I am a strong advocate for women’s rights and proud to be involved in the anti-rape movement. (The fact that there even needs to be a movement against rape is pretty shocking when you think about it.) To be honest it’s not like there is a pro-rape party out there, rather to me, the anti-rape movement is more about raising awareness of a pernicious suite of ideas and cultural norms which propagate permissive or enabling attitudes towards rape. So rather than having a group advocating for rape which we oppose, we stand against actions which facilitate sexual violence.
I am, however, largely a newcomer to this field and my thoughts are evolving. I’ve learned a lot from great people on twitter. One of them is Christa Desir, a young adult writer and a person who spends an enormous amount of time helping those who are victims of sexual assault. Christ wrote that amazingly powerful book Fault Line, which comes out this autumn and I hope you get it so we can discuss.
One way she is helping to expand the conversation about who can, and should, participate in combating sexual assault is by running a week long series of blog posts by “men in the movement”. For this blog carnival she asked several men who were active combating sexual assault to answer a series of questions. She recorded the answers anonymously, but I’ve never been one to be shy, so I’m going to link to each week’s post here and out myself as to which answer is mine.
I hope you take time to read this and think about what you can do to help those who have survived – and to try to change the culture that allows such actions to exist.
Q1 “Do you think men belong in the anti-sexual violence movement and why? Is there a part of this movement you don’t feel men should be involved with?”
Q2 “Did you become invested in this for personal reasons or political/social reasons (or some of both)? And, did you have a turning point moment when this issue became part of your world?”
Q3 ” What do you believe the future for men in the anti-rape movement looks like? Is there something that more male voices might do to change the culture?
My answer (as A3)
Q4 “What would you like to say to people who don’t understand your interest in this issue?”
My answer (now as A2)
Q5 “Is there part of the anti-sexual violence movement that you think keeps men from engaging in it?”
My answer (as A4)