Content Warning: This article contains mentions of rape and sexual assault.
I was at BNC a few weeks ago with a group of my friends when we overheard a guy yell something that stopped all of us mid-conversation.
“Tonight is gonna be a rape party!”
The group of friends I was with was made up of all guys. They all looked at me, knowing I was about to walk up to a guy about twice my size and tell him off. Thankfully, they stopped me. Another guy confronted him about it, and they almost got into a fight.
If that other guy that confronted him is reading this, thank you.
If the guy that said that is reading this, I have one very important question to ask you.
Why the hell would you say something like that?
No matter how drunk or out of your mind you are, you have to have some level of conscience. Do you really not understand the consequences of your actions?
The consequences are that I almost had a panic attack, thinking back to the night where I was assaulted for the first time by a guy who was drunk, just like you. Maybe you don’t even remember saying that, but I will always remember being assaulted — so will every other survivor of sexual assault or abuse.
Just the other day, students received an email reporting two sexual assaults. The week before, we received two emails. On CyHawk game day, we received an email reporting that a woman was assaulted by a group of people. A former Iowa State basketball player is being investigated for sexual assault.
We are approaching 10 reported sexual assaults this semester, yet in the midst of all that, you decided to declare that brisk Saturday night a “rape party.”
I wish my friends hadn’t stopped me from going up to you. I wanted you to look me, a woman, in the eye and repeat that phrase so I can tell whether you’re a predator or if you’re just stupid.
Rape is not funny. It will never be funny. Assuming you are not a survivor of sexual assault yourself, it is not your trauma to joke about.
So, random guy from the patio, I would like to educate you to help you understand the gravity of the situation. RAINN has many great statistics to help your understanding.
One in six American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape.
Women ages 18 to 24 are at an elevated risk of sexual assault.
Around 26 percent of undergraduate women experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence or incapacitation.
Women aren’t the only ones affected — 6.8 percent of undergraduate men experience rape or sexual assault through those same circumstances. Male college students are 78 percent more likely to be assaulted than male non-college students of the same age.
Let’s go back to the first statistic. One in six is a lot of women. How many women do you know?
It is very likely that someone you know and care about — man or woman — is a victim of sexual violence, whether you know it or not. How do you think it would make them feel to hear you make that comment?
Even if you yourself are not committing these horrific acts, you are enabling, perpetuating and normalizing it by making comments like that.