That power reveals itself through force, force that is visibly apparent and physical.
But that same power, that same force, can also be unseen, coercive, psychological.
This is because the research shows what will work to prevent sexual harassment and why it will work.
A systemwide change to the culture and climate in our nation’s colleges and universities can stop the pattern of harassing behavior from impacting the next generation of women entering science, engineering, and medicine.
What hit home, in particular, was the sexual assault survivor's powerful impact statement, read on-air by CNN's Ashleigh Banfield.
Hearing the victim's words read aloud, listening to the gritty details about the physical and emotional trauma she endured, has caused some commentators to label the letter "required reading" for everyone from sons to college freshman.She goes into a scathing indictment of the culture that requires even victims to be polite about their trauma, to be quiet and center the needs and feelings of those who violated them over their own pain.The Stanford rape survivor's statement, she countered, is an important divergence from this norm, one powerful enough to compel Gattuso to confront her own rapist.All of this is to say, please just let rape victims/survivors process and identify our shit in our own way.When you're talking or writing about rape and abuse, be careful with your language.The story about this invisible power is the story we don’t expect to hear.Through their discussion of these two seemingly opposing narratives, Kappel reveals a kernel of truth: that rape can be insidious, unseen, inside our minds, just as easily as it can happen drunkenly behind a dumpster.This week, the nation has been rocked by extensive coverage surrounding Brock Turner, a 20-year-old man who sexually assaulted an unconscious woman the Stanford University campus in 2015, and his subsequent trial and six-month sentence.Brock's father added to the maelstrom, issuing a letter stating his son's sentence was overly steep for "20 minutes of action," drawing widely-shared criticism claiming that Turner's father and Turner himself perpetual rape culture in their continued disbelief and defensiveness.Allard, who didn't tell her children about her rape until she could no longer stand to hear her son's apologist opinions, found the power of her own story, and how finally speaking up about being raped gave her back the power her rapist took away from her.In this excellent essay, non-binary writer, author, and activist Aaron Kappel describes a tale of two rapes — one in which they were assaulted and fought back as an example of the "right" kind of rape, and the other about the realization that their ex had raped them multiple times throughout their relationship, even though they didn't necessarily say "no" in the moment.