Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The “Trail”

Here at Ramapo College, there is a trail that goes through the woods behind a couple residence halls. The official name is Sequoia, but students commonly refer to it as “The Rape Trail.” I’d really like to know where this name came from and what makes it ok to call a part of our campus something so crude and offensive. Most students don’t even know the official title because it is so often called the wrong thing. To my knowledge, there has never been an incident there. And even if there was, why would people want to call more attention to an act of sexual violence? Just hearing the dubbed nickname, I shudder.

I’d like to point out that rape is not something to joke about or just say haphazardly. It is a serious offense and horrible experience that I don’t think anyone would want to go through. Anyone that thinks it’s ok to use this vernacular, in my opinion, is heartless and insensitive. By using the word casually, people make light of an extremely serious situation. Using the term will only re-enforce the use of it. Not to mention, you may not know if you are saying it in front of a survivor of sexual assault. Why can’t we just say “The Trail” or here’s an idea…actually call it by the real name???

In light of recent conversations regarding this issue, I find that this is a perfect example of a “Red Dot” or type of Interpersonal Violence. And how convenient that we are kicking off the Green Dot Campaign! An example of a Green Dot is doing such things as calling someone out when they tell a joke about sexual assault. By doing this, we are countering the red dots and preventing such acts of Interpersonal Violence. Discussing this issue to no avail with a select group of people has only made me want to promote this campaign even more. Obviously the few individuals that I interacted with are not the only ones that use the term. Let’s strive to eliminate the use completely, as well as other offensive and hurtful sayings, jokes, etc. that we come across. So what’s your Green Dot?

1 comment:

  1. I agree... I always just call it the creepy trail instead because it is really creepy! Its funny when people try to correct me ("Oh you mean the RAPE trail?") and then I get to explain to them why I call it the creepy trail instead.