“Women Unite! Take back the Night!” This is how Take Back the Night was observed at Rutgers. Daily Targum reports:
As the sun went down on New Brunswick last Thursday, nearly 100 women took George Street by storm as they marched in support of women’s rights as part of the Take Back the Night event. “Women Unite! Take back the Night!” “Show me what community looks like! This is what community looks like!” participants chanted.
The rally began at Voorhees Chapel on Douglass campus and spread onto George Street, ultimately ending on the steps of Brower Commons on the College Avenue campus.
Rutgers College sophomore Elizabeth Genne-Bacon said there is more violence against women than homosexuals and blacks combined. She said she believes the walk will help raise awareness.
University College sophomore Brenda Yalley said she believes walks such as these help empower society. “If women don’t come together to unite, men will do violence against women,” she said.
Robyn Mate, an organizer for the event, said the first Reclaim the Night march was held in Belgium in 1976 by the women attending the International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women. The first known Take Back the Night, which was held in the United States, was organized in San Francisco on Nov. 4, 1978.
Take Back the Night happens every year on college campuses all over the United States. Yalley believes the event addresses an issue of empowerment and dominance. Douglass College class of 2006 alumna Moiyathu Banya said, “Because of social implications with historical matters, it will take women time to get to the level of men.”
She added that women are doing a lot at the grass-roots level. “If there is stronger dialogue between women, policy will be created,” Banya said. Take the Back the Night was created to educate the community on violence against women, Mate said. “Patriarchy is alive and well. As a feminist it is my job to create a space for women to have a choice – to do whatever they want,” Mate said.
Mate said there have been many examples of violence against women, such as the comments of Don Imus and most recently, the Virginia Tech shooting.