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 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 …
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 …
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, …
Feminism | Posted by Jenny P on 04/15/2013
Time to Talk
*Trigger warning: This blog post is about intimate partner violence*
Over fall break, my mom made an unexpected visit from California to New York City, where I go to school. She had been called the night before, told that her daughter was expressing suicidal thoughts, and asked to please come pick her up from the Metropolitan Hospital emergency psych ward as soon as possible.
“You know,” Mom began, “you didn’t really look scared or angry or anything when you were in there.”
A good observation. I wasn’t scared or angry. I was mostly just tired.
“You looked like you were thinking, ‘One day, I’m going to write a book about this,’ and like you were already writing it in your mind,” she said.
In a way, I was. That night, …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Noelle S on 04/8/2013
On the media coverage of the Steubenville and Delhi Rape Cases
Over the past several months, two rape cases have received widespread media attention. While the media could have used these cases as an opportunity to educate people and condemn the crime of rape, the media has instead reinforced rape culture.
The first case is the Steubenville Rape Case. On March 17, two Ohio high school students, Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, were sentenced to Juvenile Detention in Steubenville, Ohio for raping a sixteen-year-old girl. What I find most disturbing about this case is that a number of the rapists’ friends knew about this rape and yet didn’t think the rapists had done anything wrong and failed to speak up about it.
When the judge found the two young men guilty, neither of them apologized. In fact, their complete lack of …
Feminism | Posted by Ria D on 12/17/2012
Does It Make Me A Bitch To Turn Him Down?
In the midst of last year’s prom frenzy, as I was pulling my car out of the parking lot and waiting in line to leave, one of my friends popped into my car for a chat. He was irate: “Have you heard about Alex?” Before I got the chance to respond, he was off on a rant about how two guys had asked her to prom and she had said no to both of them, which of course makes her a gigantic bitch. He quickly figured out he was ranting to the wrong person because I set him straight: just because Alex turned both guys down, it didn’t make her any less of a good person. He argued with me about how both guys made such a big effort for …
Feminism | Posted by Colleen L on 02/13/2012
I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours
In its formative days (in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and then in the 1960s and ‘70s), feminism was, above all, about promoting equal social and political citizenship for women. Contemporary feminism – the “third wave” – is, like today’s world, far more complex than its predecessors. It’s not just about equality anymore (though this is and always will be an issue). To me, today’s feminism is less about getting equal pay and spouting catchy phrases (“down with the patriarchy!”) and more about fostering a world in which women, men, and transgendered people all have the opportunity to live healthy, happy lives as whole and fully valued human beings. To me, feminism is about turning current concepts of gender, sexuality, rape, and more completely on their heads. I …