Since it is Easter time, a confessional seems appropriate. It is something that I hate to admit, but I used to be a misogynist. As the youngest of five, with three older brothers and significantly older parents, my family situation was far more Donna Reed than Hilary Clinton. When I was thirteen and fourteen, I was wrestling, getting into amateur kickboxing, and watching MMA. My mother, concerned with my burgeoning machismo, decided to do something about it in her own way: she stopped cooking. After a couple weeks of cereal, I quickly learned to how to cook food for myself. While I still enjoy watching a good kickboxing or a MMA match, I enjoy cooking and especially love cooking for others. A few short years later, I discovered Andrea Dworkin and experienced guilt because I have been unknowingly taking advantage of the opportunities that are built into an inherently unfair and unjust system. I am now a gratefully recovering misogynist, and although I have a tendency towards misandry at the moment, which is not good either, I am doing better. I guess like all people with a problem, admitting it is the first step.
My confessional ties nicely into the event that I want to talk about now, as Andrea Dworkin was instrumental in founding Take Back the Night. On Thursday April 24, beneath the Wiekamp Bridge, at 7:30 pm, The Feminist Student Union at IU South Bend will be hosting Take Back the Night. Promoting solidarity for all survivors of sexual abuse, Take Back the Night is an international event and all genders are welcome. The event normally has some speakers, a candlelight vigil, and a unity march around campus. Sexual violence is an issue that affects everyone:
- A sexual assault occurs every two minutes in the United States.
- 20-25% of US college women experience sexual violence while in college.
- 1 in 6 females and 1 in 33 males reported experiencing sexual violence at some point in their lives.
IU South Bend has a long history of hosting and participating in these events, and I strongly encourage everyone to come to this event if it is at all possible to show that this cruel and dehumanizing behavior will not be tolerated.
“Women are often told to be extra careful and take precautions when going out at night. In some parts of the world, even today, women are not allowed out at night. So when women struggle for freedom, we must start at the beginning by fighting for freedom of movement, which we have not had and do not now have. We must recognize that freedom of movement is a precondition for anything else. It comes before freedom of speech in importance because without it freedom of speech cannot in fact exist.” -Andrea Dworkin