Men Are The Real Problem With Sexual Assault, Not Women

Men Are The Real Problem With Sexual Assault, Not Women

If you haven’t figured it out by now, allow me.

Sexual assault is a disturbing, but prevalent, topic amongst college students. According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti sexual violence organization, college women between the ages of 18 and 24 are three times more likely to be sexually assaulted. What is even more disturbing is that 90 percent of adult rape victims are female, leaving 10 percent male. The University of Michigan Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center released the statistic that “Nearly 99% of sex offenders in single-victim incidents were male and 6 in 10 were white (Greenfeld, 1997).”

The gender gap between these statistics is extraordinary but raises the question of how. How is it that sexual assault among women is still such a pervasive issue within this new generation? How is it that over a hundred years after the women suffrage movement, which raised the discussion of rights and equality for women, women are still experiencing discrimination, abuse, and intimidation? After much reflection, I’ve come up with the best explanation possible- a lack of education.

Specifically, a lack of education amongst men.

The statistics speak for themselves. Men are the ones assaulting most of the women (and a small percentage of other men) in this country. However, what baffles me is how although MEN are assaulting WOMEN, WOMEN are the majority group being educated about this subject. Let us explore this concept.

I attended an all-girls Catholic high school, and from the moment of entry to the moment of graduation, sexual abuse, consent, and protection was discussed in detail from secular and religious aspects. We were taught to remain abstinent and told dressing conservatively would avoid provoking any unwanted sexual attention. We were given seminars on how to protect ourselves from predators, learning swift self-defense moves to deflect violence. We also investigated the issue of consent in detail and watched countless documentaries on what consent meant and how to ensure every sexual encounter we meet in the future is a safe one. Now, this is a thorough way of educating the young and impressionable minds of girls, but there is a slight problem. Pause and reflect. Do you see a glaring problem here?

If you haven’t figured it out by now, allow me. The problem is, that although an education of sex and abuse is more than necessary in our maturing into young ladies, we are not the problem. Out of the majority, MEN are the ones assaulting WOMEN. Why don’t we stop focusing our attention on how to avoid sexual assault, and focus our attention on teaching these young MEN NOT to sexually assault us WOMEN.

To dive more into the issue, I interviewed two friends who attended my brother all- boys high school. Through various questions, I collected the information that the sex education they received on a monthly basis was occasional. There was little detail on the anatomy of sex and how to go about it in safe and consensual ways. The discussion of abuse and the ethics of rape was also discussed seldom to none. (Interesting, because statistically, those are the men that are predicted to abuse and assault us women)! Additionally, when I asked if the boys were satisfied with the education they received they both responded no. There you have it folks, their words not mine! To take this outside of single sexed education let us move to college level sex ed.

Upon arrival at Syracuse University, a night dedicated to hearing the stories of sexual assault survivors was mandatory for all girls and boys in addition to completing a sexual assault course online (which by the way, almost everyone scammed their way through completion). The second semester, an event called Take Back the Night, was another event held to stand against sexual assault. All of the schools Greek Life was invited to attend (AKA a combined 30 Sororities and Fraternities). Almost every Sorority made it mandatory for each member (girl) to attend, however, with north of 12 sororities in attendance can you guess how many fraternities showed up?

The answer is: One

That’s right, ONE fraternity had all members (boys) attend this meeting. The irony kills! Especially since this specific fraternity in attendance was already facing a variety of sexual assault allegations and is on the fence of being banished from the school!

We as a society need to educate the men who will soon turn into leaders, public figures, and fathers. We cannot live in a world where women are taught to live in avoid and protect from these atrocities. Let us move to teach these young men the ethics of sex in high school sex ed. classes. To teach them respect and humanity. Let’s attack this problem from the root so in time girls don’t need to walk on a street and be afraid that their choice of skirt or pants could provoke a sexual attack.

I think I’ve made my point clear.

