Re. my earlier piece on the unexamined maleness of violence, I saw that a student posted this on her facebook today. It’s a wonderfully trenchant upending of the typical sort of advice offered to college women. Before y’all get mad at me again, I’m not accusing “all” or even “most” men of being assaulters. (And I also know that women, too, can be child murderers, rapacious monsters and serial killers etc. etc.) In fact, it might be time to resurrect my blanket disclaimer related to an earlier post at TIME.com that caused a bit of a stir:
Disclaimer (insert in all current and future opinions): Yes, you are one of the MANY (!) millions of wonderful, caring men who respect womankind and fight for our rights. I am married to one. I am the daughter of one (an obstetrician, thank you). I am the mother of two. I am the friend and colleague and sister and sister-in-law of a bunch. I was only speaking about certain men. It’s hard to know how many. But probably only a small handful who appear to wield disproportionate power, right?
I just thought this poster, below, was a really clever re-narration of the way that sexual assault prevention is usually framed by public health professionals, ie as something that people (usually women) have to work to avoid having done TO them, as opposed to a problem that could be more properly addressed at the ‘point source’ as we say in the biz.
And let me also add that I think there is a grey area called ‘date rape’ that often involves bad judgment and/or bad behavior the responsibility for which should be borne by both parties. Such cases, invariably involving alcohol, are the topic for another day. In the meantime, I give you some handy tips.