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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 21 September, 2018
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An Irish man has this powerful message about rape culture

“The only way we can fix rape culture is by teaching our young men about consent and ending banter culture”.

California Universities Source: Marcio Jose Sanchez

A SIX MONTH sentence handed down to a man who sexually assaulted a woman on the campus of Stanford University has caused a lot of anger over the past few days.

A lot of anger.

Brock Turner, whose felony charges included assault with intent to rape, was given a six month sentence, of which he was only expected to serve three. Anger. His father gave a court statement in which he said his son should not go to prison for “20 minutes of action”. Anger. Turner’s friend blamed ‘political correctness’ for Turner’s conviction. Anger.

Turner’s victim read a letter to him in court, addressing him directly, telling him how what he had “dragged me through this hell with you”, telling him how she was:

…pummeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who had me half naked before even bothering to ask for my name.

Anger.

Yesterday, Irish writer Sarah Maria Griffin sent out a long series of tweets pleading with men to talk to women about their experiences, to believe women about their experiences, to speak out about what has happened and what is happening to women, to write about it, to exit the ‘echo chamber’ of like-minded people and to challenge their friends and acquaintances, to influence, to care.

Griffin’s words prompted another Irish writer, Alan Maguire (of Headstuff.org and @YourRTEGuide), to speak out.

Referring also to the ‘echo chamber’ of Twitter, Maguire spoke of his experience in the ‘real world’, where his co-workers had never heard of rape culture. He said:

Maguire wrote about men needing to disseminate ‘radical messages through familiar channels’.

Men can be that channel. They have to be.

Other Irish men have also responded to Griffin’s message:

Irish writer and comic Ruthe Phoenix sums it up pretty well with:

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About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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