I’m sure many of you got the email. “R.A.D. Basic Physical Defense Program.” How many people read it, I can’t say. Sandwiched between a letter to off-campus students from Res Life and a College of Education Info Session bulletin, this notice from the school might have slipped right by you.
Intrigued by any and all unknown acronyms, I opened it. As it happens, “R.A.D.” stands for “Rape Aggression Defense,” and it is a three-day self-defense course open to female students, faculty, and staff. Let it go on the record now that I am entirely in support of women taking self-defense classes, and I’m glad the University is offering this opportunity.
That being said, something about the self-described “four basic principles” of the program made me wary:“Risk Awareness, Risk Reduction, Risk Recognition, and Risk Avoidance.” In a society where the vast majority of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows and a great many of those are committed with the aid of alcohol or “date rape drugs,” where is the place for Risk Avoidance? How do unconscious women participate in Risk Recognition? There seems to be an emphasis, not only in this class but in our cultural dialogue as well, on factors that are non-existent in most cases of rape. This contributes to the idea that, when an attack does occur, it could have been prevented “if only they had been more [aware, cautious, etc.].” This is rarely true, and it contributes to a dangerous culture of victim-blaming.
The email also mentioned several times that the R.A.D. course is for women only. While I understand their well-meaning desire to create a safe space for female participants, it is notable that there is no corresponding class for men. Contrary to what our societal views on gender would have us believe, men are raped too. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, about 10% of all victims are male, which seems significant enough to warrant a place for them in a college self-defense course.
What is perhaps the most unnerving about this email is that it is the only email I have ever received about a program addressing sexual assault at [my college]. Self-defense courses are a good start, but they should not be the extent of our University’s conversation on rape prevention. By sponsoring programs such as consent workshops and bystander awareness training, the administration could offer a more thorough and well-rounded approach to campus safety. Instead of “Risk Awareness” and “Risk Reduction” that put the burden on the victim to prevent assault, we could target the source and teach people not to rape.
I’m sorry philosophy, but I think it’s best we go our separate ways
it’s not you, it’s me
DON’T DO IT
PHILOSOPHY LOVES YOU, I PROMISE.
Also, you’re the only other UMW Phil major on tumblr :(
Chilean student leader Camila Vallejo sits among a peace sign created from empty teargas canisters used by police against protesters. Photograph: Roberto Candia/AP
Not since the days of Zapatistas’ Subcomandante Marcos has Latin America been so charmed by a rebel leader. This time, there is no ski mask, no pipe and no gun, just a silver nose ring.
Meet Commander Camila, a student leader in Chile who has become the face of a populist uprising that some analysts are calling the Chilean winter. Her press conferences can lead to the sacking of a minister. The street marches she leads shut down sections of the Chilean capital. She has the government on the run, and now even has police protection after receiving death threats.
Wednesday saw the start of a two-day nationwide shutdown, as transport workers and other public-sector employees joined the burgeoning student movement in protest.
“There are huge levels of discontent,” said Vallejo in a recent interview. “It is always the youth that make the first move … we don’t have family commitments, this allows us to be freer. We took the first step, but we are no longer alone, the older generations are now joining this fight.”
“We do not want to improve the actual system; we want a profound change – to stop seeing education as a consumer good, to see education as a right where the state provides a guarantee.
“Why do we need education? To make profits. To make a business? Or to develop the country and have social integration and development? Those are the issues in dispute.”
just won finals and got first speaker. pretty stoked.