We live in a very interesting time. A talkative time.
In the past, subjects like sexual assault or workplace harassment were casually swept under the rug. Ignored. Victims and their stories were left untold and unheard and those who were responsible for their mistreatment were able to walk free – totally unscathed.
It used to be a world with a motto of “boys will be boys.”
In recent months, news stories exposing Hollywood bigshots like Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby or Matt Lauer have surfaced and, for what seems like the first time, victims are being heard. They’re being believed.
While progress still needs to be made, the stigma that once followed victims around is slowly but surely being dismantled with help from movements like #TimesUp and #MeToo.
However, while the stereotype of sexual assault casts women as the victims and men as the abusers, sexual assault is not a gendered crime.
What is being done on a campus level to raise awareness about movements like this? What is USD doing to help bring a voice to the voiceless?
This year, USD is hosting its first music festival called 1BlueString which is centered around raising awareness about sexual assault.
According to 1BlueString’s website, 1 in 6 men fall victim to sexual assault.
The artists performing at the festival all share the belief that sexual assault toward men needs to be treated as seriously as it is – which sounds ridiculous to have to think.
Yet when a majority upholds a stigma against the very notion of sex crimes against men it suddenly seems necessary to keep the following in mind: boys and men can be sexually used and abused.
A belief that a man is less because he is a survivor of sexual assault is being dismantled slowly but surely and with an event such as this, focused on raising awareness about sexual assault on men, it seems like only a matter of time before these prejudices against male victims disappear entirely.
The lineup of acts performing all hold the ideals that sex crimes against men are legitimate and need to be viewed as seriously as sex crimes against women.
Performing at the festival beginning Friday will be Marcus Destin, a sophomore at USD, performing original raps. Her Grace, a cover artist out of Sioux City. Bluff Ridge Band, a group of police officers and professors from Vermillion. Would You Kindly, a student pop-punk band. Beard, a band of USD professors and Spleen Diva, a one-man neofolk operation run by Brendan Gayken.
Events like this prove that these movements are really working. Conversations are finally being had.