FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 |
Posted by: Don Saas
Campus sexual assault is one of the biggest issues facing this country today, and outside of feminist circles/college circles, it isn't discussed with 1% of the seriousness or urgency with which it requires. 1 in 5 women in college are victims of sexual assault. 1 in 3 women in America period will be victims of sexual assault. And the ways that we as Americans shame women not just for being sexually active if that's what they desire but also for being victims of sexual assaults is unforgivable and one of many loathsome stains on our national character. Until we treat sexual assault nationally as something men have to take responsibility for instead of something women have to work to avoid (and we teach boys and men not to sexualize women's bodies and to see women as people worthy of the same respect and dignity as men), we'll never come close to solving this problem.
Lady Gaga released a music video for her song "Til It Happens to You" which was featured in the college campus sexual assault documentary The Hunting Grounds, and it's powerful, focusing on four individuals that were victims of rape/sexual assault -- including a trans man and 50% of trans individuals experience at least one act of sexual violence in their lives -- and we hope that people watch this video and share it and discuss it and I know a music video isn't going to change the national conversation on rape and sexual assault, but the fact that I'm sitting here watching it at my desk and crying means it has power. I have family members who were victims of sexual assault. I've had girlfriends that were victims of sexual assault. I've had friends who were nearly victims of sexual assault. We can't just ignore that this is one of the most serious problems in America right now and Lady Gaga is contributing to this conversation, and any effort to address the visibility of this is necessary and laudable, and we want to thank Lady Gaga for trying to get people to talk about this any way she can.
If you need help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.