Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 06/9/2014
On YouTube Celebrities and Blurred Consent
Once considered niche performers, YouTube vloggers are increasingly jumping off our computer screens and becoming celebrities in the real-world sense. They play concerts around the world, have clothing lines and makeup collections, have meet ups that are attended by thousands, and make millions of dollars (case in point: Justin Bieber). YouTube as a company, instead of solely providing a platform for this unique celebrity formation, has recently decided to more actively participate in perpetuating this new celebrity culture: they are currently featuring some of their stars, such as Michelle Phan, Rosanna Pansino, and Bethany Mota, in nation-wide advertisements.
This new type of celebrity is predicated on the idea of accessibility. Unlike the movie stars we only access via orchestrated interviews, YouTube stars seem far more accessible. The entry-barrier to …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Chloe H on 06/2/2014
*Trigger Warning* Why Aren’t Women Safe in College and the Military?
While women in the United States still undeniably have a long way to go before we achieve equality, we have made progress in various realms. For example, in terms of education, Oberlin College of Ohio became the first American college to admit women in 1833. In 1948, Congress passed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act granting women permanent military status and veterans benefits. Both of these acts indicated unprecedented opportunities for women to influence and contribute to the country in a way in which they’d been previously barred.
And influence and contribute they have: American women have done fantastic things to serve their country and people as college graduates and soldiers. However, equality on paper is hardly the same thing as equality in real life. One of the largest obstacles …
Feminism | Posted by Katie Koestner on 05/7/2014
An Open Letter to TBTN Event Holders
I was 18 years old when I joined you. Many of you had been holding Take Back the Night events in rain or snow, amid hecklers, for years. Some of you were already making your way to radical, already past liberal. Some of you were done with patriarchy. Separatists. Some of you had carried broomsticks with tampons affixed on top. You had dyed your dormroom bedsheets black so that you could march as witches through campus. I didn’t know how much I would adore your gumption.
Some of you were not yet born. Maybe you found TBTN when a night/day kicked you in the gut-heart-head. You heard about us and showed up to see what this TBTN thing was, to see if you fit in.
It was the …
Feminism | Posted by Erik C on 03/11/2014
What Many Men Don’t Understand About Sexual Assault
Warning: This piece contains material about sexual assault that may be upsetting to some readers.
Sexual assault wasn’t a problem on my radar until it happened to me. But two and a half years ago, I was assaulted over the course of two nights, in a foreign country, while involuntarily intoxicated. This led to chronic clinical insomnia, job loss, a suicide attempt, 16 months of severe clinical depression, and a year off from school with short stints of homelessness and alcoholism.
So, since then, I haven’t really had a choice but to think a tremendous amount about sexual assault and its consequences. I can’t, by any means, know what sexual assault is like from a woman’s perspective, but I’ve talked to dozens, if not hundreds, of female survivors/victims (different people …
Awareness, Feminism | Posted by Ty S on 02/10/2014
Help the Obama Administration Fight Sexual Assault On College Campuses
Universities have a responsibility to protect students from violence, discrimination, harassment, and assault. When something violent happens to students on or off campus, universities have a responsibility to handle these cases in an appropriate way that keeps the campus community and the victim safe. Given this extremely basic responsibility that schools owe to their tuition-paying students, it’s incredible how frequently students’ rights are violated after reporting sexual assault. It’s incredible how incapable universities have been at protecting students who have been assaulted. It’s incredible how often victims of sexual assault also become victims of illegal institutionalized rape apologism.
In response to these universities’ failures to protect victims, there’s been a wave of students bringing their cases to the federal level. Victims across the country have been reporting their universities’ illegal …
Feminism | Posted by Max F on 11/13/2013
Why Teaching Teen Boys About Consent Should Be A Mandatory Part of Sex Ed
It started with a Facebook post. Last summer, a Facebook friend posed the question: “If you would teach your daughter about protection, then why wouldn’t you teach your son about respect?”After I read that, I realized that my high school’s sexual education class only taught us (and especially girls) what not to do. We were taught not to “put your drink down” and to “not drink something if it wasn’t made in front of you.” This information is valid, yet it begs the question: why are young adults only taught how to avoid other people’s behavior? For example, someone has to be the person tampering with somebody else’s drink in order to attempt assault, yet that person’s behavior isn’t directly addressed — we’re not explicitly taught not to lace somebody …
Feminism | Posted by Alice W on 11/11/2013
Rape Culture Shock
I thought the toughest adjustment when it came to starting college would be the workload, or self discipline, or missing my friends and family. I was prepared for those challenges. What I didn’t expect was the anxiety that comes with wedging my fingernail into the groove of my pocket knife while walking home alone late at night.
Or looking over my shoulder on dark streets, to make sure that the guy who was just behind me isn’t following too closely.
Or getting my things and moving to another floor of the library after a guy sitting in a corner with a blank computer screen, is staring at me every time I glance over.
Or that sense of vulnerability when I’m in a study room at one a.m and I’m the …
Feminism | Posted by Trip E on 10/9/2013
When the Controversial Decision to Only Cast Women Of Color Makes Sense
Last week, Barnard College/Columbia University’s V-Day organization announced that this year’s production of Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues will feature a cast entirely composed of self-identified women of color. It has mostly been regarded as a bad decision that excludes a large number of survivors of sexual assault who do not identify as people of color. I overheard one student on our campus ask, “What the hell does race have to do with rape?”
But I’m a white woman and a survivor of sexual assault, and I fully support V-Day’s decision.
Because our lives as women are irrevocably tangled in race, class, gender and sexual identity, discussing any feminist issue is necessarily tangled in them as well. One of the greatest shifts in the feminist movement recently has been