April 3 2017
Three male students recently participated in a University of Alabama event to prevent sexual assault, speaking on a panel about what their fraternities could do to better protect women. Their comments were “insightful and empathetic,” wrote a female student in the audience.
But she was furious that the men were thanked.
Though most panel discussions conclude by thanking speakers for participating, such politeness is “ultimately harmful” when extended toward men, wrote Marissa Cornelius, a junior, in an op-ed for the student newspaper.
“Men don’t deserve praise for being decent human beings,” Cornelius said.
Cornelius said she doesn’t believe that most men are rapists—but she expects that “they’ll probably still laugh and not say anything when a friend makes a comment about how they were raped by a test, or how slutty some girl is or any other equally tasteless rape joke.”
“When we congratulate men for being advocates against sexual assault, we make complacency the norm. … Men, do not expect to be lauded for fighting against sexual assault and labeling yourself a feminist. I refuse to congratulate you for granting me the respect that I inherently deserve,” Cornelius wrote.
Cornelius wants men to actively work to ensure women on campus feel safe—but she refuses to extend them even basic courtesy. Faced with disdain like that, is it any wonder only 35 percent of millennial men support feminism?
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.