ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: rape

When it Comes to Consent, There is No Gray Area

I intended to write this post and have it up last week so it would be more timely, but due to a death in the family, I was unable to and had to save it for this week. This past weekend, Auburn University’s chapter of Alpha Psi hosted their annual Rodeo, an outdoor country concert held each spring. It is not university-sponsored, but it still remains something of an Auburn tradition. In the week leading up, the campus Walmart is rearranged so the essentials are up by the cash register: cowboy hats, denim, and cheap beer. People come from all over the southeast to experience the atmosphere and excitement. As luck has it, it typically rains the days preceding Rodeo, which means that everyone who attends is standing in the… Read more »

Know Your IX Boot Camp: A Recap

  Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Know Your IX Activist Bootcamp, an intensive two day long training dedicated to educating student activists about anti-sexual violence campaigns across universities on the West Coast. Know Your IX, a grassroots, youth and survivor led organization dedicated to providing students with the legal knowledge and organizing skills to end sexual violence on campuses, hosted the event. I came away from the training in awe of the incredible work students and survivors are already doing on their campuses. Badass student activists are not only holding their universities accountable, but creating a culture of consent and safety for communities affected by gender-based violence on their campuses. If you’re not well-versed in the intricacies of federal and state laws that protect students… Read more »

The Best Rape Joke I Ever Heard

Trigger warning: rape, violent language Yes, you read that title correctly. But let me explain. I couldn’t sleep a few weeks ago and was looking through videos on one of my favorite websites, Everyday Feminism, when I stumbled across this slam poem that absolutely took my breath away. I can’t tell you exactly how many times I’ve watched it since first discovering it, but the number is in the dozens. The poets call out many of the worst aspects of rape culture. For instance: “Don’t worry, we’re good victims. We won’t cry too loud, or demand your attention, or ask for trigger warnings.” I personally think trigger warnings are wonderful, and as someone who is triggered by certain things, I find them incredibly helpful sometimes. Unfortunately, there are many who… Read more »

Kesha and Rape Culture in the Music Industry

Trigger Warning: Rape Today the New York Supreme Court will release the decision on the case filed by Kesha Sebert against her producer, Dr. Luke, who has filed his own lawsuit, with Sony’s support, claiming that the artist is just trying to defame him. The decision will ultimately determine whether or not Kesha will be able to publish any more music. Currently, she does not want to work with her assailant and is, under contract, not allowed to produce with another label or on her own. According to Kesha’s lawyer, she is suing Dr. Luke on assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, civil harassment, unfair business, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Kesha says that these charges date back to 2005 when she was approached and convinced… Read more »

Let’s Talk About the Problem of Frats

Last week, the UCLA chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon made headlines hosting what they deemed a “Kanye Western” party in which partygoers showed up in black face wearing chunky gold chains and fake grills. When black student activists showed up to protest the party, they were mocked by party-goers and the validity of their concerns were questioned by the broader campus community. 100 miles to the South, the University of California San Diego chapter of AEPi was publicly reprimanded for creating an official chapter t-shirt that featured a scantily-clad woman serving bread emblazoned with the words “AEPi, Making Women Challah Since 1913”. And that’s just what happened within the last week on two UC campuses. These incidents are not confined to the University of California campuses, either. Earlier this year, the… Read more »

Oy With the Victim Blaming Already!

Trigger warning: rape, victim-blaming, and pure ignorance Sometimes you get a harsh reminder that rape culture is alive and well. Far too often that reminder is on facebook. I considered refraining from saying anything about this because my head was spinning and I honestly couldn’t figure out how to put my thoughts, anger, and frustration into words. But it’s been several days now and I can form coherent sentences about this, and I want to share. I wish I had taken screenshots of the post I’m about to describe, but I was too shocked at the time and it goes without saying that I have since unfriended the person in question. The other day, I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, as I often do, when I saw that an acquaintance… Read more »

Human Trafficking and Abortion Care

Human trafficking is one of the largest systems of organized criminal activity. It is frequently considered in the realm of international human rights. Because of lack of media coverage and education on human trafficking in the United States, I was recently surprised to learn that Lorain County, where my school is located, has one of the highest human trafficking rates in the United States. As a county with three major interstate highways running through it, Lorain is an epicenter for exchange. In Ohio, almost 1,100 minors are trafficked each year. Organizations such as Project Unbound and the Human Trafficking Collaborative of Lorain County are working to stop the epidemic, get people who are in hostage situations to safety, and provide care to survivors. Many of the projects to get help… Read more »

How are Jeans and Sexual Assault Related?

  View image | gettyimages.com In observance of  April’s Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, individuals wear jeans to bring awareness to sexual assault on April 23rd or 29th, 2015. How are Jeans and Sexual Assault Related?  In the year 1992, a 45-year-old driving instructor picked up an 18-year-old driving student, Pagliuca Rosa for a driving lesson. I was able to find the name of the perpetrator, but will not use his name in this post. It is important to speak the names of survivors. Some articles I have read state that the perpetrator drove her home while other articles state that she was abandoned and found her own way home. For more information about the case refer to: 1. Why Denim Day?  2. Sex, Lies, and Honor in Italian… Read more »

My Clarion Call

I am nearing the end of my Domestic Exchange at Barnard College in New York, NY. One of the more memorable experiences I had during the exchange was the New Student Orientation Program (NSOP). I felt like I was reliving my freshman year at Spelman College. All throughout, I was comparing my NSOP experiences. In a joint talk with Barnard College and Columbia College students, faculty members went over policies about sexual assault and sexual harassment. They discussed the steps that campus safety and the police will take. They also discussed the multiple ways that students can access counseling services and primary care health services. They stressed anonymity and safety of the student body. I was astounded to see two active student organizations that address sexual assault. Students Active For… Read more »

Rare, Not Mythological: How Rape Culture Hurts Men

Trigger warning for discussion of rape/sexual violence and rape culture. There are four truths about rape that seem to escape or get ignored by the collective conscious: Rape is real. Rape is not sex. There is no such thing as an “actual” (or a “true” or a “real” or a “legitimate”) rape. Anyone of any gender can rape anyone else of any gender. Yes, the overwhelming majority of people sexually assaulted are women. Yes, most people know their rapist, either because they are a friend, an acquaintance, or a relative. Yes, most rapes are “non-violent” in the sense that a weapon is not used by the rapist against the person they are attacking. Yes, rape is considerably under-reported. However, none of these facts invalidate rapes that are committed against men… Read more »