Feminism | Posted by Aya on 06/17/2016

How The Stanford Survivor Helped Me Understand My Own Assault

Rape doesn’t just happen at Stanford.

TW: This article contains discussion and description of sexual assault.

In January of 2015, 20-year-old, former Stanford University student Brock Allen Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster outside a frat party. In March of 2016, Turner was charged with three felonies of sexual assault. Prosecutors asked for a 6 year sentence, but he received only 6 months of jail time — and will likely serve even less.

But, despite this injustice, something truly beneficial emerged from this case: Buzzfeed reporter Kate Baker published the survivor’s letter to her attacker, which the anonymous woman had read out loud in court. Reading this letter gave me, and likely countless other survivors, a sense of solidarity with this case: like Emily Doe, I, …

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Feminism | Posted by David G on 06/7/2016

The Stanford Rape Case Exemplifies The Privilege At The Heart of Rape Culture

Stanford University

Brock Turner, a top swimmer at Stanford who raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster after a party, was sentenced to six months in county jail on Thursday. The presiding judge felt that a full sentence “would have a severe impact” on Turner, discounting the severe impact his victim described at his sentencing. This ruling sparked national outrage, which only grew after a letter Turner’s father had written diminishing his son’s crime and demanding probation was published.

Tl;dr, there is so, so much wrong with the Stanford rape case. While the backlash against Turner and his father has been swift and vicious, both the sentence Turner received, as well as his father’s response to it, exemplify the privilege that perpetuates rape culture.

Let’s be honest …

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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 …

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Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 09/16/2015

Consent in the Age of High School Hookup Culture

Owen Labrie

Owen Labrie

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 …

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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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