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, Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 09/29/2014
YouTube Star Sam Pepper’s “Prank” Video Is Sexual Harassment
It’s undeniable that the YouTube community is becoming a powerful and influential force in the entertainment industry. Vloggers appear on magazine covers (such as Seventeen and Fast Company), red carpets, and even on TV in commercials and “Dancing with the Stars.” However, the growing community, which averages 1 billion unique visitors each month, has experienced some troubling issues along with its success. Back in June, I covered YouTube’s growing sexual assault problem, which was derived from the blurred lines of consent between content creators and their growing fan bases. Recently, another sexual assault scandal has shaken the community.
Sam Pepper, a former Big Brother contestant and popular YouTuber with over 2 million subscribers, released a video which sparked a large controversy within the …
Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 09/3/2014
In Support of Self Defense Classes
Campus sexual assault is a harrowing issue: approximately one in five college women will experience attempted or completed rape while at school. Lawmakers of the American House and Senate have recently announced two bipartisan bills that are meant to combat campus sexual assault by promoting increased transparency and response. Increasing transparency about the prevalent reality of sexual assault is certainly important, as it could help to reduce societal taboos about discussing the issue and show victims that they are not alone. However, despite this potential legal progress, I – a college-bound woman — am rationally wary of the current reality of campus sexual assault.
College is supposed to be a place where female and male students alike are able to learn and grow as people. Ideally, women should be able …
Feminism | Posted by Katie S on 07/30/2014
Why Todd Akin Still Matters
It has been almost two years since I heard the infamous Todd Akin remark about “legitimate rape” and abortions and I am still as angry as I was then. Recently, Todd Akin rereleased a statement in his new book apologizing for the remark but stood by his claim that there is medical proof about how stress can end a pregnancy.
Well, Todd Akin, I don’t accept your apology, but thank you ever so much for telling me once again how you know more about my body than I do based on a Google search. But beyond his remarks being offensive, and the fact that he clearly didn’t listen to or learn from the overwhelming response to his ignorance, it seems that Akin’s comments indicate that the Republican strategy …
Feminism | Posted by Sabrina N on 07/21/2014
A few weeks ago, Jada, a 16-year-old girl from Houston, Texas, went to a house party and was given a drink by the host. Little did she know that the drink was drugged, and that she would wake up later with no memories of what had just happened.
After Jada went unconscious, she was raped. The rape was recorded via pictures and videos, which were then put on social media. When Jada woke up later she had no idea what had just happened to her. That is, until she checked social media and found alarming tweets, pictures and videos. In a horrific turn of events, her assault was then turned into a meme, where people mimicked her pose– unconscious, sprawled out on the floor, partially unclothed– and then took a …
Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 07/7/2014
What’s Your ‘Weapon Of Choice?’
American photographer Richard Johnson brings attention to the invisible effects of verbal abuse in his series, "Weapon of Choice." (Weapon of Choice - Hurtwords.com / Facebook)
It was not your typical walk of shame, like the kind you see in high school movies after someone loses their virginity. Instead, it was me, an athletic-looking African-American girl, sobbing my way downtown, just on the border of USC and gang territory.
A fellow Trojan, who I had been talking to for a year, had originally said I could stay over at his place.
“I don’t care what I said. I lied.”
“It’s 4 am and we are in South Central LA, you are just going to kick me out… Can’t I just sleep on your floor?”
“What are you still doing …
Feminism | Posted by Alice W on 06/30/2014
Why Colleges Need To Fund Sexual Health Counseling
Like many (if not most) teens across the country, my high school health textbook had almost no practical sex ed information. It had a abstinence contract, pages and pages on why we should wait and one little box on the failure rates of birth control. At the end of my senior year I realized few of my friends knew the correct way to put on a condom and had to hold a covert workshop during school.
The health education policies in North Carolina, where I’m from, make it impossible for us to learn about sex in an honest, healthy way in high school. For many, college is the first time they get real sex education. And yet, come next year, the University of North Carolina’s sexual health counseling may …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 06/9/2014
On YouTube Celebrities and Blurred Consent
Once considered niche performers, YouTube vloggers are increasingly jumping off our computer screens and becoming celebrities in the real-world sense. They play concerts around the world, have clothing lines and makeup collections, have meet ups that are attended by thousands, and make millions of dollars (case in point: Justin Bieber). YouTube as a company, instead of solely providing a platform for this unique celebrity formation, has recently decided to more actively participate in perpetuating this new celebrity culture: they are currently featuring some of their stars, such as Michelle Phan, Rosanna Pansino, and Bethany Mota, in nation-wide advertisements.
This new type of celebrity is predicated on the idea of accessibility. Unlike the movie stars we only access via orchestrated interviews, YouTube stars seem far more accessible. The entry-barrier to …