I’m sorry for the disappearing act but as we all know Spring Semester can get hectic, especially Junior year for me. I’ve had papers internship interviews and planning the rest of my life. So yeah life has been a little crazy. BUT I’m back and just in time for this gorgeous spring weather I know we’re all loving.
What I want to talk to you all about today is one of the great events coming this month for the kickoff of Sexual Assault Awareness Month!!
While VAWA Passed WOOOO HOOOOOO, we still have so much to do to help break the silence around this violence and stand up and support survivors.
For the men out there this is your time to stand up against the violence being perpetrated not only on college campuses but across the country and the world. I know that sexual assault and violence against women campaigns can at times be a bone of contention with some men. Some think that sexual assault is a women’s issue. However I have some facts that can change your mind about that.
Violence Against Women Is A Men’s Issues
Fact: Statistically men are the primary perpetrators of violence against women.
Fact: Men can speak out and intervene when male friends, relatives and colleagues insult or abuse women.
Fact: The lives of our partners, friends, sisters and daughters are damaged by violence and abuse.
Fact: Men can help create a culture in which the behavior of abusive men becomes unacceptable.
Now I also know there are many men are wondering HOW they can help to stop the idea that all men are perpetrators and don’t care about the issue. The WHITE RIBBON CAMPAIGN is your way to do just that. The campaign is a pledge for men across campus that they sign so that they can give their voice to the issue and stand up against Violence Against Women. The SHARPP website has more information on the pledge but I’ll give you some of the basics below.
The White Ribbon Campaign is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity and healthy relationships. During the month of April UNH men can take an active role in preventing violence against women. SHARPP is sponsoring the fourth annual UNH White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) during the month of April.
By wearing a white ribbon, men take a personal pledge to never commit, condone, nor remain silent about violence against women.
This year our WRC campaign has a unique goal. With approximately 7,484 men on campus consisting of 6,201 students and 1,283 faculty and staff our goal is to get 1,000 (a little more than 10% of the total population*) men to take the pledge.
HOW DO YOU GET INVOLVED?!
SIGN UP AT http://www.unh.edu/sharpp/1000men !
Or you can email SHARPP or sign-up at a MUB tabling event throughout the month of April. Your name will then be added to the growing list on our WRC webpage. WRC ribbons and bracelets will be available at SHARPP/WRC MUB tabling events Monday and Wednesday 12:30-2:00 and Tuesday and Thursday 12:30 – 2:00 or at the SHARPP office at Wolff House, (in front of Health Services). They will also be available from various hall director’s, apartment manager’s and department offices.
I mean who doesn’t want to rock a new rubber bracelet right? And for the women out there here is some information for you.
Can Women Join the White Ribbon Campaign?
The White Ribbon Campaign is only for men. However, women are encouraged to wear the teal Sexual Assault Awareness Month ribbon pin. These can be obtained by visiting/contacting the SHARPP office or at our table in the MUB throughout the month of April.
SO COME ON MEN SHOW YOUR SUPPORT AND HELP FIGHT THE VIOLENCE
-all information was pulled from unh.edu/sharp
- image from http://familyfirst.org.nz/2011/11/page/3/
So first let me start off by saying that the whole post by Tuesday agreement I had was a little presumptuous of me. Turns out my life is a little bit more hectic than I thought so it looks like I’ll be having you guys tune in when you can. You’ll see me post the updated blog on my Facebook, on the SHARPP Facebook page and on the SHARPP Website so keep tuning in.
This week I felt we could talk around the idea behind this blog again for those tuning in. I know last week’s post was very opinionated but I want people to really understand where I am coming from and the importance of these issues affecting women. With the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) gaining more attention through Facebook and the media as it is going through the legal system I feel it is a good time to reflect on how any of us can get more involved and gain more knowledge on women and the issues they face.
