Thursday, February 25, 2010

SafeHouse Center's Upcoming Training

SafeHouse Center, Washtenaw County's SA/DV Center, is now accepting applications for its upcoming Spring Training! I encourage you to check out the awesome things SafeHouse volunteers do!

Here are the training dates:

Fri, March 12, 2010 -
5:30pm - 9:30pm
Sat, March 13, 2010 -
9am - 6pm
Sun, March 14, 2010 -
9am - 6pm
Fri, March 26, 2010 -
5:30pm - 9:30pm
Sat, March 27, 2010 -
9am - 6pm
Sun, March 28, 2010 -
2pm - 6pm

For more information about how to get involved, please visit!


We Need More Men in the Movement!

This post quotes Jaclyn Friedman, Jessica Valenti's co-editor of Yes Means Yes. The post's picture really speaks to me...

Colleges Failing to Help Victims of Assault

This video was originally posted on Jezebel.

"Failed Justice Leaves Rape Victim Nowhere To Turn"

I heard this on NPR while I was looking for something to watch on the TV Guide Channel on the UM Cable Network...The story continues tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Blaming the Victim, Princeton Edition"

An op-ed piece was included in the Daily Princetonian on February 22, 2010 titled "The real 'Sex on a Saturday night'". Written by a Princeton freshman, it explains why the author believes women are at fault for their own rapes. The author uses a friend's personal experience as an example, and "evidence", for her article. The article is filled with blatant, disgusting victim-blaming.

The blog "Jezebel" has a great summary and discussion of the article.

There are currently 216 comments on the actual article (the most viewed on the Daily Princetonian's website), some for the article and the author, and some against:

Thankfully, the Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources and Education (SHARE) peer advisers and SpeakOut advocates that also attend Princeton responded with this article (the second most viewed on the Daily Princetonian's site):

Experiencing Rape Does Not Equal Getting Your Car Stolen

According to a lawmakers in Kansas, getting raped is like getting your car stolen.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Justin Lookadoo.

On February 9th, Justin Lookadoo gave an hour long speech at Grand Blanc High School. The main focus of his speech was aimed at the girls at our school, telling them to be smart about boys and avoid bad relationships. These are good points, however, his way of going about explaining them and his jokes were completely sexist and out of line. He said such things as, "Women are bad drivers," and "All guys only think about sex." He continued his slander for his entire speaking hour, masquerading his sexism in jokes and life lessons. Some of the stuff he said was true, but only for a select few. Everything he said he applied to an entire gender. Guys are this. Girls are that. He neglected the fact that everyone is different, and gender roles are a thing of the past. Even on his website, he has dating rules. My personal favorite is number 6 for the girls, "Be mysterious. Dateable girls know how to shut up. They don’t monopolize the conversation. They don’t tell everyone everything about themselves. They save some for later. They listen more than they gab." Apparently, shutting up is a good quality in a girl. I told my girlfriend this rule, and asked her to be quiet so I could talk, and I got the death stare. I wonder why...

His web site is covered in religious propaganda about gender roles that are as archaic as humanity. How comforting is it that in a society where religion and relationships are growing farther apart for good reasons that public speakers are preaching the unification of them? In his book Dateable, he says that a girl should only date a Christian boy, and that if a boy talks to a girl for more than an hour on the phone, he's the one (because communication is the only judge of how good a relationship is).

I was personally offended at his entire speech because I have spent my life trying to fight the socially accepted idea that men are pigs. I have treated every girl I have met with respect. I have a healthy relationship with my girlfriend where we are equals and don't hold to the normal gender roles. He said high school relationships were not worthwhile, because only 5% of them end up in a lasting marriage, and that you shouldn't put anything into their high school relationship because you'll get hurt if you do; therefore don't put yourself emotionally in a relationship, don't spend time with a person, etc. He failed to see the point of gaining an experience by being in a relationship in high school, to see how relationships work, working past problems with your significant other, and learning how to treat your significant other.

Justin Lookadoo wasted an hour of 2,500 kids' time trying to explain that men are sex-hungry pigs, and women are stupid and naive. His speech did not belong in this day and age. He was ignorant and childish.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

SAPAC in the Daily

Check out an article from today's Michigan Daily mentioning SAPAC.

Jessica Valenti Event--Huge Success!

