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, …
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? …
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 …