Parent, Educator, Author
Old Dominion fraternity displays sexually suggestive signs at student drop off and gets suspended. Some say it’s just a joke, in poor taste but not suggestive of rape, while others say this behavior promotes rape culture on university campuses.
But in the wake of work such as John Krakauer’s Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, the Steubenville and Maryville rape cases, and the Sayerville football case, one has to wonder if this is more than just a harmless joke. For the young women and men who are sexually assaulted by acquaintances while in college and high school, this is no laughing matter. And in our culture that struggles to support these victims and to better educate the systems in which they are living, we must take sexual assault seriously. It’s not hazing, it’s not a rite of passage, it’s a serious crime that harms people for many years to come.
We must be having difficult conversations with both our girls and our boys about sexual assault and consent. Although it may be hard, parents need to talk with their adolescents about very specific cases, such as those linked above, and ask questions like these: