ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: SAAM

“Wait…THAT’s What Assault Looks Like?”

One of those funny things that’s sometimes forgotten about being young is that you’ll pretty much take what you see at face value. Not that we don’t question the world around us, but if something is happening all around young people, every weekend, and people call it hooking up or they call it dancing or they call it flirting, it’s pretty easy to simply believe them. So when I was 18 and dancing with a boy at that party and he moved quickly to put his hands up my skirt without even showing me his face, I thought that’s just what happened when you “accepted” (read: didn’t reject) a dance partner. When at age 19 a guy I worked with got me alone and asked for “just one touch,” then… Read more »

Sexual Violence: Men Breaking the Silence

Jackson Katz in his TED talk about violence against women explains that the problem of discussing sexual violence is that it’s often framed as a “women’s issue that some good men help out with.” Granted, everyone is probably a little hesitant to have a man talk about sexual violence fearing that men often derail the discussion to focus on themselves. Well, I think discussing men’s role in sexual violence is a crucial conversation that needs to be had. More often than not, dominant groups with privilege fail to examine their power and privilege. Though a harsh reality, white adult males often have their voices heard over women talking about the same issue. Using their positions of power to create an open dialogue is important when men are the main perpetrators… Read more »

Sexual Harassment in the Lives of Working Students

by Moira Bowman, Deputy Director, Forward Together I saved up money to go to college by working in restaurants–and continued working at restaurants my first year of school. Some days I sat fancy people at fancy tables and served them fancy food and cocktails. Other days, I slung what felt like hundreds of plates of deep fried fish cozied up to big steak fries and counted the hours till I could shower off the coat of grease from my face and arms. I haven’t thought back on those experiences for many years–but recently my organization, Forward Together, began working on a research project in collaboration with Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) to look at experiences of sexual harassment and assault in the restaurant industry.  And I’ve been taken off guard at… Read more »

“But What About False Rape Accusations”: ‘Ally’ Derailment and Gender-Based Sexual Assault

A while back, a dude started coming to the feminist student group that I’m the president of. He was cisgender and heterosexual (cishet). I’ll call him DudeBro 1. Now, while unfortunately, dudes coming to feminist clubs to talk about dismantling the patriarchy isn’t terribly common, it’s not like DudeBro 1 was the first. And at first, he seemed to genuinely be a dude who, despite not knowing much about it, was interested in learning about feminism, gender equity, and so on. A few weeks after DudeBro 1 started attending meetings, this article featuring alcohol, my campus, the University of Kansas, and sexual assault was released. It rocked my campus pretty hard (you can read my article about it here) and following the release of the article, my feminist group canceled… Read more »

Seeking Justice for Victims while Dealing with an Unjust Prison System

Trigger warning: sexual and domestic violence I will be honest: I hate focusing on perpetrators of sexual assault. I like to focus my energy to make sure that the victim is working towards restoring themselves and that their needs are not ignored. At the same time, we have to think about perpetrators of sexual violence because without them, this issue wouldn’t exist. As a person who works in domestic violence, I often see the brutal effects of sexual violence on victims. I know personally, I struggle with the desire to dehumanize perpetrators of violence. When I hear about horrible violence, I want to send that perpetrator straight to prison.