Yes... I witnessed two people (who were not wearing swimsuits) being thrown into a swimming pool. No, I thankfully did not see a rape, but in reading the descriptions and justifications above, I'm sure you noted the similarities between rape and throwing someone in a pool.
You may be thinking "Throwing someone in a pool is not rape, and time shouldn't be wasted making a big deal out of such a little issue." And that thought is something I'd like to address.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Gladwell's book help explain sociological phenomenon that affect the way we act. One of the reasons for sociological phenomenon is context. He elaborates on what has been called "The Broken Windows Theory."
Simply put, this theory says that a few broken windows will invite more window breaking and vandalism; letting little things slide, invites larger problems. The original creators of this theory wrote about crime, that "...vandalism can occur anywhere once communal barriers -- the sense of mutual regard and the obligations of civility -- are lowered by actions that seem to signal that 'no one cares.' "
So let's talk about the context of relationships in our society and how certain actions signal that 'no one cares.' Someone being thrown into a swimming pool when they don't want to swim is like a little broken window. It reflects a lack of respect for a person's decision to decide for himself or herself. Ignoring when someone says "no" completely lowers "the sense of mutual regard and the obligations of civility."
The fact that 1 out of 6 women in America are victims of sexual assault is evidence that abuse is a sociological phenomenon rampant in our society. So what are the little things we can do to make a big difference?
- Stand up for the little things. Whether or it be stopping someone from being thrown in a pool, stopping verbal abuse (name calling, cat-calling, etc.) or standing up against NCMOs.
- Never objectify another person. Speak out against ads that objectify men or women.
- Respect and acknowledge the feelings, emotions and desires of others.
- Educate yourself on the issues. A good place to start is here, (become a Voice of Courage!)
It's time to fix the broken windows. The little things do matter because they create a context where the big things are acceptable or not.