Monday, April 11, 2011

Blog 4/12/11

This week I participated in the “1 in 8 and 1 in 4” sexual violence awareness campaign by wearing a t-shirt that said “1 in 8” around campus. The 1 in 8 represented how 1 in 8 college men report being sexually violated in their lifetime. The goal of the shirts was “to be more aware of the impact of sexual assault and be motivated to change the statistic for the better.”

Over the course of the day, I had multiple people on the quad as I was walking, in Boulder and even in class ask what the shirt meant because they had seen it around all day. Everybody who I talked too was actually surprised at the statistic. Although statistics point toward women being more prone to sexual violence, men do experience the same about half as much as women. Most times however out of pride, a man is less likely to admit he has been the victim of a sexual crime because of the fear of feeling weak. It is sad that in today’s world crimes and violence of this nature can go unreported and sometimes not even mentioned ever. The psychological damage this does to individuals is sometimes unbearable and can take years and years to overcome, in some cases a lifetime to get over what happened. Overall I do believe the t-shirts were a success because of the amount of participants in the campaign and because of the design and cooperativeness of all involved.

For this week’s reading we had to read the first half of “Shane” by Jack Schaefer. “Shane” is about a mysterious man who arrives into a farm town, somewhere where he clearly does not belong. He ends up staying with a hospitable farming family, the Starretts. The Starretts are Joe, Marian and their son Bob. The story is told from the perspective of Bob, who admires Shane because of how unknown and mysterious he is.

Shane ends up staying multiple nights and Joe takes a liking to him. Joe gives him his full trust but Marian is not as easy to convince. She thinks that Shane is too much of a risk to her family because she knows so little about him. Joe and Shane end up bonding over uprooting a stump, which has been a nuisance to Joe for as long as he can remember. After many hours of labor, they finally uproot it. This is a symbol of triumph in the book, as Joe has gotten past one of his biggest obstacles of the farm. Impressed with Shane and for the fact that Joe has taken a liking to him, Joe offers him a job as a farm hand, which Shane accepts gladly.

Still wary of Shane’s mysteriousness, Marian notices that Shane has taken Joe’s normal spot at the dinner table. This goes on many nights until the family finally realizes that Shane has taken Joe’s seat because he wants to be able to see out the door. Joe remarks that because Shane is doing this that he is obviously running from something, which leads to more doubt about who Shane really is.

Problems then arise with Mr. Fletcher, a man who is attempting to take control of farm land for his own gain. Joe tells Shane of the problems that he has had in the past with Mr. Fletcher. A few weeks later Shane goes into to town for the sole purpose of confronting Fletcher. He arrives at a bar and sits down to order whiskey. One of Fletcher’s men, Chris confronts him calling him various names and essentially trying to humiliate him in front of everybody. Shane doesn’t react however, showing his dignity and keeping his intentions a mystery. I thought that this was an interesting part of the book because Shane is smart not to react in a negative way. He uses his ambiguous identity to help himself.

Eventually Shane ends up fighting Chris. Shane heads to the same bar again and buys Chris a drink. Chris then proceeds to throw the drink at Shane and Shane ends up breaking his arm. After this Shane becomes more and more separating from Joe and the rest of the family. They are worried about him and the fact that the fighting may not end anytime soon.

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