Friday, December 16, 2011

"Be Careful"

I've been thinking a lot this semester about advice I get from concerned friends and relatives, especially after the string of assaults this past summer. I got a can of pepper spray and a whistle from my aunt, and countless people warn me against walking home alone. I think I can safely say that nearly every college-aged woman hears this kind of thing (along with "don't drink too much,""watch what you wear," etc). I get it. This advice is nothing but well-intentioned. It's coming from a place of love and concern, and I appreciate the sentiment. I really do. But what I don't appreciate is how this advice is part of our culture that nearly always teaches "don't get raped" instead of "don't rape." 

A commenter on the blog Jezebel posted the following in response to a story about an awesome campaign in the UK to finally send out the message "don't rape." This was in response to the comment by adventure!: "This is highly refreshing in a sea of 'don't wear that sort of clothing, don't get drunk, don't flirt with dudes, don't walk alone, close your windows at night, wear a chastity belt, carry a gun with you everywhere you go, live in a plastic bubble, etc.'" BIP_Roberts' comment really sums up my feelings about why this kind of advice is problematic.

I agree with you 1000%, so don't misconstrue anything I say following 

The problem with that kind of advice isn't that it's not somewhat legitimate, it's that a)it mischaracterizes the more common occurances of rape, and b) it's presentation as a public service highlights the victim-blaming portion of the advice. 

One, this kind of advice is stranger-rape-centric and stranger-rape is far less common than non-stranger-rape. 

But, the victim-blaming aspect of that kind of advice is kind of based on a false dichotomy. In essence and intent, such advice is really just saying "be careful." It's saying you can do things to help minimize the likelihood that you are victimized. Let's take this out of the rape realm for a second to a less loaded analogy. If I told my new hip hop superstar buddy, hey, it might not be a good idea to wear that $60K to the projects, I'm not sure people would leap out of their seats in outrage. 

It does not unilaterally follow that because you can do things to minimize the likelihood of you being victimized, if you do get victimized it is because you failed to sufficiently guard against that. 

The fact that people are so sensitive to the victim-blaming undertone of this advice is due to the larger victim-blaming culture that surrounds rape in general. There are other analogous pieces of advice that aren't called out as victim blaming (don't flash your jewelry in the hood, eat right and exercise to prevent a heart attack) not because analogous advice isn't given, but because there isn't as strong a culture of victim blaming around these issues in general. 

I guess my argument is that if people really took rape as seriously as it need be taken and address rape culture head on, reminders to "be careful" wouldn't carry so much baggage. ...This is just a symptom of the larger disease.
I certainly agree with everything BIP_Roberts says, but I would add another point. For me, hearing this kind of advice is just a constant reminder that I, as a woman (and especially as a young woman in college), am likely to be attacked. Not more likely than not, but it is far from a vanishing chance. Our culture that accepts rape, excuses its perpetrators and blames its survivors victimizes women in many ways. We are attacked, we are forced to live our lives with caution and fear, and then we are constantly reminded by those around us that we should be afraid. As a SAPAC volunteer, I am part of the movement to change the big ones, but as an individual the least I can do is change the latter. I would rather my family and friends not constantly remind me to be afraid, remind me that I am not safe and remind me that those around me have been victimized.

So, thank you for caring about me enough to want me safe. It's wonderful to be so loved, but please stop the advice like this.

-Emily, NPA Volunteer.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Why Rape Jokes Need to Stop

Around finals time here at U of M, you tend to hear a lot of rape jokes in the form of "that exam raped me," or "I raped that exam." To some people, saying things like that is No Big Deal. They don't really mean it. It's just a joke. But I'm not laughing, and neither are survivors. A "Words Matter" campaign by U of M's Expect Respect has signs up around campus that say "I was raped, and it was nothing like your Stats exam" in addition to posters about the word "gay," "ghetto" and other hurtful statements that we hear all too often.

We can explain how hearing these statements can be triggering to survivors, how they feed into a culture that minimizes and even condones rape. And we should. But there are other reasons to stop rape jokes. This blog post outlines another, very important reason to stop rape jokes. Psychological evidence shows that rapists tend to think other men are rapists, and when rape jokes go uncontested or are laughed at, this reaffirms their belief that what they are doing is normal and accepted, rather than a horrific and violent crime.

So please, don't make rape jokes and don't let them stand when you hear it.

-Emily, NPA Volunteer.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bias in New York Times Article

            “Wife Who Fired 11 Shots is Acquitted of Murder”, a New York Times article published on its website on October 6, discusses the result of the trial of Barbara Sheehan, a woman from Queens, New York.  Although the article seems to portray a neutral opinion on the case, a second look at it more carefully leads me to recognize the article’s dramatization of Ms. Sheehan’s defensive action, and also the article’s implicit focus on Ms. Sheehan as a criminal.
First of all the title of the article says it all. If the writers of the article were trying to be more sensitive to the situation, why didn’t they call it, “Survivor of Intimate Partner Violence is Acquitted of Murder.”  Also, the article refers to the husband as the “slain husband” at one point.  Although, “slain” is often used in journalism, when one thinks of the verb to slay, it’s referring to a violent way of killing.  Why is this woman suddenly highlighted as the violent one in the situation, when it obviously is much more complicated than that?
             The article mentions disbelief of her true personality as one of the arguments in the case against her, and the word ‘compromise’ is used when discussing her final verdict.  Also, the authors of the article choose to include an idea presented by Richard A. Browan, the Queens district attorney, who, “said the case was a cautionary tale that those claiming domestic abuse should not take the law into their own hands,” which implies by its use that the authors are framing Ms. Sheehan to be at utmost fault.  With these components, the authors put most of the blame on Ms. Sheehan and fail to take into account any barriers that might have prevented Ms. Sheehan from acting otherwise.
             The article overall frames Ms. Sheehan in a negative way, leading me to believe that someone who might not look at this article critically would assume that Ms. Sheehan was "let off easy".  I also can't imagine what her kids might think if they read this article.  It is horrible to see the media- especially a prominent component of it, such as the New York Times- implicitly support the argument against a survivor.  This is just a friendly reminder to carefully read how news articles choose to describe their subject, taking time to recognize their often inaccurate and exaggerated portrayals of survivors.

