By Matthew Othus
This past Thursday, in the Wortmann Ballroom, Roanoke College invited two guests to speak about what is and is not rape. The event, entitled “Sex Signals” also discussed stereotypes and “codes” among both men and women in social scenarios.
The speakers opened up with some witty banter and warned the crowd that we may be called upon for input on several of their demonstrations/acts.
For the first 20 minutes, the pair acted out a series of social interactions you might find in a bar. The first act was a stereotypical bar jock hitting on a non-receptive woman who was waiting on some friends. The scene was pretty funny and they continuously asked the audience for how each person should act.
The second scene was a little but tamer, the guy performer was using some great pickup lines that were shouted out by the audience. “Are you a beaver? Cause dam!” was thrown out to open the second scene, the crowd voted that the women act mysterious and make the man try hard to keep the conversation going.
The posters that advertised for the event portrayed it as “sex signals” but that wasn’t really what the majority of the talk was about. The next 60 minutes of the talk focused around what defines rape.
The performers acted out a Jerry Springer-esq show that interviewed a man who was accused of rape. He told the story from his point of view, but we never heard it from the woman’s POV. His story was very stereotypical and very common on campuses across the nation.
He studied with the woman in the library and afterwards he walked her back to her dorm. He then invited her to a party he was throwing at his house the following day. At the party, he talked to the woman, and they both had a few drinks. She suggested that the pair of them go up to his room and get away from the party. He obliged and when they got to the room they started undressing. Once they were both fully undressed the woman pushed away from him. He waited a few moments but started having sex with her. As he started she said “stop”, but didn’t fight any further so he continued. This was the end of his story.
The next 45 minutes was basically dedicated to explaining how this scenario is rape. We even got little cards that said “STOP” that we could hold up when we thought the scenario crossed the line. Unfortunately, after using the cards once, that was the end of the interactive portion.
Overall, the entirety of the talk covered common sense and I didn’t learn anything from the talk because it was so basic. I felt the talk was meant for High School students as the talk had less depth than a kiddie pool.
This talk usually comes around to the campus every year. If you feel the need to brush up on your definition of rape and watch some moderately funny skits, look for the posters next year.