NFL player speaks up about sexual violence
As a guy, I know that all this focus on consent and people crossing lines is un-nerving, hell I got hammered with a friend and we made out a couple weeks ago (something that I NEVER do, especially at my parties, because I don't shit where I eat) and she let me know that she wasn't comfortable with it a few days later (in truth, neither was I upon sober reflection...but drunken make outs happen sometimes, people get caught up in the heat of the moment) and we agreed to mutually respect each others' boundaries. That discussion could have gone either way. This is a tough time to live in for anyone that's ever enjoyed societal privilege that's never forced them to confront it or dealt with the consequences of it for themselves and others.
No one wants to feel like they are a bad person or putting themselves or someone else in a messed up situation, especially legally. But these uncomfortable conversations NEED to happen in order for us to progress societally and personally.
As men, we need to not meet these conversations with silence (which constitutes tacit approval), obfuscation or #NotAllMen'ing things to death. We need to face it head on, we need to listen, show compassion, acknowledge our roles / views and move forward a little bit wiser and more aware.
I agree with everything this guy has to say:
"I was pretty ignorant on this topic for a long time, I think a lot of men are, because it's often talked about as a women's issue. The focus always seems to be on teaching young women how not to get raped and on what steps they can take to 'stay safe'. But why are we not also focused on educating young men about the definition of consent and what constitutes rape? We're essentially dealing with the problem by telling women to be more careful. And that's bullshit."
"The dehumanisation and objectification of women are not issues that are specific to male athletes," Levy wrote. "They are societal problems. But they tend to be more associated with athletes in part because we are often idolised because of our athletic ability. In many ways, we're considered models of masculinity, which is at the very root of a lot of these issues. So in honour of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I want to use my platform as an NFL linebacker to discuss how we talk about rape and sexual assault - because not enough men are."