Rape and sexual assault are often considered women’s issues, but DeAndre Levy wants to change that. In an article the Detroit Lions linebacker wrote for The Player’s Tribune, he calls on men to change the conversation around these topics and make sure everyone understands that “consent only occurs when a woman clearly says yes.”
“The focus always seems to be on teaching young women how not to get raped and on what steps they can take to ‘stay safe,'” he wrote. “But why are we not also focused on educating young men about the definition of consent and what constitutes rape? We’re essentially dealing with the problem by telling women to be more careful. And that’s bullsh-t.”
Levy says that, when he was younger, he often heard other men talk about behavior that he chalked up to “boys being boys”—and that no one blinked an eye at: “My understanding is that most women have heard the talk about how to avoid becoming a victim, but growing up, I was never involved in a conversation about what consent is. I was never even flat-out told not to rape or sexually assault anyone.”
The athlete calls on all men to further education about what consent really means and to fight victim blaming and slut shaming: “It’s important for men, especially in a hyper-masculine culture that breeds so many a—holes, to stand up and challenge the values that have been passed down to us,” he wrote. “This is not just a woman’s problem.”
Read the full essay at The Player’s Tribune.