The overlap between rape culture and jock culture has been identified and explored most often within the context of football programs, and certainly most recently in light of the Super Bowl and the sex work it provides a demand for. While we don't have enough research to prove causal or direct relationships between athletes and rape and sexual assault, we do have a dearth of instances of rape committed by football players and often abetted by their athletic community members. This is a particularly bitter pill to swallow for some of us at PARC who love sports in general and football in particular. So for this installment of good news, we'd like to spotlight the work of an NFL player who's using his power and status for good. Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty has partnered with organization A Call to Men to educate and model healthy masculinity. Aiming to reduce domestic violence and endow young men with tools to manage their emotions and behavior in healthy and productive ways, Chris Canty and A Call to Men recently partnered with Verizon to host an interactive seminar called A Call To Coaches, aimed at educating coaches and mentors about the ways in which they can support their young athletes to develop as healthy and emotionally developed and balanced young men. In speaking out against masculinity wielded violently and for dominance, Chris Canty not only advocates for healthy relationships but models to his NFL teammates and peers a healthy and compassionate way of enacting his power as a man. For those of us that love football, we'd love to see more models of healthy masculinity speak out and step up to change the patterns of domination and violence that have become deeply ingrained in this culture. Bravo to Chris Canty and his voice against violence!
NGOs in India are reorienting adolescent sexuality programs to sensitize boys on gender issues, and it's working. This article, from the IPS, confirms our belief that to change behavior requires changing social norms. Now we need to start creating new programs here!
This is where we'll share positive stories about forward progress in changing rape culture.