Take back the night, your ignorance

By Jennifer Meyer

Last Thursday I was at the Take Back the Night march, where women and men marched around campus protesting and raising awareness about sexual violence toward women. They especially protested against violence that occurs at night, a time when many women face violence and fear while walking around.

The march was a fun, empowering, educational event and I wish more marches like Take Back the Night were done at NIU.

Even though there were many people supporting us, there were still many others who did not. It was not only a few bad apples that were not supportive. It also was a majority of the students who lived in the homes we passed.

While we were walking, many male hecklers yelled: “I love rape”, “go home”, “shut up”, “patriarchy rules” and “you like being raped.” Many also laughed at us.

Are you listening NIU?

There are men on this campus who support sexual violence.

These are your fellow Huskies expressing hatred toward people who fight for awareness and an end to sexual violence. They were trying to silence us and take power away from us.

I was told “men are competent, rational, educated adults who are here to learn to respect themselves and one another.” To yell, “I love rape” out a car window at a large group of protesting, angry feminists is neither rational nor respectful.

Last year, men threw eggs at the protestors. What does this say about men on campus wanting to respect themselves and others?

I hoped to never see or hear about NIU students who do not wish to see or hear about men who support sexual violence.

Who am I to preach about respect when I know little about it? I do not get respect; therefore I do not know what it is like to be respected by some men on this campus.

I preach respect because women deserve respect. I do not see respect toward women at NIU. Therefore, NIU students need to hear about it.

It angers me to hear from other women that it is inconceivable to think men on this campus enjoy raping women. Wake up. Open your eyes and ears. Listen to what some men on this campus shout at women. Not only at feminists who participate in Take Back the Night marches, but to any woman crossing the street, going to class or just trying to get through a day.

Men are not flirting with women when they yell, “Hey baby, nice whatever.” They degrade women and turn them into sex objects.

I will not stop standing up to men like this when they tell me “I like being raped.” Other feminists at NIU will not stop standing up either.

Feminists everywhere will never stop standing up. We will not be silenced. We will never “shut up.” We will never “go home.” We will not tolerate laughing at sexual violence.

We will be the ones coming again to doorsteps to shout, “We have the power. We have the right. The streets are ours. Take back the night.”

Columns reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the Northern Star staff.