by Adriana Michelle:
Last night I attended an extra credit event for a class, and to my surprise, it ended up being an eye-opening experience for my newfound feminism. The “14th Annual Take Back The Night Rally and March” was the event and it was held at the Plaza Del Sol (University Student Union) at California State University Northridge.
Produced by the Women’s Resource and Research Center, and co-sponsored by The F Word, Project D.A.T.E., Gamma Rho Lambda and CSUN Alpha Phi., the event’s slogan shouted “Shatter the Silence. Stop the Violence.” A call to action in effort to raise awareness and combat violence against women.
Banning together with students, teachers, families, and victims of violence at sundown, we partook in host of festivities including a unifying music set by Selina Carrera; powerful speeches by activists such as Randi Picarelli, CSUN Gender Studies Professor; spoken word performances by CSUN’s Slam Poetry Club members; artsy poster making, and T-shirt creations with the Clothesline Project.
As I created my own T-shirt that read, “Don’t look at my ass, look at my face,” I realized I had a lot in common with the individuals around me. We wanted change, and we want it now. Our reasons are all unique, yet relatable for each and every one of us.
My reason for my T-shirt creation was due to my never ending experiences where men feel entitled to look at me in an objectifying way in public. Whether I’m walking down the street, getting out of my car, working out at the gym, or grocery shopping, I’m aware that men are looking at me as if I’m pleasing enough to eat.
My thoughts? It’s time for men to wake up and stop acting like hungry, barbaric dogs! These looks of entitlement and objectification are what I am calling for a stop to as they are precursors of assault.
NoBullying.com states –
Once the objectification is successful and a man views a woman as nothing more than property, it opens the door to abuse. If men view women as beings without feelings, as dehumanized and defenseless entities, the leap to physical violence is not so great. The woman ceases to have any sense of autonomy or self-determination; she is merely a tool for the man’s purposes. He sees her as interchangeable with his other possessions, and there are no boundaries to his use of the objects he owns. He begins to view her as someone whose feelings do not need to be taken into account. If his needs are not met, there is confrontation, then violence.
Women are human beings with feelings, emotions, thoughts, ideas, and personalities that get stripped from us every day when we are reduced and treated as objects. It’s not right!
The stats for assault on women isn’t something to ignore. Here are some unsettling numbers we need to pay attention to from NoMore.org –
- 1 in 3 women experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes.
- 1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend in one year.
- 1 in 5 women are survivors of rape.
- 1 in 2 women have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lives.
- 1 in 4 women were sexually abused before the age of 18.
To learn more about how you combat violence towards women, visit https://www.csun.edu/womens-research-resource-center
Let’s shatter the silence and stop the violence today!