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
Feminism | Posted by Christina O on 08/9/2013
On Violence Against Women
An astonishing number of women desperately fear for their lives every day due to the fatal fact that they were born female in a patriarchal society. Violent acts are committed against women all the time in every corner of the world, despite the fact that this is a violation of fundamental human rights.
Violent atrocities like sexual violence, FGM, forced child marriage and female feticide and infanticide (amongst many others) happen to women of all different ethnicities, ages, classes, cultures and sexual orientations all over the world based solely on their gender. It is utterly devastating to think about the fact that a woman in the world today could be attacked, beaten, or otherwise cruelly punished for refusing an arranged marriage, dressing immodestly, being a victim of sexual assault, or …
Feminism | Posted by Talia on 07/26/2013
All I Want Is Equality
All I want is equality.
Because yes, that is what feminism is all about. Equality for women. No, we feminists are not asking for better treatment under the law for women. Anyone who does is not truly a feminist. The word feminism may come from the root word female, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a movement to raise women’s status above men’s. It means that it’s a movement dedicated to raising women to men’s political, economic, and social level.
Because let’s face it: women have a long way to go to reach that level of equality. In the US, a rape culture prevails, and women are blamed for their own sexual assaults. In the Congo, a violent civil war is fought on women’s bodies, with the threat of rape …