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'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.

Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.


They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch


What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong

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