Feminism | Posted by Alex Brown on 02/3/2017
It’s Time My Male Peers And I Hold Ourselves Accountable For Rape Culture
A photo of Man Up and Open Up — a great org working in this space
I was once sitting at lunch with several of my guy friends when a girl in our class walked by. When she was too far away to hear us, one of my friends asked if we thought she was hot. Another friend instantly replied, “She’s kind of ugly, but I’d still rape the sh*t out of her.”
Despite being disgusted by my friend’s comment, I ignored it and remained silent. Looking back, I now realize my passivity in the presence of his misogyny speaks volumes about how men are raised to perpetuate rape culture. Instead of speaking out, instead of condemning it, we shrug. We overlook it–which only perpetuates it.
Although our newly elected …
Feminism | Posted by Susannah Keogh on 12/21/2016
The Bigger Problem Online Harassment Indicates
The truth about online harassment.
Two weeks ago, my friend Izzy accepted a Facebook friend request from a mutual friend of a friend. Let’s call him “Chris.” She thought nothing of it until she read the comments his friends left on the post announcing their “friendship.” They were the kind of sexist slurs that regard women as pieces of meat: every comment tore her body to shreds. I had never before seen someone make comments like these directly to someone I care about and was enraged.
Izzy and I called this person out on his behavior in a Facebook post that went on to describe just how widespread sexual harassment is. But the sexist comments still flowed. It was “just a bit of banter,” these commenters said, adding that they …
Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 02/1/2016
Why We Need To Teach Students About Rape Culture
We need to educate students about rape culture.
Being an outspoken feminist in my high school has been a challenging experience. While many of my peers are aware of major social justice news and violations, like that surrounding Black Lives Matters and ISIS, far too many are still ignorant about the feminist movement or women’s rights more generally. This became particularly clear to me in a recent English class, as we discussed Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and rape culture’s effect on the main character.
Rape culture is “a complex set of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women,” Emilie Buchwald writes in her book Transforming a Rape Culture. “It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent,” she continues. “In …
Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 09/16/2015
Consent in the Age of High School Hookup Culture
A few weeks ago, I took my seat in the huge auditorium of my East Coast college preparatory boarding school for Proctor Training. The week-long event involved a series of workshops and lectures that train dormitory proctors how to address issues that may arise in the community over the course of the school year. We reviewed “no-grinding” dance rules, gendered dormitory visitation policies, and health center pamphlets — probably the same policies that have been upheld at countless college preparatory schools across the country for years.
But this time around, there was an elephant in the room: The Owen Labrie trial.
On August 28th, 18-year old St. Paul’s School senior Owen Labrie was found not guilty of felony sexual assault charges, but was convicted of having sex …
Feminism | Posted by Martha H on 07/22/2015
The Case for Criminalizing Street Harassment
Stop street harassment.
This is my thought process before leaving the house: I want to look nice and appreciate fashion, but also know that if I’m going to be on public transport or walking down the street, I must actively check my outfit to be sure it won’t subject me to catcalling.
As a politically-minded, strong person, I would ideally like to make my own choices about everything in my life, including what I wear. I would love to be able to rise above threatening perpetrators of harassment. But in reality, I do regulate my outfit to conform to society’s pressure and avoid the consequences of other’s behavior. I moderate my choices because I’m scared that I will not only get verbally harassed, but that this harassment could lead to …
Feminism | Posted by Claudia A. on 06/8/2015
The Case For Comprehensive, Positive Sex Education
Growing up, I was neither educated nor had positive conversations about sex. It was a taboo topic in my family. My mother especially refused to discuss it (even when I brought it up) and my father completely ignored the topic altogether. The closest we ever came to discussing it was when I would head out of the house with my boyfriend and my mom would remark: “Rebequita, no seas estupida” (Rebecca, don’t be stupid) or “Rebequita, no te dejes tocar” (Rebecca, don’t let yourself be touched). It was as if she expected me to somehow know everything about sex without ever talking about it.
My parents should have had this conversation with me, though, because my school wasn’t any better. My sex ed classes did not acknowledge that …
Feminism | Posted by Allie J. on 05/20/2015
Why Sexist Dress Codes Have Got To Go
Stop policing my body.
Shopping for school clothes was a nightmare in high school. Attending a private Christian school with a strict dress code, I had a lot of rules to follow: No jeans, sweat pants, yoga pants, or anything tight, revealing, or body forming. Basically nothing that was in style or readily available in stores.
Yet despite following the dress code to the best of my ability, I was still told that my pants were too tight, my shirt too low, or my skirt too short. I vividly remember being taken aside one day on the way to chapel to kneel down and have my skirt measured with a ruler. It was humiliating. I was told my favorite Old Navy skirt was a quarter of an inch too short, …
Feminism | Posted by Beatrice M on 11/12/2014
Can A High School Assembly Really Effect Change?
I’m a proud member of the Women’s Issues Club at my school (Horace Mann in New York City), which is dedicated to discussing gender equality. We recently helped organize a “Unity Assembly” for our peers, which was meant to celebrate students’ diversities and help us understand our own community. We discussed many issues (such as race, socioeconomic class, sexual identity, gender identity and gender equality) and also produced a video that featured different students and faculty members explaining why they need feminism.
I was encouraged that this video helped my peers better understand feminism based on their reactions. Many of my male classmates genuinely praised the Women’s Issues Club and were shocked by the facts about gender inequality presented in the video. For example, one of my friends told me …