Here's the link to the article:

NPA Volunteer

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Possible serial rapist label for assaults on campus

Just passing along this article by Ann Arbor's online newspaper about the sexual assaults in Ann Arbor lately. Mostly, it's pretty good, with a shout-out to our very own Holly Rider-Milkovich, but I'd like to set one thing straight. These women are not "alleged rape victims." The suspects are alleged rapists. Would you EVER say "alleged burglary victim?" These women have been assaulted, full stop. We just don't know who did it. The rates of false statements in rape cases are the same as any other violent crime. There are not women who go around screaming that they've been raped when they haven't, and it sickens me to see phrases like that in our newspaper. I'd like to ask all of you write in to the editor at expressing your disappointment with this language, or to the author herself at

Hat tip to fellow SAPAC member Kara Marsh for letting me know about this article.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sexual Assaults on U of M's campus

In the past week, there have been three sexual assaults on campus. While we know that most of campus shuts down during the summer, those of us here at SAPAC are available whenever you need us. If you've been assaulted, now or at any other time, please feel free to come in or call our 24/7 hotline and take advantage of our support. Though the blog has been slightly inactive (despite my protestations to the contrary), trained staff are always here to help you in any way you require.

For everyone else, please be aware of your surroundings. I'm not just talking about the common things like not walking alone, etc, but instead keep an eye out for anyone who needs your help. We put all the onus on the victims of crimes, but never mention how many people could have stepped in or, at the very least, called for help. If you see a freshman here for orientation wandering around looking lost, please just ask if they need anything. The worst that could happen is that they say they're fine, am I right?

I'm personally highly disturbed because the first assault happened right across the street from my apartment. I can see the spot from my bedroom window. I wish that I had known what was happening, so that I could have been a proactive bystander, just like I'm asking you to do.

Stop by our offices sometime.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

So long, SAPAC Seniors!

Yesterday, 20 SAPAC volunteers graduated from the University of Michigan.

These seniors are:

Catherine Martin, MA Co-Coordinator
Mark Navarro, MA Co-Coordinator
Crosby Modrowski, NPA Co-Coordinator
Stephanie Rau, NPA Co-Coordinator
Amalia Miralrio, PE Co-Coordinator

Erin Donker, PE Volunteer
Valencia Lyle, PE Volunteer
Hillary McLaren, PE Volunteer
Lilly O'Brien-Kavari, PE Volunteer
Kristin Reiter, PE Volunteer
Kyra Stefin, PE Volunteer

Michelle Loubert, MA Volunteer
Sohani Patel, MA Volunteer
Shelly Sahi, MA Volunteer
Shaziah Singh, MA Volunteer
Lisa Weichman, MA Volunteer
Bowei Zhao, MA Volunteer

Laura Campion, NPA Volunteer
Autumn Poisson, NPA Volunteer
Karen Wullaert, NPA Volunteer

We are so sad to see you go, but we are so excited to see how you change the world! Thanks again for influencing this campus and being amazing activists!

We'll miss you all!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Should we shut down fraternities?

Chloe Angyal over at Feministing just wrote an article about Caitlin Flanagan's piece (warning for date rape) over at the Wall Street Journal on why we should shutter fraternities for the good of young women. Caitlin Flanagan has a couple of good points-- she talks about a girl who was drugged and gang raped, and the Yale debacle of Delta Kappa Epsilon's "No means yes, yes means anal" that has led to a court case against the university. However, as Chloe says, it's not just about fraternities:
Yes, date rape happens at frat houses. It also happens at marching band parties, and at crew training camp, and in ROTC barracks and at chess club away meets. This is not to minimize what happens in frat houses or to tell women who have suffered sexual violence there that their experiences don’t matter. It is simply to say that sexual assault happens all over college campuses. And that’s what we need to change.
It's absolutely true that the atmosphere of fraternities is likely to lead to rape-- when you have a lot of guys trying to prove their masculinity, in a house that doesn't just encourage drinking, it requires it, and a lot of young women being plied with alcohol,  you're going to have a higher incidence of rape. But you can't just say to close the fraternities and all these women will be safe. Until you get rid of the atmosphere on the entire campus, you're going to have people raping others.

Furthermore, Chloe discusses the problem fraternities often have with the men involved, too. On our own campus, Sigma Alpha Epsilon was just shuttered in response to hazing allegations-- among other things, pledges were beaten with broomsticks, forced to drink regurgitated water with goldfish in it (why did this come back? I thought that frats torturing goldfish died in the 60s!), and pay for strippers, which to me is sexual harassment. Not only did University of Michigan ban it, as UM has no respect for Greek houses that haze, but the national branch of Sig A E has disbanded the local branch for a year as well. It's irresponsible to look at these problems and see only the women hurt by it, though the numbers are overwhelming. Something nobody seems to understand about feminism is that we don't want women to be better than men--we want the patriarchy dissolved because patriarchy hurts men too. For more information on this, I highly recommend Keith Edwards-- he came to speak at UM and I loved every second of his lecture.

Finally, I don't think frats have to be bad. Beta house recently came back to UM's campus after being banned, but it's distinctly trying to change. It's a dry house, and the president is making all of the members attend SAPAC training and genuinely attempting to make his house safe for everyone involved. How is dissolving fraternities better than that? Additionally, I think that, in the right hands, fraternities can create a sense of community among young men that is essential for building a better environment for everyone. We don't have to get rid of fraternities, but we need to get rid of the dangerous atmosphere that is destructive to young men and women alike.


Friday, April 22, 2011

So sorry about the hiatus!

Readers, I am so sorry about the lack of posts. We are all students at the University of Michigan, as you might have guessed, and holy shit it is exam time. I personally had a Spanish exam at eight this morning (no me gusta!), and we are all 3/4 dead and thus have been slacking on the blog. We haven't stopped keeping up on the news or working at the offices, but we've unfortunately let this fall by the wayside. Dear readers, we are so apologetic for this, but hopefully many of you know what it is like to be hopped up on caffeine in your econ test (by the way, bring a travel mug to Starbucks today for free coffee) or having friends throw things at you in the library to wake you back up to study for that evil organic chemistry exam. Please forgive us! Also, most of us will be leaving Ann Arbor for the summer for a number of places, among them Kentucky, Costa Rica, Washington D.C., France, and many more. I personally am staying in Ann Arbor for summer classes and work, so I will be trying my best to keep updating the blog.

Please don't lose faith in us, darlings!
Love, Briana

Friday, April 8, 2011

Eman al-Obeidy: Libyan rape survivor or Libyan whore?

