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Sexual assault: including all genders in the conversation

Kera Radke

Kera Radke

Rachel Brauer, secretary and business manager

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1 out of 6 American women are victims of attempted or raped, and 1 out of 33 American men are victims of the same thing, according to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization. Both of these statistics should be welcomed into the conversation about preventing sexual assault, not divided and considered separate issues.

When the topic of sexual assault is brought up, most of the time it focuses on the female victims. Some men hearing this do not always know how to react as they are often portrayed as potential future attackers in these discussions. At times, guys react to defend themselves which leads to harmful arguments instead of focusing on the real problem. The idea that “men are raped too” is phrase some men use in these situations, but it is often perceived as a rebuttal or against someone talking about women being sexually assaulted. This is not always the case.

“I’m not trying to be sexist. I just want to be apart of the conversation,” Dan Bush, martial arts student and senior, said. “I understand women are raped way more often than men are, but who says we can’t talk about both and try to prevent both in one go with similar methods and actions?”

Unfortunately some people like Bush do not always feel they can express their opinions freely.

“I am afraid that people will think I’m [mansplaining] or call me sexist when I speak out about my opinions on this,” Bush said. “I understand where they are coming from because some guys do set out to discredit or ignore the female side of rape statistics, but not every guy is [like that].”

Although there are male allies in the world like Bush, he understands that men are the attackers more often than they are the victims when it comes to sexual assault, so Bush is a firm believer in self defense to protect potential victims.

On February 11, LZHS hosted a self defense class that only women could partake in. The intention to help female students protect themselves is justified and should be supported, but there are other, better options that do not have to disclude anyone in this method of prevention.

Martial Arts allows for all genders to learn how to defend themselves. These students are prepared over time to fight anyone of any size. This gives females the opportunity to repeatedly simulate a potentially dangerous situation with another student who is truly trying to win the fight instead of just showing girls a few moves and tactics they may not remember after one class when they need to the most.

“I believe martial arts is for everyone and can help teach anyone how to defend themselves. It’s just like the self defense class except for all genders,” Bush said. “Something like a martial arts club in the school could make a difference.”

Kera Radke
Dan Bush and his fellow martial arts students practice self defense. Martial arts does not separate genders as any can spar with each other
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Sexual assault: including all genders in the conversation