Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: rape culture

Young boys saying “no” doesn’t end domestic violence

An Italian viral video entitled “From a Slap” has been continuously showing up on my newsfeed this week with comments like “This gives me faith in humanity!” and “This is the cutest thing!” I wish I could say I agree, but I can’t. If you aren’t familiar with the video I’m referring to “Dalle uno Schiaffo” which roughly translates to “From a Slap” is the work of Italian news website Fanpage.it  and creator Luca Iavarone. The video, shot in a participatory documentary style, focuses on five young boys between the ages of 7 and 11 and their interactions with a young girl named Martina. The film begins with an off-screen voice asking the boys their names, ages and what they want to be when they grow up, but once Martina… 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 »

Can one street harassment experience speak for us all?

Earlier this week a video entitled 10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman was released and immediately went viral on the Internet. The almost two minute PSA was produced by a non-profit organization called Hollaback! whose mission is to end street harassment. The film features Shoshana B. Roberts in a black t-shirt and jeans walking silently through New York City for a total of ten hours as she receives over 108 harassing comments. The comments ranged from catcalls and whistles to men following Roberts for minutes at a time. The intent of the video was to start a conversation about street harassment and have people realize that Roberts experience is not unique when according to the website, between 70 and 99 percent of women are harassed while walking down the street at some… Read more »

Carrying That Weight Beyond a Day of Action

I am currently on Domestic Exchange at Barnard College, literally located across the street from Columbia University. Since the schools are located across the street from one another, we share the amenities, classes, and friendships. In essence, what happens on their campus is inseparable from our campus. On Wednesday, October 29, 2014, students and faculty from various college campuses will carry mattresses.  If they are unable to carry mattresses, supporters can carry pillows. Why? The purpose of the demonstration is to show solidarity with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence in a day of action called Carry that Weight. Sexual assault according to SafeHorizon, an organization working to empower victims of crimes of abuses, “is a general term that includes: rape, incest, child molestation, marital rape, date rape, sexual harassment,… Read more »

Assaults Interrupt Education of University of Florida Women

I’ve spent more time in the past week researching personal safety apps, the likes of Kitestring and TapShield, than I have studying for my classes. It’s only the third week of the semester and already, four assaults have been reported at the University of Florida, the school that I attend and the school where I used to feel safe. We have a text alert system here at UF and it’s disconcerting how many recent nights I’ve received a string of texts beginning with “battery just occurred.” The suspect in all four cases is the same, according to the text alerts we’ve gotten. A white, 6’ 4”, 200 pound man, it’s no wonder that he’s been easily able to empower all his victims. All four women—of various builds and looks, according… Read more »

What’s right and mostly wrong with “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.”

A little over a week ago, the annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event was put on by the Interfraternity Council (IFC) at Wichita State University. If you’re not familiar with these events, you can read about them here. This year marked the fourth consecutive year I’ve attended this event. The past three years I was a participant in the walk, with considerable support from friends and my wife. Each year I noticed more and more problems with this event in general, as I became more aware and as I engaged in discussions about the event with people much smarter than me. This year I decided to take on a different role. Our student-led URGE group likes to have a table there, to offer resources and information to those… Read more »

Uncovering Undercover Colors: A Cosmetic Fix to a Systemic Problem

Undercover Colors, a nail polish that can detect date-rape drugs (also known as benzodiazepines) in potential rape victim’s drinks, has proven to be highly controversial throughout mainstream media and the feminist blogosphere. The product invented by invented by four male undergraduates at North Carolina State University, is being marketed towards female identifying individuals to use to prevent their own rape. Like the many rape-prevention products that have come before it, under this nail polish’s cover of empowerment is just another product that functions to place victims of rape, harassment, and assault at blame. This cosmetic could be genuinely helpful and a great product for those who like to wear nail polish, those who can afford to buy it, and those in situations where benzodiazepines are involved. The service it will… Read more »

What it means to be a “Man of Strength”

“Pray not for easy lives, pray to be stronger men.” President John F. Kennedy once said these famous words while the United States sat on the edge of nuclear war. Of course, at the time he was referring to strength in reference to national resolve and fortitude. In his gendered statement he was expressing desire for Americans to hold strong to national values of freedom and peaceful compromise. Our modern world is sitting on the edge of a very different type of abyss. This is one formed not by nuclear bombs, but by a culture that has been systematically damaging the way men and women interact for decades. This culture is one that is too tolerant of objectification and dehumanization of women. Evidence of this tolerance can be seen everywhere… Read more »

Drinking, My Campus, and Sexual Assault: Or Why (Some) Men Don’t Care

A little over a week ago, an article by Al Jazeera featuring students from the University of Kansas—my campus—caused an uproar with my fellow student body members. Mostly because it features some dude-bros admitting that they actively eschew the notion of consent and use alcohol as an excuse to cover up assault. I could rehash the article, or link to the video that originally was featured with the article (and is now, apparently, gone from the website. Somebody has a wealthy lawyer in the family). But, I think I might just take the words right out of the bros’ mouths. A couple choice quotes: “There’s nights where we go out and we wake up and we are with a girl and we don’t remember anything from the night before, like,… Read more »

Dear Emily Yoffe: I Don’t Need Your Advice. Please Stop, Seriously.

Lots of you may have already seen Slate’s recent article “College Women: Stop Getting Drunk.” For those of you who haven’t, Emily Yoffe, the author of Slate’s “Dear Prudence” column, argues that because sexual assault in college is seriously linked to alcohol consumption (and I agree) college-aged women need to stop drinking so much, which will in turn make them responsible for their actions and their safety and apparently reduce the amount of sexual assault.  Yoffe also says that this doesn’t mean you don’t get to have fun in college because she herself has only been hungover three times and had a lot of stupid fun as a young person. Where drunk college women are irresponsible and blame things like alcohol and rapists for what happens to them, Yoffe “always… Read more »