A Man’s Perspective

Graphic by Mary Kroeck

Graphic by Mary Kroeck

Jacob James, Writer

Over the past several weeks, the topic of rape and rape culture has been in the spotlight. The Independent does not support, promote or condone rape or assault in any way, shape, form or to any degree. We wanted to take this opportunity to talk to our readers about why we believe this to be so. We offer you two perspectives here–one male, one female. We acknowledge that these views do not cover the entire breadth of rape culture, the impact rape can have on a person and their loved ones, account for the ways different genders or ethnic communities approach the topic. However, we hope these pieces are conversation starters and offer them as a way for our readers to think or rethink views about sexual assault.

The Independent


What is rape? It’s forcing another to subjugate to your wills and desires. It isn’t about sex. It’s an act of power and it’s always wrong.

As an uncle, a brother and an eventual father, rape sickens me to the core; it causes me to wonder how rape culture develops and why it’s allowed.

In 2015 Plan International released “We Want to Know about Good Love: Findings from a Qualitative Study Assessing the Links between Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Violence Against Women and Girls.” The study concluded that comprehensive sex education  “can empower young people to make informed, autonomous decisions regarding their current and future relationships.” It also determined that comprehensive sex education can lead to lower rates of violence against women and girls (VAWG).  

The report also found that sex and relationship education have been shown to reduce VAWG in India, Ghana, Kenya, Serbia, Canada, the United States among other countries. However, how sexual education is taught varies from place to place. Even in the United States, 35 states and the District of Columbia give parents the option of not having their children receive sexual education.

As a society we have to agree that it is imperative that our youth be taught morals, especially concerning relationships and sex. If we could get past religious differences and politics to realize the bigger picture–youth need sex education–we all might be better off.

From a young age kids need to be learn much more than the mere “birds and the bees” tale. By teaching sex and relationship education, youth can learn more about gender differences and similarities. They can learn tolerance. They can learn that people are people–no matter what their sexual preferences. They can learn that people should always have a choice and that sex should not be pressured onto others. When parents are given the choice to withdraw their children from sex and relationships programs, this leaves a gap in learning, a gap that might get filled by misinformed peers or bad information from the Internet.

With January being National Stalking Awareness Month and February marking Valentine’s Day celebrations, it’s important to make note of rape culture statistics.

Anyone can be a victim of rape and or sexual assault. According to the National Center for Violent Crime, 7.5 million people are stalked each year in the Unites States. Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) reported in America, one of every six women has been the victim of completed or attempted rape. RAINN also reported that 2.78 million men in the United States have been victims of completed or attempted rape. That’s about one in every 33 men.

I’m calling out to all men. We need to stand up to the misogynistic, neanderthal mentality that goes along with rape culture. Women are not property. They are human beings with their own minds. We need to be respectful of women and each other.

Often, when someone is raped, our culture tries to look at the victim and see how things could have happened. Rape is an obtuse notion of masculinity or power. As men we should shun this behavior and confront it. Instead of leaving responsibility with the victim, let’s start with ourselves. Men–Don’t rape!