Feminism | Posted by Aya on 06/17/2016
How The Stanford Survivor Helped Me Understand My Own Assault
Rape doesn’t just happen at Stanford.
TW: This article contains discussion and description of sexual assault.
In January of 2015, 20-year-old, former Stanford University student Brock Allen Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster outside a frat party. In March of 2016, Turner was charged with three felonies of sexual assault. Prosecutors asked for a 6 year sentence, but he received only 6 months of jail time — and will likely serve even less.
But, despite this injustice, something truly beneficial emerged from this case: Buzzfeed reporter Kate Baker published the survivor’s letter to her attacker, which the anonymous woman had read out loud in court. Reading this letter gave me, and likely countless other survivors, a sense of solidarity with this case: like Emily Doe, I, …
Feminism | Posted by David G on 06/7/2016
The Stanford Rape Case Exemplifies The Privilege At The Heart of Rape Culture
Brock Turner, a top swimmer at Stanford who raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster after a party, was sentenced to six months in county jail on Thursday. The presiding judge felt that a full sentence “would have a severe impact” on Turner, discounting the severe impact his victim described at his sentencing. This ruling sparked national outrage, which only grew after a letter Turner’s father had written diminishing his son’s crime and demanding probation was published.
Tl;dr, there is so, so much wrong with the Stanford rape case. While the backlash against Turner and his father has been swift and vicious, both the sentence Turner received, as well as his father’s response to it, exemplify the privilege that perpetuates rape culture.
Let’s be honest …
Feminism | Posted by Reilly W on 06/3/2016
What The Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act Means For Survivors
The bill unanimously passed in the Senate.
There has perhaps never been more visibility about the experiences of sexual assault survivors than in the past few years. From the work of organizations like End Rape on Campus and Know Your IX, to the release of the documentary the Hunting Ground, to hashtag campaigns and beyond, this increasing awareness feels like a promising sign that this violent epidemic may be comprehensively addressed once and for all — and recently passed legislation only bolsters this hope.
On May 23rd, the Senate unanimously passed the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act, which attempts to put more power into the hands of survivors following their assaults and reduce the continued injustices they frequently face following the ultimate injustice of assault. One of …
Feminism | Posted by Minnah Stein on 05/30/2016
The Question All Prospective Students Should Ask Colleges
Don’t be afraid to ask.
Not too long ago, my parents dragged me to a lecture about the college admissions process. As a sophomore, I wasn’t all that interested in this information yet, but as soon as the lights dimmed and the presentation began, I found myself transfixed — and even surprised.
It turns out the admissions process is not just difficult in terms of getting in, but also in terms of even finding the college you want to get into in the first place. The college counselor presented slide after slide of questions students should ask their prospective colleges (and themselves) as they consider which school could be the best fit, including questions about median SAT scores required, the school’s geographical location and cost of traveling home, campus weather …
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: …
Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 03/28/2016
The Ghomeshi Verdict Is A Reminder That The ‘Perfect Victim’ Myth Is Alive and Well
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 …
Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 03/23/2016
What Kesha’s Sexual Assault Case Reveals About The Trauma of Shame
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 …
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 …