I don’t know where to start.

10 09 2013

You may or may not have heard about this rape chant thing that happened (and apparently, has been happening for a long time) at UBC’s Sauder Business School. I’ve been reading extensively on the matter today, sifting through dozens of comments left on The Ubyssey and other news sites.

I have no idea where to start.

I think that most everyone would agree that rape is bad. Yes? I also think that many, if not all, incoming students at UBC — not just Sauder students — have little to no comprehensive sex education, and probably nothing mentioning other aspects of sex, like sexual assault.

Now, I took a course at Langara College called Health Sciences 1127 (it might’ve been 1120, I can’t remember). Essentially, it was a four month sex ed course — the sex ed course I never had. Not only did the instructors cover basic things like biological and physiological aspects of sex, but the latter part of the course was focused around sex in society. Fetishes. Sex work. Sex slavery. Laws that govern sexuality, of which included sexual assault.

If I were the president of a post-secondary institution, I would make it mandatory for all students to take this course. I believed it at the time and I still believe it now. Now, it may sound silly. In fact, your first reaction might be something along the lines of, “Why would I need to know that stuff? I’m in [insert different program/faculty here].” The most obvious answer is that everyone has sex. Many young people don’t have a good understanding of sex, or only have a very basic understanding, so this course would be beneficial (not to mention, it’s a really interesting course on its own).

But more importantly, the information about sexual assault/rape, the statistics around how many women (and men) are sexually assaulted, and what they might feel/go through — that is arguably more important. It’s so basic yet so important to teach others to respect one another, to not believe popular culture’s frequent messages about what sex is, misogyny, etc. It contributes to them being a better citizen in the world.

This is turning into an op. ed. piece. I suppose that it is, since I do have a suggestion I’d like to make. But the point I want to make is that we all go to university to learn. I think most people want to learn to be better people.

This seems to be as good a start as any.