Sexualizing young girls leads to rape culture

Brittney Christ

Old Dominion University’s Sigma Nu in Virginia has gathered some heat over some banners posted “welcoming” freshmen women to campus.

The Daily Beast wrote, “One has to wonder how many kegs of beer were depleted before someone in the Old Dominion University chapter of Sigma Nu thought it was a good idea to make a series of banners that played exactly to the growing perception of fraternities as a breeding ground for boorish, misogynistic sexual predators.”

The banners draped over the frat house said, “ROwDy and FUn, Hope Your Baby Girl is Ready for a Good Time…,” “Freshman Daughter Drop Off” and “Go Ahead and Drop Off Mom Too.”

Even though ODU is getting all of the negative press, fraternities all over the nation are spouting this promotion of rape culture in the college system.

In Ohio, seniors at a residence off campus made signs that read, “Dads, we’ll take it from here” and “Daughter Daycare 2.0.”

Signs at West Virginia University said, “She called you daddy for 18 years/Now it’s our turn.”

Justin Miller, an OSU senior, commented on the issue: “Our motives were not to insult or look down on anyone, not to be sexist. Our motive is just to have fun, it is college.”

Miller said that their motive was just to have fun, but would he feel comfortable dropping his future daughter off at college greeted by these signs? Would he not fear that his daughter could be raped as part of a college hazing ritual?

Twenty percent of young women (predominantly in their freshmen year) who went to college over the last four years were sexually assaulted.

Sexual assaults are most common in the first few weeks of the first semester of college for freshman females. According to the 2007 Campus Sexual Assault Study, over half of sexual assaults take place between August and November.

So these signs are not “funny;” they are promoting an already prevalent rape culture that is accentuated by men claiming that women are “asking for it” and pouncing on the vulnerability of freshmen females.

These college boys assume that just because women are sexually exploited and objectified as soon as they are born, “boys will be boys.”

Growing up, I got yelled at for walking the three feet from the bathroom to my bedroom, but my little brother was all laughs as he ran around naked and walked around the house in nothing but a towel as he grew older.

It is a double standard. Girls in K-12 are humiliated when they are sent to their school office because of a dress code violation that causes a “distraction.” You are telling a young girl that a boy’s education is more important than her own when you force her to stay in the office and wait for a new set of clothes because she violated the dress code that is in place to limit distractions.

Apparently, a collarbone or a shoulder blade sends young boys into a sexual frenzy and they cannot control themselves during class. What is this 1908?

It is 2015! It is time to end the war on sexualizing girls. It is ironic how college has no dress code, yet no men are “too distracted” to get their degrees.

To stop rape culture, we need to start from the beginning. None of these actions are acceptable. Women are not there for the taking, and neither are men. Only Yes means Yes.

Stop sexualizing young girls. A little 8 year old is wearing a bikini? Good for her. The little 8 year old boy is wearing a speedo? Have a great time swimming. The heart of rape culture lies within the over-sexualization of women from the time they are young.

Stop shoving rape culture down the throats of children.

A little boy does not push you because “he likes you.” His parents are not raising a respectful child who understands boundaries. If we stop accepting this behavior and stop standing up for the men who perform these acts, we can alleviate this rape culture.

It is not a shame that a 16-year-old rapist lost his football scholarship. He is a rapist.

That 14-year-old rape victim is not “an attention whore.” She is a rape victim.

By supporting those things, we are telling the sexual predators that this kind of behavior is acceptable. We are saying, “Go ahead and rape someone. We will just comment on what a bright future you had, and that the girl is just lying. Or that all males love sex, so the male rape victim really liked it anyways.”

As a society, if we eliminate this sick sympathy for misogyny and sexism, rape culture would no longer exist.

It is not all on the shoulders of the deluded frat boys who make these posters; it is on all of us.