Feminism | Posted by Marie B on 12/12/2014

Fraternities and Rape Culture

When my sister came home from college the first time, I had so many questions. How were the dorms? How were her friends? Had she met anybody special? She answered them all honestly and had mostly good things to say, but her college life thus far seemed to be most notably informed by rushing a sorority.

Rush week was torturous and stressful for her. She walked from house to house just to be incessantly judged at each one, which doesn’t exactly sound like my idea of fun. She received a bid from one of her top choices and became integrated into Greek life. She soon found that frat parties are a central aspect of this lifestyle. But what she found at these parties proved that behind the shiny exterior …

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Feminism | Posted by Trip E on 11/19/2014

Dear Dad: Let’s Try This Again

The author and her father

This article is a response to Pippa Biddle’s call to action in her piece “Dear Sisters,” published last week on Ryot.com.

To whom it may concern (hey, Dad):

The summer after my freshman year at Exeter, you slammed me into the fridge by my neck because I mouthed off to you about doing dishes. You may remember this as the day I climbed out of my bedroom window with a change of clothes and my laptop in a bookbag, and stopped living with you.

I remember it as the day Mom pulled me into better lighting in my aunt’s living room so she could take pictures of the finger-shaped bruises you’d left on my neck. They were strikingly similar to the ones …

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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? …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 09/29/2014

YouTube Star Sam Pepper’s “Prank” Video Is Sexual Harassment

Sam Pepper

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 …

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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 …

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Feminism | Posted by Katie S on 07/30/2014

Why Todd Akin Still Matters

Todd Akin

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 …

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Feminism | Posted by Sabrina N on 07/21/2014

#JusticeForJada

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 …

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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 …

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