There has been an explosion of discussion about rape and rape culture following an increase in the reported sexual assaults on campus. The focus of these conversations: women. More specifically, what they can and should do to prevent the violent crimes committed against them. But what of other genders? Research by the Bureau of Justice Statistics suggests that 99 percent of all rapes are committed by men. Given that, and given the gendered nature of previous advice offered, it seems that men could use some advice. Here are some tips for men to avoid committing rape.
1. Know what rape is. Rape is the absence of consent. If you aren’t capable of recognizing consent, you are likely to commit rape.
2. Remember that consent can only be willingly given by an unimpaired adult. Meaning, consent cannot be given when someone is intoxicated, under physical or emotional duress, or physically or emotionally incapacitated.
3. Never assume that consent is implied.
4. Listen to your partner. Consent isn’t permanent. If your partner changes their mind at any point, you no longer have their consent.
5. Learn to take no for an answer. This goes for any situation with any person. When you take no for an answer, you show respect and create a better environment.
6. Be careful when you’re drinking. Intoxication does not mean you aren’t still responsible for your actions. If you hit someone while drunk driving, you are still responsible for that crime. Rape is no different.
7. Stop associating your sexual activities with your masculinity. One does not define the other. Sex doesn’t make you a man — feeling like a man makes you a man. On a related note…
8. Stop letting masculinity define you as a person. While gender norms might contribute to important parts of our identities, we are all more than the gender norms we do or do not follow.
9. Respect rape victims and recognize rape culture at work. Rape culture is the collective cultural norms that oppress victims from within a patriarchal framework.
10. Don’t be a passive bystander, intervene. The best way to prevent yourself from committing rape is to create a culture/environment in which everyone is working to prevent rape at the source of the problem.
Gill is a junior majoring in math.