Posted by: joshjasper | January 6, 2009

A Day Without Rape…can that be resolution #1?

Andrea Dworkin made a speech in 1983 titled “A Day Without Rape.”  This speech got me thinking about what I as the CEO of a rape crisis center want to achieve within the new year.

“And I want one day of respite, one day off, one day in which no new bodies are piled up, one day in which no new agony is added to the old, and I am asking you to give it to me. And how could I ask you for less–it is so little. And how could you offer me less: it is so little. Even in wars, there are days of truce. Go and organize a truce. Stop your side for one day. I want a twenty-four-hour truce during which there is no rape

I dare you to try it. I demand that you try it. I don’t mind begging you to try it. What else could you possibly be here to do? What else could this movement possibly mean? What else could matter so much? And on that day, that day of truce, that day when not one woman is raped, we will begin the real practice of equality, because we can’t begin it before that day.”

It is incredible to know that asking for just ONE DAY of not raping a woman or child in our country is so far from our reality.  How can that be?  How have we gotten to such a place in which when asked, most people would state that they do not hate women and children, but again, look at the reality.  1 in 3 women are raped.  This is a fact that we cannot dispute, yet we as a community are not outraged, we are not organizing to ensure that this type of violence against the people that we claim to love never happens again.  There are no people banging down the doors of the Riverview Center asking to help with our vision of a community free of sexual violence.  Rather, people write into the newspapers chastising the editorial board for writing articles about sexual abuse, stating that “no one should have to read this kind of stuff on the front page.”

We as a community must have the courage and strength to take a hard look at ourselves and begin asking hard questions before change will be realized.  I am ready to ask those questions, to stand in the mirror and question my role as a man in the work of violence prevention and maybe more importantly, my role as a man that contributes to future violence.

Write it down, put it in your calendar, tell a friend. The year of 2009 will be a year of change; a change that will require everyone’s support.  As Andrea, asks, what else could matter so much?

I eagerly anticpate that ONE DAY that Andrea dreamed of, that one day in which we will be filled with the confidence that rape can and will be a thing of the past.


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