Category Archives: Activism

#metoo

We all know that #metoo is a global movement going on right now, and it has to deal with personal experiences of sexual assault. It’s giving woman the platform they need to speak out on men who have abused them and taken their innocence from. But since this is mostly girls speaking out, what about the men? In an article I read, men are now reflecting more on the movement and how it is important to them. The results among men ranging ages from 18-34 was 23%  since the movement started have watched what they do, and tried to change their behavior while the 77% did not change. The news and all the stories have made ALL men think though and make them wonder if they have pushed their partner too far, and made them feel uncomfortable. Men are very oblivious to such things like the women who are in the metoo movement and don’t think they have ever witnessed sexual harassment.

LGBTQ Vulnerability

Link to article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/06/13/sarah-mcbride-gay-survivors-helped-launch-me-too-but-rates-lgbt-abuse-largely-overlooked/692094002/

Sexual assault is a form of violence that disproportionately affects women and minority groups. This can be seen from the rates of sexual assault on LGBTQ people. It’s no shock to me that simply coming out increases one’s risk for sexual assault. The article lists and explains the risk factors LGBTQ people experience including greater risk of alcohol and drug use, homelessness, poverty and lack of employment opportunities. It also explains the role myths about LGBTQ people play in the disproportionate rates of violence.

I found this article interesting because we give the #MeToo movement so much credit for allowing victims to share their stories and find support. However, the stories that get the most attention are those of prominent straight white women and a powerful male assaulter. I think the #MeToo movement is shifting in the right direction, but are we doing enough to allow everyone’s story to be heard?

Why is it that despite the staggering statistics on the rates of sexual assaults on minority groups the stories that get the most attention are those of primarily straight white female celebrities?

Aftermath of abuse: When is it okay to share another’s story?

This particular article posted in the Guest column by News24, is about the aftermath of abuse. The headline asks, “when is it okay to share another’s story?” This is an interesting article to read because we always try to encourage the victims of abuse to speak out, but we never concern ourselves about it being okay to share someone else’s story.

For those victims who are lucky enough to escape their situation or even for those who were not it is important that everyone come together to we lead lives of those who bare a substantive amount of fear. Because as women, we never know whether we are even safe from being taken under the raft of an abuser or a rapist, we must stand together. For those who cannot speak, someone has to speak for them because we cannot continue to hide if we want to see a change.

So, my question to you guys is, when is it okay to speak out? When will enough be enough?

City Press. News24. Aftermath of abuse: When is it okay to share another’s story?. May 27, 2018. <https://www.news24.com/Columnists/GuestColumn/aftermath-of-abuse-when-is-it-okay-to-share-anothers-story-20180527>. June 14, 2018.

Valedictorian asked to not speak of sexual assault

Lulabel Seitz said that she was told by her administrators to not speak about her or other students sexual assault experiences in high school. Almost scared away she decided to still speak on sexual assault during her valedictorian speech. Her microphone was then cut off because the school said that her speech, “wouldn’t help”. When her sexual assault happened the school did nothing and would not comment on cutting off her microphone.

Article: https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/10/us/california-valedictorian-speech-cut-off/index.html

 

What do you think was the school’s motive for not wanting her to talk about sexual assault in her speech?

The Pride Shield

This video was released on May 15th, for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. The video begins with audio of several reports of anti-LGBTQ violence from around the world. It serves as a reminder that in various parts of the world LGBTQ people are still the targets of prejudice and violence. The Pride Shield was created to show that if we stand together we can end the violence. It consists of 193 pride flags, one for every country in the world.

I believe the Pride Shield is an interesting concept and effectively symbolizes a solution to ending the violence. Imagine if all 193 countries took a stand against anti-LGBTQ violence, as the flags symbolically do in the video.

Do you believe the Pride Shield could ever be implemented? What cultural obstacles would we face if we tried to unite all 193 countries against anti-LGBTQ violence?

Harvey Weinstein Scandal

Currently the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement have been gaining more traction. Most recently, the Harvey Weinstein scandal has surrounded the press. I saw a video a few days ago of a speech Jennifer Lawerence did with Harvey Weinstein. Her body language looked uncomfortable and her words matched that. In this article, she is mentioned by saying she was not abused by him. She states that she did not know of the allegations but that they were disgusting and unacceptable. Do you think Lawerence could have been a victim but does not want to speak out?

 

 

 

https://www.sltrib.com/news/nation-world/2017/10/10/big-names-continue-to-speak-out-against-harvey-weinstein/

Incel: Movement to promote violence against women

WATCH: Inside the ‘incel’ movement inspiring mass violence against women

 

For the past couple of years, there has been a hate group called incel that promotes violence against women. The incel group started on various forms such as 4chan, reddit, etc. to increase awareness that women should give them sex. This group can be of any age range, as long as their males and have the same “issue”.These other issues would include rape, assault, and femicide. As stated before, this group’s main goal is to harm women because women are depriving these men of sex. There have been various attacks towards women, by this group, for years. The most recent was in Toronto in April.  Fortunately, Reddit eventually banned this group because of what it stood for. However, this movement is still out and is spreading due to the rise of feminists and other women right’s movements.

