The evening of 7 November a small group gathered at Thuis to watch the documentary The Hunting Ground. The global platform A Little Braver approached OtherWise some weeks before with the question of organising this film screening together. Although many people think that gender inequality is no issue in the Netherlands anymore, they had heard multiple people that do not feel comfortable in Wageningen due to sexist atmospheres. In order to raise awareness about this and to make it easier to discuss these issues, the film screening was organised.
The Hunting Ground is about sexual assault on college campuses in the United States and about the failed response of college administrators. As one girl in the documentary said: ‘The rape was bad, but the way I was treated was worse’. The procedure of filing for a complaint is very difficult. In the documentary it is explained that universities want to score high on rankings and protect their ‘brand’. Reports of sexual assault are a threat for that brand. It also shows how at fraternities sexual aggression gets rewarded. However, colleges and universities gain a lot from the fraternities. They provide housing for students and bring forth loyal alumni that do generous donations.
In the documentary we hear many women and some men about their experience with sexual assault. Furthermore, we follow Annie and Andrea, also scarred by sexual assault, that are now activists and help others with similar experiences. They found out that they can use the federal civil rights law ‘Title IX’ about sexual discrimination in order to address the incidence of sexual assault.
After the documentary, we had a very nice discussion. The documentary made us all think about our own experiences. The behaviour of male and female students that was showed in the documentary was shockingly normal to us. We also saw that mainly women are attracted by these topics. We all agreed, also the man that was present, that men should be more involved in these discussions. Education may be one of the starting points. At primary schools, but we also felt that the university in Wageningen should offer more courses about gender.