Social exclusion is a powerful punisher. If that’s what it takes to discourage rape and other forms of sexual violence, that’s what we need to do. It works in cultures with low rape rates, and it will work for us. It’s not enough for survivors to be the only folks speaking out against these horrors; everyone needs to be on board and be willing to shun people who choose to behave this way.
My alma mater has a week every April set aside to celebrate our LGBTQ students and raise awareness to the fact that, yes, they do exist. The event is widely celebrated, particularly for the day when hundreds of free “Gay? Fine by Me.” shirts are given out. I had to wait two years to get my hands on one; that’s how high the demand is. They’re a treasured commodity. After all, what’s college without a few politically active t-shirts? (more…)