The Orion

Professor’s film targets rape culture

Dominique Diaz

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Jesse Dizard, an anthropology professor, filmed a documentary about sexual assault. Photo courtesy of Chico State.

A Chico State professor is passionate about bringing awareness to a controversial issue rape culture. Jesse Dizard, an anthropology professor, recently filmed a documentary that specifically targets sexual assault at Chico State, titled “Someone You Know.”

He was able to use examples that were ready-at-hand in the documentary, he wrote in an email to The Orion.

Chico may have fewer sexual assaults than other similar places, he said.

“But how cool would it be if we could reduce the numbers of sexual assault survivors from one in four to one in five, or even just one in 10?” Dizard wrote.

If this was done, Chico could be viewed as a good place for families to send their children, he wrote. It would be a safe, respectful place that values differences, among many other things.

“Sexual assault is a function of the Male Supremacy Complex, and the sooner we all get past such absurd and self-serving nonsense, the better,” Dizard wrote.

Students and others can watch this film and realize that enough is enough, he said.

“It
is long past time to make a stand and insist that sex is not a weapon,”
Dizard wrote. “Men and women can express themselves as sexual
beings with respect
for one another.”

This film also targets the common misconceptions of rape culture.

“The main one is that ‘they’ asked for it,” he wrote. “No one asks for such humiliation.”

Sexual
assault affects everyone, Dizard wrote. Jokes targeted toward women may be at the expense of someone else’s self-respect.

“Men or boys must learn to respect themselves, and by doing so they can
deal with the injustices of daily life, largely a consequence of social
inequality,” he wrote.

When it comes to sex, it should always be consensual and respectful, Dizard wrote. There’s nothing shameful about sexual pleasure.

“Sexual pleasure is our treasure to be shared, not denigrated as somehow
‘dirty,’ but only in the context of consent and equality and respect,” he wrote.

Griselda Avila, a senior sociology and multicultural and gender studies double major and paraprofessional for the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center, organized for a clip of the film is to be shown as part of The Passion Projects put on by the center.

“I wanted to bring more light and awareness to it,” Avila said. “It’s a really big passion area for me.”

When viewing the movie, Avila had a different view of sexual assault, she said.

“When I watched it, I realized that it really could be the person standing next to you,” Avila said. “You know it’s prevalent, but when you watch it, it hits deep.”

Avila wants to use the film to stem a discussion and bring more focus to sexual assault, she said.

“I want students to know that this isn’t something that just happens and you move on,” Avila said. “It’s something that will stay with you for the rest of your life.”

Clips from “Someone You Know” can be viewed at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Cross-Cultural Leadership Center.

Dominique Diaz can be reached at [email protected] or @dominiqueldiaz on Twitter.

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Professor’s film targets rape culture