Pop-Culture | Posted by Frances Nguyen on 10/7/2016

Public Women Are Not Public Property

Kim Kardashian West — one of the celebrities assaulted

Ukrainian social media personality Vitalii Sediuk is having a hard time with the definition of “assault.” Rather, the self-described “prankster”— who is responsible for assaulting both Gigi Hadid outside a Milan fashion show on September 22nd and Kim Kardashian West a week later in Paris—regarded both incidents as public protests. Apparently, he opposes  Hadid’s inclusion in high fashion and Kardashian West’s alleged butt implants. As he captioned his now-infamous Instagram photo of the attack on Kardashian West, “I encourage her and the rest of Kardashian clan to popularize natural beauty among teenage girls who follow and defend them blindly.”

Though Sediuk is entitled to his opinions (and entitled they are), his actions in both instances did not respectfully express these …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 03/23/2016

What Kesha’s Sexual Assault Case Reveals About The Trauma of Shame

#FreeKesha

In 2014, Kesha sued her producer, Dr. Luke, for allegedly sexual assaulting her. More specifically, she sued for freedom from a contract that bound her to only producing music with her assailant. Her decision to do so added fuel to the already growing fire that is the current conversation about rape culture. One of the world’s biggest pop stars publicly admitted she had gone through something that’s still very much stigmatized in today’s society and even risked her career to fight for herself and countless other survivors by extension.

Much of the conversation surrounding this case has focused on the trauma of sexual assault itself, and rightfully so. But it seems Kesha’s experience highlights another aspect of the experience of assault: the trauma of shame. Shaming and blaming women …

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Feminism | Posted by Abby S. on 05/22/2015

The Major Problems With How We Discuss Men and Sexual Assault

"Men

“But men get raped, too.”

Trigger Warning: In this post, I will be writing about rape and sexual assault, particularly in the case of female survivors and male aggressors. As a heterosexual, cisgender female, this is the dynamic of sexual assault about which I know the most, but it’s necessary to acknowledge that rape also occurs in ways other than this dynamic.

“But men get raped, too.”

All too often, I hear these five words used as a way to shut down discussions about rape and rape culture. I’ve heard them from men and women alike, and while this statement in and of itself is certainly true, I have a problem with using this fact as a supposed answer to the equally valid reality of rampant violence against women.…

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Feminism | Posted by Sarah Landrum on 03/4/2015

These 10 Forms of Sexism Are Why I Identify As A Feminist

To say sexism and gender-based discrimination don’t exist would be like claiming oceans aren’t wet. There are, in fact, many issues facing women of the present, and they need to be addressed. So thank you, feminism, for acknowledging the many problems facing women today.

Without feminism, these important topics — like victim blaming, unequal pay and abortion — would be silently slid under the rug and our world would be way worse off. So let’s face these obstacles head-on, like the strong and empowered individuals we are.

Body Image

The media sucks. Thanks to stick-thin models and Photoshopping to boot, women have come to covet dangerously thin bodies. We battle with it constantly, as acquiring these body types requires nothing short of starvation. When we consider that as many as …

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Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 12/29/2014

What Bill Cosby Has Taught Us About Sexual Assault and Power

Bill Cosby, the Jello pudding man and one of America’s most beloved and successful comedians, may have raped and assaulted at least 20 women – women who have, starting in 2002, publicly come forward with their stories.

Their accounts are hauntingly similar: a young, maybe up-and-coming, model or actress meets Cosby, usually on the set of The Cosby Show or at an event, and he invites her to his home for a meal or a drink to discuss her career. He is connected, experienced, a celebrity; she is eager, hopeful, flattered. At some point during dinner, he drugs her and, once her defenses are low, he is forceful, abusive, and violent in his assault.

The women go home or back to their hotels, reminded that America’s favorite sweater-clad Dad holds

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Feminism | Posted by Lana S on 11/26/2014

What Are You Teaching Your Children?

Sometimes I walk into my high school and realize that the young boys and girls who surround me will grow up and have children of their own. Just like we learn from our parents, so will our future children learn from us.

That’s when I panic.

There’s one kid in my class who particularly worries me a lot. He is sixteen years old and preaches equality because he’s a self proclaimed “punk rocker” yet still talks shit about women. What’s worse, he genuinely believes in what he says. I don’t think he is trying to be a bad person when he says he truly believes that rape is not just the attacker’s fault, but the victim’s as well. Someone – maybe his father, maybe another influential adult – taught him …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Sabrina N on 07/2/2014

On Preachers Daughters and Purity Culture

I recently marathoned Preachers Daughters, a new Lifetime reality show. Season One follows the lives of three different girls — Taylor, Olivia and Kolby — who all have at least one parent who is a preacher. While all girls are subject to purity culture based on their family’s beliefs, each reacts to this culture differently. Taylor feels restricted and chooses to rebel; Olivia, who has a baby,  is now “on the right path”; Kolby attempts to live up to purity standards and even breaks up with a boyfriend in order to avoid future “temptation”. But while each girl follows a different path, they all show how purity culture can manifest destructively.

Although I was never involved with purity culture to the same extent as these girls, watching Taylor, Olivia …

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Feminism | Posted by Vanessa W on 09/25/2013

Dear Mrs. Hall: In Defense of Teenage Girls

Dear Mrs. Hall,

Do you remember what it feels like to be a teenage girl?

Do you remember what it feels like to question every fiber of your identity?

Your body, the hand grenade. Your body, the playground.

Perhaps being a mother of teenage sons has scrubbed your memory clean of the plights of girlhood, of that terrifying transition from controlled chaos to the free-fall of adulthood, of that magical land where you are expected to shed your frivolous fears and anxieties like dead skin, like a knight’s rusted suit of armor. Perhaps you never experienced many catastrophes. Perhaps your adolescence was a snapshot of wholesome, homespun Americana, equal parts privilege and determined obliviousness.

But in your world, are girls the proverbial Eve, or are they simply human beings?…

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