I recently came across articles discussing an alleged rape that occurred in Libya. 
Eman al-Obeidy went to the press in a local hotel to try to tell her story of Libyan 
soldiers capturing her, raping her, and torturing her.  As she tried to tell her story 
she was taken away by police.  After this encounter there has been an interesting 
reaction from the media in how they have covered the incident.  In Libya they are 
show casing how not to support survivors and also victim blaming at its worst, by
calling Eman a whore, prostitute, and many other derogatory names making the rape seem
as though it is her fault.  Something I find interesting here though is that 98% of 
rape accusations are true, the same as any other violent crime.  So why do people think
Eman is being treated as lair? Also, this story also brings to mind for me how one 
should handle disclosures, and for SAPAC we use the approach BSR: believe, support, 
refer. Which none of these are happening with this case.  What do people think about

Here is another article I found if you would like more information: link

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Necto Party Flyer

As I was walking up the stairs of Dennison to Biology discussion today, I could not help but stop when I saw a flyer for a Stoplight Party being held at Necto on Thursday. Each floor had a different color flyer (either red, yellow, or green) and a little witty phrase to go along with the specific color. When I got to the third floor, I had to take my phone out and get a picture.
Gggrrreeeaaatttt. So basically, regardless of whether or not someone wants to be touched, it is completely okay because "we won't tell." Isn't this the definition of sexual assault? I am not sure if I am more disappointed in the makers of the flyer or the fact that these can be hung up around campus and most people do not even think twice.

-Lauren, NPA Volunteer

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Hostile Sexual Environment" at Yale University

A group of 16 Yale students and alumni feel that there has been a significant increase in the amount of negative sexual activity on campus in the past few years that has resulted in a "hostile sexual environment" at Yale. Some of the most prominent examples of this negative sexual activity include the case of the Delta Kappa Epsilon brothers. As I'm sure many of you have heard, back in October of 2010 DKE pledges went around campus singing, "No means yes! Yes means anal!" Another related case occurred in January of 2008 when Zeta Psi pledges stood in front of the Yale Women's Center with posters that read, "We love Yale sluts." While not all incidents have revolved around the misconduct of fraternities, they seem to be the ones that have received the most public attention. Many feel that the university has not taken these events seriously and that nothing has been done to enforce a change in this behavior. As a result, on March 31, 2011, these students voiced their complaints to the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. The OCR is now going to launch an investigation of Yale University for this hostile sexual environment that is in violation of Title IX.

Seeing as I am not an actual student at this university, I think it's hard to understand exactly what this "hostile sexual environment" feels like for the typical student. However, I can't imagine that being a female on this type of campus would be easy. I find it extremely shocking that a university, especially one as prestigious as Yale, would wait until a suit is filed against them before taking serious action on this issue. It makes me wonder what they were waiting for... did there have to be a certain number of these cases? Did the cases actually have to include some type of physical contact to warrant concern?

Also, why is that these fraternities thought that this was acceptable? Given that the brothers made their pledges say these statements, it is clear that they have some idea as to how inappropriate it was because pledges are always asked to do things that the other members would not want to do. However, why did they not realize that these statements were not just somewhat wrong, but completely wrong?

A link to the article can be found at!5787805/title-ix-suit-filed-against-yale-university-for-hostile-sexual-environment

Elizabeth O'Donnell
NPA volunteer

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Video Game Adds to Rape Culture

A game entitled “Duke Nukem Forever” is scheduled to come out in June after a long history of having a delayed release. Previously, it had a delayed release due to technical reasons, but now, its release needs to be prevented for the sake of women and humanity.
The trailer for the game (which, first of all, shows how absolutely ridiculous the game will be) shows the main plot of the game which is to war against the enemy for taking women, with an added note, “why do they always take the hot ones?”
There is a petition on to prevent WalMart from selling the game in its stores. The author of the description notes that the game also involves an alternative idea to “capture the flag”, in the form of “capture the babe.” This involves capturing a woman, throwing her over the shoulder, and spanking her if she refuses to cooperate.
This reminds me of the legend of the Roman soldiers capturing and raping the Sabine women in order to force them into starting a family. This legend was often depicted in art, where Roman soldiers can be seen carrying of the Sabine women over their shoulder. This game seems to be reverting back that same, outdated and obviously wrong idea, where women, according to the law at that time, were still seen as the property of their father.
This game needs to be prevented from being sold in stores. Some may argue that the game is fictional and is meant for comedic purposes, but without a doubt, this game promotes violence against women and adds to rape culture. I am so tired of women being objectified, seen as property, and moreover, being at the center of a joke which promotes violence.

Here is the link to the trailer:
*Be prepared to lose brain cells if you decide to watch the trailer.

-Lindsay, NPA Volunteer

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Would we ever say "The Alleged Mugging Incident" ???

Although I do not personally follow celebrity gossip websites, Jezebel posted about a domestic violence case going on with Lindsay Lohan's father, Michael Lohan. I clicked on the original link to just see what it was all about and as soon as I got done with the first sentence, I was already frustrated with the article. 

"Law enforcement sources tell us ... Lohan's girlfriend filed a report with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department between 9:30 and 10:00 PM tonight ... claiming they got into an argument that turned physical ... and she had some visible marking from the alleged incident. "

"The ALLEGED incident."

I just cannot help but being irritated by this language because gendered violence is the only type of violence where it would be acceptable to write a story like this. If a man were mugged in a parking lot we would never say, "He had visible injuries from the alleged mugging." We would not think twice about the validity of a mugging incident, yet society first doubts incidents of domestic violence before it believes them.

The language in this article shows how much work still needs to be done to break down the stigma of survivors and gendered violence. The media continues to play a crucial role in the movement and we must continue to critic even the way stories are presented. 

-Lauren, NPA Volunteer

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Presented without comment

Because I just can't think of anything to say to the fact that this is for girls between 7-14.


More joy coming out of H.R. 3

Anybody remember H.R. 3, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act?" Most people forgot about it after the "forcible rape" language was taken out (to be perfectly honest, it kind of dropped off of my radar as well). This past Wednesday, Thomas Barthold, the chief of staff of the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee, explained to the House taxation subcommittee, that if H.R. 3 was passed, women would be unable to use tax benefits such as credits or deductions to pay for their abortions. If a woman did so, and was subsequently audited, she would have to prove to an IRS agent that she had been raped, was a survivor of incest, had aborted to save her life, or that her insurance does not cover abortions. I know that the IRS likes to dig in our lives (I was once encouraged to save my doughnut receipt in case I got audited), but now they're in charge of investigating our sexual assaults?

The thing that really scares me is this: "The bill contains no instructions for how the IRS should enforce it. The wording of the legislation is so vague that the Joint Tax Committee offered several different interpretations of which parts of the tax code it might actually affect. But the law will unquestionably affect some portion of the tax code—an entire section of the bill is titled 'Prohibition on Tax Benefits Relating to Abortion.'" No instructions. When people are told to enforce, but not how or why, constituents get abused. Full stop. I'm terrified to see what happens.

Read the full article at Mother Jones, and when you stop vomiting, go to Hell Yes Happy Dogs. Just a bunch of happy dogs to clear your palate.

