This blog is intended to act as an arena for the exchange of ideas about the gender climate on Franklin and Marshall's campus.
All viewpoints are welcome and though comments are moderated, we encourage your honest (and, if you feel more comfortable, anonymous) opinion, provided that it is presented without slurs or intentionally triggering language.
Jenna Marbles is a hilarious internet comedian who’s posted
over 100 videos, including some classics such as “How to Trick People into Thinking You’re Good Looking.” However,
her newest video is called “Things I Don’t Understand about Girls Part 2: Slut
Jenna defines “sluts” as women who sleep with a lot of men,
especially men they don’t know. She says
that sluts don’t respect themselves or their bodies. While she does make some good points about
safety (don’t get STIs) and preventing sexual assault (intervene if a girl
looks drunk and confused), she’s pretty anti-slut. To Jenna Marbles, sluts make bad
choices. Jenna claims monogamy is much
more fulfilling and that women have more enjoyable sex with someone they have a
relationship with. This assumption
bothered me…..something didn’t seem right, but what?? Then I discovered this video by sex educator
Laci Green argues that Jenna echoes beliefs that our culture
has had for generations—that women shouldn’t be sexual. While women have made some advances, they are
in no way equal to men or free to make their own sexual decisions. Laci says that Jenna is “slut-shaming,” aka
disrespecting certain women society labels as “sluts.” “Sluts” are just women who express their sexuality
differently than society wants them to.
Laci thinkgs disrespecting sluts is disrespecting women, and their
ability to choose who they want to have sex with.
So what do y’all think?
Is Jenna’s video good advice for women seeking happiness, or is she
disrespecting women’s decision-making abilities? Post in the comments! ** You may publish anonymouscomments as well. All comments are subject to review and approval from The Alice Drum Women's Center. ** - Lauren Dever
Let’s be honest: we can’t all be “besties.” But we do have a
responsibility to ensure the safety of each of woman of campus. But every
weekend, we, the women of F&M, are not meeting this responsibility. One in
four women will experience sexual assault by the time they graduate college.
You may not like that girl or may not even know her, but her safety should be
every F&M woman’s concern.
Like on most college campuses, the unknown man in the black
trench coat crouching behind the bushes rarely perpetrates sexual assault. Rather
it is our acquaintances, friends, or significant others who ignore our pleas
and our wishes. It can happen in the dorms, in a party, in the local bar. However,
as terrifying as this reality is, the women of F&M have powerful allies in
protecting themselves: each other. We can make sure that every woman comes home
safe, by simply intervening if we see something odd or potentially dangerous.
Now, it’s my turn to be honest. Although the statistic for
sexual assault is one in four, we never act like sexual assault or rape happens
here on our campus. Why? Is it because of the F&M bubble? Is it because
talking about sexual assault is awkward, embarrassing, and frightening? Or, is
it simply because we don’t know? I suspect it is a combination of the three, worsened
by one observation. F&M women don’t seem to care enough about one another
to abandon silence and speak up!
What does “something odd” look like? It can be a young woman
sitting alone on a couch, too intoxicated to stay at the party. It can be a
couple in the corner of a room who don’t seem to look all that ‘into each
other.’ It can even be the young woman at the bar who gets left behind. In each
of these situations, the women of F&M have power beyond imagination. We can
help this young woman get home safety, by separating her from the situation
with a simple “Come to the bathroom with me?” There are other variations of
phrases, but an intervention can change the course of a night.
So what happens if this particular young woman is fine or
you misread the situation? Nothing. Both you and she move on with your night.
However, the next morning, she might remember your intervention, your worry,
and your concern for a stranger, and she might eventually do the same for
another woman. It may be a cliché, but she can “pass it forward” and help
ensure the safety of all women here at F&M.
I mentioned earlier, that here at F&M, silence is easier
when the subject of sexual assault arises. Angie Epifano, a rape survivor from
Amherst College writes that for victims and survivors of sexual assault,
“Silence has the rusty taste of shame.” Epifano believes that it was her own
personal shame regarding her assault that impeded her from talking.
Here at F&M, we do not need to feel shame. F&M’s
women are passionate, intelligent, and articulate leaders. Others can’t shame
us into silence. If someone tries to embarrass you for intervening in a
situation that looks potentially dangerous, do not allow him or her to stop you
from doing what is right for our community. It may be easier to stay silent and
not draw attention to yourself, but why abandon a fellow woman if they need
your help? “The rusty taste of shame” has no place here on this campus.
This weekend, be aware of your surroundings and your fellow
women. If you see or hear something that just doesn’t seem right, act. In one weekend, we can change women’s
experience here at F&M. We can have a better, safer, more fun weekend.