Yes to all of the above.
Men do need to stand up and help, but I still believe that as women we need to take the lead on this and not wait for men to do so. We must become a lot more vocal and a lot less understanding. If we don’t take a stand for ourselves because we KNOW that we are worth more than the way we are treated everyday, then we are also at fault. We are not a minority of the population but we are treated as one and that needs to end.
Rachely my heart breaks for you, but as I said this is a cultural issue and the conditioning of both men and women is the problem. Even the best of men have been conditioned to believe by our media and institutions that women are somehow lesser than them and thus to some extent can be treated as ‘things” and not as equal human beings. (The quote in the piece when one of those raping Jackie says “get the thing’s legs open” just made me see red many times over.) I am very fortunate in that my husband is amazing. He wanted nothing to do with the frat system in college (where we met) and he has always been extremely supportive of women. He does have his small lapses, but when I or my daughter call him on them he stops and realizes and after 35+ years with me they hardly ever happen anymore. So make sure you talk to your husband and let him know how his response made you feel. The important thing is not to attack him but help him to see it from your point of view. I’ve learned that over many years.
That said I truly believe that our society is broken and if we wait around for the men who created it to fix it, we’ll be waiting forever. And if we wait around for “good” men to fix it we’ll still be waiting forever. I don’t know how we do it, but we have to somehow make a start. The men can then jump in and help but we need to lead, something we are not conditioned to do.
Maybe coming together to talk to each other on forums such as this is that start. But we have to also reach all those other women ( and men ) who are also victims of this materialistic and selfish world we now live in even though they may not realize it.
Some of you have questioned how other students stand by and watch what goes on and don’t speak up about it. That doesn’t surprise me. People in groups are less likely to speak out about a wrong – they wait for another person to do it, whereas people who see something bad happening one on one are more likely to speak up and stop it. The subject was extensively studied after WWII when the question was raised about how could so many “good” Germans sit back and let the Nazi’s commit genocide on the Jews and others, and more recently in the 1970’s after the Kitty Genovese case in NYC where people watched a young women being murdered out of their apartment windows and did not call the police. The reasons given were “I thought someone else was calling.”
That’s all I’ve got right now and I am going to go take a walk and get some lunch and try to get some of this rage out of my system with physical activity!