Campus Life

Sexual violence speech elicits standing ovation from students

 Jeffrey Bucholtz speaks about the origin of sexual influences from family to media on the Reynolds Performance Hall stage. Students give the speech a standing ovation.

Jeffrey S. Bucholtz, co-director of We End Violence, received a standing ovation from students after his speech about sexual violence Thursday at the Reynolds Performance Hall.

Bucholtz, who is also a teacher at Southwestern College and president of the San Diego Violence Council, spoke about how sexuality is portrayed in our society and how people should handle sexual violence.

“Your actions can be the difference between someone who has been raped getting help or not,” Bucholtz said.

Bucholtz started by asking the audience places where people generally learn about sex, starting with family.

According to Bucholtz, conversations with parents about sex are usually non-specific and focus only on the most basic information.

“When adults describe sex to children, it sounds like they’re reading instructions for IKEA furniture,” Bucholtz said.

This is the first generation that has received this much media, and this affects the way people see sexuality.

Movies are unrealistic, which can cause people to doubt themselves, and they can be creepy with suggestions like that sex is so pervasive that it can happen anywhere at any time, Bucholtz said.

One stereotype that is often repeated that Bucholtz said needs to stop is the idea that men are always thinking about sex and can’t control themselves.

Bucholtz played karaoke with the audience, using the popular songs “Animals” by Maroon 5 and “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. to show that even music often portrays men who aggressively try to get women to do things with them in a positive light.

The audience interacted with Bucholtz throughout the session, laughing and responding when he talked about how parents handle sex talks. Although he noted that sometimes members of the audience would stop singing once they realized what the songs were about.

Audience members also participated in a listing game by providing words that are used to describe men and women who do and don’t have sex.

By the time he was done he made the point that men and women who don’t have sex are often mocked, and while men are generally praised for sexual activity, women are still degraded.

After asking the audience what often results in women being called ‘sluts,’ Bucholtz said that all women seem to face this word at some point, as even a nun he spoke to at a Catholic school said that she had been called a slut when she was young and after becoming a nun.

Bucholtz included several other anecdotes as examples.

Rape often takes place because people tell themselves that it’s “none of our business,” and because it is about power and not sex, it is not the same as sex, Bucholtz said.

“Consensual sex is redundant,” Bucholtz said. “If it’s consensual, it’s sex; if it’s not, it’s rape.”

Bucholtz also said ignoring rape accounts in America is similar to the “All Lives Matter” response to Black Lives Matter protests.

“If we do not end homophobia, we do not end rape, and if we do not end racism, we do not end rape,” Bucholtz said.

UCA is currently an unsafe campus in terms of sexual violence, Bucholtz said, as students were quickly able to talk about discrimination and sexual violence that people, and women in particular, face.

However, Bucholtz also felt that UCA is currently in a situation where people clearly care about issues of sexual violence and information presented in his sessions can help.

“I believe that the staff here really wants to do this,” Bucholtz said. “I hope it inspires survivors to come forward.”

Bucholtz, who spoke to UCAPD and staff members at earlier sessions, said he hopes talking about the issue of sexual violence will keep it in the forefront of conversations later so that people will work to fix problems.

Director of Professional Development and Training Charlotte Strickland said Bucholtz’s arrival was booked in March after wanting to get him here since 2014.

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