By Tyler Kingkade
Mar 12, 2015
Chaz Smith has a problem with boys being taught to play aggressively while girls are taught to "play it safe."
Smith, a 20-year-old cinema studies major at the University of Pennsylvania, kept reading about sexual violence on college campuses and felt like he had "to do something about it –– like I have some sort of responsibility to uphold, not as a male but as a human being."
So Smith, who has 236,000 followers on Vine, connected up with One Student, a nonprofit aimed at college sexual assault awareness and education, to create a video going after what he sees as one cause of sexual violence: societal attitudes.
The video, which was uploaded on Feb. 18, uses the language of sports to dissect and destroy harmful ideas about how men and women should behave sexually.
"Guys that swing a lot are the MVPs, while the girls that pitch a lot are sluts," Smith says, laying out the stereotypes. Extending the sports metaphor to sexual assault, he points to statistics that suggest "you probably won't get caught even if you try to steal home."
"Guys, men are not the offense, women are not the defense," Smith says. "This game should not go on if she does not want to get to home base."
Smith said that he was particularly trying to reach out to men with the video. "I want more guys who may be indifferent towards sexual violence to step up and realize how much of a difference we can make," he said, "and I want people to stop thinking that love and respect is corny."
"We've all got to shed off the ideas that have been ingrained in us and really learn about and understand the experiences of other people if any changes are going to be made," he said. "The best way to do this is not just by listening, but listening to really understand people's experiences and perspectives."
In the end, Smith's video urges men to "stop telling women to watch their back, when we're the ones who stare at their backs as they walk past."