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September 07, 2012

Boston University’s Men’s Hockey Team: “Culture of Sexual Entitlement”

IStock_0icehockeymallWhen I read the article about the BU men’s hockey team (http://tinyurl.com/9aferzs), I have to admit I felt sick to my stomach.  I was disgusted by the report a female made that a player stuck his hands down her pants and refused to stop even as she was punching him.  I was sickened by a player’s alleged comment that you don’t ask permission for sex when you’re drunk.  I was saddened by allegations that players were having sex in the penalty box while people were partying all around.  When the report went on to talk about the common occurrence of group sex the players allegedly engage in…well, you get the gist.

I can’t begin to venture a guess about what is true or not about this report, however I can tell you I’m not surprised.  Male athletes have been falsely empowered since the beginning of time.  They are taught that the rules don’t apply to them.  They are given outrageous privileges, let off the hook for heinous acts -- and even crimes -- and are cheered as super-human figures.  Seldom do people hold them accountable for their actions…and when people try, the victims often pay a steep price for their courage. 

Until our world stops being enthralled by these men, they will continue to leave damage in their wake.  Women will be harmed, girls will be objectified, men will struggle in their relationships and on and on.  When society teaches boys and girls from a young age that athletes (or movie stars or politicians, etc.) are omnipotent, it sets these people up to feel and act as though they are omnipotent.  Consequently, women fawn over them, children look up to them, society excuses and minimizes their indiscretions and the athletes do what they want, when they want and with whom they want because that is how they’ve been trained.

It’s time to stop the training. 

To the female victims of their assaults, I am truly sorry for your pain.  I’m sorry our world has created this and allowed it to go on for so long.  I’m sorry that you have been caught in the wake.

And…to the women who are willing participants—wake up.  Having sex with a hockey player in the penalty box doesn’t make you special.  You’re not lucky to have been with a hockey player, or a football star or some other supposedly super-human male.  They don’t see you as an amazing woman to be treated well when they’re having group sex with you or having sex with you while dozens of people are around.  They see you as cheap.  They see you as a conquest and nothing more. 

You deserve more.  Stop looking to guys who treat women like a piece of meat to give you some sense of worth.  They can’t give you that.  And, trust me, if you’re sleeping around with a ton of men or participating in group-sex, you do have poor self-esteem.  I don’t care how you try to explain it to yourself or to others.  I don’t care if you’re convinced that you’re having all this sex because it’s fun and “people shouldn’t be so uptight,” etc.  You’re wrong.  You’re lying to yourself and you’re keeping yourself down.  Wake up.  You’re better than that.  You deserve better than that.  It’s not fun to have sex with a guy who doesn’t even know your name and later calls you a slut to his friends. 

Start doing the work necessary to hold your head high, be treated well and to know you’re worthy. Do your part to stop training these men that it’s okay to treat you like a piece of meat.  It isn’t.  You deserve better and until you realize this, far too many men in your life will continue to treat you as less than human.

Challenge: Women, watch how you’re treated.  Don’t use sex to help you feel attractive, loved, wanted or worthy.  Know that you are worthy and treat yourself as such.  Your body is a gift; don’t give it away as if it’s a dollar store trinket.


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Why doesn't the girl ask for help? Why doesn't she file a case and ask for assistance? Surely a lot of organizations related to women's rights will help her.

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