Yesterday, SB Nation and Vox Media joined with Generation Progress in a new campaign called "It's On Us," which strives to change the way we think about sexual assault in our society. I personally couldn't be prouder that we're involved in such an important effort, and I hope it helps us get away from so many of the damaging practices - victim blaming and shaming being chief among them - that are as unproductive as they are cruelly unsympathetic.
To me, a big part of It's On Us is about making sure that we provide comfortable spaces for women*, where they aren't marginalized or needlessly sexualized and can speak and exist freely without being bullied or harassed. Those spaces can be on public transportation, or on the street, or in a bar, or in your home. And those spaces can certainly be on the Internet.
It may be comparatively small, but it is on us, as writer, readers, commenters, to make sure that these spaces are comfortable for women as well. We can do that by not demanding proof of sports bona fides from women where we never ask for them from men. We can do it by giving women a voice in the conversation, not just as totems or pretty faces, but as equals (and, often, superiors. Just look at Rachel Nichols at yesterday's NFL press conference). We can do it by not carelessly throwing around language that references sexual violence or equates weakness with being female.
I think we try to achieve that at EDSBS, both as writers and commenters, but we can, collectively, always do better. Because demanding and creating spaces that are as comfortable for women as they are for men isn't a goal you reach. It's something you have to keep doing and doing.
*An important part of the It's On Us campaign is recognizing that men can also be the victim of sexual assault, and by no means is that something that should be overlooked.