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The Measure of a Man

December 7, 2011

by Daniel P., Sexual Violence Center Volunteer

I read an article the other day about an Afghan woman who was sentenced to twelve years in prison after being raped by her cousin’s husband. You see, rape in Afghanistan is considered adultery. In other words, it is always a woman’s, never a man’s, fault that her vagina, or any of her orifices for that matter, are penetrated against her will.

So this article made me reflect on how rape is viewed in America; I concluded that American society, just like Afghan society, blames women for being sexually assaulted. The rhetoric at large is the following: women are not supposed to dress provocatively; women should never flirt with men, otherwise they will be labeled as “easy” or “loose”; and women should not be out by themselves during late hours of the night. I guess the only positive aspect about our society’s perception of rape victims is that America does not incarcerate women for being sexually assaulted.

So yeah, we live in a society that places the blame on the victim instead of the perpetrator. But why is this so? After all, men have a moral and ethical responsibility to keep their genitalia in their pants. Men also have a responsibility to respect and never harm others. Yet, when men perpetrate crimes like this, we single out the most vulnerable person.

As a male, it is my responsibility to challenge and change this paradigm. America is a patriarchal society where men are at the top of the hierarchy. Therefore, I must use my privilege and power as a male to make my voice be heard and say enough is enough. It is time for America’s perception of rape and rape victims to change. It is time for all of us to work together and make our society realize that women are not at fault for their victimization. However, it is imperative for males to step up to the plate and say no to institutionalized male rule and privilege.

Remember: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

The Sexual Violence Center serves people of all genders, and is always looking for volunteers and board members of all genders and backgrounds. Find out how you can get involved by visiting our website!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Daniel Alberto Perez permalink
    December 7, 2011 11:17 pm

    Thank you SVC for giving me the opportunity to write this. I appreciate you for giving me the opportunity to express how I feel about this topic.

  2. teresa ortiz permalink
    December 8, 2011 1:26 pm

    Excellente Dany, claro. I’ve read that research shows men talking to men about violence against women is the most effective tool available, so GRACIAS and keep spreading the messsage like I know you do!
    Teresa

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