For those of you who were not at last night's event, it was AWESOME. With the help of UUAP Women's Forum, MSA, and the Center for Ethics in Public Life, we were able to bring Jessica Valenti to campus last night. Jessica is the founder of, a feminist blog and online community, and the author of several books including Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters; He's a Stud, She's a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know; and Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape.

The title of Jessica's presentation was "Purity, sexism, feminism, and power." Following the 45 minute presentation, in which Jessica talked about feminism in general and current feminist activism. Jessica also discussed her latest book The Purity Myth: How America's Obsessions with Virginity is Hurting Young Women. Following her presentation, there was a question/answer session facilitated by a SAPAC volunteer and a book signing.

As one of the people responsible for the funding and planning this event, I am so happy at how it turned out! Jessica was truly an amazing speaker for SAPAC to bring, and we hope she can visit U of M in the future.

Again, thanks to everyone who came- all 350 of you! And most importantly, thank you Jessica!

Post your comments and thoughts about the event and Jessica's presentation below!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Comedy Not So Comedic

While watching random comedies for my Psych 250 media project paper, someone suggested watching 30 Rock to me. Primetime comedies are not exactly my cup-of-tea, but I had to watch 3 different shows. I pulled up my coding sheet and began to watch last weeks episode, Anna Howard Shaw Day. Low and behold, 2 very very disturbing things popped out at me. First, they were joking about the fact that one of the actresses had a stalker and how disturbed she was that he had stopped contacting her. The show went even further to have a meeting between the actress and her stalker, where they basically compared this "no more stalking" to a relationship break-up. Secondly, in describing a possible date for valentine's day for the network executive, Liz Lemon pipes up that the woman was on "Maxium's 'I'd rape that' 100."

This was my first time watching this show, and needless to say, it will probably be my last. I'm sure that this is not a pervasive theme in the plot line. What has happen to the old days of comedy? With a little slap here (3 stooges) or silly pranks (MASH)? Please, someone tell me this isn't normal...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The New Math on Campus?

An article entitled "The New Math on Campus" appeared in last Sunday's New York Times. The author of the piece deplored the "shortage of male students" on college campuses in light of affirmative action as well as speculated about what this supposed "shortage" could mean for female students when it comes to the dating scene. There are so so SO many things wrong with this article that it's hard to know where to start. Besides being extremely heteronormative and misogynistic, the article depicts women as shallow, desperate vultures who only care about "snagging" a man. Apparently a woman's main purpose for attaining a college education is not to get a good job, but to find a good husband. And forget about being happy and confident on your own -- according to this article, being single is worse than having swine flu. Because, let's face it, it's impossible to be self-fulfilled and content without a boyfriend, right ladies?

I feel like this article is particularly relevant to the University of Michigan campus community because, for one, we're college students, so these issues directly affect us. Further, the article bemoans the current college "hook-up" culture, an area which feminist Jessica Valenti heavily focuses on in her book, "The Purity Myth" (and also gave a really awesome speech about in a debate against the director of the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values... I've linked to it below.) Just in case you've been living under a rock, Jessica Valenti will be coming to speak at the University of Michigan this Tuesday at 7:30, so make sure you check it out!

After you read the New York Times article and develop your own opinions, I would also like to direct you towards popular news media blog Gawker's response to the article. Where many of us would probably label the Times' article as guilty of creating a "crisis" where no crisis exists as well as extremely misogynist, the Gawker correspondent argues the opposite: he claims that the article is misandrist (a concept which I personally do not believe even exists in the context of privilege, but you know, I guess arguing that misandry exists is the nature of privilege! Score one for Feminism 101!)

There are obviously a lot of people who feel very strongly about this topic, as evidenced by the over 150 comments in response to the New York Times article thus far. The Gawker response to the original article has generated even more comments than that. From my observations, the feedback around this topic is pretty thought-provoking and sometimes frustrating; however, it is still illustrative of some of the issues and misconceptions that most directly affect our cause.


New York Times Article: "The New Math On Campus"

Gawker Article: "The Dance-Card Problem: College Girls Outnumber College Guys, Misandrist Chaos Ensues"

Extra Credit: Jessica Valenti's "Speechifying: So-called hook up culture and the anti-feminists who love it"

P.S. - While this has nothing to do with the actual article that appears in the New York Times, as an additional point, I would just like you all to note the section of the paper that the article appears in: Fashion & Style. This is yet another example of the long-standing news media tradition of relegating any article that is at all related to women to the frivolous and seemingly unimportant "Style" section. If you've never noticed this before, I guarantee that you'll start noticing it now -- a lot of reputable publications do it. Because of course the only section in the newspaper that us silly wimminz care about is "Fashion & Style"!