Love, Briana

National Young Feminist Conference

Last week, 6 volunteers from SAPAC drove out to Washington, D.C and attended the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference. The weekend was full of amazing, feminist speakers all dedicated to creating a world free of sexist oppression. Over 500 women AND men spent the weekend dedicated to taking their activism a step further. The conference was encouraging and energizing and all 6 of us are so excited about our work at SAPAC! Here are a few words from all of us about our experiences:

Who says feminism is just for women? I certainly don’t, and neither do the men that were at the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference in Washington D.C.  As a member of the Men’s Activism Program of SAPAC, it was encouraging to see the men at the conference speaking out against injustice against women.   There seems to be a stigma attached to men being involved in the movement to end sexual assault, but the conference proved just how necessary men are as our allies.  In our regional caucuses, one participant argued that men participating in programs such as Take Back the Night walks should not do so, as more women are survivors of sexual assault.  While this is true, it is important to remember that ten percent of survivors are males, and that many males serve as supporters and allies to survivors.  Myself and other participants in the caucus made this known, and a discussion about men in the movement ensued.  Many other schools have programs similar to the Men’s Activism Program, which means that men all over the country are standing up, stepping in, and speaking out.   So, to all of you male feminists and activists reading, know that your contribution to the movement is both represented and respected.  Feminism truly can be for everyone.
 -Judith Zatkin, MA Volunteer

Upon attending the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference in Washington D.C., I was given the opportunity to listen to some of the most influential women in our country speak about some of the most pressing issues emerging on the feminist horizon. However, what struck me the most were the words of a student involved in her campus's equivalent of SAPAC. She spoke about how far behind her campus's sexual assault policies were, and how resistant their administration was to change, and the stories that unfolded afterwards made me realize that there is still so much work to do. She talked about the difficulties students went through to jump the administrative barriers that were set almost impossibly high to work towards expanding the definition of rape to be inclusive of and recognize more experiences. She told us that only around 6% of schools nationwide has any sort of amnesty clause protecting survivors who choose to report, meaning a written policy to shield survivors who report their assault from being penalized for underage intoxication. Once the floor was opened for questions, a student from a school in North Carolina desperately asked for help, asking the speakers how they would suggest dealing with a university that denied that sexual assault was even a problem on their campus, and subsequently attempted to drive out the only survivor advocate on campus. The story of their struggles made me feel extremely privileged to go to a University who not only supports sexual violence prevention, but prioritizes it. We are lucky enough to have full-time staff members who do amazing work with survivors and create opportunities for students to educate others. We have campus resources available to the masses, and the opportunity to reach the entire incoming freshman class with our message. We are all extremely lucky to be a part of a program like SAPAC, and I think that this is something we all need to remember when things get frustrating. In order to keep doing the work that we do with as much passion as we bring to the table every day, I think it's important to step back and celebrate our victories. SAPAC staff, interns, co-coordinators, and volunteers, you are all wonderful and appreciated! Peace, love, and SAPAC!
 -Caroline Buck, PE Volunteer

Oftentimes my experience as a feminist activist consists of defending feminism to others. Whether it's convincing people that feminists don't hate men or that we do indeed wear the occasional bra, I've realized most people don't have a clear image of feminism. The more I explain, the more people seem to like the idea, some evening adopt the label. However, I have never been in a room with hundreds of self-proclaimed feminists who celebrate our identities together. That all changed at the conference. 500 feminists from all over the country came together to find a common ground in this movement and to help each other reach our goals. These women and men (yep, MEN :) ) were truly inspiring and helped me see that even though I feel frustration when combating negative stereotypes of feminists, the movement is only growing. This experience was extremely empowering and I see a lot more hope in regards to improving the treatment of women on campus. The six of us have learned so much about being effective campus leaders and dedicated feminists. It was an absolute honor to represent the University of Michigan at this conference and, with your help, I see us making great changes for our campus's future.
-Ellie Howe, NPA Volunteer

My favorite session that I attended was “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know about Abortion and Birth Control.” The speaker was Dr. Beth Jordan, a physician and Medical Director for the Feminist Majority Foundation. This was the last event I attended and was a nice final touch on the observations I had been making throughout the conference- that people working for women’s rights are amazing! All of the women who spoke at this conference are involved in an organization or field of work that is working towards obtaining more rights for women. It truly was empowering hearing about how there are so many people who care about these issues.
There were two elements that mainly attracted my attention during this workshop. The first involved Dr. Jordan’s presentation and the way she presented herself. Dr. Jordan particularly inspired me by her sureness of self and quickness to respond correctly, or even honestly admit that she was not entirely sure about an answer. She was so confident in the face of all types of questions related to the difficult topics of abortion and birth control methods.
The second thing I noticed was that many listeners had many misconceptions about these issues. Either they had received false information or they never had the opportunity to ask or discuss with a willing listener. I feel that this is a recurring theme with all issues involved with feminism. The general public simply does not know about resources or concepts as much as they should. I strongly believe it is because of a societal censorship of issues it does not want to admit to having.
Relating this back to SAPAC, from this workshop as well as the rest of the conference as a whole, I was inspired to want to know the answers immediately when a question arises about sexual violence.  I was proud to think of SAPAC as an organization that is working to create discourse on the issues involved with sexual violence, which have previously been hidden and repressed from discussion in our society.
-Lindsay Walker, NPA Volunteer

I loved every part of the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference, but one session really stood out to me. It was the session on Social Media and Feminism. While the session itself was really interesting and informative there was one thing about it that made it stand out from all the others. I had just asked a question about how we can get our information across to a younger audience, primarily middle school, and people gave me a lot of good ideas. My question stemmed from an article my little sister Haley had written about formspring for the teen blog The FBomb (which got picked up by Jessica Valenti, my sister is so cool), and she had gotten responses from middle school aged girls. After my question was answered a girl sitting up front raised her hand to ask her question. She said that she was in fact 14 years old and she values feminism in her life, but doesn’t know how to get people to take her seriously because of her age. It was amazing to see that this 14 year old girl, who was in a room with pretty much all college aged women and men, was so strong. No one had a clear answer for how she could be taken more seriously, which I find distressing. Why is it that we value age so much in our society, and why do we tend to dismiss young female views? As this girl sat back down, with no clear-cut answer, she looked very defeated. She wanted so badly to help spread the views of feminism to people in her community but because of her age, no one would listen. These young girls and boys are passionate about the issues that we are all passionate about, but we exclude them. We need to do a better job of incorporating the younger generation into our fight for equality. Letting everyone who wants to stand with feminism be able to do so, and do so vocally and without consequence, is something that can only make us stronger.
-Becca Schreier, PE Volunteer

