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LatinitasMagazine.org - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

Yesterday I walked through my college campus.  I saw a row of T-shirts hanging like dead men on a clothesline with words written all over them.  As I walked closer, there was the usual "No means No," "Still not asking for it," and a variety of other phrases used to "encourage" victims of sexual harassment to continue being the strong people that they are.  However, instead of feeling proud of these well-meaning individuals, I was rather frustrated.  Yes, a person shouldn't force themselves on anyone, especially if they aren't asking for it.  However, if someone is going to be a rapist, that person is not going to listen.  They don't have enough morality to keep from raping someone, let alone listen.  Am I saying that you should continue to cower in your houses?  No!  You should start educating others and yourself.  Educate yourself on self defense.  Educate yourself on high risk spots for sexual harassment.  Educate yourself on tips to not only deter a rapist, but to prevent it in the first place.  Most of all, educate others.  Be a part of the community and make sure everyone gets the education they need to help themselves and others.  Teach the future generation what is appropriate and what isn't appropriate.  You must also be a kindred soul.  Be kind to everyone.  Make everyone feel loved and accepted in this world.  This is the most important part of all.  Why you ask?  This may be disturbing, but here is the story of a young man.  He was a prevalent homosexual as an adolescent and has been harassed the majority of his life.  His parents paid no heed to the constant bullying he went through.  As an adult, he became a serial killer and rapist.  This man is Jeffrey Dahmer.  What do you think would have changed if he hadn't been constantly bullied for his homosexuality and queerness?  Perhaps he would have found the love of his life and become a man of good standing and a respectable citizen.  Sometimes, society creates monsters.  One must take into account what their actions may do to someone and the consequences that could be acted, perhaps not on you, but on someone else.  Jeffrey Dahmer killed around sixteen teenagers.  Think of those sixteen families who have lost someone they loved.  You see someone in bad standing?  Someone who seems mishapen by society?  Give them an act of love.  Perhaps you can prevent the vicious cycle from happening again.  Keep someone else from suffering the same fate that you might have.

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Comment by Jazmine Arreola on May 6, 2020 at 8:04pm

It is now four years later and I have come back to read this.  I am still firm in the belief that people should learn to defend themselves, but I've also taken on a new perspective in how society should be educated.  EVERYONE should be educated on the principle of consent and the ability to take rejection well.  However, it is rooted in childhood by parents who unknowingly set them up for failure.  As a latina, I've seen plenty of instances where a child is forced to give Tio Juan a kiss, or let Tia Lupe squeeze your cheeks.  My brother and I were not subjected to that thankfully.  Why?  He has autism and you'd be damned if you even attempted to hug him.  Growing older, I found it strange that a child's autonomy was non-existent and their right to say no was taken away.  Sound familiar?  If adults can't respect the consent of a child, why should the child respect consent in the future?  It's not the only thing that could lead to sexual harassment, but it could easily be a factor.  


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