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The mindset around sexual assault must change

Lexi Hooten, staff columnist

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In light of the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanagh, Donald Trump Jr. said he was more worried for his sons than his daughters in their futures. He said it was “scary” that his sons could one day face “false” sexual assault allegations. Those statements he made reaffirmed to every victim that she or he will not be believed. Victims have always been blamed for what has happened to them. When one asks, “What was she wearing?” or “Was she drunk?” they are immediately blaming the victim without even giving a second thought to the kind of person that would do such a thing.

What a patriarchal way to look at this problem. The misogyny is so blatant that they are, once again, blaming the victim and now so, before the assault has even happened. This is turning it into an attack on the men of this country – or trying to at least. But this country built on masculinity has developed a rape culture, which is the idea of society normalizing or trivializing sexual assault, that they fail to admit exists. The failure to admit it leads to no change, which brings no resolution or bettering of situations for anyone. And women are fed up.

Women are tired of men not being held accountable for their actions, which is exactly what happened in front of everybody’s eyes the day Kavanagh was confirmed. Women are tired of men in authority using their power to assault women and get away with it, but to those men, this just means they should feel threatened that they could be attacked any minute with false accusations. Women are tired of being scared, harmed in some way and then not believed, because “that doesn’t sound like something he would do.”

Women are tired. Eyes and minds need to be opened to this problem and the reality of it. Far too often, we tend to just act like it does not exist or is not really that bad. But it is just that bad. Our society tries to deny the rape culture while in the same breath, denying a survivor’s right to justice.

It is time for everyone to make a change. We as a society need to believe victims who are brave enough to come forward. And more than believe, we need to help those who are fighting for justice. We need to make it easier for survivors to come forward in the first place without fear of judgment or ridicule. We need to have a system that is welcoming to survivors, one that makes them feel safe. We need to get better as a whole.

Our first thought should not be to question the actions of the victim, but instead to question how to make sure this never happens again.

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The mindset around sexual assault must change