As I was cleaning out my garage I found boxes and boxes of books, pamphlets and notes from my work in the movement to end sexual violence and domestic violence. Looking at all of these artifacts of our movement, I remember how influential books like Warshaw’s I Never Called It Rape, Beneke’s Men on Rape and Schechter’s Women and Male Violence were to me. I found pamphlets that taught me to consider how racism and rape have intersected; and there are many teeshirts from just about every organizations I have worked with in the last 30 years.
It appeared that I collected information form groups throughout the country. I started my work volunteering with an all-male collective in New Haven, CT called Men Against Domestic Violence. In my senior year (1983-1984), I took classes like Philosophy and Feminism taught by Judith Butler that compelled me to examine my own life, how I have been socialized and strengthened my determination to take action to prevent rape. In a class (called a College Seminar) called Violence Against Women taught by a wonderful nursing professor. I found my paper highlighting what was known at that time about something called “date rape.”.
Even better than the memories was telling my teenage son stories about how I came to do this work showing him the tee-shirts, old papers and brochures. I think my example has helped him as he is involved in youth leadership group like Destiny Arts Center Youth Performance Company, Jewish Youth Community Action and his high school Gay Straight Alliance.
PS. I do not have room for all of these books. Let me know if you want the books (including those pictured above).