The #MeToo movement has brought sexual harassment to the forefront to a shocking degree.
Women who remained silent for decades are coming forward, disclosing what they’ve gone through. So, we went to an expert to boil it down for us.
Ron Scott Jr. gives presentations on the rape culture to everyone from sports teams to corporations.
He says it’s all about a mindset that we don’t even realize exists.
Men often complain that they get mixed signals from women about whether their “no” really means no.
Scott says that men tend to think a “soft no” leans toward a yes. And he says that mindset has to change.
“What I would love is to shift the change to enthusiastic consent,” said Scott. “Because right now, there are men looking for any form of consent, or anything they can construe as consent. But right now, if we shift to enthusiastic consent, we don’t have to worry about it.”
We asked what women can do to protect themselves.
He said decades of teaching women how to hold their keys and avoid dark parking lots hasn’t worked.
So, he said women can sit this one out. In his words, “It’s not on them; it’s on the men.”
“Because we have to shift our mindset from teaching women not to be raped, to teaching men not to rape,” Scott said. “The onus can’t be all on the woman for something that’s happening to her.”
In a video he uses in his programs, consenting to sex is compared to making and serving tea.
“If someone asks you for tea and you make it for them and then they suddenly say they don’t want it, you wouldn’t force it upon them,” he explained. “You wouldn’t think they were obligated to drink it in front of you.”
He says parts of the rape culture are accepted as innocent or amusing, like the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” with lyrics like “hey, what’s in this drink.”
“That was rough because that’s actually a song that I really enjoy and it’s so synonymous with Christmas time,” said Scott. “But if you sit and you listen to the words of the song, it’s pretty rough. It’s about a man who’s trying to keep a woman in the room with him and he’s going to use any means.”
Scott says sports teams rely on hyper-masculinity and domination, and it serves them well in the game.
But in the real world, he says, maybe no one has ever taught men how to tune it down.
For more information or to arrange for Ron Scott to present his program to your class or group, you can contact the Wheeling YWCA or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.