By Steven Uhl / Contributor
American women cannot win when it comes to sex, said the provocative man who has made it his life’s work defending them. Women get put in brutal boxes whether they are sexually active or chaste.
Jeffery Bucholtz, an animated violence prevention specialist, held a four-part series of presentations at Southwestern College where he discussed feminism and women’s rights. His colorful talks were at the same time inspiring and disturbing, poetic and graphic.
“Men Against Rape” is a campus favorite. It was so crowded in Student Union East that dozens of students were sitting on the floor or standing along the walls. Bucholtz discussed how our society has learned to view women negatively.
He drew four boxes on a whiteboard. He asked the audience members, “What do we call women who have sex?” and wrote the answers in one box. Audience members shouted demeaning words such as “slut,” “ho,” “tramp” and “chicken head.” He then asked the audience to describe women who do not have sex. Members yelled out “dyke,” “bitch” and “trick.”
Bucholtz challenged the audience to define a “slut.” After hearing responses, audience members realized there is no agreed upon definition for the word. Bucholtz said that calling women “slut” in our culture allows them to be raped because we see them as unworthy of respect.
“Violence is incredibly common in our culture and community,” he said. “Violence flourishes in silence, in isolation. When we bring people together to address both the causes and solutions to violence we begin the critical process of ending it.”
Another presentation, “Feminism,” drew more than 200 people. Bucholtz was charismatic and humorous as well as intimate. He discussed stereotypes of women and men, sexism and women’s rights.
“Feminism is not only about women, it is also about men,” he said.
Members of the audience learned why the history of feminism in the United States is important and how it has impacted society. Daniel Sanchez, a communications major, said he was impressed.
“Coming to the performance for the first time was informative and entertaining,” he said.
In “Masculinity” Bucholtz discussed gender roles and things men are taught to avoid. Society says men are not supposed to cry or watch chick flicks, he said, which would make them feminine. He explored the “angry male” stereotype with a personal anecdote
where he was looking for pain medicine and was unable to find it. He reenacted a fit he threw to show the audience how easy it is to become angry. Bucholtz discussed the expectations society has for men like toughness and manliness. He also explored the negative repercussions men have to deal with when others do not think they are manly enough.
Students who attended seemed excited and ready to stop violence in the community, said Professor of History Laura Ryan, who coordinated the events.
“Many professors have seen Jeff present and because their students learned a lot from his presentations and enjoyed it, they continue to bring their classes every semester,” she said. “Jeff has a following of students and faculty who believe in what he is educating others about.”