Awareness | Posted by Vicki S on 08/14/2017

Ending The Victimization Of Alleged Perpetrators Of Assault

Emma Sulkowicz performing 'Mattress Project'

Emma Sulkowicz performing ‘Mattress Project’

In July of this year, Columbia University settled alleged rapist Paul Nungesser’s lawsuit against the school for gender-based discrimination. Nungesser was accused of raping then-fellow Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz, who gained attention for her 2014 performance-art piece Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight).

Although Sulkowicz’s project itself gained a lot of media attention, the story behind it and her motivations for doing it were less popularized. Sulkowicz created Mattress Performance following Columbia University’s decision to not hold Nungesser responsible for sexually assaulting her. Sulkowicz had first gone to Columbia’s Office of Gender-Based and Sexual Misconduct and reported her assault on April 13, 2013 after learning that two other women had also allegedly been assaulted by the same person who she said raped her on the …

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Feminism | Posted by Kadin Burnett on 02/28/2017

#DearBetsy: Protect Title IX

Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos’s appointment as the United States Secretary of Education is monumentally problematic. DeVos has no background in education: in fact, her appointment will be her first job held in the field of education. DeVos did not attend public school, yet will have the authority to  make decisions that affect 100,000 public schools and 90% of school-aged children in the country. Even her alma mater, Calvin College, went to lengths to pen an open letter explaining why DeVos was unfit for her position.

Betsy DeVos doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of education advocates and sexual assault activists because she has committed to radical measures of reform, however. Rather, she is feared because she has been totally incapable of putting forward anything more substantive than an irritatingly murky

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Feminism | Posted by Sara Surface on 01/6/2017

A New Avenue to End Sexual Violence on Campus

We can't back down.

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 …

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Feminism | Posted by Kami Baker on 09/12/2016

The Problem With Stanford’s New Drinking Policy

Stanford University

Stanford University is home to a long list of notable alumni: John F. Kennedy, Elon Musk, Chelsea Clinton, John Steinbeck, Rachel Maddow, and more. While these individuals are change-makers worthy of celebration in our history books, a new name will forever be remembered in the school’s history for a far less celebratory reason: Brock Turner.

Turner isn’t a president, a journalist, or thought leader. He is a rapist.

His story, told from the perspectives of both his father and his victim, spread rampantly through our newsfeeds earlier this summer. Turner, a freshman, raped a woman who was inebriated and could not consent. He served three months of jail time as consequence.

Simply put, this is outrageous and this case is a clear tragedy. Turner’s decision to rape …

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Feminism | Posted by Minnah Stein on 05/30/2016

The Question All Prospective Students Should Ask Colleges

Don’t be afraid to ask.

Not too long ago, my parents dragged me to a lecture about the college admissions process. As a sophomore, I wasn’t all that interested in this information yet, but as soon as the lights dimmed and the presentation began, I found myself transfixed — and even surprised.

It turns out the admissions process is not just difficult in terms of getting in, but also in terms of even finding the college you want to get into in the first place. The college counselor presented slide after slide of questions students should ask their prospective colleges (and themselves) as they consider which school could be the best fit, including questions about median SAT scores required, the school’s geographical location and cost of traveling home, campus weather …

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Feminism | Posted by Rachael H on 05/23/2016

Is A Digital Tool The Key To Addressing Campus Sexual Assault?

We need to address campus sexual assault.

The stark reality of the high rate of sexual assault on college campuses is nothing new, and neither is college administrations’ resistance to addressing it. Far too many students continue to seek support from their respective universities after they are assaulted on campus, but still fail to achieve any sense of justice. Survivors’ accounts of their assaults are scrutinized to the point of re-victimization and perpetrators still face inadequate consequences.

I’ve seen this firsthand. I know many female students at my own Canadian university who felt no sense of justice after reporting their sexual assaults to campus administrators. For example, concerns about seeing their perpetrator on campus were neither heard nor addressed. Multiple students instead received rather dismissive feedback along the lines of: …

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Feminism | Posted by Aya on 04/1/2016

This Is What Happens When We Don’t Teach Teens Comprehensive Sex Education

We need better sex ed.

We need better sex ed.

In February, President Obama took an important stand for sexual health in the United States: He eradicated funding for abstinence-only sex education in his 2017 budget proposal — a decision backed by countless studies, expert opinions and anecdotal accounts of just how ineffective this type of “education” is. But even on the (unfortunately) off chance that our Republican-dominated Congress passes this program — which has cost almost $2 billion in federal spending — the damage of abstinence-only sex education on my generation is already evident.

As a college freshman, I have witnessed and experienced many examples of such damaging effects firsthand. This can manifest in unfair and frustrating ways, like the “pleasure” or “orgasm” gap that results in women not getting off as …

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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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