Tag Archives: consent

Frisky Q&A: Speak Author Laurie Halse Anderson On RAINN, Rape Culture & Consent

laurie halse anderson

Every year, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, when many of us participate in Take Back The Night speak-outs and marches to raise awareness about sexual violence in our communities. This year, the beloved young adult novelist Laurie Halse Anderson has thrown her support behind a fundraiser for the Rape Abuse And Incest National Network (RAINN), one of the main resources in our country for survivors of sexual violence.

Anderson is the author of Speak, a YA novel about 16-year-old Melinda Sordino, who is raped by a classmate at a house party the summer before 9th grade. Melinda calls 911, and the police break up the party, but she runs before she can tell anyone about the assault. When school begins, Melinda is shunned by her former friends for getting kids in trouble. Eventually, she stops talking almost entirely, grows isolated from her parents and tanks her schoolwork.

But Melinda is also mentored by a fellow outcast, an art teacher. She is able to name what happened to her and find her voice again. Published in 1999 and sadly still relevant in post-Steubenville, Speak explores the post-traumatic stress disorder that survivors suffer after an assault, but also the social ostracization of victims of sexual violence instead of perpetrators.

Throughout April, donations for RAINN will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Speak‘s publisher, Macmillan, in honor of the book’s 15th birthday. I called Laurie Halse Anderson this week and we spoke about the success of her best-selling book, teaching consent to teens, and recent controversial statements made by the president of RAINN about how “rape culture” doesn’t exist. Our conversation begins, after the jump!

Keep reading »

This Study Hightlights What We Already Knew: Assault Is Never The Victim’s Fault

"Nice Guys" Who Rape
Intent isn't everything, but it does matter. Read More »
Disclosing My Rape
She's started telling guys on the first date that she was once raped. Read More »
Teach Boys Not To Rape
On Steubenville High School and teaching boys not to rape. Read More »

A new study has found that in situations of sexual aggression at bars, most attackers are very clear on the fact that their victims are not consenting. The results made obvious what so many already know: despite claims of misperception, in most cases it is very clear that the attacker’s advances are unwanted by victims. Many attackers purposely seek out women who seem vulnerable or unable to consent, and “she acted like she wanted it” is never, ever an excuse. Keep reading »

California Wants Law To Require “Affirmative Consent”

todays lady news
  • California wants to rewrite the state law regarding sexual violence on college campuses to require both partners to give “affirmative consent” before engaging in sexual activity. The legislation hopes to protect victims who were sexually assaulted while drunk or on drugs and couldn’t/didn’t give consent. The bill’s sponsors said they hope that this would be a paradigm shift for the way that colleges handle sexual assaults on campus, where alcohol is often involved. [Sacramento Bee Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Unwanted Touching Is Unacceptable At Any Age (Yes, Even Age 6)

kids hugging

This piece is crossposted with permission from RebeccaHains.Wordpress.com.

In this week’s news, a six-year-old boy in Colorado was suspended from school. The reason? He had repeatedly kissed one of his classmates, despite her telling him to stop.

The girl’s mother, Jade Masters-Ownbey, noted that the boy’s behavior had been an ongoing problem. The boy had pursued her daughter “not once, but over and over … not with her permission but sneaking up on her…not without warning and consequences prior to suspension,” according to the Canon City Daily Record.

“I’ve had to coach her about what to do when you don’t want someone touching you, but they won’t stop,” Masters-Ownbey told the Record.

Meanwhile, the boy’s mother, Jennifer Saunders, characterized the boy’s actions as stemming from an “innocent crush.” Keep reading »

Playboy‘s Pro-Consent Party Commandments Piece Turns Out To Be A Hoax

playboy consent party commandments

Clicking through a Playboy article all about asking consent before sex, all I could think was, Who are you and what have you done with Playboy???

Hugh Hefner and feminists are uneasy bedfellows — pun definitely intended — even in the most liberal fields of Sex Positive-landia. But there was not much to gripe about over Playboy‘s 2013 Top Ten Party School Commandments, which extolled asking for  consent as the #1 way to have a good time at the party.  I had to wonder if they were hacked by techno-feminist pranksters.

Basically … yes. Keep reading »

University Of Edinburgh Bans “Blurred Lines” From Campus

blurred lines

It was bound to happen sooner or later: a college banned “Blurred Lines” from campus for being too rapey-sounding.

