|en - EuroWRC|
men can take
2000 16:20:49 +1100 (EST) From: michael flood <michael.flood(AT)anu.edu.au>
two different books Walter DeKeseredy and I have spent some time in the last
chapter suggesting ideas and strategies that profeminist men can take to try to
stop/cut back on/eliminate violence against women.
wrote the following for a lecture on sexual violence last year. And then
shortened them for a Reclaim The Night flyer directed at men. Looking back on
them now, I fear that some may be borrowed from: Warshaw, Robin 1988 I never
called it rape, New York: Harper & Row.
1. Check out
the sex you have with your girlfriend, boyfriend, partner or in one-night
stands. Make sure that the sex you have is always consenting. Don't pressure a
woman to have sex. Realise that your strength, size, social role and age are all
factors that can contribute to a woman's feeling of powerlessness against your
pressure for sex. Don't guilt-trip, expect sex in return for buying dinner or
blackmail her or him with leaving the relationship.
2. Take "no" for an answer. The assumption that women say
"no" when they really mean "maybe" or "yes" is
just that, an assumption. Do not ignore a woman if she says "no" or
seems resistant in any way. If she really means "yes" then it's up to
her to communicate her consent. The right to say "no" is a constant,
regardless of previous sexual relations. If you are not willing to accept
"no" from a partner, then a "yes" really has no meaning
either. And silence doesn't mean consent.
3. Talk about
sex. If you are unsure of what a woman wants, ask her. Say what you want to do
and check out what she or he wants to do. Discussing mutual expectations and
clarifying any mixed messages are effective ways of eliminating confusion and
greatly reducing the risk of sexual assault. For instance, if you are unsure
about how she is feeling, you might want to ask, "Is this
comfortable?" or, "Are you feeling okay about this?"
4. It's never
okay to use force or coercion. Don't assume that just because a woman dresses or
flirts in a manner that you consider sexy that she wants to engage in sexual
activity. Realise that women don't provoke rape by their appearance or by
agreeing to go to a man's room or house. The person responsible for the rape is
the person who uses force or pressure.
responsibility for your sexuality. Don't assume that if you are being sexual
with a person on one level, then you can automatically start being sexual on
other levels. Kissing or masturbating doesn't mean that intercourse comes next.
What you do with your penis is your responsibility. Having an erection doesn't
mean you have to put it somewhere.
excessive use of alcohol or other drugs. When you've been drinking or taking
other drugs, your decision-making abilities are impaired, you may become
aggressive, and you may not think clearly or communicate effectively. Remember
that being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not a defence against
criminal behaviour and rape is a criminal act.
how sexual stereotypes influence attitudes and behaviours. Social roles and
expectations may affect a man's decisions about sex. Some men feel pressured
into having sexual intercourse by their peers. Men are also taught that
expressing feelings is not masculine. Examining your social role and learning
ways to express feelings directly and non-violently can help to create deeper
and more meaningful interpersonal relationships. You don't have to prove
8. Don't engage
in any forms of sexual harassment, such as wolf-whistling, unwanted touching or
perving. Women aren't public property, available for our intrusions. Neither are
9. Inform yourself. Develop an awareness of the cultural supports for violence
against women. Develop a 'crap detector' to recognise the myths. Don't condone
rape jokes. Say they're offensive. When you see sex without consent on tv, in a
film or book, remind yourself that it is rape.
10. Talk to
other men about sexual assault. Start by mentioning something you read, a
conversation you had or something you've been thinking about. Become practised
at refuting the myths.
people when they tell you they've been raped or harassed or they know someone
who's been raped or harassed. Support what they say about it. Don't ask,
"What were you wearing?".
assume that women want or need your 'protection'. But support women if they ask
you to, such as by walking with a woman to her car in a carpark. If a woman is
walking in front of you along a dark street or through the campus at night, give
her lots of room, or cross to the other side of the road.
finally, take public and collective action. Intervene or do something if you see
violence happening. Get involved in the Campaign Against Sexual Assault on
Campus. In whatever places and spaces you live-whether your workplace, your
classroom, the street or your house-do what you can to end sexual assault and