One way we can all do that is by attending THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES this upcoming weekend March 1st and 2nd. What is some of you who haven’t seen the flyers or postings might ask? The Vagina Monologues is made up of a varying number of monologues read by a varying number of women written by Eve Ensler. Each of the monologues deals with an aspect of the feminine experience, touching on matters such as sex, love, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, the various common names for the vagina, or simply as a physical aspect of the body. A recurring theme throughout the piece is the vagina as a tool of female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality.
For those of you who have seen the performance before or not, it is a great way to broaden your horizons on the problems and hardships women experience through monologues that intermingle real interview answers, comedy and global women’s issues. It is truly a wonderful experience and I hope to see you all there!
Another way you could learn more about women’s issues is by looking into the VAWA that is trying to be passed federally at the moment. I know there are posts all over Facebook and articles on many news sites regarding the act. A brief explanation that I found through the library of congress is as follows:
The VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2013 amends Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) to add or expand definitions of several terms used in such Act.
Modifies or expands grant conditions under such Act, including requirements relating to: (1) nondisclosure of personally identifying information or other client information, (2) information sharing between grantees and subgrantees, (3) civil rights and nondiscrimination, (4) audits, and (5) nonprofit organizations. The act requires the Office on Violence Against Women of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish a biennial conferral process with state and tribal coalitions, technical assistance providers, and other key stakeholders on the administration of grants and related matters. And it requires the Attorney General to authorize in writing expenditures for DOJ conferences that exceed $20,000.
Essentially the VAWA will provide so many more individuals with provisions and protections as well as helping improve awareness efforts. So if you want to help out and learn about violence against women and see how it is an issue for our whole world these are two ways but I know if you’re dedicated you can find more.
Have a good Saturday everyone!
References from today’s post
http://thomas.loc.gov – VAWA definition
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Vagina_Monologues – explanation of The Vagina Monologues
Happy Valentine’s Day or as some view it Happy Single’s Awareness Day!
I know I didn’t update last week but unfortunately I do have a huge course load this semester that is putting me through the ringer. That post last semester about procrastination yeah…that can’t work anymore. Also I came down with what my friends and I have named THE PLAGUE this weekend so I was unable to update let alone leave my bed for more than it took to heat up Campbell’s Soup At Hand.
HOWEVER, I am finally back with the living wearing actual clothes and eating solid food. HOORAY!!
So today’s post is going to be a reaction just to warn you all, and anyone is able to disagree with my opinion and I invite them to have a dialogue with me about it because you only learn from conversation. So let’s hit it.
Today is what we in the women’s activist circle call VDAY, a day to bring awareness about women’s issues and violence against women. The reaction I’m writing today is going to voice that view point and I think it is a message we all need to think about.
Recently in my classes and other conversations there has been this trend in referring to other countries when discussing the atrocities of rape/sexual assault. Newspapers and online blogs seem to be brimming with opinion pieces on violence against women in other countries. Examples being the incident in New Delhi and an incident of gang rape in South Africa I recently heard about during a current events presentation in a class yesterday. While I do agree that these are horrible cases and ones that should be discussed, what has struck me is the American response. When individuals come to class having seen these stories in the news they sound horrified by how terrible the violence was against these women which they should be. However, what seems to commonly follow is the idea that “oh that was so far away” and “well I never would’ve thought they acted like that in that country.” I’m here today to tell you that yes violence happens in other countries and that there is no such thing as a place where women are not harmed. In stating this though I want to also say that when hearing this violence our reaction should not be that the horrible acts against women are only in FOREIGN countries.
I see that individuals seem to be sanctioning off violent acts towards women to only these “foreign” nations but there has to be a rude awakening. There is violence HERE, in THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in a “civilized nation” there is violence. THAT should be headline news. People want to discuss New Dehli and South Africa as if the men there are more barbaric because of the acts they have committed which I will admit are atrocious. Yet, there are stories that are similar to them, with men who are just as brutal, who commit acts of violence against women right here in the USA. Only these stories Don’t make the headlines. THAT IS ATROCIOUS.
I am sorry for my obvious aggravation but what will it take for people to see that violence against women happens EVERYWHERE! Not just in India not just in South Africa but here at UNH, here in New Hampshire, HERE IN OUR COUNTRY. And yes, in other parts of the world.
