Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 02/4/2011

Awareness: “Corrective Rape”

lets stop corrective rape

let's stop corrective rape

According to a recent report by ActionAid – an international NGO – there’s a rising, incredibly homophobic and violent trend amongst South Africans. In addition to waves of homophobic attacks and murders in townships like Johannesburg and Cape Town, South African lesbians are the victims of “corrective” rape.

“Corrective rape” is the practice of a heterosexual man raping a lesbian with the intent of “turning” her heterosexual. As if the act of rape weren’t enough, many of these women experience after effects of contracting HIV/AIDS and lasting psychological trauma, including a rise in depression and suicide attempts.

What’s even more frustrating than the occurrence of Corrective Rape is the South African government’s complete unwillingness to act on behalf of the victims. South Africa’s national prosecuting authority, …

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Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 10/21/2010

The Democratic Republic of Congo: Understanding the Conflict

civil war in the DRC

civil war in the DRC

This year in school, I’m taking a really amazing English elective called Gender, Culture, Power (SURPRISE! It’s taught by the same awesome teacher who handed me Jessica Valenti’s Full Frontal Feminism). Basically, some of the coolest, smartest, classiest girls (and one brave guy) get together almost every day to discuss gender…culture…and power. It’s bliss. And while we’ve had our fun dissecting everything from KFC advertisements to the Handmaid’s Tale thus far, we just embarked on a far more serious, yet completely enthralling, topic: the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

My class researched the conflict, and here’s a rundown of what we found:

History: In 1960, the DRC became independent of Belgium, which had colonized the African country in 1877. Soon after, violence …

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