Updated May 14, 2022

Take Back the Night

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Take Back the Night essay
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“Take Back the Night” is an event that occurs in numerous university campuses to give awareness and creates a unity against sexual assault. It happens once a year in the late afternoon, the purpose is to literally take back the night and be able to say that there will be no tolerance for sexual violence. This event includes a resource fair, a programming of speakers, a candlelight vigil, a march and a survivor’s open mic. The event is just the tip of an iceberg, because it is a chain of sexual assault awareness and prevention that organizations, programs and clubs aim to change in society. The change that is truly needed is not women, children or men but this constructed image “of being a man” that results in in the desire for dominance.

Organizations and clubs that participated were: Breaking the Silence, Trans-E-Motion, P.O.W.E.R, Title IX, Student Health Center, Centro La Familia, Victim Advocate and many more. Their participation was contributed, because not only are they against sexual violence but they believe in community support. Community support has increased in professional knowledge that are involved in the medical, educational and governmental aspects but creates more resources victims can utilize (Gwyn and Okazawa p. 270-271). That is what some organization offered shelter and assistance to get people and families out of situations of violence. Besides these programs, there were several speakers that recited poetry and stories of victims. These poems were very expressive and vulnerable that allowed you to feel the person’s pain, sadness, anger and hunger for justice. The story shared, of a raped women decades ago gave a representation in how women have come together and have achieved a voice.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Leece Lee-Oliver, is a professor in the Women studies department that specializes in American Indian Studies. Dr. Lee-Oliver is really involved and passionate in fighting for Indigenous Feminism and rights. Her speech consisted of the cruel reality that the United States does not offer protection to everyone but yet everyone is expected to follow the law. She specifically spoke about the suffering American Indian women and girls go through, expecting to be raped because it is just a matter of when and not if. Their reservations do not answer to the United States meaning there is not protection for these women against their assaulters. Overall, the speech gave perspective that change is truly starting now. Women before us have made great progress but today there is still barriers that stand because the desire of power and male dominance.

Too many people if asked, a man should be tough, strong, respected, fit and independent (Katz, Jackson). Mr. Katz, in the video, “Tough Guise: Violence, Media & the Crisis in Masculinity” explains that society has created this image that men learn in order to reach certain standards they feel needs to be met to have masculinity. If we begin to think about it, it is true our society pushes men and boys to violence because that is how they are portrayed in the media and on television. As a result, the ones affected are women, children and men by other men. Needing to have masculinity, denies males to be simply decent and equal to women because, that would make them seen as the opposite of tough. This is what Back the Night is also fighting against because sexual assault has greatly to do with male dominance. Male dominance is what runs crimes like rape and domestic violence and it must be stopped.

The main message of the event was for victims, people of any sexual orientation, sex or gender. Letting them know they are not alone and there is a voice that will be heard because there is a unity of people that want equality and justice. That is the purpose of the candlelight vigil to have a moment of silence for those who are victims of sexual assault. There will be no name calling or judgement by authorities but instead focus held to the true perpetrator (Shamus R. Khan).This message is different than the media because it is targeting society for oppressing people that are nonwhite and not male. Those crimes and injustices include: rape, sexual assault, trafficking of people, racism and more that remain without decreasing. This is why this event is telling society it needs to change because the people have changed within it and there is no going back.

The goal is to change the identity, society has placed on women. Neither women nor any gender will be placed in specific qualities that society has shaped. Everything in this society is connected, that is why the information feminist’s present for society fit in the levels of analysis and interaction. Levels of Analysis and Interaction is a chart that represents identity in different levels of society. These levels include Micro or personal level which applies to one self’s (gender, race, religion and class) while Meso level implies to your community overall and Macro is global referring to how we are as humans (Gwyn and Okazawa-Rey pg. 102-105). Women, as a Micro level know their background and worth and in a Meso level they want their community to protect them no matter who they are and where they come from. While in a Macro level it is a focus to teach boys, who will become men, that gender does not determine qualities and characteristics.

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Take Back the Night. (2022, May 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/take-back-the-night/

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