I’m going to attach an article below where a woman, Rebecca Solnit, discusses these acts and others that occur in all parts of our country and the world drawing on the idea that we shouldn’t only be astounded by acts in other countries but the silence around the acts occurring in our country. It is worse that the horrible acts of violence against women are not discussed as largely in our own country as they are in others.
As I mentioned previously it is VDay and a group that is very vocal on this day is called One Billion Rising. They are here to remind us of some astounding facts. Did you know that one in every three women in THE WORLD will experience violence in their lifetime sexual or physical? That is ONE BILLION WOMEN. One billion. Not just the ones that you hear on the news but many many more.
I know people will try and write me off by bringing up these facts. Thinking: I must be a “crazy feminist” or a “man hater” but I am not. I am a feminist because I believe in equal rights for men and women, anywhere in the world, and I am not a man hater I am a “rapist hater” “a women beating hater.” I am against anyone who feels it is appropriate for a woman to be harmed in any way whether that is to be beaten, assaulted or abused sexually.
That is what is happening to these one billion women. They are being beaten, mutilated, raped, assaulted. This should be headline news! I should be reading about how our government is vocal in their attempts to stop these assaults, not only having people hear about acts committed in other countries and silencing acts here in the US. The article brought to my class yesterday discussed a woman who was gang raped and murdered by men in South Africa and I found it amazing that there were women’s advocacy members there to poster to show their support for survivors of assault. Now why is it, that here in America our advocates are hushed and our issues are not brought to the forefront. I am here today to say let’s take a stand. Let’s break the taboo. Don’t sit back and watch the cycle of silence keep crossing over this country and this campus. Today on VDay there are movements all around the world where women are standing against the violence by dancing, drumming, singing. I ask you all to go to the website below and view how you can rise with them. Stand up. Educate. Rise Against.
HAPPY VDAY EVERYONE
Link to One Billion Rising
Link to Rebecca Solnit’s article:
Sorry for the lack of post last week everyone. It seems that this semester already wants to come and bite me because I came down with something over the weekend. Essentially making me quarantined for almost three days with nothing but snow a thermometer and tons of soup and powerade. Anyways, I WILL be posting this week and maybe I’ll throw in two because you missed out on last weeks. Thanks and tune in next time!
Sorry all this start to the semester has been a little rocky. I’ll have the post up by Thursday. Sorry for the inconvenience.
So I know its finals week and everyone is stressing and getting super pumped to go home. But if you have some downtime I wanted to just give a quick recap of the topics we’ve covered this semester. Also this post will give those of you who haven’t been tuning in a cheat sheet.
First off we all learned how we live in a rape culture. As a refresher a rape culture is
“a complex of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent. In a rape culture, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. A rape culture condones physical and emotional terrorism against women as the norm.”
So if we want to lower the occurrence of sexual assault, we must first target our thinking surrounding sex and dating and respect.
Next, we learned about relationship abuse and how it is prevalent on campuses because of the secrecy that surrounds it and its taboo nature. If you are in an abusive relationship, emotional or physically abusive, remember that you are not alone and there are people here to help you. Also remember the golden rules of healthy relationships. As your relationship is one which CATERS to both you and your partner.
COMMUNICATION, AUTONOMY, TRUST AND HONESTY, EQUALITY AND FAIRNESS, RESPECT, SUPPORT
Then we covered the importance of consent when performing intimate acts with individuals. So a reminder for you all:
Consent is a mutual agreement, based on a shared desire for specific sexual activities; An ongoing verbal interaction, taken one step at a time, to an expressed and honest yes; Mutual awareness of possible consequences of activities; Each partner remains open to and respects the other partner’s expression of agreement or disagreement to engage in the activity.
And there are sexy ways to ask for consent so try your hand at dirty talk and the like, find what works for you and voices your idea so that it can be safely and consensually returned
Next, we discussed being aware of our surroundings especially the environment of college parties and how this is something to be aware of. We should all be looking at the people we surround ourselves with and realizing that sometimes we aren’t as safe as we assume.
