Thursday, December 3, 2009

Amelia McDonell-Parry's Thanksgiving

In "Fun With Family: Roman Polanski Ruined My Thanksgiving," (the Frisky), Amelia McDonell-Parry writes about her experience trying to teach her brother about rape during Thanksgiving dinner. Her rage at men's obvious lack of education about the nature of rape and their insensitivity at its deeply personal aftereffects resonates with my own. She concludes:
But beyond drilling the legal definition of “rape” into the male (and female) brain, shouldn’t we also be teaching men about the aftermath of rape and sexual assault? The toll it can take emotionally, physically, and psychologically? Many times rape survivors show no visible scars, but the effects are still there and can be extremely long-lasting. Hell, it’s been years since my virginity was taken from me without my consent and while I’ve never really thought of myself as being extremely “scarred” because of it, the experience was front and center in my brain when I was arguing with my brother. He didn’t understand why I couldn’t look at the Polanski case objectively and withdraw my own personal experience, but considering Polanski’s fate is not in my hands (the judicial system would make sure that it wouldn’t be—I would never be selected for a jury in a rape case, and rightfully so), why should I? And, for that matter, shouldn’t all human beings—men and women—see rape as a deeply personal issue (not necessarily to them, but in general)? Wouldn’t doing so potentially do more to end sexual violence than even the deafening cry of “no means no”?
As McDonell-Parry remarks, people's ambivalence about rape thrives because we live in a rape culture. Rape is ingrained into the very fabric of our society - in the patriarchal commands of our bosses, in the unjust taking of land from others by force, in the unacknowledged moment where a girl says neither 'yes' nor 'no' yet has her virginity taken from her.

"Fun With family" emphasizes the argument that men and women should receive more comprehensive rape education; this argument is one I introduced in "Tragedy of Errors: A Story of Rape and Consent." Men and women can spread and gain awareness of rape by sharing and listening to stories of sexual violence and learning about its traumatic life consequences.

Hopefully, with people's increased exposure to the concept of consent and the consequences of sexual assault, violence against others will decrease.


Creative Writing On Sexual Violence
Incubus (Posted 9/20/2009)
Karintha (Posted 10/31/2009)
En el Espejo Mio (Posted 10/6/2009)
Tragedy of Errors: A Story of Rape and Consent (Posted 8/18/2009)

Online Articles
What's Being Taught In College Rape Prevention Programs?
Sex Offenses on the Subways Are Widespread, City Officials Are Told

No comments:

Post a Comment