Week 3 Meeting 2
Well as I expected, tensions are high within the coalition already. With such a sensitive topic, I thought the class would be more willing to discuss rape culture in a professional and productive manner, however, with so many voices, it has proven to be more difficult than many had anticipated. One of the challenges that has been highlighted is that everyone came into the class assuming that everyone else knew the same information about the topic that they had. As a result, tensions are running high as many have began to lose their patience with those who might not be on the same page. I understand that some people are more knowledgeable on the subject than others, but as our mission statement says, we are here to educate those who may not know or understand rape culture in order to eliminate the problem. I have found that if we are unable to have the patience to teach and help those in our own coalition to understand the dangers within rape culture, how can we be expected to teach those in our surrounding communities? Those who are completely ignorant to the subject, and get them to understand and fight this problem with us? I know that everyone in the class is very head strong and opinionated, but it seems as though we need to be more respectful of one another's thoughts, as well as understand that while we are all at the same university, our educations have been different. We all come from different backgrounds and experiences, bringing different perspectives and understanding of rape culture to the group. While this might bring challenges to the table, I feel as though this could also be a huge contributing factor and extremely beneficial to the discussions we will have, bringing diversity and a better grasp on how rape culture is circulated throughout the Unites States. In order to be respectful, everyone must be willing to work together throughout the entire process. If we begin the simulation with the tension that there is now, people will become unwilling to share and contribute to the conversation and dialogue. Silencing people is not in our mission statement, and goes against everything we stand for as students, human beings, and activists who wish to fight against sexual violence.
Despite the rising tension within the group, the discussions we have had have been meaningful. I really appreciated the pyramid that was brought into the google doc, representing the different layers and components of rape culture. I felt it was really helpful to those who might not completely understand what rape culture encompasses. There are so many elements to the issue that it can be difficult to understand and grasp, however, the pyramid was a great contribution. I also really appreciate the level of passion everyone is displaying toward the topic. It is always reassuring to see a class full of students so engaged in an issue that can be highly sensitive. I appreciate all of the effort put forth by everyone thus far, and look forward to the ongoing dialogue and new perspectives everyone has to offer.