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 This game seems to be reverting back that same, outdated and obviously wrong idea, where women, according to the law at that time, were still seen as the property of their father.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