The student union of  University of Edinburgh banned the Robin Thicke song as part of a policy called “End Rape Culture & Lad Banter On Campus,” which is seeking to make the campus safer sexually. Students apparently became aware of the song after it was played by a school DJ last weekend, who was instructed by a campus employee to “fade” the song. Keep reading »

10 Things Everyone Should Learn In Sex Ed

Quiz: Sex Or LARP?
Quiz: Sex Slang Or LARP Lingo?
Can you tell this sex slang from this LARP lingo? Read More »
10 Things Everyone Should Learn In Sex Ed

Hold onto your pearls, pearl-clutchers. Oklahoma’s Tulsa School District has just announced plans to implement an unprecedented sex education policy. Cities like Boston,  NYC, San Francisco and Los Angeles are already teaching comprehensive, medically accurate, LGBTQ-inclusive sex education to public school students. One by one, American cities are announcing a move away from abstinence-only curriculum or worse, nothing at all.

Sex education across the world varies so widely that chances are, you’re having sex with someone who received different sex education from you. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all enter (…heh) sexual and romantic relationships confident in each other’s baseline knowledge?

In an ideal world, this is what we’d all learn before we go forth and spread our love. Or seed. Or legs (I’M SORRY). Keep reading »

The Soapbox: In (Reluctant) Defense of Dr. Phil

"Nice Guys" Who Rape
Intent isn't everything, but it does matter. Read More »
Drunk Is A Feminist Issue
Why women everywhere should be concerned about binge-drinking. Read More »
Too Drunk?
If you're a drunk woman who gets raped, will you be taken seriously? Read More »
The Soapbox: In (Reluctant) Defense of Dr. Phil

I never thought I’d write an article under that title but here goes.

Earlier this week, Dr. Phil asked over Twitter: “If a girl is drunk, is it alright to have sex with her?” The Twittersphere overwhelmingly answered “No,” calling Dr. Phil a “moron,” “asshole” and “rape apologist,” among other things. I don’t doubt the possibility that Dr. Phil (or whichever lackey mans his Twitter account) may have posed that question for lecherous or self-serving reasons. Yet as a feminist, this reaction left me honestly dismayed. Were we saying that a drunk girl can never consent to sex? That sex with someone who’s been drinking is always, necessarily, rape? Sure, Dr. Phil’s a total butthead, but I don’t think we want to make the argument that drunk sex necessarily means rape, do we?

And yet this is the exact argument being made by Carmen Rios, a former college sexual assault activist, who was so “shocked and appalled” that Dr. Phil (whose real name is Phil McGraw) had asked such a question that she started a Change.org petition encouraging supporters to call on McGraw to host a show educating his viewers on assault prevention. “Lesson 101 in my courses,” says Rios, “was that sexual contact without verbal, sober, conscious consent is rape.”

But, it’s not — not legally speaking, and not in practice. Keep reading »

Girl Talk: On Dealing With Rape Within A Relationship

Disclosing My Rape
She's started telling guys on the first date that she was once raped. Read More »
On Consent Culture
What would a world where consent was honored look like? Read More »
I Was Date Raped
Amelia was date raped in college by a guy she liked. Read More »
Rape Within Relationships

I was always utterly convinced that I was stronger and more logically driven than the average woman when it came to dealing with relationships. I remember reading stories about women who stayed with men after being hurt by them; who made excuses for a man’s violation or abuse, swatting away any logical notion of leaving and taking their dignity with them. For what? Validation? I never understood what the hell that was supposed to mean. Rather than reaching out to friends, family or professionals for help, you stick around to be validated by the very person that took something from you? That, and all the other obscure, irrational reasons that are so often cited. I was convinced that I was far too strong and sensible to ever stick around after being treated poorly. I’d turn and leave the asshole to fester in his guilt … at the very least.

Well, when it happened to me I didn’t leave. As for excuses? I made a trillion of them. Keep reading »

Radical Feminist Interview On Thought Catalog Takes Potshot At Sex-Positive Feminism & Kink, Questions Consent

Soapbox: Judgey Feminism
Elizabeth Wurtzel reminds us how anti-feminist it is to judge other women's decisions. Read More »
Teaching Boys Feminism
kids photo
How to teach boys to be feminists. Read More »
On Feminist In-Fighting
Can't we all just get along? Read More »
Frisky Feminism!
Everything The Frisky has ever written about feminism! Read More »
rosie the riveter

Last night, I was reading a piece on the blog Thought Catalog in which writer Marie Calloway interviewed two young women about the current state of “radical feminism.” I read it not only because feminism is my beat, but also because the current understanding that I have in my mind about radical feminism is based off what I know about Redstockings, and historical figures like anarchist Emma Goldman and Valerie Solanas and I’m sure is woefully outdated in 2013.

And the interviews with Alexandria Brown, a radical feminist/philosopher, and Jillian Horowitz, a CUNY grad student in women’s, gender and sexuality studies, were educational and interesting. (To be clear, in the piece, Horowitz said she doesn’t identify with radical feminism “in its current permutation” and added that she might be considered by other radical feminists to be a “funfem”/a feminist who only engages on feminine, fluffy issues.) Alas, the part in the interview with Horowitz that critiqued “sex positive feminism” and kink didn’t sit right with me.  Keep reading »

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