Here's the deal.
With men like Donald Trump, Brock Turner, Bill Cosby, and other (alleged) assailants regularly making headlines, it’s clear that sexual assault in the headlines is here to stay. Over the course of my time as a survivor-activist, I’ve seen the same questions asked repeatedly from advocates seeking the “right” answer or explanation to a common rape myth. Rape 101 will be a project aimed to be a one-stop-shop to answer some of the most burning questions about rape so survivors like Sonya can just drop a link to a video into a comment thread and move on with the rest of her life.
Why call this "Rape 101"?
What if we all had the same base knowledge about sexual assault and rape culture? There’s so much information scattered around the Internet and it’s hard to know what is up to date. It’s time to get back to basics. The “101” is a call back to introductory college courses, but it’s important to note that it will not be college-level curricula.
NOTE ON USING "RAPE" INSTEAD OF SEXUAL ASSAULT OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE:
People have a general discomfort for the word “rape” — in its proper context. It’s time to stop promoting the idea that we should use euphemisms to talk about rape — it isn't unwanted sex, nonconsensual sex, a mistake, a regretted moment, or an accident. It's important to note that all forms of sexual violence are not rape, but this choice of title is part of a conscious, ongoing decision to destigmatize the word. It's the assailants and their enablers who should be facing stigma, not the word 'rape' itself.
Why this series? Why now?
Oh man! There's a million reasons why, but here's a few I can rattle off the top of my head:
- Donald Trump has numerous women accusing him of sexual assault and he dismisses them with harmful and incorrect statements that show a lack of understanding of what rape actually is.
- Rape101.org can become a reputable one-stop shop for information debunking rape myths.
- It's time for survivors like me to create and start the public conversation about sexual violence.
- As long as the videos are out there, it can remain as an educational resource for survivors, advocates, and anyone who wants to spread the truth about what sexual violence actually is.