"Today is a day for LGBTQ community solidarity...While thoughts and prayers are welcome, action is required. Today is a day to come out, to be seen, and to be heard, in honor of those whose day was stolen from them. Today is a day to remember where we started and why we started."– Milwaukee pride festival's communications director Michail Takachin response to the Orlando shooting.
What College Rapist Brock Turner's Sentence Says About Rape Culture
In a society where over six people are serving life sentences for nonviolent marijuana offenses, Judge Aaron Persky has handed a six month sentence to convicted rapist Brock Turner. A six month sentence that will surely last three months before being cut short for “good behavior.” A six month sentence at the end of over a year of litigation, during which the victim had to repeatedly recount the most traumatic event of her life to fight against disgusting attacks on her character and credibility. In her final statement to the court and her attacker, the victim described the tragic evening and the persistent trauma that followed. The victim, identified as Jane Doe 1, accompanied her sister to a college party, and ended up being sexually violated while she lie unconscious on the ground behind a dumpster. Two passing students witnessed the attack, confronted the assailant, and ultimately chased and detained him until police could arrive.
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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Undocumented UT Valedictorian is Cyber Bullied For Getting Her Diploma
“Valedictorian, 4.5 GPA, full tuition paid for at UT, 13 cords/medals, nice legs, oh and I’m undocumented,” tweeted Texas valedictorian Mayte Lara, along with a photo collage of her graduation. The tweet went viral, sparking both support and ire, with some suggesting deportation and the withdrawal of financial aid. Her Twitter account was eventually deleted. (Can everyone take a chill pill? This is a top student we’re talking about here, not one of the immigrant rapists of Trump’s twisted imagination.) Lara has Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, which allows for some people who entered the U.S. as children to work and study legally. (AKA “The Republican Party’s American Nightmare.”) Furthermore, UT spokesman Gary Susswein says that Texas state law “does not distinguish between documented and undocumented graduates of Texas high schools in admissions and financial aid decisions.” Lara has since told the Austin American-Statesman that her Tweet was meant to encourage others by showing “that you can accomplish anything, regardless of the obstacles you have in front of you.”
Mayte drops the mic.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Anyone else tired of the media talking about women as if every news segment is a Desperate Housewives episode? Thankfully, Paula Broadwell is on a mission to encourage the media to drop the word “mistress,” a gendered term that makes a personality judgment on a woman, has no male counterpart, and foists blame solely on a woman in an affair. (Like, look at that mistress scantily reclining on that boudoir chaise! What a temptress minx.) Indeed, even negative words to describe men have feminine connotations: for example, a weak man is a pussy. (Experience childbirth and then get back to us, guys.) Even general language use, like the pairing of certain adjectives with certain nouns, has a sexist bent. The Oxford Dictionaries use examples like “rabid feminist” and “nagging wife.” (Perhaps one wouldn’t be so “rabid” and “nagging” if male normative values weren’t dragging us down.) At least English doesn’t have explicitly gendered words like French, Spanish, and others. In some languages, all nouns are either female or male, requiring corresponding pronouns and modifiers. (And a whole host of gendered connotations.) How terrifying.
WHAT WE'RE TUNING INTO
According to some vocal podcast listeners, if you’re talking about women at all, you’re talking about them too much. The popular podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class, which covers lesser-known historical events and figures, has been criticized for dedicating too many episodes to women and woman-centric events. Though producers of the show ignored the comments at first, eventually they decided to analyze their catalogue to see if the complaints had any veracity. They separated episodes into five categories: stories about individual men or groups of men, stories about individual women or groups of women, events predominantly involving men, events predominantly involving women, and ungendered episodes. Ironically, they found there were more than twice as many episodes about men (45%) than women (21%) (and the highest percentage of episodes were ungendered.). This analysis in the face of those comments illustrates society’s tendency to minimize the visibility and participation of women.