Men, We Need You | Thoughts on the Vanderbilt Rape Investigation

Group of Men

Photo Credit: Creative Commons, Kheel Center, Cornell University

After catching word of the recent Vanderbilt sex scandal in which four football players were dismissed for alleged sex crimes, I tuned in horror hoping, praying the team I’ve always supported wasn’t really involved. The names of the players were just released and the investigation is ongoing. Recent news quotes former Volunteers quarterback Erik Ainge saying that one Vanderbilt football player allowed three of his teammates to rape his girlfriend after a night of drinking.

I’ve been frantically reading the news about Egypt and the gang rape happening in the midst of the revolution and now to see it in my own backyard at my Alma Mater was just too much. The violence against women in Egypt and the violence against Vanderbilt women send the same message:

You don’t matter.

It tells women they deserve to abused, that we have no worth outside of their bodies. Rape sends the message that women are less than human. That our voice, our desires, and our worth doesn’t matter.

I was a Vanderbilt student once. I had boyfriends. It could have been me; it could be any of us women that walk onto college campuses hoping for the best four years of our lives. Statistics show that 1 in 5 college women will be sexually assaulted, and I found this resoundingly true during my time at Vanderbilt. We walk through the gates full of anticipation and eagerness and many, far too many, leave as silenced survivors.

The truth is men will continue to rape because evil will always exist. Men will continue to look into a woman’s (or man’s) eyes and take what isn’t their’s to take—something they can never give back. Women will continue to lose their voice and spend years fighting to speak again.

But I have a question for each of you reading this:

Where were the other players? Where were the friends who caught word of what would happen and did nothing? What were all the bystanders doing when this girl was being taken back to a dorm to be raped by four men she knew?

“All it takes for evil to persist is for good men to do nothing.” –Edmund Burke

Where were the good men? Where are the strong men who maybe risking reputation or possibly a good beating stood up to the evil and said, “NO.” There are no innocent bystanders in these situations. If you’ll remember from the Sandusky case, there were coaches and others that knew something wasn’t right or even saw conclusive evidence that assault took place and did absolutely nothing. They stayed silent and thereby allowed little boys to be silenced. They acted not in love, but in fear.

In a world where gender roles are increasingly blurred, I want to state something that goes against popular belief: women need good men. We need you. We need men of integrity to put your reputations, your fears, and your pride on the line for us and help protect us from evil. Certainly, we can help each other, but there is something missing if evil is only fought by good women. Men, I beg you not to be an innocent bystander. I beg you stand against evil on our behalf. Warn us, call the police, have a conversation—something, anything other than passively standing by. For truly, sexual violence will continue to pervade every part of the globe and creep into those places we once deemed ‘safe’ unless we stand together.

Good men, I beg you not to remain silent. We need more like David Cameron leading the crack down on internet pornography in the UK in order to stop the violence against women and girls. Men, we desperately need you to shake your fist in the face of evil and declare, “no more.” Make an honorable, courageous stand against evil and shine light into the darkest corners where women are losing their voices.

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Comments
8 Responses to “Men, We Need You | Thoughts on the Vanderbilt Rape Investigation”
  1. Greg says:

    There question is, will we as the body of Christ ever wake up to the truth of how deeply rooted sin is in our lives and genuinely repent? That’s where this all stems from:

    Matthew 5:13 (NASB): “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

  2. Stephen says:

    According to a police whistle blower, 40-45% of child abusers are women. But the mainstream media won’t tell you this. Women are not that innocent. They are just as abusive as what men are.

    • Megs says:

      So therefore other women don’t deserve to be protected? Sorry but I think you’re missing the point of the post.

      • Ruthie Dean says:

        Thanks, Meg!

      • Chris says:

        I know this is a little late, but I just stumbled upon this. I think what Stephen is trying to say is, that the post seems to suggest that it is only men who perpetrate violent crimes, and that only women are victims of said crimes. Don’t think he meant that women do not deserve to be protected.

        As for the statistics that Stephen mentions, I was fairly surprised that he is in fact right. The study that found this is here: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160252712000453 It goes on to say that in 83 where sexual child abuse that were forensically only 1 went to trial. I’m not going to go into why that it, it’s mainly to do with society’s view of women as caregivers and are ‘not capable’ of child abuse.

        This one is an older study done in Hong Kong. In this study, 48% of child abusers/suspected abusers were women. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213496001160
        Another study done way back in 1979, also mentioned in this study says it was 64% then.

        I thought this might be of interest. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213402005094
        This study found that victims (both female and male) often faced difficulties in expressing their abuse at the hands of a female perpetrator. The subjects of the study say they faced resistance from professional therapists,psychiatrist, psychologists and child protection workers, to down right ridicule when they mentioned that the perpetrator was female. One subject mentions how female professionals were repulsed at the idea that a female could be a perpetrator and that “talking about it was not okay”, but had no issue pursuing male perpetrators.

        This study found that from statistics from 1989, wives were 1.3 times more likely to be murdered by their spouse than vice versa, in the US. In Canada between 1974-1983 it was 4 times as likely. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047235299000355 The wives murdering their husbands were found often, to be reacting to abuse from her husband (in a bid to escape abuse), or in self defense.

        In Ghana it’s 5 times more likely that the husband murders the wife than vice versa, although this study found wives murdered their husbands out of anger towards unfaithful husbands, or that they wanted to replace him with their lover. http://www.sciencedirect.com.virtual.anu.edu.au/science/article/pii/S004723520800041X#bib3

        That being said, apparently the number of men being murdered in 2009 in the US was more than 3 times that of women.http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2009/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_01.html

        My point is, that there are male victims as well, so I believe that you would get a greater response if you included them as well, and make it a campaign against all violence. That’s reasonable I feel, after all, you are appealing to men to take a stand for violence against women, but leave male victims out.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      I’d love to see those statistics, Stephen. But really, it doesn’t matter who is abusing…that wasn’t the point of the article.

  3. mark says:

    This post is spot on as usual, Ruthie. We need to awaken in men the desire to protect and cherish women. I don’t know if you are familiar with The Art of Manliness website but they have a series of posts on “Are You a Sheep or Sheepdog” dealing with developing protective instincts. I think you’d find it interesting. Keep up the good work! God bless you!

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