Gender Inequality And Sexual Assault: Why Both Sexes Are To Blame

1801 words - 8 pages

Gender Inequality and Sexual Assault: Why Both Sexes Are To Blame

In a recent sociology class, Sandra Bem was mentioned. Bem is a sociologist who focuses on gender. However, unlike most sociologists, Bem chooses not to focus on the differences between males and females, but rather on the similarities. She says that polarized gender socialization, the way that we assign masculine or feminine characteristics to things such as walking and talking to make males and females appear to be opposite, keeps us from realizing that the sexes are more alike than they are different. Men and women have the same needs for food, clothing, shelter, affection, belonging, and so forth. So, what are we ...view middle of the document...

Afterall, one never hears about women raping men even though women are trying to increase their amount of power. Yet, reports of rape have been rising as long as women have been fighting for equality. A simple explanation for this is the increased amount of women reporting rape in this country. This is a good thing; this is women standing up for themselves. No one is going to just hand women the same privileges that men have; women have to fight for privilege.

Still, what about all the rapes that go unreported? This is one way in which women hurt feminism. What good is it to have the same laws as men if a woman is not willing to use them? By keeping quiet about rape out of embarrassment, fear, or any other reason, women let down each other and themselves by allowing men to have that power. Not reporting a rape is like committing one yourself.

Everyone has heard that women do not ask to be raped. However, from some aspects, it looks as though women are not asking not to be raped, either. Peggy Sanday’s article, "Pulling Train", describes situations in which women are consecutively raped by a series of men. This activity known as a "pulling train" or "gang bang" usually takes place on college campuses in connection to fraternities or sports teams. Some women are lured to a bedroom full of waiting men by a need to fit in and be accepted, or are unknowingly drugged. Those girls are just sad. It is the other girls, the girls who choose to be intoxicated, who cause the problems. How can women be trusted with authority, prestige or power if they cannot even stay sober to ensure their own safety? This shows society that women need men to dominate them, to watch over them, to control them, to show them what is good for them, which is absolutely absurd. It is true that women should not have to give up the right to a "good time" or "a few drinks," but women have to start taking care of themselves. Women know rape happens. However, wanting rape to stop is not enough to change the fact that rape occurs. Women need to take responsibility for themselves instead of just hoping that men will not rape them. That is why women have to stay in control of themselves rather than allow themselves be victimized. The reason women want to be equal to men is so women will no longer be at the mercy of men. Yet, by permitting themselves to be intoxicated by drugs, alcohol, fear, or low self-esteem women put themselves back at the mercy of men. It is also important to add that the administrators of institutions where such incidents occur are mostly male, even at women’s colleges, and often dismiss these sexual assaults with a mere slap on the wrist and a petty "Boys will be boys." So we cannot just blame one sex for rape; it is the fault of both sexes.

It is not only the way we as a society look at rape that makes men and women at fault. Think about harassment. Teresa Yunker wrote an article entitled "When Street Harassment Gets Nasty" in which she explains her own...

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