The conference brought so many issues I hear about on the news and in class to life. It is easy to watch protests on TV and read about strikes in newspapers, but it is completely different to come together as a HUGE group of people and spend a weekend taking these issues head on. There are huge changes going on in our country and they all affect each and every one of us. My favorite workshop was one that focused on combating homophobia on campuses. Although the hour was spent talking specifically about homophobia, the way we discussed activism was relevant to the work at SAPAC. The most common reaction I get when I explain what I do at SAPAC to someone who does not know about the organization is something along the lines of, "Really....?" or "Oh.... okay...". People immediately assume that because I call myself a feminist, I must only adhere to all the stereotypes that go along with the label. During this workshop, we talked about the importance of recognizing intersectionality within each and every activist. You do not have to leave any part of you behind during your activism and embracing individuality only makes you stronger. Once you become a part of a movement, it is also important to check yourself and reflect on why you are still involved. With the climate of activism constantly changing, we all must evaluate what part of our cause keeps the little fire inside of us going. This idea really stuck with me because I have been working with feminist issues for a long time and there are so many different aspects that keep me passionate about the issues. It is really exciting to go back in time and remember the things you have accomplished and to look back at how activism has affected your life! Try it! The last thing that stuck out to me was when the speaker asked which school had any form of queer studies and it was only me and one other school who raised their hand. I am so grateful for everything Michigan has to offer and we are so lucky to go to a school that puts human right issues on the forefront of the agenda. I want to go back next year!!
-Lauren McIntosh, NPA Volunteer

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kappa Sigma Brother's "Gullet List"

Many of you may have seen the recent post on Jezebel about the "Gullet Report" email by a Kappa Sigma Fraternity Brother at USC. It is disgusting to say the least.

Starting off with the email itself:

"To the Distinguished Gentlemen of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity:
As I have mentioned I will be starting a weekly Gullet Report. In response to the Soft Report, I felt it necessary to offer a contrasting and more uplifting telegram. My theories and practices are elaborated in more detail in the body of this email.
Please send me all of your hook-ups in Tucker Max format (for those unfamiliar with this legend, google will suffice). These renditions should be elaborate and interesting. I want raw data on who fucks and who doesn't. In conclusion the gullet report will strengthen brotherhood and help pin-point sorostitiutes more inclined to put-out. From my experience when a female goes Ksig shes typically repeats.
For your entertainment read on and pause for note taking. My hope is that ALL of our brothers will follow this creed with pride and distinction.
I have come to write this memo to you today to educate on the only life worth living, that of a Cocksman. A Cocksman is taught to live by the two most applicable principles I know: The Pie and the Gullet. You may already be lost in trying to comprehend this logic. Do not worry this is completely understandable. By the end of this memo, you will not only gain a greater understanding of what it means to live, but you will have embraced a lifestyle. However, in order for this to happen you first must know a couple key terms.
Note: I will refer to females as "targets". They aren't actual people like us men. Consequently, giving them a certain name or distinction is pointless.
Pie: A target's vagina. Some of you may have heard phrases such as, twat, cooter, muff, snatch, poontang, cock pocket, DNA dumpster, fun hatch, cock sock, the fish flap, spunk-pot, whisker biscuit, or the rarely used, wizard's sleeve. All these terms are interchangeable and fine to use. However, for the purpose of this memo, I will refer to a target's vagina as pie.
Gullet: Usually refers to a target's mouth and throat. Most often pertains to a target's throat capacity and it's ability to gobble cock. If a target is known to have a good gullet, it can deep-throat dick extremely well. My advice is to seek out this target early in the night. Good Gullet Girls (GGG) are always scooped up well before last call.
Grip: Refers to the tightness of a target's pie. If a target is said to have good grip, your cock probably feels like it's in a vice when you are deep inside it. If a target is said to have great grip, your cock probably feels like it got caught in a Chinese finger trap. Gentlemen, don't let a target like that get away from you. Avoid the pie's that are extremely meaty and resemble a cold cut combo from Subway. More often then not, if a target's pie looks like a bag of roast beef on the outside, it's probably a Cleveland Sideslapper.
Cleveland Sideslapper: An extremely loose pie. The target's pie has become so loose because of overusage, the lips of the pie flap and slap it's inner thigh as it walks.
Pie-Getters: A man that is possessed with getting his nut off. He exists solely to spread his seed in any pie that will have him.
R.D.A (Raw Dog Assassin): A man that refuses to wear condoms because no feeling on earth can compare to a warm piece of pie coming in contact with your cock. Let's be honest, if it isn't raw it isn't real. Drawbacks of this philosophy are that you may have to visit the clinic more often than not, but a quick penicillin shot really isn't that bad (trust me).
Loop n' Doop: A target that is very easy to take down. All she takes is a good amount of liquor (loop) and she will be good to go for you to fuck her (doop). Be careful with loop n' doops, because too much loop and they will get sick and be useless entities.
Guap n' Drop: A target that is extremely difficult to take down. She probably doesn't drink very much and she probably has a high socioeconomic status. Simple tactics wont impress her. It will take a good amount of effort and time to crack these. You are going to have to open up the wallet (guap) and spend (drop) a good amount on her to finally get to the pie. Better hope it has great grip for all your diligent work.
Defending the Gullet Report:
You may feel this is an unnecessary initiative. Gentlemen, you could not be more wrong. Gullet Reports only exist to help pie-getters get their nut more. It gives them the knowledge so they can operate as an efficient, calculated assassin. It also exists to call out the pie-getters who may fabricate stories sometimes or tend to exaggerate their sexual encounters. You all know who you are, and should be ashamed of your actions. There is nothing wrong with having a fatty on your record.

Also, sometimes targets that look like a Mack truck ran over their face have the greatest bodies and some outstanding grip. He who is without sin can cast the first stone, but he does not exist. Having a bad mark on your resume is a slight drawback of being a dedicated nut-getter. Shit happens. But own up to your disgrace, as you will only make the situation worse if you don't take credit for dicking-down scum.
By now I assume some of you are wondering what constitutes a bad mark on your resume. To simplify the matter, I have come up with a rating system so strict that most of you will cringe when you actually figure out what your lifetime average really is. This scale was created because a friend of mine went on a spring break trip and came back claiming he fucked a 9. His defense was "she had to be a 9 man. She was the hottest girl I ever fucked." That was when my friend and I decided to institute an absolute ranking system that could be universally used and implemented.

