Thursday, April 19, 2007


Dr. Sandler has done many works and has many strategies for progression. She is famous for having set up easy and simple guidelines and steps to fixing the problems at hand, the unfair treatment of women. Judith Glazer-Raymo expresses her opinion of Dr. Sandler’s work in a review. She compares Bernice Sandler to Robert Shoop as they both “provide a comprehensive handbook on the construction, enforcement, and legal implications of sexual harassment policies and practices in higher education.” Dr. Sandler does a good job of turning the theories and problems with society into action, something that will actually start changing the status for women instead of creating an interesting and intelligent discourse that is praised by many but not used beneficially. She was very determined to be educated but didn’t get stuck in it, instead decided to use her knowledge to educate others and progressively change the issues in question.

Her interest is all in the area of discrimination towards women and the rights they should have. She does careful analysis of rape, sexual abuse, harassment, discrimination in the classroom all contributing to the safety and equal opportunity for women. Her research is complicated, extensive and thorough but she in turn appeals to a larger audience with simple, easy and specific signs and steps. This is a closer analysis of one of her works.

In the article “Friends Raping Friends (TEST): Could it happen to you?” Sandler starts with a more basic style of writing, friendly to many women who need the help. She puts in scenarios so one can relate and directly figure out if what they experienced was rape. It also helps form a picture for the reader so as to be more cautious if a similar situation happens in the future. She presents the idea of rape and the distance most girls put it from happening to them. She emphasizes the stereotype of “a stranger jumping out of the bushes on a dark night and attacking someone”, and explains the rarity of that. She comes out to say that most rapes happen within closed doors with people you know, people you think you can trust. It happens many times while intoxicated or under the influence of something when judgment is impaired and emotions are heightened.

She defines all specific terms and explains some of the causes and how “communication is often problematical”. She emphasizes the confusion women feel with the fine line between rape and voluntary sex. Many women feel that it was their fault, an instant reaction to many things, having instigated it in some way, or gave the guy the wrong idea. Regardless, it should not be tolerated. Many women shy away from speaking out, which only makes them more vulnerable for a second time. She carefully divides the line between seduction and rape, which is very important.

She leads specific ways to avoid situations with rape, although it is never completely avoidable but one could put them in a possible situation if not careful. It’s frustrating that women have to be careful all the time. She has many bullet points, being careful to be very specific because the broad ideas are hard to apply to one’s own life. With Dr. Sandler’s guidelines you can identify with the situations and see clearer precautions.

There are many other sections with bullets detailing every situation as well as condition, a section for men to realize there is no expectation of sex such as “It is never OK to force yourself on a woman, even if
· You’ve had sex with her before
· Dresses provocatively or leads you on
· You’ve paid for her dinner or given her expensive gifts
There is also sections about specific guys to watch out for, and guidelines of what should be done if you are about to be raped, and then most importantly what to do if you are raped, and how you can help someone who is raped and so on.

In the section with guidelines to be done in the situation before possible rape she says:
· Say “no” strongly. Do not smile; do not act friendly or polite.
· Use intimidation, tell him you have herpes or an STD
· Fight back physically- punch him in the Adam’s apple, poke your finger in his eye, hit him with a lamp or other item.
But importantly stressing differently if the man is armed
· Try to talk him out of it
· Try passive resistance

These are real and specific situations that a woman can directly apply and use to help someone and avoid a situation. It is not some theory explaining the problem in society; it is a direct way of fixing it. This is Dr. Sandler’s method of change; ACTION. I have personally found a lot of help through studying her articles and through her activist footsteps. (Friends Raping Friends)

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