Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 10/23/2015
This Is The Conversation We Need To Have About Sex and Consent on Campus
The mainstream media has been fascinated with (especially female) college students’ sexuality for years. Rather than reflect the nuanced reality of their lives, however, women have largely been reduced to trends related to their technological dependence, ambition or attempts to achieve equality. But sex on campus is ultimately about something much deeper and complex: The way this generation realizes their sex lives can’t be divorced from the paradoxical understanding of power with which this generation was raised.
Finally, one media outlet — New York Magazine — is recognizing this in their recently published feature Sex on Campus. The series aptly reveals how college students are embracing a variety of sexual identities that were largely unimaginable to even our parents’ generation. Students identify as asexual, sexually fluid…
Pop-Culture | Posted by Chloe H on 02/2/2015
The Real Reason Fifty Shades Of Grey Is Sexist
I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey on NPR when I was 15. It was the tail end of the story, and all that I could glean was the name, that it was an immensely popular work of fiction, and that it was particularly popular among the elderly in nursing homes. Priding myself in being a well-informed and well-read individual, I decided I should be reading this seemingly topical and influential book. I pranced into Barnes and Noble on my high horse, bragging to my friend about how I was buying a very popular book to enhance my personal literature collection. When I told her what the book was, she blushed and said her Mom wouldn’t let her read it.
“Why?” I asked, thoroughly confused.
“Because it’s… porn!” She …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 09/29/2014
YouTube Star Sam Pepper’s “Prank” Video Is Sexual Harassment
It’s undeniable that the YouTube community is becoming a powerful and influential force in the entertainment industry. Vloggers appear on magazine covers (such as Seventeen and Fast Company), red carpets, and even on TV in commercials and “Dancing with the Stars.” However, the growing community, which averages 1 billion unique visitors each month, has experienced some troubling issues along with its success. Back in June, I covered YouTube’s growing sexual assault problem, which was derived from the blurred lines of consent between content creators and their growing fan bases. Recently, another sexual assault scandal has shaken the community.
Sam Pepper, a former Big Brother contestant and popular YouTuber with over 2 million subscribers, released a video which sparked a large controversy within the …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 06/9/2014
On YouTube Celebrities and Blurred Consent
Once considered niche performers, YouTube vloggers are increasingly jumping off our computer screens and becoming celebrities in the real-world sense. They play concerts around the world, have clothing lines and makeup collections, have meet ups that are attended by thousands, and make millions of dollars (case in point: Justin Bieber). YouTube as a company, instead of solely providing a platform for this unique celebrity formation, has recently decided to more actively participate in perpetuating this new celebrity culture: they are currently featuring some of their stars, such as Michelle Phan, Rosanna Pansino, and Bethany Mota, in nation-wide advertisements.
This new type of celebrity is predicated on the idea of accessibility. Unlike the movie stars we only access via orchestrated interviews, YouTube stars seem far more accessible. The entry-barrier to …
Feminism | Posted by Fiona L on 06/6/2014
Erasing the Gray Area: Why Enthusiastic Consent Is Essential To Eradicating Sexual Assault
One Friday evening this spring, I stood in the courtyard outside my dorm with a friend. The sun was setting and students were performing their pre-party rituals around us. It was the first temperate day of the semester and a surge of giddiness seemed to have engulfed the campus. Yet I’d spent the last hour and a half consoling my friend, who was grappling with the process of filing a complaint of sexual misconduct against a fellow Yale student.
It wasn’t the first time I’d found myself in this situation. In my time at college, I’ve heard many stories, generally from heterosexual women, ranging from hazy one-night-stands that went further than intended, to dance-floor-make-outs that felt pressured, to sexual encounters in which the victim was inebriated past the …
Feminism | Posted by Erik C on 03/11/2014
What Many Men Don’t Understand About Sexual Assault
Warning: This piece contains material about sexual assault that may be upsetting to some readers.
Sexual assault wasn’t a problem on my radar until it happened to me. But two and a half years ago, I was assaulted over the course of two nights, in a foreign country, while involuntarily intoxicated. This led to chronic clinical insomnia, job loss, a suicide attempt, 16 months of severe clinical depression, and a year off from school with short stints of homelessness and alcoholism.
So, since then, I haven’t really had a choice but to think a tremendous amount about sexual assault and its consequences. I can’t, by any means, know what sexual assault is like from a woman’s perspective, but I’ve talked to dozens, if not hundreds, of female survivors/victims (different people …
Feminism | Posted by Max F on 11/13/2013
Why Teaching Teen Boys About Consent Should Be A Mandatory Part of Sex Ed
It started with a Facebook post. Last summer, a Facebook friend posed the question: “If you would teach your daughter about protection, then why wouldn’t you teach your son about respect?”After I read that, I realized that my high school’s sexual education class only taught us (and especially girls) what not to do. We were taught not to “put your drink down” and to “not drink something if it wasn’t made in front of you.” This information is valid, yet it begs the question: why are young adults only taught how to avoid other people’s behavior? For example, someone has to be the person tampering with somebody else’s drink in order to attempt assault, yet that person’s behavior isn’t directly addressed — we’re not explicitly taught not to lace somebody …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 02/9/2013
Saturday Vids: Karen B. K. Chan Wins Sex Education
This video is the kind of honest talk about sex that should be taught in high school. Karen and The Sex Ed Project win.