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An Open Letter To The Girl Trying To Get Healthy Again

"I see you eating whatever you want and not exercising" - Pants

Dear girl trying to get back in shape,

I know it's hard. I know the hardest thing you may do all day is walk into the gym. I know how easy it is to want to give up and go eat Chicken McNuggets, but don't do it. I know it feels like you work so hard and get no where. I know how frustrating it is to see that person across the table from you eat a Big Mac every day while you eat your carrots and still be half of your size. I know that awful feeling where you don't want to go to the gym because you know how out of shape you are. Trust me, I know.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Trying To Lose Weight In College

The important thing is you are doing something about it. I'm sure you get mad at yourself for letting your body get this out of shape, but life happens. You have made a huge accomplishment by not having a soda in over a month, and those small changes are huge. I understand how hard it is, I understand how frustrating it is to not see results and I understand why you want to give up. Being healthy and fit takes so much time. As much as I wish you could wake up the day after a good workout with the 6 pack of your dreams, that just isn't the reality. If being healthy was easy, everyone would do it, and it wouldn't feel so good when you got there.

Remember how last January your resolution was to get back in the gym and get healthy again? Think about how incredible you would look right now if you would have stuck with it. The great thing is that you can start any time, and you can prove yourself wrong.

Tired of starting over? Then don't give up.

You are only as strong as your mind. You will get there one day. Just be patient and keep working.

Nothing worth having comes easy. If you want abs more than anything, and one day you woke up with them, it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as watching your body get stronger.

Mental toughness is half the battle. If you think you are strong, and believe you are strong, you will be strong. Soon, when you look back on the struggle and these hard days, you will be so thankful you didn't give up.

Don't forget that weight is just a number. What is really important is how you feel, and that you like how you look. But girl, shout out to you for working on loving your body, because that shit is hard.

To the girl trying to get healthy again, I am so proud of you. It won't be easy, it will take time. But keep working out, eating right, and just be patient. You will be amazed with what your body is capable of doing.

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Even With The Bad Days, I'm Proud Of Myself

"Even if I look like a burnt chicken nugget, I still love myself"


Somehow, it's been over a month already since school started. It feels so long ago but also like I moved in days ago, all at the same time. I've definitely had my share of "freshman moments" showing up on the first day with my shiny new (enormous) planner, getting lost on campus, and trying to learn how to use the library printers that for some reason connect to my student ID. Huge shout out to whoever placed printed out step-by-step instructions on various tables in the library of how to use the library by the way, because I almost cried out of frustration.

It's only been four weeks since I came here, and it's definitely been full of highs and lows. From seeing my mom leave after I had moved in, to the adrenaline rush that was getting to perform at our marching band preview, to the anxiety of my first week of class, to having to leave marching band in the hopes I would regain some mental stability, the past month has certainly been an experience.

Last week was especially rough. I dropped marching band at the beginning of the week and spent the rest of the week debating whether I had, in fact, made the right choice. I had so much guilt over how it felt like I was just quitting and abandoning the commitment I had made to my fellow members of the band. For the past seven years most of my life has revolved around band, and to just give up what has been a major part of my identity for so long was scary.

I spent a lot of this past weekend at home thinking about the past few weeks. While I'm sad I had to give up something I've loved for so long I know I made the right decision. College band is so different from what I expected it to be, and it's so much more of a time commitment than I could have ever anticipated. I mean, I was two weeks into class and already struggling to keep up with my homework and readings.

At the end of the day, I'm really hecking proud of myself and everything I've managed to accomplish. I honestly thought I would have had more breakdowns from stress and sleep exhaustion and homesickness, and while those have happened I know I'll be alright. Yes, school is hard and trying to find a happy medium between staying on top of my academics, being involved outside of class, and at least attempting to be healthy is something I'm still working on, but at least I'm here.

I have an opportunity a lot of people in this world currently don't have: the ability to receive an education at a university where my financial situation is okay enough that I can live on campus and not absolutely have to work right now to make ends meet. So yeah, college is tough, but at least I'm giving it my all.

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