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

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

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?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

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!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

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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My Hometown Just Experienced A Mass Shooting, If We Don't Do Something, Yours Could Be Next

You never think it will happen to you until it does.

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I was on my way out the door to work when I got a panicked call from my mother.

"Can you look at the news online?" she said quickly. "There is a mass shooting somewhere nearby."

My heart stopped. For me, Aurora, Illinois is home. I was born there, I grew up around the area and I attended high school there. My siblings go to school close by and my boyfriend works for a neighboring fire department.

How could my beloved hometown become the victim of the latest tragedy?

After calling my boyfriend, who was at the fire station getting ready to deploy ambulances to the scene, I discovered that it had taken place at a factory nearby. My anxiety hit an all-time high as I watched the updates on all of the local city Facebook pages and groups. Officers down. Gunman at large. Mass casualties.

Hours later, all of the facts came out. A former employee of Henry Pratt's Company, a local industrial warehouse, had recently been let go and decided to get revenge. He entered the warehouse with a gun and began to shoot at random, killing five people and wounding many others, including five police officers. He was killed by local SWAT forces.

I am the kind of person who is pro-gun and pro-gun rights because of the second amendment and all of the freedoms I believe we deserve. But that doesn't make what happened okay and it never will.

While this situation doesn't change my mind, it does change my view of the world.

Why would somebody decide that shooting former coworkers was the way to go? Why would anyone want to hurt others? These are the questions that flooded my mind in the hours after the mass shooting. I don't necessarily think we have a gun issue in America, but issues with mental health and valuing life.

We pass bills to kill unborn children. We repeal bills that take away healthcare from million. We devalue life in its most basic form and respect those around us to still have enough respect for each other's lives. We stigmatize those who need psychiatric care and expect things to still be alright.

This is not alright.

Our country, our system, our values, and morals, they are all broken and backward. We have let mass shootings become normal and violence becomes accepted. It needs to be stopped. There needs to be a change.

One of the people killed was an intern from a local college during his first day on the job. Being a college student applying to internships myself, this hit far too close to home. Nobody deserves to die, least of all in their place of work while trying to further their career.

Five people lost their lives due to someone's disrespect of them. Yes, a gun was the weapon, but a mind was the actor. I pray that someday, our country will return to valuing life and respecting others enough to help them instead of pushing them away. This is not the first mass shooting, but it can be the last. If, and only if, we make sure of it.

If you want to help the victim's families in any way, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses

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