Fixing “Take Back the Night”
As a junior at USC, I have been around three years of the and the ’s admirable, weeklong effort designed to raise awareness about sexual violence.
As a brother of a beautiful sister, son of a beautiful mother, a friend of many beautiful women on this campus and a follower of Christ, I care deeply about violence against women.
Yet each year for the same reason, I find myself unable to take the event seriously or to actively take part in it.
The way the WSA has chosen to draw attention to itself (you know, with the giant — you know what I’m talking about … with “this is not a target” bannered across it — yeah, that) is entirely counterproductive to the overall objective.
Sure, it’s funny. Sure, it gets attention. But we are dealing with a serious issue, and one that deserves serious attention, not the awkward leering glances of drooling adolescent boys.
I am not saying it’s impossible to keep a lighthearted spirit and the ability to laugh in the midst of a serious problem; I think it is important and healthy to do so. What I am saying is it draws attention in the wrong fashion.
A major part of stopping sexual violence is in changing the way we view women. Women are much more than sexual objects, and although “this is not a target” is the correct message to be sending, the way it’s communicated still perpetuates the view that “this is, in fact, a target.” It is not only the biggest part of the display, it is the lasting image that will stick in your mind when you think about this week.
I also think it is worth considering how this is representing USC to prospective students, visiting parents and the community as a whole.
If USC put up a giant wooden male counterpart next to Tommy for an entire week, I can virtually guarantee visiting parents would be calling Student Affairs.
Women’s Student Assembly, I am on your side. I want to see an end to sexual violence.
And maybe I’m just a prude, but could you make it a little easier for me to be a part of this next year, without having to associate myself with the unnecessary sign?
Junior, international relations