The Orion

Sexual violence no joking matter

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Illustration by Liz Coffee

Illustration by Liz Coffee

Rape culture is alive and thriving.

Last week was Take Back the Night week, which is dedicated to raising awareness about sexual assault. 

Despite an unexpected lightning storm, the annual candlelit march still took place on Thursday night.

The entire purpose of Take Back the Night is to show solidarity with rape and sexual assault survivors and give strength to bystanders to stop violence.

There seems to be an impression among certain individuals in this community that these types of events are pointless and unnecessary.

But they absolutely are.

These events aim to educate those who are ignorant about the issues surrounding rape.

And yet, at the actual walk, people were catcalling and making crass jokes at those participating in the silent, candlelit march.

All the while the woman who was leading the march held a poster reading, “I’ll be gentle if you stop crying – My rapist at my own going away party.”

Because something as trivial as rape should be joked about.

One man even said, “I respect you women, but come on. Really?”

Yes, really.

This type of behavior is a testament to why events such as this are necessary.

Sexual assault and rape have been normalized because of societal opinions toward women and their sexuality.

The people who felt it was necessary to yell at those participating in the walk are prime examples of why Chico State students have to live in fear of walking home alone.

It’s important for people in the community to understand and support those who have suffered a sexual assault.

By continuing to mock this cause, people are perpetuating rape culture.

The only thing that will remedy this is education.

One woman’s poster puts it perfectly: “Rape is caused by misogyny, rapists, institutional tolerance and structural violence. Not by women’s clothes, being in the wrong place, drinking or not being careful enough.”

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Sexual violence no joking matter