Cute Is What We Aim For Perpetuates Rape Culture and Shames Fans

Cute Is What We Aim For Perpetuates Rape Culture and Shames Fans

Maybe their band name should be Rape Is What We Aim For.

The past year or two have been filled with 10 year anniversary tours from pop punk and emo bands, celebrating specific albums. It started out with favorites from the scene, like Taking Back Sunday and Motion City Soundtrack, but has expanded to be something that ALL pop punk/emo bands from the 2005 era are doing - including ones that shouldn't reunite at all.

Take Cute Is What We Aim For (CIWWAF), for example. First off, the band name was ridiculous in 2006, and is even more ridiculous now. Not to mention, this band never had a massive following like other cult favorites. The album that sparked the anniversary tour, The Same Blood Old Rush With A New Touch, is the only album of theirs that got any traction.

Admittedly, I got caught up in the excitement of bands I had never seen live during their prime time reuniting, and purchased tickets to their show at Webster Hall's Marlin Room as soon as tickets went on sale. The other week I began prepping myself for the concert, and found myself very distraught.

I did not notice when I was a wide-eyed teenage who casually liked this band, but the lyrics from their debut album are dripping with misogyny and rape tendencies. The most offensive song, I find, is "The Fourth Drink Instinct," where the singer, Shaant Timothy, relays a story of an underage girl sneaking into a bar with a fake ID, having too much to drink, and being coerced into a one night stand by a stranger who has no regard for her level of intoxication.

Other songs on the album include lyrics such as, "In every circle of friends there's a whore..." and "her bone structure screams 'touch her!' 'touch her!,' and more than I can't even stomach to write down. Needless to say, I regretted buying those tickets.

Then matters got worse. The day before the show a friend highlighted this article to me. Shaant had taken to Facebook to comment on the Brock Turner case, and said "rape culture isn't a thing." He went on to victim blame and say he's never encountered anyone who has ever set out with an intention to rape another human.

Alright, bro. Listen carefully:

Rape culture is real. Very real.

His post is enraging and wrong on every possible level. Most people, even if they are unaware of it, know rapists. Someone in your community has forced someone else into a sexual act they did not consent to - I can name far too many friends this has happened to, and name men who have assaulted a woman.

And news flash Shaant, victim blaming is at the core of rape culture and perpetuates the notion that the man committing the rape is not in the wrong. Blame it on the victim's intoxication level, attire, or attitude, and you're part of the problem.

Rightfully so, Shaant was met with an onslaught of backlash after his post broke. He later apologized and said his eyes had been opened and blah blah blah followed by some more bullshit.

Fast forward to the night of the show. I decided to go because I didn't want to leave my friend I had made plans with hanging, and was curious if this incident would be addressed at all. It was.

In the instrumental break of "The Fourth Drink Instinct," Shaant made a statement about predators. And told the audience, which consisted overwhelmingly of young girls (where did they come from, this was a 10 year anniversary tour?) to be on their guard at all times because "there are people out there looking to hurt you." It was the most insincere, back handed, textbook PR speech I have ever heard. It was obvious he did not have any good intentions behind his words, and his words were STILL flawed. He still put the responsibility on the women in the room to make sure they didn't get raped. My skin was crawling and I began screaming towards the stage in response (mostly "F*** you!"), and was given death stares and attitude from the girls in front of me in the crowd.

The next night, CIWWAF played Union Transfer in Philadelphia. A friend of mine was at the show and relayed even worse events to me. A fan had made it up to the front of the crowd and Shaant noticed her, allegedly from her screaming that she was a rape victim and flipping him off. Shaant pulled her on stage and he said into the microphone that she was "disrupting and ruining the show for everyone."

Let me repeat that: he pulled her on stage and publicly shamed her for being raped.

Why is this band still backed by a label? Why is their tour selling out? Why do they have another album being released?

No one should support musicians who make women feel at best uncomfortable, at worst unwelcome and threatened, at their shows. Live music should be a safe space

Please speak up and let others know when they are supporting an artist who perpetuates rape culture. Please stop supporting artists who victim blame and preach sexism and misogyny. Please help create safe spaces for women and victims of sexual violence.

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

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There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

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Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

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Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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The Power Of Reading A Good Book

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Like most millennial/gen Z folks, I spend a good amount of my free time on YouTube. And as a frequent consumer of YouTube content, I have learned that ads and sponsors have become a quotidian part of almost all YouTube videos with successful creators. Most of the time, the ads are tolerable and the products are often cool and potentially useful.

However, there is one ad that I see time and time again that always bothers me. is a website/app for audio-books. Usually, YouTubers offer one free audio book if you use their promo code, and they talk about how much they personally enjoy the audio-book service. They usually say this by explaining that they simply don't have time to read, and the only way they can experience a good book is by listening to it.

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Reading also forces us to use our imagination and reopen our sense of childish wonder, which is a part of ourselves that we all still have, even when we grow up. There is no story that can be created better than the way we picture it in our own mind, which is why reading is one of the best forms of entertainment. We, as readers, get the chance to create our own story, picturing the characters and setting exactly the way we want to. It is truly an amazing thing, but it requires concentration without a wandering mind.

Furthermore, setting aside time to enjoy a good book should not be considered an un-achievable luxury in our technological age of social media and constant stimulation. Because of the infinite knowledge that is at our fingertips thanks to the internet, our attention spans are growing shorter and shorter, and our ability to calm our minds down from all that stimulation is only lessening, making us even more stressed and unhappy.

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So, even though audio-books can be convenient at times, it is important for us to remember the power of reading a good book. Even when we're overwhelmed with work or school, we must remember that setting aside a small amount of time to read can make a big difference, and can help us stay more relaxed and engaged with stories that will always remain an integral part of our culture and our humanity.

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