Feminism | Posted by Cassie on 05/4/2010

Nickels for Change

nickels for change

nickels for change

We would like to see some change in the world.

And that’s why we have started Nickels for Change.

We go to a science and engineering school, chock full of boys who perpetuate rape culture. Rape jokes and euphemisms abound. And no one seems to find a problem with it.

Except for us.

Going to college has been a real eye-opening experience. Maybe it’s because our high school was mostly liberal or small and secluded or didn’t include a lot of diversity (actually, yeah, that’s all probably exactly why), but our high school was a nicer place. Rape jokes just didn’t happen.

Not so in college. And we’re tired of being brought down by all the negative crap in this rape-defending, victim-blaming patriarchy.

Nickels for Change is about using these negative situations and attitudes and making something positive come out of them.

Every time we hear something sexist, rape-defending, victim-blaming, or flat-out misogynistic (an also just plain prejudice – whether it be sizeist, classist, racist, disableist, or anything else), a nickel goes into Our Jars. We plan on doing this for a year. At the end of the year, the money will go to a charity that works towards ending violence.

But that’s not all. During this year, we will also be writing to all the media outlets (and people) who perpetuate these ideas. We want them to know that we are not okay with what they are doing and that we want it to stop. We also want to bring awareness to just how often this happens, by following up these letters with another letter, at the end of the year, letting all the same media outlets (and people) know just how much money they all raised for our cause.

We’re hoping that shaming them with money and irony can get their attention and make them change their policies. (And if not, at least we’ve spoken up and expressed our outrage and donated money towards a good cause).

And while two letters may get their attention for a second or two, even more letters would grab their attention for a lot longer.

Please, if you’re as tired and as angry over these issues as we are, join us in our cause. If you are interested, please e-mail us at musenapper@gmail.com (Cassie – me) or sabrinnie621@aol.com (Rebekah). Support is always welcome – we can offer a template for those letters, you can write your own and please start your own jars!

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  • Laura H @ at 12:07 pm, May 4th, 2010

    Hey Cassie,

    Thanks for the post, and I totally agree with you. I’d love to get involved and start my own jar! I’ve just shot you an email.

  • Alice Q @ at 12:17 pm, May 4th, 2010

    That’s a great idea, i’ll be starting my own jar. I’m from England so i suppose it’ll be pennys for change here (or whatever a nickel converts to). Thanks for the great posts.

  • Allison @ at 1:18 pm, May 4th, 2010

    This is so cool! I’ve never heard of anything like this. It’s awesome that you folks are taking something that’s terrible and turning it into something for a good cause, AND holding the person responsible for their deragatory comment. Maybe I should start my own jar…!

  • JMA @ at 1:45 pm, May 4th, 2010

    I love this idea. I’m definitely going to start a jar of my own, and I’ll do my best to keep track of the business that perpetuate crap like this and let them know that their bigoted messages are NOT working here!

  • Krystie @ at 1:50 pm, May 4th, 2010

    Awesome idea, Cassie! I’m totally going to tell my friends about this at home and we’ll all make our own nickel jars and let you know how it goes.

  • scary joann @ at 4:00 pm, May 4th, 2010

    This is brilliant, inspiring and awesome. When I get back to college I’m going to start my own jar. Great post, great point, than you.

  • Zoe @ at 4:42 pm, May 4th, 2010

    This is terrific! I’m tempted to do this myself.

  • Vimbai @ at 4:47 pm, May 4th, 2010

    This is such a wonderful idea. I will definitely start my own jar.

  • james @ at 11:42 pm, May 4th, 2010

    just to clear something up. is it you putting your money in or expecting people that make jokes to?

  • Cassie @ at 1:26 pm, May 5th, 2010

    Thanks for all the support, everyone! It’s great that we’ve inspired some of you guys to take up your own jars. :)

    James – definitely me putting money in my jar for comments/articles/jokes said by the prejudice people. Not the other way around.

  • mae @ at 9:29 am, May 7th, 2010

    frankly, i’d start a jar but i think i would end up without enough money to live. ridiculous, isn’t it.

  • Cassie @ at 11:04 pm, May 9th, 2010

    Mae – yeah. We were going to do dollars at first, but after thinking about the amount of things we see and hear and read, we settled on nickels. And within a month had already put in at least $20 worth, at least. It is insane!

    For anybody interested, if you can’t or aren’t starting your own jar, we got some questions about outside donations. We are working on setting something up right now and it will be linked on my asexycake.blogspot blog.

    Thanks for the support, all!

  • Molly @ at 12:15 am, May 10th, 2010

    Fabulous idea ladies! I will be starting a jar as well. Look for it on my desk in the morning. = )

  • Cassie @ at 7:59 pm, May 10th, 2010

    Molly – awesome! Thanks for the support. We will most likely be donating to City of Joy, if you wish to do the same. :)

    For anyone else interested – my friend and I have set up a paypal to take donations with. It’s permanently linked on my blog page now. :)

  • Anghella @ at 10:31 pm, May 18th, 2010

    That’s an awesome idea girls! I’m in engineering (current female enrollment: a dismal 20%) and it’s really hard to constantly fight against the ways rape culture is perpetuated. A lot of the engineering traditions (songs, customs) are certainly offensive and supportive of rape culture, but they’re traditions so it’s hard for people to analyse them seriously. Have either of you had experience with “the old department store” song? I’d go broke over the course of one bus ride to the pubs!

  • Mark @ at 12:38 pm, May 30th, 2010

    It’s a joke. Get over it. If words hurt you then you’re weak. Sorry. It’s fact.

  • firefly @ at 9:12 pm, February 10th, 2011

    Oh man. I go to a supposedly liberal, 70% Asian high school where nerds are proud, and if I gave a nickel every time I heard a “your mom”, rape joke, or “that’s what she said”, by the end of the day I would be a millionaire. And despite the fact we are a “nerd school”, our JAVA computer engineering class of 30 has only 7 girls, one of them being me.

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