carry that weight

My friends were sharing this story on Facebook and when I read it, I knew I had to share it too.

Columbia Spectator
TIME Magazine

You can also learn of Emma’s story and her project from this video:

I think Emma is very brave to share about her traumatic experience using such a method. I agree with her that our bedroom/bed is our comfort zone and should be the safest place. I admire her guts to display her mattress. It’s like laying yourself bare for the whole world to see. I also hope that the people who chose to look the other way when she reached out to them for help, would reflect on their actions.

Her story got me thinking about what schools did when students report of rape. In particular, what would my college, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign do?

I remember in my freshman year, students had to attend a compulsory discussion group where we talked about sexual assault on campus and the hotline to call. I also remember that there was this male student in my discussion group who was being a total asshole. If I remember correctly, our student facilitors had posed us the question of what we would do if a female friend came to us for help and said she had been raped. This male student kept suggesting that the female friend might be lying or might have dressed provocatively and hence it was her fault that she got raped. The student facilitators tried very hard to steer the discussion back to the main issue of what should be done instead of who we should be dishing out blame to, but the male student was adamant on his view. He finally walked out of the classroom much to everyone’s relief.

We as humans are quick to judge. Yes, the female friend might have dressed provocatively but that does not mean she asked to be raped. If she had asked, that would be called “consensual sex” and not “rape”. Please know the difference. I am not saying that girls should prance around in their underwear on the streets, but her dressing should not be the main reason that guys use their dick and not their brains to think. Likewise, girls, please consider your dressing, audience, and environment, and think about the consequences before you make a decision to wear something.

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