'No, That Exam Didn't Just Rape You' And Other Finals Language
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'No, That Exam Didn't Just Rape You' And Other Finals Language

It's time to speak up and change the conversation.

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'No, That Exam Didn't Just Rape You' And Other Finals Language

At some point or another, we've all been stressed out over finals and said or done things we didn't actually mean. Jokes are inexplicably made about rape and suicide, two issues that young adults know too well. They're totally inappropriate to say, and just like slurs about races, genders and the developmentally-disabled, they need to stop being said.

“That test just raped me."

Maybe you've said it in the past, or maybe you've just heard this awful phrase. Rape is one of the worst possible crimes to be a survivor of. Despite the immediate trauma a survivor goes through after being raped, they often experience PTSD, flashbacks, self-harm, sexually-transmitted diseases, depression, and substance abuse. Think that sounds bad? There are plenty of other consequences that aren't part of statistics, like losing your loved ones. More than 80 percent of rapes are committed by a non-stranger to the victim, meaning that this person isn't only in their lives for this one incident. The survivor has to see this person after that, and is often in denial that this acquaintance, friend, intimate partner, ex-intimate partner, or relative could have harmed them in such a manner.

If the perpetrator is someone the survivor shares mutual friends with, the survivor may be hesitant to share his/her story for fear of not being believed or even ruining his/her friendships by accusing the perpetrator. This can lead the survivor to withdraw from their social circles and even experience depression. An exam or large workload is so unbelievably inequitable to what a survivor goes through, it's a wonder that saying a test “raped" you is tolerated on campuses across the nation.

“I'm going to kill myself."

This phrase is definitely said more colloquially out of frustration with schoolwork than the aforementioned one, especially around midterm and final weeks, but that doesn't make it any more acceptable. In 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 41,149 suicides were committed, making it the tenth leading cause of death in America. This number rounds out to an American committing suicide every 12.8 minutes. The sad truth is that if someone said they were going to kill themselves, most of us wouldn't immediately take this person seriously because of how common this is said, when it may be a plea for help.

Related to eliminating non-inclusive language recently in Greek life, colleges everywhere are cracking down on using proper recruitment terms. While it once may have been okay to call new members "pledges," it isn't anymore because it is demeaning. This is done in order to maintain the sanctity of this recruitment process that may define girls' college careers and lives. Another term that has become highly unpopular in recent years is “suicide voting." This term refers to the final process of formal recruitment when potential new members rank the sororities they would accept a bid from.

If a potential new member only ranks one, making it her only option, in the past this action has been referred to as “suicide voting" or "suiciding." Now this action is rightfully being called “single-selecting" in order to maintain inclusive, respectful language within the Greek community. When I joined Greek life, the thought that this phrase could trigger an emotional tie for someone never crossed my mind because, no one had spoken up about it before. It's up to us to change the talk around our campuses, which the Greek community has begun to do.

If we do this same process of replacing the phrases we use with more respectful ones with our daily language, we can work to create a campus culture that we can be proud of. You never know what someone's going through in their lives or has gone through in the past, making it imperative now more than ever, that we keep our language inclusive and strive to hold each other to a higher standard.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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