The scale is a simple 1-10 ranking system, with outliers existing up to a -5. Anything worse than that and I suggest you go find the nearest cliff and end your sorry putz existence. You don't deserve to use your cock anymore and you don't deserve to live your life. Moving on, I am sorry to break it to you but no one in our fraternity has ever fucked a 10. Probably only a handful have put down a 7. Society has inflated your perception and lowered your standards. My scale is absolute. It takes nothing else into account but pure physical beauty. Anything you can see with your eyes is fair game, however, a target does not get a higher ranking if it has "great grip" or a "great gullet." How many times have you seen some sorry sap trying to justify fucking a poor piece of pie by saying "dude she gives great head" or "her pussy is so tight!" Many fatties and uglies do have great gullets and are particularly good at sex. They have to be more dedicated to their craft because no one would talk to them otherwise. Likewise, a target does not receive a reduced ranking if you get down to the pie and it resembles a slaughterhouse. It's unfortunate, but poor qualities like that do not lower her physical beauty.
I would now like to take the time to explain the rating system in detail. I will not cover negatives because when you are trying to decide whether a target is a -3 or -2 that's just sad for mankind. Moreover, since I do not personally know you I cannot be the judge of what pie you have fucked. I will offerer my guidance upon request because I consider my self a pie-getting veteran. My judgment is sound and I promise to give you my unbiased opinion. Seek my council in ranking a target, as initially this will be a difficult challenge for you.
To accumulate your lifetime average, have all the pies you have fucked verified by a brother who is also subject to these gullet reporting regulations. Then add up their ranks and divide by how many pies you have fucked. A good score is right around a 5.
To accumulate your "filth rating," add up all the pieces of pie you have fucked that are a 3 or below and divide by how many pies you have fucked. Make this a percentage. For example, my filth rating is at 12%, but I have exceeded 50 pieces of pie. Not bad.
10- The likes of Marissa Miller and Megan Fox. No one will ever get this.
9- If any of you are lucky to get so close to perfection, feel blessed. If you fuck this up, you should be lynched. This is your ceiling.
8- See #7
7-Wife Status. Be careful not to fuck this up.
6-Date Status. Be careful when you cheat, but still cheat
5-Apply the 5x5 rule. Toot it 5 times, and then boot it. Move onto the next piece of pie.
4-One night stands, but they are fairly attractive. Should not be repeats.
3-The filth cut-off. These are not attractive women, but sadly many of you have fucked these.
2-Still filth. Still Pathetic.
1-Anything this close to 0 is bad. You better be 3 four lokos deep to justify this abomination
0-Let me just say from experience, when calculating your lifetime pie accumulation, throwing a 0 in the mix really hurts the average.

Additional Rules for a Cocksman
1.) Non-consent and rape are two different things. There is a fine line, so make sure not to cross it.
2.) A target should maintain the hair around her pie. It's a matter of respect. Maintenance is preferred (I prefer pie that has been lasered increasing the aesthetics and feel).
3.) Do your research and find out what is a loop n' doop target and what is a guap n' drop target. Keep yourself busy by fucking loop n' doops while working on a guap n' drop on the side. It only makes perfect sense.
4.) When utilizing the loop power of 4 Lokos, be careful. A target on one 4 Loko is putting the odds in your favor of getting some pie. A target on two 4 Lokos is going to get sick and pass out. A target on three 4 Lokos leads to instances of litigation and lawsuits. Terms like "sexual assault" seem to be used in this case.

Pie Code
A pie code is essential to have so pie-getters can have a conversation in front of targets while talking about them and deciding which one to make a move on. The following references:
Blackberry: A black target
Blueberry Pie: half-black/half-white
Pumpkin Pie: A latin/mexican target
Pecan Pie: half-white/half-latin
Strawberry Pie: white target
Cherry pie: A young white target
Lemon Meringue: Asian target

Note: If you are so lucky to encounter a perfect piece of pie. I mean the grip is out of this world, it doesn't look like hair ever existed in the region, and it tastes like strawberry shortcake, then you are allowed to refer to the pie as crème brulee. It must hit the tri-fecta to be considered for this great and honorable distinction.
*Don't fuck middle-eastern targets. Exhibit some patriotism and have some pride. You want your cock smelling like falafel? Filth.
Do not recreate this email. This is for Kappa Sigmas. I will track you down and take your soul if you transmit this email to anyone outside our brotherhood."

You're KIDDING me. 

This guy has successfully targeted and offending a huge number of groups in one single email, objectified women in ways I forgot still happened, and named them as not "actual people" and therefore subhuman. 

This email by no means represents "frat guys" as a whole. This post is not about fraternities but rather misogyny and rape culture. Unfortunately, the guy that wrote this email has done a disservice to all the many, many good guys out there in fraternities and definitely played into the frat-guy stereotype.
He claims to want to "strengthen brotherhood" with this list, what a deluded mess. Note the "Loop n' Doop" target woman that he describes as needing "a good amount of liquor (loop) and she will be good to go for you to fuck her (doop)". Singling out women to systematically target with alcohol and then take advantage of has nothing to do with brotherhood. Remember - alcohol is the number one date rape drug. Dear idiot, you're promoting sexual assault - believing the delusion that there is a difference between the absence of consent and rape.

*Hint* --> lack of consent = sexual assault. Plain and simple. 

There is just way too much wrong with this guy to pinpoint it all. The email went public and, not surprisingly, was responded to with outrage from USC's student body. Kappa Sigma nationals are attempting to track the original source of the e-mail, and suspects the letter may be an attempt by another organization to sully Kappa Sigma's name. If the author is, in fact, a member of the fraternity he will face expulsion for his actions.

Friday, March 11, 2011

NY Times covers the gang rape of an 11-year-old with victim-blaming comments

This story has been developing for a few days, and I'm sure many of you have already seen it. Just after Thanksgiving last year, an 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by as many as 18 "men," ranging in ages from middle school to 28. The assault occurred in Cleveland, TX.

This story would be horrifying enough without what followed two days ago. A NY Times article written by James C. McKinley Jr covering the article included such victim-blaming statements as "how could their young men have been drawn into such an act?" and "They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said." The overall tone of the article is one of defending the monsters who committed this heinous crime, and focuses on how the survivor's assault will affect the town and the perpetrators.  It's disgusting.

There has been general outrage toward the NY Times, including a petition demanding an apology (which already has over 36,000 signatures). The Rumpus has a nice breakdown of why the response from the Times dodges the issue and passes the buck to those quoted (thanks Briana for the tip!).

There's also coverage of this story on Jezebel here and here.

Let's hope the NY Times can finally own up to their horrible coverage of this tragedy, and stop feeding into a culture that excuses perpetrators and blames victims for sexual assault. If you want to do something about this, send a letter to the editor or sign the petition.

-Emily R, NPA Volunteer

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Feminist Coming Out Day!

