Feminism | Posted by Sara Surface on 01/6/2017
A New Avenue to End Sexual Violence on Campus
We can’t back down.
Sexual assault has been an issue about which I have been deeply concerned for the last four years. I’ve been professionally and personally involved in a variety of efforts to tackle this rampant and complex problem. Throughout this work, I’ve always struggled with the question “what is the most effective, meaningful, and impactful avenue for change in this arena?” That is until last month, when I joined colleges and students from around the country to participate in the first National Leadership Institute — which was the first multi-disciplinary collaborative of 20 colleges and universities across the country dedicated to addressing gender-based violence on campus. Then, I felt as though I’d found my answer.
Growing up, I was never afraid to speak out. Calling out people on …
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 Jenny P on 04/15/2013
Time to Talk
*Trigger warning: This blog post is about intimate partner violence*
Over fall break, my mom made an unexpected visit from California to New York City, where I go to school. She had been called the night before, told that her daughter was expressing suicidal thoughts, and asked to please come pick her up from the Metropolitan Hospital emergency psych ward as soon as possible.
“You know,” Mom began, “you didn’t really look scared or angry or anything when you were in there.”
A good observation. I wasn’t scared or angry. I was mostly just tired.
“You looked like you were thinking, ‘One day, I’m going to write a book about this,’ and like you were already writing it in your mind,” she said.
In a way, I was. That night, …
Feminism | Posted by Talia on 12/10/2012
Eve Ensler’s Emotional Creature
The Cast of Eve Ensler's "Emotional Creature"
At the NOW conference in June, playwright Eve Ensler delivered the keynote speech. She was a riveting speaker whose passionate words truly rallied me to action. I’d been hoping to see one of her plays ever since and, luckily, her newest show Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World is now playing Off-Broadway, and I was able to get tickets!
The sheer awesomeness of Emotional Creature truly floored me. Walking out of the theater, I was at a loss for words and just kept repeating, “That was brilliant. That was brilliant. That was brilliant.” The play certainly was absolutely brilliant, and extremely well-made. It featured six extremely talented women actors, all of whom played different characters in various scenes. They …
Feminism | Posted by Sarah F on 10/22/2012
Why Does No One Talk About Sexual Assault in the LGTBQ Community?
For the most part, I exist within two realms: That of American women and that of LGBT Americans. When a friend makes the playful joke that my life is “sooo gay,” I can only agree. But it’s also “sooo feminist,” too.
These communities aren’t mutually exclusive, though. There’s a lot of overlap between that which is feminist and that which is queer. There is no need to choose sides. If anything, this sort of dual existence has a lot of perks. I have a heightened awareness of the ways gender, sexuality, and privilege all play out in my “gay-to-day” existence.
Because I care about reproductive justice, I also care about sexual freedom. And because I care about sexual freedom, I also care about consent, and the things that compromise it. …
Feminism | Posted by Bre K on 04/27/2012
One In Five Women
never blame yourself
There you are at three in the morning, sprawled out on someone else’s bed in a foreign room that smells like sex. Your body doesn’t even feel like yours — it feels like you’re standing over yourself, watching something happen to you. You’re not quite able to explain what’s going on. Confused. Dissembled. Disgusted. Shocked. So many feelings you can’t quite put together to equate to that word. And yet there it is: Rape. It finally pops up into your head three weeks later after you come back from Thanksgiving break — your first break during your first term in college.
No this wasn’t me. This was an 18-year-old freshmen living a couple doors down from me. Let’s say her name is Barbara.
The worst part is …
Feminism | Posted by Kate S on 04/13/2012
You Don’t Have To Walk In High Heels To Protect Me From Sexual Violence
Recently, there was a heated discussion over the International Women’s Rights Collective (IWRC) email thread. It started when a member posted an article from the Huffington Post about 50 members of a fraternity in Western Kentucky University raising awareness about violence against women by walking around the campus in five-inch red heels. And yesterday, there were great articles from the New York Times and the New Yorker about the inefficacy and fallacy of social media as a form of activism. So I’ve been thinking…
I have always been critical of “conscious-raising efforts,” partly from my own experience in high school. Immature attempts to send provocative emails with graphic pictures—the so-called fetishization of otherness, of victimhood—have taught me that these implications do matter. The point of organizing a hunger banquet, for …
Feminism | Posted by Bryan N on 12/26/2011
Why I’m So Passionate About Women’s Rights
a message from a male feminist
People often ask me why, as a man, I am so passionate about women’s rights. The answer is that I got into women’s rights because I have seen so many women put through so many horrible things. There is so much that women go through that most men don’t have to worry about.
I have dated survivors of abuse and sexual violence. I have many friends who are survivors of assault. I have seen the way it destroys their lives. Almost every girl I know has been cat called and verbally harassed on the street. Almost every girl I know feels or has felt ugly because of the media and society setting impossible standards of beauty. It hurts me seeing such naturally beautiful women …