- Katey Sill

Friday, February 12, 2010

stalking on 30 rock

In last night's episode of 30 Rock (season 4, ep 13: Anna Howard Shaw Day), one of the plot lines involved one of the main characters mourning the "loss" of her stalker.

Clip at Hulu:

"High"lights from the episode:

"That's a real problem in the celebrity community. But if Beyonce would just answer one of my letters, I'd stop trying to break into her house." - Tracy, on stalkers
"I always knew it would end one day. I just always thought it would be me in the trunk of a rental car." - Jenna
"Wow, Avery Jessup, she's hot. She was on Maxim's I'd Rape Her 100." - Liz

The episode downplays stalking flattering, about wanted/positive attention, about love. It pokes fun at and makes light of a serious problem. (And it, apparently, got the second highest ratings of an episode so far this season.)

Maybe the writers could have benefited from seeing one of SAPAC's Stalking Awareness Month t-shirts.

It's not a joke
It's not romantic
It's not OK

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Board Not Vandalized!

Just a little update... the SORC told us it had been, but it actually wasn't.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jessica Valenti is Coming to Ann Arbor SOON!

SAPAC & the UUAP's Women's Forum (with the help of MSA) is bringing Jessica Valenti to campus in a week! Come check out the event February 16 @ 7:30 pm in the Union. It's free!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rape Culture

I tend to struggle when describing "Rape Culture" to those who are unfamiliar with the term and came across this article from another blogger that puts it into words better than I ever could:

Thought it might be interesting for everyone.

Vandalized Diag Board

It has recently come to the attention (thanks to the SORC) that SAPAC's most recent diag board has been vandalized. Yes, vandalized.

The board detailing Jessica Valenti's upcoming visit to campus (2/16, 7:30 pm, Michigan Union) was CUT OUT by someone who thought they had the liberty to destroy our advertisement. But WHY did this person do it? Is it because he or she dislikes SAPAC as an organization? Because this person is against the speaker's personal views? Because the board referenced feminism?

Destroying the diag board of a student organization's (one that is run by the Division of Student Affairs, I might add) creates an unsafe and intolerant campus climate, which is something that concerns me. If SAPAC volunteers and student activists can't advertise upcoming events without meeting hostility from the community, how can we, as a campus, even begin to help and advocate for student survivors? How can we, as a campus, even start to end sexual assault in our own community?

If I haven't made myself clear, I think that this act of vandalism is completely ridiculous, and frankly, cowardly. If you disagree with something that SAPAC volunteers are doing, voice it. Call or come to our office. Comment on our blog or facebook page. Contact the University. Don't destroy a diag board that costs the University money and uses up the time of volunteers.

-Confused & Outraged Networking, Publicity, & Activism Volunteer, CM

Military Physicians Required To Carry Plan B

Who knew getting pregnant or getting a servicewoman pregnant on duty was punishable by federal law? Until recently, it was a toss up whether women on duty would have access to birth control. In that case, any sexual acts could end both the man and woman's career and cause serious repercussions once back in the States. Pregnancy is considered a federal crime for soldiers. Finally, (and way too late) military physicians are now required to carry Plan B as a resource for women fighting overseas. This gives women more control over their body and provides them with resources they have been restricted from before.

Check out some of the conversations going on in the comment section at the end of the article, particularly the one about the current marine force. I do not have current stats of sexual assault in the military, but do we think sexual assault and sexual violence occur at these rates even in our military? If so, shouldn't Plan B have been made available a long time ago?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sign a Petition Supporting the International Violence Against Women Act

Feministing just posted this link... it's to a petition to Congress to support the recently introduced International Violence Against Women Act.

Sign it now!

Monday, February 1, 2010


SAPAC is currently accepting artist submission for the 5th annual rEVOLUTION: Making Art For Change (April 1-April 9 in the Michigan Union). The themes of the show are gender, empowerment, sexual violence, and sexism. Submissions are due March 12. Please email for more info or to make a submission.