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.
In popular culture, women’s breasts are often seen as the ultimate symbol of sex. Women are bombarded with a variety of consumeristic options to “improve” our breasts: we can buy numerous types of bras (gel, push up, “bomb shell”…the list goes on), which all seem designed to emphasize women’s breasts up to the point of actual exposure. It’s a thin line: women are encouraged to clearly demonstrate their cleavage, yet actually going topless is considered shameful and reserved for Playboy. In settings where men can acceptably go shirtless, like the beach, breasts “need” to be covered. But why do women “need” to constantly cover — yet simultaneously strategically expose — an ultimately benign aspect of our bodies?
Whether it was the commencement speech given during my high school graduation last summer or comments made to me by adults throughout my first year of college, I have heard time and time again about how much “hope” adults have for our generation. But while adults seem to think that millennials are universally progressive, the terrible truth is that there is still a backwards, women-hating ideology and political program firmly in place in this day and age that jeopardizes every inch of progress past feminists have made towards liberation. Our generation can’t be complacent, but must fight to not only maintain but also actually ensure and expand the rights that women have already been demanding for years. We need all generations working together to ensure the safety and freedom of …
I will never forget the noise that my mother made when she first saw it. We were navigating the streets of New York on a busy Saturday in 2011, running late for a hair appointment. She was walking so briskly that I struggled to keep up. But then she stopped dead in her tracks and made a sound of absolute disgust. I looked around, trying to figure what would make my mother risk being late for an appointment. Then I saw the massive billboard with a black child and the words “The Most Dangerous Place for an African American is in the Womb.” At the time I didn’t understand the message: I could think of hundreds of places that I felt unsafe as a black child. To me, volcanoes, tigers, …
My name is Lexie and I am the Founder and Creative Director of Attention: People With Body Parts, an international body-positive initiative with an emphasis on book-making, letter-writing, and collaborative projects. The project started in 2012 when more than forty people were asked to write to their fingernails, their skin, their cancer. These are the parts that carry stories and histories that layer our lives. They make the individual self-construct and self-destruct, and ultimately make us move.
Throughout this summer, we are working towards our next book, Portable Homes. It will have an emphasis on survivors of domestic violence and intersecting communities who have been told or forced to believe that their bodies are not safe-spaces. From now until August 8, we are collecting letters that survivors have …
Feminism | Posted by UnpopularPerspective on 06/19/2013
On Having Big Boobs: My Anatomy Has Nothing To Do With My Morality
As a kid, I was taught to believe many restricting things about my body, but one stuck with me more than others: the bigger your boobs, the better — but they better be covered. I accepted that. Then, out of nowhere, I got boobs (at the age of fifteen, I now have have triple D’s). And everything changed.
For a long time, I hated them. My friends teased me about them, I got unwanted attention, and I couldn’t (and still can’t) find a bra that fits. But over the years, I’ve discovered some positive things about breasts. They aren’t just objects for men to drool over and indulge in as they please (although that’s how they’re almost exclusively portrayed by the media): they are a friggin miracle that nourish and …
Take a minute and think about how beautiful breasts are. They feed babies, they provide immense sexual pleasure, and look nice! And yet we see breasts as shameful and are socially and legally forced to cover them (there are actually only two states in which it is legal to expose your breasts publically). Women who do show their breasts are either shamed or sexualized. Others take it upon themselves to tell her to cover herself up or to try and sexually harass her. Is this really what we want for ourselves, our bodies and personal freedom?
I believe that women should be held to the same standards as men in all aspects of life, and breasts are no exception. Men are free to expose …