Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We have to pay for women's safety now. After the shooting at Columbine High School and Virgina Tech one would think that safety is a right, especially at a University. Yet the Florida Atlantic Police department held a RAD{Rape Aggression Defense} course, charging students $10 and $20 for all alumni and staff.

This women only course is “a program of realistic self-defense tactics and techniques for women, with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance.” The police department further explains they are simply charging for the class due to, “the rising costs of reprinting student manuals and replacing equipment, a nominal fee is charged for the course.”

For a school that has so much money that they can afford to completely redesign the cafeteria off the Breezeway and constantly expand and construct new buildings, I would think they could throw a little money towards violence awareness among students. Why not make it mandatory, for BOTH sexes?

Looking past the fees, I ask myself, what is FAU doing to protect all of their students? I cant help but think that the police department offering an anti-rape class for men to take is the best “risk reduction” and “risk avoidance. ” Yet the pressure and responsibility is put on the women to take the classes and be responsible around men, not the other way around. Some students disagree, senior and N.O.W. (National Organization of Woman) member Nondance Garrett stated;

“I know the idea that the course is only offered to women can make a feminist feel queasy, but not all women think alike.” .

Perhaps it’s because we have Mr.Brogan’s perspective about whats important (President of the University} and not a womans. I think a female University President might have a better understanding, that a woman should yes, be prepared but why should we be the only ones to work towards a common goal of safety?

Just this week in my “Women, Violence, Resistance” class taught by Dr. Jane Caputi, she raised the question would rape and violence occur as much or at all in a matriarchal society? Would the world be as violent if women were in charge, would men be in an anti-rape class?

“Rapes occur at a much higher rate amongst women than men and why is that?” Continues Nondance Garrett. “ Isn't it because women typically grow up in a world dominated by men, where they're afraid to stand up for themselves and say no? If that wasn't the case, what would feminists be fighting for?”

To elaborate even further, when a women who has done nothing wrong but prepare for the worst as well as paying for safety and the opposite sex have not been tolled to take a class on rape prevention one cant help but stop and think how unfair it is. As well as the fact it means enforcing the stereotype women should be in fear of men.

Women shouldn’t have to pay for their safety but in a male dominated society, one cant help but sigh and sign the check.

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