We’re all told at some point the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. A young boy would repeatedly and continuously cry wolf when no wolf was present. His village would panic and run to his rescue but found the boy with no wolf. The villagers always ran to his rescue when no wolf was present. Eventually, the villagers collectively decided that when the boy cried wolf, they would not come to the boy’s rescue. One day, the boy saw a wolf. Scared and alone, he cried wolf – no one showed up. The boy died, eaten by a wolf.
The moral of the story: don’t lie or you’ll die. Women were treated like the boy who cried wolf. When women scream “sexual assault,” they were met with disbelief. However, after the confirmation hearing for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, that narrative changed significantly. Women are no longer met with disbelief, but rather ignorance of their experience. John Oliver said it best on his show Last Week Tonight: “it is not that women aren’t believed, [society] simply does not care.” The narrative now changed to not caring about a woman’s harassment/abuse/assault. Ultimately, this dangerous new narrative will cause more harm to women. By not caring, society will accept that women face sexual harassment, or have been assaulted, but won’t take action against it. By taking this stance, we are basically saying to women, “hey, you got harassed/assaulted/abused? Well, you’re going have to deal with that because you’re a woman. No one is going to help you. Your abuser won’t get punished or reprimanded for it.”
Starting Sunday August 5, Kate Murphy and Meg Vogel’s project called The Sex Talk video series will be published by The Cincinnati Enquirer and USA Today. The video series focuses on the conversation that is not happening about campus sexual assault.
The Sex Talk comprises of ten videos that look at the epidemic of campus sexual assault in a new way by creating an honest digital conversation with people who are on the front lines and different sides of the issue.
The twilight hours of that night in 2016 are buried in oblivion, sunk out of my head, perhaps for self-protection. Fraternity boy coolness turns to shadiness at nightfall. His country boy accent is of the coal pitch blackness of the mines. I try to take flight, hasten away from my wails, make a quick getaway. I sink lower, shutting my eyes in this icebox. He is soulless, like a lone wolf committing acts of terrorism upon me in his below-zero bedroom His 240 pounds are unrelenting against my small body. He’s deaf to my screams. I tunnel inside myself, finding a crawlspace to hide. He finishes, “Don’t go out there and make a big deal out of this.” So, I am cast aside, and sent back outside into the cold night.
Defense Secretary Mattis should take the lead on fighting misogyny in the Marines.
As partisan rancor continues on the Hill, one group of lawmakers joined forces this week to speak out against harassment of women in the Marine Corps. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Annie Kuster (D-NH) spearheaded a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis urging him to take action, including authorizing another investigation into current and former Marines soliciting and posting nude photos of their female colleagues on Facebook. Thomas James Brennan , who broke the story, reports that some of the women were followed and photographed without their knowledge. The Facebook posts drew
thousands of comments, some urging sexual violence, such as:
“take her out back and pound her out,” as well as graphic suggestions, like penetrating women in the “butt. And throat. And ears. Both of them. Video it though…for science.”
Students around the country have already begun pouring back onto college campuses, ready to embark on a new academic year. This year many students will return to find their schools under investigation by the Department of Education for failing to effectively address sexual violence on campus. Title IX’s nearly 45-year-old ban on sex discrimination in education requires schools that take federal dollars –virtually all schools – to take prompt and effective steps to address harassment and violence. With over 200 universities facing pending complaints, the problem of sexual assault finally has caught the attention of the very policymakers and educators who can make a difference.