Time to raise awareness about a new event created by the partnering of a Harvard LGBTQ group and a feminist club! For most feminists, today is more popularly known as International Women's Day, but the collaboration of these two groups have created a new way to celebrate the day. Last year the first Feminist Coming Out Day was established and publicized by the creators. Today, the celebration is being publicized nationally and will hopefully only continue to gain recognition. Feminist Coming Out Day is a day for everyone, regardless of current involvement in the movement, to take a stand and be proud of calling themselves a feminist. As described on the website, the project "arose out of a frustration with the limited portrayal of the movement as straight, White, and cisgendered."

The feminist movement welcomes and benefits everyone! Take a free second to check out the website at and see some of the different ways people around the country are taking the day to speak proudly about feminism. 

My personal favorite... the website has a template you can download with the heading "This Is What A Feminist Looks Like" and all you need is a picture of yourself.  You can then publish the new picture to facebook or use the flyer for anything else- .

NPA volunteer

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Why Michigan Basketball's Student Section is AMAZING

Today is the day that Michigan beat Michigan State 70-63 in the last basketball game of the regular season. It was a fast paced and exciting game that took us one step closer to the NCAA tournament. It was also the game in which our student section collectively spoke out against rape. While MSU's Keith Appling, was at free throw line, the primarily male student section roared "no means no!" while jabbing their fingers in his direction. It could just be my SAPAC bias (although I highly doubt it) but the student section seemed to be shouting with more volume and vigor than I've heard in a long time. The rage and emotion behind their statement was palpable; no one in the stadium could deny it.

While these free throw chants are typically humorous ("you wear UGG boots" is one example) this particular one was an inspiring declaration that violence against women is NEVER acceptable. Men are essential in ending sexual violence and I'm ecstatic that our student section chose to be a part of the solution. If the person who organized this happens to be reading our blog, I want to thank you. In a world of victim blaming and doubt towards survivors, you offered us a glimpse of what we can achieve. Only with your help can we eliminate rape on campus, and in our world, once and for all. You have voiced your intolerance of rape, and the athletic community heard you loud and clear. Michigan difference, baby. Michigan difference.

NPA Volunteer

Here is MSU's Coalition Against Sexual Violence Facebook page:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Detroit Walk for Choice

As some of you may know, women's health has come under siege lately. The House of Representatives recently passed the Pence Bill, which will defund Planned Parenthood and all other organizations that use Title X funding.

In response to this, people all over the country, and even the world, organized Walks for Choice, in order to let everyone know that this bill is unacceptable. All of the walks took place on Saturday, February 27, including the Detroit Walk for Choice.

Despite the onslaught of snow, there was a great turnout at the event, which translated into lots of incredible signs.

The group marched from Hart Plaza, split in two, and walked down both sides of Woodward Avenue, to Comerica Park and back. Loud cheers erupted every time someone honked their horn. The organizers of the event lead everyone in chants, such as, "What do we want? Women's rights! When do we want them? NOW!"

My personal favorite was, "Two, four, six, eight. We're the ones who ovulate. Not the church, not the state. We decide our own fate."

This isn't a spectacular picture, but I couldn't ignore how fitting a fist hanging above everyone was.

A large group of students from U of M carpooled to the event to show their support.
We asked a woman to take this picture for us, and as she peered through the camera lens, she said, "Look at all of you. You're all so young and empowered and excited."

And she was right.

--Nicole Corrigan

Friday, February 25, 2011


A canadian judge, Robert Dewar, recently let a convicted rapist get off with no jail time because of "inviting circumstances," i.e. the survivor was wearing a revealing outfit. Let me make this very clear, Mr. Dewar: Clothes don't consent to sexual activity, past sexual history can't give consent, going off alone with someone doesn't give that person consent, and "wanting to party" does not mean wanting to be raped. Rape is rape, even if the survivor is not the "perfect victim" seen in the media. Rapists are the ones that deserve your blame, scrutiny and distain, Mr. Dewar. Your heinous victim blaming is nothing short of appalling, and you deserve to lose your job.

Here's the Jezebel article. And here's the linked article.

-Emily R, NPA Volunteer

Thursday, February 17, 2011

This is a great example of how cultural influence may impact the rate of sexual assault

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Consent is Sexy" Slogan Under Fire at CMU

A friend of mine who attends Central Michigan University and is a volunteer for their Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates (SAPA) group posting a link to this article in Grand Central Magazine (a student-run campus publication) regarding a recent t-shirt that SAPA produced for a fundraiser.

The shirt has the slogan "It turns me on when you say 'Yes'" on the front and "Consent is Sexy: Ask First" on the back with a pair of red lips.

The writer of the piece (which you can read here) claims that the slogan "Consent is Sexy" is "offensive" to survivors of sexual assault and rape.  She then goes on to claim that the shirt makes sexualized violence seem "cute."

Although she does bring in some valid points, she misses the point that the shirt is designed to raise awareness as a form of everyday activism. We at SAPAC use this and other slogans when we spread our message across our campus. We find it effective for several reasons:
  • It speaks truth. Consent in so many ways is sexy. We talk about this in SAPAC all the time. Many of us think it's a tremendous turn on when our parter asks if we like something or if something feels good, and the same effect becomes apparent when we hear those things from our partner. It seems as if the writer of this piece thinks that consent (and sex, for that matter) must always be a serious issue—what's the fun in that?
  • It focuses on a positive. Too often, we in the movement get accused of blaming people for sexual violence and looking only at the negatives, like statistics. Messages like "Consent is Sexy" counters this argument and puts a positive spin on our message. A message like this does not bluntly state "Stop Rape"; instead, it focuses on a positive thing that someone can in in his or her every day in order to make sure that they are engaging in wanted sexual activity. It is simply a way to make sure people are protecting themselves and their partners when engaging in sex—the focus does not (and should not) only be on the bad, less we drive people away from the message.
  • It does use humor, but humor is an effective tool. We talk about pretty serious issues in SAPAC and SAPA, and we always are conscious of our tone when we do so. However, we also know that humor is an effective way to get our message across. How many of us cracked a joke in a workshop we have given to lighten the mood? How many of us find funny videos or articles on this issue and share them with our peers? How many of us laughed at the jokes Dr. Keith Edwards integrated in his lecture last week? The truth is that although we talk about serious issues, using humor is an effective and less-offensive way to spread awareness about sexualized violence, and to make the messages of SAPAC and SAPA more tolerable to some audiences.
  • It raises awareness—enough said. Anything that gets this message across in an effective manner is a good thing.
  • Its message is a true form of everyday activism. Not only is the shirt itself a form of activism, but isn't asking for consent a form of activism? Asking for consent is one of the best ways to show your partner that you care about him or her.  If it encourages people to make sure that they have informed, un-coerced, clear consent before engaging in sexual activities, then it has done its job. It's things like this shirt that show people that you don't have to be highly involved in these issues if you do not want to be—rather, your everyday actions can make a huge difference for the sake of this movement.
I would encourage you all to leave a comment on the article page and show your support for SAPA and "Consent is Sexy." We must show that we stand by our allies in this movement and show folks what activism is really about.

