture and sexual violence. To mitigate the risk, most colleges simply take a punitive approach (with varying levels of alcohol education thrown in) to alcohol on campus. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
The United States incarcerates a greater proportion of its population than any country in the world by far. When so few know the full extent of their own rights, even fewer are aware of or do not care about the rights guaranteed to the incarcerated. Despite the supposed “guarantee” of these rights, prisoners all over the U.S. are forced to serve out sentences in inhumane and torturous conditions.
With this time of year comes an increase in street harassment. So let me say it plainly to my male-identified people out there: Street harassment and leering are never okay. It’s all harassment. It’s all misogyny. And it all needs to stop. And since men are the primary perpetrators of street harassment, men bear the responsibility for ending it.
Here’s a lesson for any cause: If we don’t get to the root of the issue, all we’re doing is pulling some individuals to safety while losing others. In combatting sexual violence, we must work to help survivors heal, seek justice, and find the new normal in their life, but that cannot be our only work. We must prevent sexual violence before it happens. But how do we do that? What does it look like?
In my work, I’m regularly asked, “What can I do? I know that injustice exists, but I feel so powerless. I want to help!” Many folks of privilege struggle to figure out how to act for justice. More often than not, those who are denied access, voice, privilege, and justice in dominant culture know exactly what they need to do. So to that point, my answer to their question is always the same: “Listen.”
We want to appreciate beauty, and part of that is taking in the physical beauty of the people around us. But our actions never exist in isolation. Wandering eyes exist as part of a daily onslaught women face where their bodies are treated as public property, objectified in the media and in the eyes of many men. So how can we responsibly navigate the difference?
The unfortunate reality is that few schools are safe spaces for LGBTQ students. When I facilitate professional development sessions for teachers on building inclusive environments for diverse student populations, it’s clear most teachers want to be as supportive as possible to LGBTQ students, but aren’t sure how best to do so. So I’ve compiled a list of 10 things teachers can do to create a more inclusive classroom environment for LGBTQ students.