Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 01/4/2016
Why Bill Cosby’s Sexual Assault Charge Is Meaningful For Survivors
Over the past decade, dozens of women have accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault. Yet, primarily due to the statute of limitations on these alleged crimes having passed, Cosby was never actually charged for any of them. That changed on December 30th, however, when the infamous comedian was
Despite the disturbing number of women who have come forward — not to mention Cosby’s own admission in July to obtaining Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women and drugging at least one individual — these survivors were discredited and even derided for years. For example, former model Janice Dickinson …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Eliza V on 10/14/2015
Is The Media’s Representation Of Sexual Assault Doing More Harm Than Good?
One show doing it right.
Trigger Warning: Mention of sexual assault.
Out of every 6 American women, at least 1 will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. This horrifying yet all too common experience is depicted in mainstream media: Many popular drama series have story lines involving rape, for example. But the question remains: Is sheer volume of this coverage truly beneficial?
The vast majority of TV shows that depict narratives involving assault seem to do so in order to heighten tension and create scandal. Especially considering it’s statistically inevitable that a significant portion of a show’s viewers will be individuals who have survived assault, the phenomenon should ideally be carefully and purposely portrayed in order to show its severity, not to …
Feminism | Posted by Jonathan Kalin on 09/1/2015
What Justin Bieber’s VMA Performance Can Teach Us About Modern Masculinity
At the end of his VMA performance on Sunday night, Justin Bieber began to cry. This image has already launched debates about his motivations and as someone who has spent the past 4 years immersed in a movement to end men’s violence against women by critically examining the destructive way men are socialized and the unhealthy standard of masculinity they’re trained to embody, I was fascinated by this moment. But the focus on what was essentially a few seconds of his performance overlooks the many other ways Bieber’s entire performance of his new single “What Do You Mean?” encapsulates the current experience of young heterosexual men in America in a largely unprecedented way.
First, Bieber models a complex attention to consent. I have spent the past
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.
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.
Feminism | Posted by Lexi V on 06/30/2015
Why A 10-Year-Old Paraguayan Girl Not Being Able to Access Abortion Terrifies Me
We must continue to fight.
Like many other privileged American kids, my biggest concerns at ten years old were whether or not I could finish my homework before soccer practice or if my dad was going to buy me the new marine biology Barbie. In Paraguay, a ten-year-old girl is being forced to carry her stepfather’s child.
The story of this girl (who I’ll henceforth refer to as “E”) showed up in my Facebook newsfeed a few months ago. I remember reading one article about the situation and feeling upset but then — to be totally honest — pushed it out of my head (which I tend to believe is what many of us do after reading news stories that are as upsetting as this one).
Then a few weeks …
Feminism | Posted by Martine K on 06/1/2015
What You Need To Know About The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act
Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act
On April 22nd, after nearly six weeks of delay, the Senate finally passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. This bill will provide harsher penalties for perpetrators of trafficking, hold patrons of human trafficking (also known as “johns”), accountable for their crimes, and identify and treat those harmed by trafficking as victims rather than criminals. The bill will also create a special fund for victims gathered from perpetrators’ fines (rather than taxes).
Although many expected the bill to pass unanimously in March, Senate Democrats found a provision that compelled them to withdraw support. This provision included language from the Hyde Amendment, which decrees that taxpayer dollars may not be used to fund abortions, except in cases proven to be rape, and would …
Feminism | Posted by Abby S. on 05/22/2015
The Major Problems With How We Discuss Men and Sexual Assault
“But men get raped, too.”
Trigger Warning: In this post, I will be writing about rape and sexual assault, particularly in the case of female survivors and male aggressors. As a heterosexual, cisgender female, this is the dynamic of sexual assault about which I know the most, but it’s necessary to acknowledge that rape also occurs in ways other than this dynamic.
“But men get raped, too.”
All too often, I hear these five words used as a way to shut down discussions about rape and rape culture. I’ve heard them from men and women alike, and while this statement in and of itself is certainly true, I have a problem with using this fact as a supposed answer to the equally valid reality of rampant violence against women.…
Feminism | Posted by Devki R on 03/23/2015
Sexual Assault Is A Global Disease. Censorship Is Not The Cure.
My parents grew up in Delhi and the city is like a second home to us. In addition to my cultural roots and personal connection to the country, I also have a deep, personal interest in Indian society, traditions, and practices and always look forward to our bi-annual trip to visit my family and friends.
When I landed in Delhi’s international airport on December 18th 2012, though, I was greeted with riots in the streets. Women and men were uniting throughout the city as well as the entire country to demand an end to rape and violence against women.
Every 20 minutes, a woman is raped in India and most of these rapes go unheard and unreported. But a rape that occurred two days before my arrival on the …