Feminism | Posted by Rachael H on 05/23/2016

Is A Digital Tool The Key To Addressing Campus Sexual Assault?

We need to address campus sexual assault.

The stark reality of the high rate of sexual assault on college campuses is nothing new, and neither is college administrations’ resistance to addressing it. Far too many students continue to seek support from their respective universities after they are assaulted on campus, but still fail to achieve any sense of justice. Survivors’ accounts of their assaults are scrutinized to the point of re-victimization and perpetrators still face inadequate consequences.

I’ve seen this firsthand. I know many female students at my own Canadian university who felt no sense of justice after reporting their sexual assaults to campus administrators. For example, concerns about seeing their perpetrator on campus were neither heard nor addressed. Multiple students instead received rather dismissive feedback along the lines of: …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 03/28/2016

The Ghomeshi Verdict Is A Reminder That The ‘Perfect Victim’ Myth Is Alive and Well

Jian Ghomeshi

While mainstream culture has certainly embraced feminism as of late, the movement’s work is far from done. One of the most glaring examples of this is the persistent doubt and discrediting survivors face as well as the unrealistic, illogical standard of behavior to which they’re held. It’s an unfortunate reality that was recently underscored by the shocking verdict in one Canadian sexual assault trial.

The trial, which took place in February, centered on the accusation that Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi sexually assaulted and choked two anonymous women as well as actress Lucy DeCoutere between 2002 and 2003. All women had contact with Ghomeshi following these alleged assaults and their memory of the exact events changed over time. On Friday, Judge William Horkins acquitted Ghomeshi of all charges …

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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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Feminism | Posted by Olivia D on 02/26/2016

Why We Need A More Complex Understanding Of Who Can Be An Abuser

I’ve never had a true “best friend.” Don’t get me wrong, I had female friends in high school. I admired and cared about all of my teammates on my cross-country team and considered my Girl Scout troop members friends. But as I’ve grown into a college-age woman and proud feminist, I’ve realized that while I enjoyed spending time with all of these individuals, I struggled to really connect with any of them. I’ve had to face the fact that I have intimacy issues — they’re just not the type of heterosexist, romantic intimacy issues that are most often culturally acknowledged.

My discomfort has only been evident in my relationships with women. As a heterosexual woman, I’ve had no trouble opening up to men in romantic relationships. But most of my …

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Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 02/22/2016

This Is How “Misogynoir” Affects Black Campus Sexual Assault Survivors

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 4.03.34 PM

HBCU Spelman College

The term “misogynoir” — a fusion of the words misogyny and “noir,” the French word for black — was coined by the queer, black feminist Moya Bailey in 2010 and refers to the intersection of sexism and racism black women face.

“We allow and encourage abusers of Black women to thrive, yet somehow the conversation turns to the spoiling of nostalgia or stripping of earned success,” founder and editor-in-chief of ForHarriet Kimberly Foster argued in a 2015 article. This is “an old story: a Black man’s triumph is more important than a Black woman’s body,” she added.

There is plenty of evidence of the specific misogyny and violence black women face, but it is particularly evident in terms of how survivors of sexual assault …

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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 | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 02/1/2016

Why We Need To Teach Students About Rape Culture

We need to educate students about rape culture.

Being an outspoken feminist in my high school has been a challenging experience. While many of my peers are aware of major social justice news and violations, like that surrounding Black Lives Matters and ISIS, far too many are still ignorant about the feminist movement or women’s rights more generally. This became particularly clear to me in a recent English class, as we discussed Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and rape culture’s effect on the main character.

Rape culture is “a complex set of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women,” Emilie Buchwald writes in her book Transforming a Rape Culture. “It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent,” she continues. “In …

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Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 01/27/2016

Women in the Military Are Now Allowed to Step Up

Women in the military

On December 3rd, the U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter made a game-changing announcement for women in the military. All active combat roles, he proclaimed, would become open to women. They can now serve as infantry soldiers, Navy SEALS, Green Berets, and other Special Forces operatives in departments previously closed to them. This decision not only countered the military’s reputation as a sexist bastion of conservatism, but will also tangibly benefit women in the military’s careers by allowing them to rise to higher ranks than was previously possible.

Thanks to the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, women have been allowed to enlist in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines since 1948 – the same year official racial segregation in the armed forces ended. Women …

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