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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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 | Posted by Julie Z on 10/23/2015

This Is The Conversation We Need To Have About Sex and Consent on Campus

Dartmouth College

The mainstream media has been fascinated with (especially female) college students’ sexuality for years. Rather than reflect the nuanced reality of their lives, however, women have largely been reduced to trends related to their technological dependence, ambition or attempts to achieve equality. But sex on campus is ultimately about something much deeper and complex: The way this generation realizes their sex lives can’t be divorced from the the paradoxical understanding of power with which this generation was raised.

Finally, one media outlet — New York Magazine — is recognizing this in their recently published feature Sex on Campus. The series aptly reveals how college students are embracing a variety of sexual identities that were largely unimaginable to even our parents’ generation. Students identify as asexual, sexually

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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 David G on 10/7/2015

‘Til It Happens to You: In Staunch Support of Campus Sexual Assault Survivors

"Til It Happens To You"

“Til It Happens To You”

The Hunting Ground is an unabashed and damning portrayal of the still crucial and widespread problem of rape culture on college campuses. In fact, an estimated 20 to 25% of women in higher educational institutions may experience attempted or completed rape over the course of their college career according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

But these numbers often obscure what this experience is like on an intimate, human level. The fact is, real women experience this — real women like Lady Gaga. In a 2014 interview with Howard Stern, the performer revealed that she wrote the track “Swine,” which is included on the album ARTPOP, to express the degradation she felt after she was sexually assaulted at 19 years old. When she

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Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 09/16/2015

Consent in the Age of High School Hookup Culture

Owen Labrie

Owen Labrie

A few weeks ago, I took my seat in the huge auditorium of my East Coast college preparatory boarding school for Proctor Training. The week-long event involved a series of workshops and lectures that train dormitory proctors how to address issues that may arise in the community over the course of the school year. We reviewed “no-grinding” dance rules, gendered dormitory visitation policies, and health center pamphlets — probably the same policies that have been upheld at countless college preparatory schools across the country for years.

But this time around, there was an elephant in the room: The Owen Labrie trial.

On August 28th, 18-year old St. Paul’s School senior Owen Labrie was found not guilty of felony sexual assault charges, but was convicted of having sex …

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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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