So you’re probably wondering why there haven’t been any posts this week. Well, I’ll tell you.
I’ve been busy.
I’m sure you’re also wondering why I’m so busy and well, I’ll tell you.
I’ve been volunteering my time over at the Keene State College Campus over at the Main Theater in the Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond. Before graduating this past May I auditioned for a show called “No Zebras, No Excuses.” It is a show about violence prevention that we’ve been rehearsing and now performing for the incoming college freshmen. The show consists of 8 skits about sexual violence myths, harassment, sexual harassment, stalking, date rape, assault and rape with a number of interludes from active community members on campus from RA’s and RD’s to coaches and counselors, they also show a number of slides and even a short film.
You’re probably also wondering why it’s called “No Zebras, No Excuses” well the title comes from something that happens on the wild plains of Africa. For a lion, zebras are common prey; they consistently stalk, hunt and kill the zebras. And while this probably doesn’t sound like anything out of the ordinary, there’s an absurd phenomenon whenever this happens. Instead of running away, or counterattacking, the other zebras in the herd do nothing but watch as the lion takes down a zebra, kills it and eats it. Still confused? The zebras are passive bystanders that allow violent situations to happen. Similarly most people that see violence being committed don’t do anything about it.
1964, New York City: Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death and raped while, reportedly, there were 38 bystanders that did little to nothing to help her. This is called the bystander effect, where the probability of help is inversely proportional to the number of bystanders. In other words, the more bystanders there are the less likely it is that someone will react to the situation.
“No Zebras, No Excuses” works to fight the excuse driven mentality of bystanders and urges people to be active bystanders, standing up and acting before it’s too late.
By laughing at the violence committed, we’re telling the perpetrators that what they are doing is cool, and by not saying anything we’re saying that what they’re doing is ok. It’s imperative that we stand up and speak out against this violence, because until we do, it will continue to happen. So don’t be a zebra. Please.
-Michael M. Soldati