Feminism | Posted by Kadin Burnett on 02/28/2017
#DearBetsy: Protect Title IX
Betsy DeVos’s appointment as the United States Secretary of Education is monumentally problematic. DeVos has no background in education: in fact, her appointment will be her first job held in the field of education. DeVos did not attend public school, yet will have the authority to make decisions that affect 100,000 public schools and 90% of school-aged children in the country. Even her alma mater, Calvin College, went to lengths to pen an open letter explaining why DeVos was unfit for her position.
Betsy DeVos doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of education advocates and sexual assault activists because she has committed to radical measures of reform, however. Rather, she is feared because she has been totally incapable of putting forward anything more substantive than an irritatingly murky …
Feminism | Posted by Alex Brown on 02/3/2017
It’s Time My Male Peers And I Hold Ourselves Accountable For Rape Culture
A photo of Man Up and Open Up — a great org working in this space
I was once sitting at lunch with several of my guy friends when a girl in our class walked by. When she was too far away to hear us, one of my friends asked if we thought she was hot. Another friend instantly replied, “She’s kind of ugly, but I’d still rape the sh*t out of her.”
Despite being disgusted by my friend’s comment, I ignored it and remained silent. Looking back, I now realize my passivity in the presence of his misogyny speaks volumes about how men are raised to perpetuate rape culture. Instead of speaking out, instead of condemning it, we shrug. We overlook it–which only perpetuates it.
Although our newly elected …
Feminism | Posted by Julie Graves on 12/19/2016
Calling Out Everyday Sexism
We can all be super girls.
Content Warning: this article contains a discussion of sexual assault.
The other day, my best friends and I were casually chatting in a group message. Between complaining about homework and our crushes, we also discussed the instances when guy’s hands have crept too far up our thighs without our permission, the experiences that left us wanting to file our skin down raw to erase every trace of contamination. We discussed these instances without raising red flags, without explicitly labeling these actions for what they are: sexual assault. I guess it’s easy to forget the magnitude of an event that has become a daily occurrence.
The common thread we found in this discussion was the shame that buries in the pits of our stomachs as …
Feminism | Posted by Lauren D on 11/11/2016
The Gender Safety Gap
The Twin Towers
I grew up and currently live in post-9/11 New York City. I don’t remember what the city was like before the attacks. I will never remember a city in which it wasn’t standard to see assault rifles in train stations. My New York has been filled with annual moments of silence to commemorate the loudest sound I’ve ever heard. My New York will always have ads plastered up with the words “See Something, Say Something” to remind its inhabitants of the imminent danger they face every day. I grew up watching the construction of Freedom Tower — a reminder that the city could rebound even after an immense tragedy.
I remember that day. Evidence of the tragedy exists in both my mind and in the Lower Manhattan …
Feminism | Posted by Kami Baker on 09/12/2016
The Problem With Stanford’s New Drinking Policy
Stanford University is home to a long list of notable alumni: John F. Kennedy, Elon Musk, Chelsea Clinton, John Steinbeck, Rachel Maddow, and more. While these individuals are change-makers worthy of celebration in our history books, a new name will forever be remembered in the school’s history for a far less celebratory reason: Brock Turner.
Turner isn’t a president, a journalist, or thought leader. He is a rapist.
His story, told from the perspectives of both his father and his victim, spread rampantly through our newsfeeds earlier this summer. Turner, a freshman, raped a woman who was inebriated and could not consent. He served three months of jail time as consequence.
Simply put, this is outrageous and this case is a clear tragedy. Turner’s decision to rape …
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 …