Other guys

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The Take Back the Night march on Sept. 22 featured the “Don’t Be That Guy” campaign, with signs that read “Just because she’s drunk doesn’t mean she wants to f**k.” The new campaign switched the focus from victims of sexual assault to perpetrators. Jennifer Byrd, a counsellor with Sexual Assault Centre Kingston (SAC), told the Journal last week that “This campaign is one of the only campaigns that targets the perpetrators.”

There are attitudes on this campus that undermine a woman’s sexual sovereignty. And there are men who think it’s fucked up but don’t say anything.

During the 500-strong Aberdeen Street party earlier this month, groups of men chanted “Tits out for the boys,” soliciting flashes from passersby.

During Frosh Week, there were men on porches with numbered signs, rating women as they walked by.

There’s someone on those porches who should be encouraged to be that guy — the guy that breaks the mob mentality. A campaign that targets every man as a potential perpetrator makes that guy recoil from the cause.

The spirit of “Don’t be that guy” is an important message, but I fear the men who will be most influenced by the campaign are the ones who already know what “No” means.

According to the Adult Criminal Court Survey, over 2,000 males have been convicted of sexual assault every year for the past five years in Canada.

No doubt, many more go uncaught. It’s an alarming number. But it’s not every man in Canada.

The men who aren’t offenders can help.

SAC reported a spike in cases during the first eight weeks of the semester. There’s another spike in sexual assaults in the first weeks back from Christmas holidays. It’s a problem that deserves protests like Take Back the Night.

But there can be smaller protests every Friday and Saturday night, if more men choose to be that guy who tells his friends to “Shut the fuck up.”

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