Let me just point out that this is the entire reason why women activists groups exist. Enough is enough with violence. It makes no sense that women have to be in danger because of sexists. This is also why the debate against women and violence still exists, because of men like this. Women and men will get nowhere as long as senseless groups like Incel exist. Just for an update, I also read that this group is now on the “darknet” and have had members successfully carry out their hatred towards women.

 

Bill Cosby Verdict

Bill Cosby, a famous icon, has been recently convicted of rape. Cosby has been sentenced to 30 years in prison, being charged with only three counts of aggravated indecent assault (O’Brien). There were over 60 victims that came out about their assault, yet he was only charged with three counts. I think this shows how much influence Hollywood actors, especially men, have in our society. However, justice is justice, no matter how big or small. The article I read included reactions from the victims following the verdict. They were emotional and embraced one another after leaving the court room. This not only shows how resilient women truly are, but it also showed that women are finally being heard.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/cortneyobrien/2018/04/26/cosby-guilty-n2475003

Student takes clothes off during thesis in protest of professor’s comments

Cornell student took off her clothes during her thesis presentation after her professor commented that her shorts were too short. Some students supported the professor saying that it wasn’t a matter of the shorts being inappropriate due to length, but rather that wearing the denim shorts was unprofessional. Letitia Chai said she felt that she was being forced to change her appearance to make others feel comfortable. During her thesis she asked others to join her as she stripped her clothing to reveal that she was simply another person of the human race and will not tolerate acts of hatred against her. Many students also took off items of clothing to join her in protest. The professor later stated that she does not ” tell students what to wear, nor define for them what appropriate attire is”.

 

Would this same comment be made if a male student wore the same button up and denim shorts? Do you think that the length of her shorts was an issue because people would “find it distracting”? Is this a matter of professionalism or a true discriminatory judgement based on the professor’s comment?

MTV Show “Catfish” Suspended Amidst Sexual Allegations

Article: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/17/arts/television/mtv-catfish-schulman.html

Videos:
Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTlOww0NTVI
Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWsnv-vLJh0&t=498s

Overview: On May 12, 2018 a former guest on the show Catfish, Ayissha Morgan, uploaded a video on to Youtube accusing the lead host, Nev Schulman for sexual misconduct that happened 3 years ago. In her video, she discusses that from the beginning she felt very uncomfortable around the host. She was on the show to determine whether or not this female she had been talking to for a while was catfishing her. From there, she stated that Nev would constantly question her sexuality and imply that she should get with a man to determine if she’s really a lesbian. During the taping of the show, she said that his actions and misconduct were increasing and that he wouldn’t lay off on his inappropriate comments. Morgan said that Nev would hit on her repeatedly for hours and that he even invited her into his hotel room where he asked her to “reenact what she would do with a woman with him”. She also accused him of writing a note asking “do you like me?”, commenting on her Instagram posts with heart eye emojis, DMing her inappropriately, and so forth.

Opinion: However, based on both of the Youtube videos and her accusations, my initial reaction was that I felt as if this was all for attention. Yet, I am still on the fence because I do believe in “innocent until proven guilty”. I am basing all of my opinions on the facts that Morgan has laid out in her Youtube video. What first made me feel this way was the fact that at the end of her first video she had an end clip that said “500 likes for part 2”. In the beginning of her video she said that she was merely making this video to spread awareness and not for profit, however, in my opinion a person who truly wanted to spread awareness would just upload the second half without asking for “500 likes” for the video to receive attention. The way she described everything and her body language made it very hard to believe. The editing was very weird, for the lack of better words, and she kept looking off camera but she claims it was at her mirror. Even with all of her accusations she has no physical evidence against the host. She claims he sent her DMs, commented on her Instagram posts and that she took screenshots but then her phone had broke so now she doesn’t have the evidence of the claims.

Now given all those facts, after the constant harassment and the overwhelming feeling of being uncomfortable alone around him, why would she follow him back into his room alone? Every time I have felt harassed by a person of the opposite sex or felt uncomfortable, I made every effort to avoid that person and made sure I was never in a situation where I would knowingly be alone with that person. In her second video she also claims that one of the female producers had sexually assaulted her as well.

Most people bring up the fact that if it truly happened, why did she wait 3 years to talk about it. People grieve in their own way and they choose to deal with things on their own terms. Even if that means speaking up about it 3 years later. I don’t see time being a factor in why her story seems loose or why it may be hard to believe. It was the way she went about it and the ending clip of asking for likes if the audience wanted to hear the rest of the story.

In our class we recently discussed “intersectionality” and while I was watching the video, it reminded me of the question that was brought up: Does social media give more exposure to the problem, as well as pull many more victims out of the woodwork. Even though it has only been 8 days, no other victims have come out of the woodwork claiming sexual misconduct against Nev Schulman.

Until Ayissha Morgan has physical evidence against her claims, I do not 100% believe her accusations. However, I also don’t 100% believe Nev Schulman to be completely innocent as well. Innocent until proven guilty.

 

What are your thoughts about this and how do you feel about this situation? Do you believe Ayissha Morgan’s claims? Or are you also on the fence about it as well?

 

 

 

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