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 …
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”
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 09/16/2015
Consent in the Age of High School Hookup Culture
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Jonathan Kalin on 09/1/2015
What Justin Bieber’s VMA Performance Can Teach Us About Modern Masculinity
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
Feminism | Posted by Aviva B on 07/8/2015
We Need To Talk About The True Definition of Sexual Assault
We need to take sexual assault seriously.
I have been sexually assaulted twice, although I didn’t recognize either event as such at the time.
The first time, I was 18, asleep next to my boyfriend. I had passed out almost instantaneously after a long day of skiing, but my boyfriend claimed that he “didn’t notice.”
Two years later, a stranger cornered me while I was studying abroad in Mexico. I suddenly felt his hand underneath my dress, his thumb pressing into me aggressively.
In both cases I felt violated, but wasn’t raped. I am a strong, independent woman and take pride in my disciplined ability to conquer anything. Which is why even when it came to sexual assault, I was in denial about experiencing anything resembling weakness.
Feminism | Posted by Hannah B on 07/2/2015
The Problem With The Supposed Feminist ‘Comeback’
Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road
Much lip service has been paid to feminism’s supposed comeback — especially in terms of more authentic representations of women in pop culture. Charlize Theron’s recent portrayal of the badass protagonist Furiosa Mad Max: Fury Road, for example, simultaneously inspired feminists while incensing various “Male Rights” groups across the country. Broad City has been lauded for its pithy dialogue and mold-breaking portrayal of female friendships. But though this proliferation of strong, multifaceted women taking over billboards and box-offices is encouraging, though comedians like Amy Schumer and writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie certainly deserve the attention they’re receiving, we cannot ignore the fact that these successes don’t erase the persistent reality of global misogyny.
The truth is, this so-called feminist revival is occurring …
Feminism | Posted by Kathleen M on 07/1/2015
A Young Feminist’s Thoughts On ‘The Hunting Ground’
In theaters now.
“Two of us were sexually assaulted before class even started,” activist Annie Clark says in the recently released documentary The Hunting Ground. “I thought if I told [administrators] they would take action, but the only action they took was against me.”
This sentiment summarizes the overarching theme of this film, which examines sexual assault on college campuses. This is director Kirby Dick’s second attempt at illuminating the institutional cover-ups of violence against women: His first is a documentary on sexual assault in the military entitled The Invisible War. I suspected this film would be just as heart-wrenching and found that, especially as a college student, the film effected me more profoundly.
I was well aware of most of the statistics that appeared on the screen, …
Feminism | Posted by Lexi V on 06/30/2015
Why A 10-Year-Old Paraguayan Girl Not Being Able to Access Abortion Terrifies Me
We must continue to fight.
Like many other privileged American kids, my biggest concerns at ten years old were whether or not I could finish my homework before soccer practice or if my dad was going to buy me the new marine biology Barbie. In Paraguay, a ten-year-old girl is being forced to carry her stepfather’s child.
The story of this girl (who I’ll henceforth refer to as “E”) showed up in my Facebook newsfeed a few months ago. I remember reading one article about the situation and feeling upset but then — to be totally honest — pushed it out of my head (which I tend to believe is what many of us do after reading news stories that are as upsetting as this one).
Then a few weeks …