Mark Navarro
Men's Activism Program Co-Coordinator

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Disturbing Rhetoric Surrounding Male Hormonal Birth Control

As many of you may have heard, active research is being done on male hormonal birth control options such as pills or implants. Some articles claim that these options could be made commercially available in as little as 5 years. An MSNBC article quotes Dr. Andrea Coviello, a researcher at the Population Center for Research in Reproduction, as saying: "It largely depends on how funding continues. The technology is there. We know how it would work." In short, male birth control options beyond condoms may soon be a reality.

In my opinion, this is great news. The more contraceptive options, the better. This option is especially exciting because it allows for heterosexual couples to enjoy the benefits of the most effective contraception, even if the woman is unable to take OBC for some reason. It is also a step in the right direction toward more sex equality in reproduction and contraception. Reproduction in general, but especially contraception, has often been disproportionally the woman's responsibility. While it is true that women will always have greater responsibility concerning reproduction, simply because we are the ones who get pregnant, this emerging research gives me hope that that may be changing for the better.

Unfortunately, one wouldn't get that message from popular media covering this story. The MSNBC article cited above, and the first article to come up in Google when searching "male birth control pill," is disturbingly misogynistic. The main problem with the article is what quotes from interviews the author, John Schieszer, chose to include. One such gem is the following:
"'It is time for men to have some control. I think it would empower men and deter some women out there from their nefarious plans,' says Brown. 'Some women are out there to use men to get pregnant. This could deter women from doing this. An athlete or a singer is someone who could be a target and they could put a stop to that.'" 
That the author chose to include this quote as a reasonable viewpoint is horrifying. Rather than taking the time to acknowledge the benefits this technology has for reproductive choice, the author decided to tout blatant sexism and misogyny.

The comments on this article were, if possible, even more disturbing. John Doe -1925461 writes:
 "it is easy enough for a woman to get pregnant on purpose and leave a be a man in the united states and try to fight for custody of your child is the most futile, depressing, and expensive ordeal you can imagine, I would rather be a woman and get raped daily for the rest of my life than go through it all again."
I'm not going to post it here, but the comment by InterestedWatcher is also worth a read. The main themes in the comments seem to be the following: women routinely "trap" men through pregnancy and male hormonal BC would "free" men, and STD rates would increase.

What do you guys think about this?

Another point the article makes is that many man would not use hormonal BC. One man is quoted as saying:
“'I would rather rely on a solution that doesn’t involving medicating myself and the problems women have had with hormone therapy doesn’t make me anxious to want to sign on to taking a hormone-type therapy,' says Hardin, who is single and a college administrator."
This quote alludes to a problem I imagine companies trying to sell male hormonal BC would run into. Contraception is viewed as a "woman's issue," and I believe a fair number of men would not consider using hormonal BC because of this. Some may also view it as emasculating, especially since many men said they will use it "only if their partners make them."

I am disappointed that a potentially game-changing technology was reported with such narrow-mindedness and misogyny.

-Emily R, NPA Volunteer

For more information about male birth control pill visit the Discovery Health website.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Uncyclopedia, this is unacceptable

"It's not rape if you yell surprise."

Ever heard this phrase? I have. Back in high school, I had classmates who would chant it as a joke. Today during a discussion, this phrase came up, and when I came home, I decided to Google the phrase and see just how far its scope reached. What I found, shocked me. 

The first result was a link to Uncyclopedia, which seems to be some sort of parody of Wikipedia. The Uncyclopedia article was entitled "Rape," and it is probably one of the most disgusting things I have ever read. Documented below are just a few offensive portions of this article - however, it does not even begin to encompass the disturbing nature of this page:

The second paragraph: "Rape is a necessary part of human interaction. When a woman does not do her daily chores, or smiles at a man, or goes out in public, or breathes, or wakes up in the morning, she is asking for it. Women need rape to stay healthy and happy."

A section entitled "How to commit rape," complete with a five-step process.

A section entitled "Asking for it."

A section entitled "What To Do if You Have Been Raped," with this quote: "Most importantly, DO NOT inform the police for at least two weeks. Taking a short time to come to terms with your trauma and well-deserved sense of shame and self-disgust will help them to dismiss your case. Coming forward immediately may make them believe the kind of cock and bull story sluts like you are always coming up with, and could land your rapist in trouble."

Listed below is the link to the actual page: read at your own risk.

In a nutshell, I am positively disgusted. I don't care if this was intended as a joke. I sure as hell am not laughing. This page is, for starters, victim blaming, homophobic, sexist, racist, and in completely bad taste. By reducing the act of rape to a joke, this page is not only contributing dangerously to our current rape culture, but making an already severe problem worse. Has anyone considered that some people may be reading this page and taking it literally? There is a five-step process TO RAPE SOMEONE on this page! It is NEVER okay to mock, degrade, objectify, or encourage rape. NEVER.



Monday, February 7, 2011

SAPAC Presents "Men Ending Rape: Why U-Matter" with Dr. Keith Edwards

Thursday, February 10th
Pendleton Room, Michigan Union

SAPAC's Men's Activism Program (MAP) is proud to present a talk with Dr. Keith Edwards, Director of Campus Life at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Keith is a nationally renowned speaker on the issue of men’s involvement in ending sexual violence.  Over the past eleven years, Keith has spoken at over fifty college campuses, presented over sixty programs at national conferences, and has published fifteen articles on the topic of men in the movement to end sexual violence.  He earned a Masters of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University and a PhD in College Student Personnel Administration from the University of Maryland, where his dissertation, “Putting my man face on": A grounded theory of college men's gender identity development, was awarded Dissertation of the Year by ACPA – College Student Educators International for 2007.  Keith serves as the Director for Campus Life at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and continues research and writing on the topics of sustainability in higher education, focusing on the integration of healthy environments, and social justice, as well as college men's issues from a feminist and social justice perspective.

Dr. Edwards' lecture will focus on men's role in ending sexual violence on college campuses and how they can become active members of the movement to end violence against women.

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Michigan Department of Psychology, Department of Anthropology, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the Center for the Education of Women, the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Counseling and Psychological Services, University Health Services, PULSE, Mesa/Trotter, and the Ginsberg Center.

This event is free and open to the public.