Hal Sparks Radio Pgm — #ItsOnUs & #GoodellMustGo (09/20/14)

In brief: My regular spot with Hal Sparks on WCPT Radio, Chicago!

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Easy download/stream:

Enhanced audio: HSRP 09/20/14 — #ItsOnUs & #GoodellMustGo


Today’s episode comes with a TRIGGER WARNING for intimate partner violence and child abuse. The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached online 24/7 in over 170 languages at at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Hal and I hadn’t had a chance to talk about Ray Rice and the NFL’s intimate partner violence issues yet, so there was a lot of ground to cover. We talked about Friday’s ridiculous press conference (Go, Rachel Nichols!), why Roger Goodell has GOT to go, the revictimization of Janay Rice with the video release, and how law enforcement isn’t the answer to a cultural problem.

We also touched on It’s On Us, a new campaign to end sexual assault. As with most programs, I’m in favor of parts and the intention as a whole while viewing segments as problematic. Having stars like Kerry Washington and figures like President Obama say the phrase “It’s on us to prevent sexual assault” is pretty revolutionary if seen in the context of culture change. The pledge is clear that ANY and ALL non-consensual sex is assault, full stop. And that we must create safe spaces where survivors are believed and supported.

The “bystander intervention” aspect is very “take the keys from your friends” campaign-ish and emphasizes situations like stranger rape and group party settings — which are the minority of assaults. Most assaults happen in the context of established relationships (friendships, dating, new partners, etc) and reinforcing that misperception is a problem. But I’m glad to be living in an era where the president of the United States feels he must weigh in on the plague of sexual assault. So, I’ll take this as a jumping off point and continue to call for even better programs and campaigns.

Blog Extra:

Since doing the show, Think Progress did a piece interviewing male college students about what they think of Its On Us: “What College Men Think Of The New Rape Prevention Campaign That’s Targeting Them”. This especially caught me:

“I think it’s a really positive thing and I’m really glad to see the White House taking a strong stance,” Chris Priore, a student at Stony Brook University in New York, said. “I think it’s really good that it’s not just talking to the person who’s the victim and saying hey, this is how you can get out of this situation, and putting it on them — instead it’s making it so the whole community is culpable for it.”


“Here at college, it means men on campus will set the precedent that sexual assault is not okay — and beyond that, that all of the microaggressions along the spectrum of harm that lead to rape culture are also not okay,” John Damianos, a sexual assault prevention activist at Dartmouth College who has been involved in advising the new White House Task Force, explained. Those microaggressions could range from making a rape joke, to suggesting that a sexual assault victim was “asking for it” because she wore a short skirt to a party, to catcalling a woman on the street.

No, It’s On Us isn’t perfect. Feministing well: “It’s on us to go beyond ‘It’s On Us’”. BUT THIS PICTURE THO:

Think Progress article ItsOnUs

And I have to mostly agree with Emily Crockett at RH Reality Check that the cultural shift all this discourse around sexual assault on campus and Emma Watson at the United Nations is an important indicator that our society may be finally moving forward on taking responsibility for the violence we’ve perpetuated for millennia.

Links to on-air references:

Get caught up: “How the Ray Rice scandal unfolded between the Baltimore Ravens, Roger Goodell and the NFL”

In case you thought it was just Ray Rice: “San Francisco 49ers, NFL scrutinized after domestic violence arrests”

Ravens offered Ray Rice a staff job “acclimating new players to the league” — and other atrocities: “ESPN: Ravens official told Ray Rice video was ‘(expletive) horrible,’ but team didn’t pursue tape”

From Dave Zirin: “Why NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Must Go and Who Should Replace Him”

SIGN: #GoodellMustGo petition from Ultraviolet

My piece for The Frisky on censoring survivors and revictimizing Janay Rice: “The Soapbox: TIME Shouldn’t Question #WhyIStayed”

A must read from Brittney Cooper, aka Professor Crunk: “The racial parenting divide: What Adrian Peterson reveals about black vs. white child-rearing”

#ItsOnUs pledge

Subscribe to get all my appearances with Hal, Dangerous Conversation and anywhere else I can grab the audio through iTunes at Katie Speak Live Archives.

You can hear The Hal Sparks Radio Program live Saturdays from 12-2pm EST on WCPT.

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