Rape and football are two things that usually don’t go together in my brain because I absolutely adore football (oh, hey #5 Tigers) and I rape culture is something I absolutely hate, as a stated in my last post. But, a lot of times, the hypermasculine complex that can come with sports can be a breeding ground for rape culture. Steubenville is just one example where the star football players were portrayed by the media and town as just good boys “just being boys” and advocating victim blaming by saying the girl should’ve known better. It’s all too typical. The most recent big story is about Maryville, Mo. in which Daisy Coleman, age 14 when she was sexually assaulted and left for dead in the snow last year, and her family are the center of threats by the town and the powerful family of her attacker. He was also a star football player. The first person account from Daisy brought me close to tears, it was so powerful to see her share her story and so horrible to hear.
I was also brought close to tears because of the two recent clery releases we have gotten from Mizzou. The first one detailed how a resident at one of the Rollins complex residence halls heard a knock on her door, answered it thinking it was her friend, and a man forced his way into the room and assaulted her to the point were it injured her. My residents were leaving the building reading the email off their phones saying how scary that was and all I could do was plead them to make sure they didn’t allow anyone in the building they didn’t know after hours and to ALWAYS lock their doors at night. This one especially got me as an RA at an all girls dorm because something like that could easily happen here because our building only has one swipe-in to get in after hours. Some of the other halls have swipe restricted access after the main lobby that separates that from the area of residence to ensure that guests have to be swiped through to get into where people live. Here at Jones, you just have to have some one hold open one of the exterior doors for you and you have free reign to the entire building. Last year, a man some how got in through the underground tunnels between some of the halls and the Dobbs dining hall before they were locked for the night and was creeping around and got into some of the girls’ rooms while they were sleeping because they forgot to lock their door.
Within the same week of getting that clery release, we received another one that was about how a resident of Laws Hall, a hall that is part of the same area as mine, had a resident come forward about her sexual assault that happened a few weeks prior. This frightened me even more because how the proximity to where I live and the fact that these happened in such a short time period. It really hit me how common rape actually can be, even though it is usually not reported. The first release was especially frightening because the man that assaulted her was a stranger to her. That usually is not the case, it is usually someone you know, hence why you may not want to report it.
All I can do at this point is hope and pray that this trend will not continue and continue to educate people as much as I can. If people are educated to not perpetuate rape culture, then it won’t seem as something that is “manly” or okay to do for “power” or even something that is just brushed off as the victim’s fault. If I educate my female residents on how to prevent people getting into the building or endangering themselves in that sense, then I will consider myself successful.
- Rape Culture’s Got to Go (veronikecollazo.wordpress.com)
- The Intersection of Football Culture and Rape Culture (onwardandfword.wordpress.com)