By Stephen Quintanilla |Coyote Contributor|
In recent events with the controversial article “’Rape culture’ is not real,” there has been a portion of students who retaliated with the utmost prejudice.
They took self-righteous action by calling for the writer’s resignation or threatened the paper’s funds.
I am a defender of the most basic freedoms and believe that people have a right to say what they want as long as it doesn’t incite violence or panic.
With this article causing such an effect on this campus, some argue that this speech would be considered “threatening” to rape victims.
I disagree with this backlash and wholeheartedly give my support to the writer and the Coyote Chronicle for their willingness to publish and stand by this article.
In this recent political climate, most would run and apologize for their wrongthink.
I am happy to see that there are others on campus who are not afraid of those seeking to demolish discourse.
As a man who can actually empathize with sexual violence victims because I experienced it myself, I hate it when people say my experience is minimal or very rare.
I have that fear but I’ve learned that I shouldn’t let that scare me into experiencing different things. I know that I’m an exception but I dislike when victims like myself are represented by folks who think that speaking on behalf of us, but have never gone through the trauma, will make us feel better. It doesn’t.
For too long I have sat in silence as people spoke on my behalf without my permission. As a man, it became clear that even in this supposed “open minded” environment that my experience was going to be briefly mentioned or not at all. I have been perceived of being ignorant of sexual assault or rape simply because I am a man, when in fact I do know a thing or two from personal experience.
The huge problem is that on campus there are spaces that feel they should not question a women’s experience but it is open season on men’s. Why should I be seen as automatically ignorant just because what is between my legs or because my physical attraction isn’t the best?
What offended me more was CSUSB’s lack of attention to my story than a simple set of text. This article did not support rapists but in fact argued against the sensationalists of college campuses. As stated in the article, “I am not saying that rape does not happen, it does and it is awful. What I am arguing in this article is that the idea of society glorifying rape is false.”
People who take a so-called “right side of history” stance on these arguments do not speak for the majority but rather speak for themselves.
Feel free to believe my experience or not, in the end I don’t care. I am open to disagreements and believe that everyone is in their right to do so. We may not all be in agreement but I’d rather see an ever evolving discourse than no discourse at all. As English writer Evelyn Beatrice Hall said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”