Rape Culture On The College Campus

Rape Culture On The College Campus

Are we going to continue to allow our society to be uneducated on the topics of sexual assault and rape?
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This past week, I was able to attend an amazing feminist spoken word poetry show called Speak Like A Girl. This group consists of two girls, Megan Falley and Olivia Gatwood, who use their poetry to address serious issues that women everywhere are experiencing every day. This short 90-minute performance really opened my eyes and motivated not only this article, but also my investigation into the problems that women are experiencing, such as feeling endangered just walking to their cars alone, but more specifically rape culture on college campuses.

The Catcall And Why It Isn't Flattering

There seems to be a misunderstanding on catcalling. Men think it's flattering or a compliment. However, to most women that are being catcalled, not only is it downright demeaning, but in some circumstances there is a sense of danger. During the poetry show, the two girls asked the audience if anyone had ever been catcalled and almost every woman raised her hand. Then, they told us "Keep your hand up if you have ever felt as though you were in danger while being catcalled" and not one hand fell. How unsettling is this? Society is constantly telling us "Oh, he just thinks you're cute," but is it still flattering when he follows you in his car, talking out of his window while you're walking on the sidewalk?

An article on USA Today said it best: "Catcalling does not mean you are beautiful, smart, strong, or interesting. Catcalling means a stranger values you so little he doesn't care if he makes you feel uncomfortable or threatened".

Rape Culture On The College Campus

According to an article on New York Magazine's website, Sarah Edwards of the University of North Dakota surveyed a group of male college students in order to see what exactly their attitude's were towards rape. Her findings were that " [31.7 percent of the men] said that in a consequence-free situation, they'd force a woman to have sexual intercourse." However, "13.6 percent said they would rape a woman." So which fact is more frightening? That 13.6 percent said they would actually rape a woman? Or that 31.7 percent of men that took this survey do not consider forcing a woman to have sex to be rape? This just proves exactly how uneducated our society is on sexual assault and rape.

Rape is whenever any type of sexual intercourse occurs without a person's consent. This includes when that person is asleep or even when they are intoxicated. If a person is in any state where they are unable to give consent and they are subjected to sexual activity then that is rape. Furthermore, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), "among college women, 9 in 10 victims of rape and sexual assault knew their offender." Rape isn't just being attacked in an alley at night by a stranger, it can happen with the sweet guy that lives in the room next to you after you've had too much to drink.

So when will women gain respect? When will we not have to fear walking on the streets alone? And more importantly, when will the initiative be taken, especially on college campuses, to ensure that everyone is properly educated on sexual assault and rape. According to a survey by the Association of American Universities, "among female college students, 23 percent said they experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact". Are we going to wait until that percent doubles or are we going to make the change now?

Cover Image Credit: http://www.aau.edu/Climate-Survey.aspx?id=16525

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Media Talk

Lets be honest: the media sucks.

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The media is one of the worst things we have going on right now.

Think about it: What type of people do you see on commercials — lets say about clothing. They are all small, fit, and look like the perfect person. They never show someone who isn't fit — or god forbid — have acne. This isn't just in clothing commercials, its literally in all commercials. Kids toys, food and drink (even the sugary ones have small people enjoying a chocolate bar), games, music, literally anything that you can think of.

Now think of the people watching these, majority being kids. How do you think this affects their thinking? It makes them think that if I do/eat/drink/wear this thing it will make me just like the people on the TV. At some point kids begin to realize that yeah this thing is cool, but it doesn't do the main thing. It doesn't make them look like that person they saw, and that can cause issues. But first we are going to talk about the ads that are only pictures.

You are probably thinking "Well aren't they the same thing?" Well, yes but with pictures you have this thing called Photoshop which can make people face clear skin, white teeth, the perfect hair, the perfect body with the perfect curves, lines, muscles and look. These in my opinion can cause more issues than the commercials seen on TV because they can be so false in how everything it is portrayed. This will mostly affect people from about middle school and long into their 20's, and the affects that it has on people can be bad for their health.

For most, the way they go about looking like the people in the ads is by not eating. This can go from eating smaller amounts, going a couple of days of not eating much, to not eating anything. or they will over exercise to either 1) lose the calories they just ate or 2) push there bodies to their limit. There are two eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia, and both are used by people who feel they need to lose weight. anorexia is when people just refuse to eat much of anything, and they always feel that they are bigger than what they actually are. bulimia people tend to eat food, but then after they eat they fell guilty and find away to get the food out of there body which is usually by puking. Majority of people who have these eating disorders are females, but that doesn't mean males don't struggle with this issue either because they do.

When companies have used people in ads or commercials that don't follow the "norm" (aka plus size) people lose there minds. Saying "why are we promoting obesity" when it is such an issue in our county? Well here is a news flash: they aren't promoting obesity or saying that it is OK, they are promoting positive self image. The models or actors/actresses in these are bigger than what they should be sure, but they are not the people who are on "My 600 Pound Life" (those people are the ones that are obese) but those people in the ads? They are no where near close to what that show shows. People ask why are those kinds of people on an ad? It's because as a society, we have this definition of what perfect is and anyone who does not fit within that small circle are now imperfect (which is why people freak out when they see something different because it isn't the norm) which then leads to the eating/body issues. So having people who are not usually on ads help the "imperfect" people finally feel perfect.

So how about we make a change here. Have more realist people in all ads (and TV shows they are just as bad, but getting better slooooooowly), showing the good and the ugly because that is just life. Show more body types and not just the thin girl with big boobs, butt, and somehow be small everywhere else. Show more guys that aren't these muscle machines.

If we can change what is seen as "normal" then it will help everyone feel more comfortable in there own skin and not feel ashamed.

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