Yesterday, the atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins made comments about rape and pedophilia on Twitter that made many people angry.
From what I can gather, Dawkins appeared to have been tweeting over the weekend regarding religion and Israel, saying support for the Israeli state does not mean condoning the country’s current behavior in Gaza. Then he pivoted his examples — I would argue somewhat insensitively — to ones about about sexual abuse:
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The frustrating part for me, as a Hobart and William Smith grad (technically just a Hobart grad, because it’s actually two schools that share faculty, campus, dorms, and an administration), is that it’s not that surprising. It was well-known for my entire four years that the campus was what I should probably call “a less than safe space for women” but will instead call “kinda sorta rapey.” At the time, I genuinely thought it was because HWS was just a particularly shitty place (although I always really admired my professors), but now that I have some distance from there, I’ve realized that I was just a dumbass kid with no perspective: This is actually a national problem. It’s happening in colleges across the country, because apparently no one can figure out how to deal with this. And I think I know some reasons why. Read more on Cracked…
It’s freshman year of college, and Janie and Dave are best friends. They do everything together – hang out in their dorm rooms, go to the dining hall, walk around campus. Their friendship is great, until one night, they decide to head to a “fraternity party.”
At the party, Janie and Dave drink alcohol. When they decide to leave, Dave walks Janie back to her dorm room – to be sure she gets there ok, of course. Once inside, Dave confesses that he loves Janie. He starts to kiss her and gets on top of her. Janie is confused, saying that she’s not sure about this…
I’m sure you can fill in the rest.
This is the plot of a play in which I once starred, called quite aptly “The Date Rape Play.” It was the summer before my junior year of college. I was cast in the play — and, crucially, paid $200 — in order to perform it for groups of incoming freshman, who Needed to Know About Date Rape. The play was written by an adult trying desperately to be “down” with the way the kids talked and acted. Sample lines included: “Have you heard about the date rape drug, Rohypnol?,” “I don’t know, I’m worried people will be drinking alcohol there,” and “You got the look girl, work it!” My fellow theater kid friends and I thought it was the best thing we’d ever seen. Keep reading »
“My niece was given a date rape drug that weekend. She’s 20-years-old – thank God nothing happened because she was with some responsible guys that took care of her. She was safe because she was with a group of friends that realized – she said, ‘Oh, my god, I can’t feel my … ” and she started losing consciousness. Thank god the people she was with put her in a room, closed the door, and she didn’t come to for three and a half hours. … There is an epidemic going on out here in regards to the treatment of women. We have to figure out how we can empower people in different ways. … I’m not a conventional parent, which I take a lot of pride in. The first thing I had my niece do was sit down with my daughter and a couple of her friends and tell her about that experience. I don’t just sit with Willow and go, ‘hey, this is what Mommy thinks.’ Let me just bring in a little reality to validate what Mommy’s been talking to you about.”
This is Jada Pinkett Smith discussing about #JusticeForJada, the hashtag in support of a 16-year-old girl named Jada, whose sexual assault went viral on the Internet. While speaking at an event on Sunday night and then following up with US Weekly, Pinkett Smith revealed that her niece was roofied the same weekend as Jada’s assault. So the actress asked her niece to sit down with her 13-year-old daughter Willow and talk about the experience — not to scare her, I think, but to open her eyes to rape culture in a very concrete way.
After the jump, Pinkett Smith explained more how she is raising Willow to be confident and assertive: Keep reading »
In October 2013, a group of current and former students accused the University of Connecticut of violating Title IX by mishandling their sexual assault cases which occurred at the school between 2010 and 2013. The Department of Education’s Office For Civil Rights launched an investigation into the school and whether it failed to follow the gender equality law that provides equal opportunity and access to education.
UCONN still refuses to broadly take responsibility for its failures. But today it was announced that the school is settling with five of the students it is accused of failing. Keep reading »
As tough as it can sometimes be to foster young women’s interest in the science, tech, engineering and math (STEM) fields, an even greater struggle awaits once they begin a career there. According to a new paper published in the journal PLOS ONE called “Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees Report Harassment and Assault,” women in the STEM fields are likely to face sexual harassment by their superiors while doing fieldwork, especially in the most formative years of their careers. Keep reading »