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NO!

Todays class of group presentations was great. I especially was blown away by the video "NO!". The first 6 minutes were quite powerful. It was a hard reality to compare the popular hip hop videos along side testimony of sexual violence. When I saw along the side the testimonies it is little too much to handle. One can tell how todays popular media and how it sexually exploits women is a powerful image and an image that controls, causes and makes docile bodies. I automatically thought about men and how they are subject to these images as well. I wonder how they make sense of the world? If the one of the main examples of relationships they see are exploitive and violent nature how else are they to act? Women do not want it but they want it... respect or have fun...be manly or not...? All these forces collide on the male body.

Often in GWSS classes male victimization goes left undiscussed, which I find dangerous. Women seem to always be the subject of patriarchy...the ones being acted upon and rightly so. But what about men and how they move through the world and how masculinity is narrowly defined for them? Power, sex and violence is more than man vs. woman--it is societal. The fact that most men think that to be a man means to hold power over women and to exploit them sexually points to a larger issue of the ideology of masculinity. This is not to say men shouldn't take responsibility. In fact, they should take more responsibility for how they move through the world. Blaming men will not get us, as women, to that place. Something is wrong with the system. Let's identify that, be upset with that, and change it.

Comments

I agree, NO! is really powerful and it does bring up many, many feeling about where men and women should be placed in the context of this discussion. Men definitely need to be recognized as victims of sexual assault as well as members of the gay community. Men are taught to be seen as only strong and powerful and as always wanting sex while women are generally seen as open and willing to have sex with men. This sends a really confusing message to both men and women everyday. It makes it difficult for people to have relationships when they are uncertain of what consent and boundaries mean. Things get all messed up when we are bombarded by images of what women 'should' be and what men 'should' expect from women. I think that this film does an amazing job of bringing to life the historical implications that rape has had on African American women and men. We do need to hold men accountable and not be afraid to do so. It is the same for women who perpetrate rape and sexual assault. Like you said, it needs to be changed, the normalization of this idea that no means yes needs to change for both women and men. I agree with you that the ideology of masculinity does not help men at all. It only allows them to be seen as either horny, hungry, happy or angry and that just is not the truth. Another great video about this that you can see parts of on You Tube is Tough Guise by Jackson Katz. He is another man who works with women to end violence against women. You would enjoy that video as well.