“It’s truly astounding how many awful things that occur in this world because men are afraid of appearing weak.”
What? A man speaking out against society and being a voice women needed for so long. Telling other men to finally man up! AMEN!
If you haven’t heard, we have another man that is on our side ladies and this time time he is speaking out on our behalf to his fellow football teammates. Say WHAT! I couldn’t be more excited…maybe because he is a Detroit Lions player and representing my home state, but also because he couldn’t be more right!
In a recent essay, Detroit Lions’ linebacker DeAndre Levy is asking his fellow athletes to “man up” and speak out against sexual violence.
Levy, published an essay that gave me chills on sexual assault and the definition of consent on The Player’s Tribune. This man, became voice for so many of us who have had the same thoughts.
The past couple of years, male athletes had brought high attention to violence especially men in the NFL. We have had campaigns called #NoMore and multiple projects to stop violence, however Levy did even more than that, he called it out like what it really was. He is calling out his fellow men, he is changing the way what really “manning up” means.
He recently wrote:
“The dehumanization and objectification of women are not issues that are specific to male athletes. They are societal problems,” he wrote. “But they tend to be more associated with athletes in part because we are often idolized because of our athletic ability. In many ways, we’re considered models of masculinity, which is at the very root of a lot of these issues.”
“We’re essentially dealing with the problem by telling women to be more careful. And that’s bullshit.”
Preach is Levy, it is bullshit that women should have to be more careful, when in fact many of us are but it is in fact that society in itself needs to change, not just telling women to be more careful.
As I read Levy’s essay there were many things that stuck out but this in particular did. He described his first encounter with sexual assault during his freshman year of college:
“One time I heard a group of guys joke about “running a train” on a drunk girl. At the time, my 18-year-old brain didn’t process this as anything bad. Maybe those guys were just engaging in a display of bravado. But what if what they were describing was true?… This speaks to just how toxic and backward the culture around sexual assault still is. I was 18 years old — “man” enough to drive, vote and go to war — but somehow I didn’t have the courage, or the maturity, to see what they were talking about for what it was: a serious crime.”
Looking back now, Levy writes he wished he had taken action and told someone about what he heard.
I wishes he would have done more, the girl being assaulted that day, the girl assaulted yesterday and the girls being assaulted two weeks ago, all wish men would be man enough to speak out. If that defines you as weak, they really don’t know what maturity or being a man really is.
It is so important we take a stand to teach young men not to rape instead of turning it on women and saying they should be careful and not get raped.
Levy shared “But why are we not also focused on educating young men about the definition of consent and what constitutes rape?” adding, “We’re essentially dealing with the problem by telling women to be more careful. And that’s bullshit.”
Levy did a great job explaining what most of us have been feeling. I know I am not the only person that has heard how men talk sometimes or how they don’t man up to certain situations. Sometimes we wait for things to get personal before we get involved, however just know anyone getting assaulted is a sister, a daughter or someone close to someone. Stop it before it becomes personal.
Levy ended his essay perfectly saying “So let’s change that. Speak out with me. Man up.”
Who is with Levy? I am. Do this for people that do not have voice, be the change.
Check out The Players’ Tribune to read the rest of Levy’s powerful essay.