Feminism | Posted by Aviva B on 07/8/2015

We Need To Talk About The True Definition of Sexual Assault

We need to take sexual assault seriously.

*Trigger warning*

I have been sexually assaulted twice, although I didn’t recognize either event as such at the time.

The first time, I was 18, asleep next to my boyfriend. I had passed out almost instantaneously after a long day of skiing, but my boyfriend claimed that he “didn’t notice.”

Two years later, a stranger cornered me while I was studying abroad in Mexico. I suddenly felt his hand underneath my dress, his thumb pressing into me aggressively.

In both cases I felt violated, but wasn’t raped. I am a strong, independent woman and take pride in my disciplined ability to conquer anything. Which is why even when it came to sexual assault, I was in denial about experiencing anything resembling weakness.

“…

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Feminism | Posted by Sarah Landrum on 03/4/2015

These 10 Forms of Sexism Are Why I Identify As A Feminist

To say sexism and gender-based discrimination don’t exist would be like claiming oceans aren’t wet. There are, in fact, many issues facing women of the present, and they need to be addressed. So thank you, feminism, for acknowledging the many problems facing women today.

Without feminism, these important topics — like victim blaming, unequal pay and abortion — would be silently slid under the rug and our world would be way worse off. So let’s face these obstacles head-on, like the strong and empowered individuals we are.

Body Image

The media sucks. Thanks to stick-thin models and Photoshopping to boot, women have come to covet dangerously thin bodies. We battle with it constantly, as acquiring these body types requires nothing short of starvation. When we consider that as many as …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Katie J on 02/11/2015

How Popular Music Perpetuates Rape Culture

Brooke Axtell, the domestic violence survivor who spoke at the Grammys

Many people have praised the effort made to raise awareness about domestic violence at the Grammys. Yet plenty have also noted the irony of the same organization that nominated Chris Brown acknowledging this issue. The issue of the intersection of popular music and violence against women is hardly one relegated to this event, though. Popular music has been perpetuating rape culture for years.

Think of the average teen girl. Everywhere she goes, she hears Robin Thicke sing “You know you want it”, and Rick Ross say “Put molly all in her champagne/She ain’t even know it/I took her home and I enjoyed that/She ain’t even know it.” Her body, the one thing she possesses in the most intimate form, …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 10/17/2014

Street Harassment: It’s Not A Compliment

It was a hot Los Angeles Saturday and I decided to walk my dog down my usually quiet residential street. I was sixteen at the time and wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Three men, probably in their late twenties, pulled up to the curb next to me in a black BMW sedan. The driver, who was wearing black Ray Ban sunglasses, opened his window. “Hey,” he said, raising his eyebrows at his friends. “We should check her for STDs before we f*ck her!”

He smirked and his friends laughed and hooted. I stood frozen. My mouth fell open slightly, in shock. The driver revved the engine and zoomed down the street. For a few minutes, I couldn’t move while my dog tugged anxiously at her leash. What just happened? …

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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 …

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Feminism | Posted by Alice W on 11/11/2013

Rape Culture Shock

I thought the toughest adjustment when it came to starting college would be the workload, or self discipline, or missing my friends and family. I was prepared for those challenges. What I didn’t expect was the anxiety that comes with wedging my fingernail into the groove of my pocket knife while walking home alone late at night.

Or looking over my shoulder on dark streets, to make sure that the guy who was just behind me isn’t following too closely.

Or getting my things and moving to another floor of the library after a guy sitting in a corner with a blank computer screen, is staring at me every time I glance over.

Or that sense of vulnerability when I’m in a study room at one a.m and I’m the …

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Feminism | Posted by Amy A on 08/16/2013

Dress Codes: Stepping Stones To Rape Culture

At some point in their school careers, almost every girl I know has encountered some trouble with a dress code: her skirt was too short, her pants were too tight, or her straps were too thin. Though dress codes run the gamut from a few loose guidelines to a strict uniform, there are always instances of students breaking those codes. But here’s the problem with dress codes: almost every girl I know has been called out at least once for their attire, but I don’t know any boys who have. It’s the girls who see the prom dress of their dreams, but worry that they will not be able to wear it because of the length. It’s the girls who suffer through humidity and heat at the end of the …

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Feminism | Posted by Camille E on 06/3/2013

I Will Not Be Scared Off The Streets

So, the other day, I was walking downtown on my own (or as I like to say, “independently”), and this guy in a truck hooted at me while I passed the Shell gas station. I shrunk a little, turned around, trying to determine whether it was aimed at me, and meekly flipped him off.

Resuming my walk downtown, I immediately thought about what I was wearing. Hoop earrings, shorts, a tank top. I was testing out this new bra clip that hides the straps, and when I stepped out of my house I felt excited and a little bit proud. I didn’t have to worry about the straps, and I felt good in my skin, not so afraid of people looking at me. But as soon as that guy hooted, …

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