Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 03/23/2016

What Kesha’s Sexual Assault Case Reveals About The Trauma of Shame

#FreeKesha

In 2014, Kesha sued her producer, Dr. Luke, for allegedly sexual assaulting her. More specifically, she sued for freedom from a contract that bound her to only producing music with her assailant. Her decision to do so added fuel to the already growing fire that is the current conversation about rape culture. One of the world’s biggest pop stars publicly admitted she had gone through something that’s still very much stigmatized in today’s society and even risked her career to fight for herself and countless other survivors by extension.

Much of the conversation surrounding this case has focused on the trauma of sexual assault itself, and rightfully so. But it seems Kesha’s experience highlights another aspect of the experience of assault: the trauma of shame. Shaming and blaming women …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 02/12/2016

What Kesha’s Legal Win Means for Survivors of Sexual Assault

Kesha

We undeniably still live in a twisted, victim blaming rape culture. Women are shamed and doubted when they seek justice for their assaults and taught they must prevent their assault in the first place. Despite the many efforts of activists and allies to prove why this mentality is wrong, it persists — a reality singer-songwriter Kesha recently, publicly found firsthand.

In 2014, Kesha sued her producer, Dr. Luke, based on the claim that he repeatedly sexually assaulted her throughout their professional relationship. Dr. Luke sued the pop star back based on the claim that the singer tried to “extort him into voiding their contract.” Since then, Kesha’s career had been brought to a standstill. Her contract specifies that she is not to collaborate with anyone besides her producer …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 01/4/2016

Why Bill Cosby’s Sexual Assault Charge Is Meaningful For Survivors

Bill Cosby

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 charged with committing a felony aggravated indecent assault in 2005 by one survivor in Pennsylvania — a state in which the statute of limitations is 12 years.

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 …

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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 …

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Feminism | Posted by Jonathan Kalin on 09/1/2015

What Justin Bieber’s VMA Performance Can Teach Us About Modern Masculinity

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

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

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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 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 …

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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 …

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