We then discussed the importance of self care, which I hope you have been practicing this week with finals. If you don’t know, then I suggest at some point today you take 15 minutes and do something you really like doing, whether its sleep, read, go get coffee or go outside for a walk. It can be anything you desire as long as it’s healthy for you.
The next topic we discussed went along similarly with self care when we discussed self worth. The most important lesion to learn being that before you enter into a relationship you both should love yourselves just as much. Not meaning you both have to be conceited but that you cannot invest in another until you know your own worth.
After these sections about self awareness we then discussed safety planning for those who are in a dangerous relationship. It is better to be prepared than to hope for your situation to not grow. So, if you are in an abusive relationship take some time and make an emergency safety plan so that if you ever needed it you would have an idea of what you were doing. And remember the guidelines to ask yourself when planning.
Safety Planning Guidelines:
• If I feel unsafe I can…
• If I need a safe place I can go I can…
• Once my abuser has left I can do the following to help keep myself safe…
• If I am injured as a result of my abuser I can…
• For more long term help I can…
We then covered the issue of stalking on college campuses which is growing to be more of an issue. So for those of you who don’t know Stalking is described as
• Threatening safety. Following, approaching, or confronting the targeted person.
• Appearing with no legitimate purpose at or around a place where a person can be found, including a residence, workplace, or school.
• Causing damage to property
• Placing an object on the person’s property, either directly or through a third person
• Causing an injury to a family pet
• Acts of communication that are harassing to the individual e.g. letters, packages, electronic transmissions, etc. Engaging in acts which would constitute stalking after having been advised by a law enforcement officer that the person’s acts were in violation of the stalking statute.
So if someone is doing any of the following to you please contact the police or a crisis organization.
The last topic was in addressing stress and finals which I urge you all to read how I personal stay unstressed, procrastinate some yet still complete my assignments.
So there it all is, a full semester of discussions with me. I hope you all have enjoyed tuning in to hear my opinion on these issues that are important us all, not just as college students, but as people who are involved in this rape culture every day. For those of you who are just reading this blog for the first time if you scroll down you will see all of the posts explained in depth. It has been so great to write these blog posts for you all. I hope you not only spread the word about this blog, but about SHARPP as well, the more resources we provide the safer individuals will feel.
So Happy Holidays toyou all and Good Luck with your finals!!
Tune in next time on Kickin It With Kenna!
So I know this week everyone is having that reality check that the semester is over and Finals are approaching. I know personally I have a bunch of final papers rather than finals but they are still working me to the bone. It is because of this that we all have to really put our self-care into overdrive because these next two weeks are the most draining of the whole semester. You have to worry about finals, you have to worry about Spring Tuition, you have to worry about Packing, Plans for Break,Christmas Shopping, New Years and on and on and on. (Hopefully I didn’t just stress you out even more with that list). But the reason I like to think of myself as calm during this critical point of the year is simply because of my positive attitude. Those who know me, like to think I am the BIGGEST procrastinator. I try and work on things early but I end up watching TV or sleeping instead. Now, I’m not advocating for procrastination this week, but I will advocate for you to work on things in your own time. One of the reasons I procrastinate is not a lack of understanding of the assignment but of a focus on relaxing. I’m tired most of the time and allow myself time to relax. How I deal with this need for relaxation during finals week is that I mentally tell myself that “What is due will get done when it should.” Most of you right now are probably thinking that is a stupid mantra when you have 14+ page papers to write. However, all I can tell you is it has worked for me every time. The key to this thinking is making sure you do understand your assignments ahead of time. Then mentally taking the time to think about what you have to get done, how much by what time and then in your head makeup a set of rules or a schedule.
Ex. If I have a paper due Friday I haven’t started I think on Sunday what else I have to do, realistically how long it will take me and if it would be easier to work on different parts different days. Which will lead me to looking over it on Monday and do a rough write for a section to see how hard it is, Then on Tuesday I plan which section I can do on Wednesday, Wednesday doing part of the writing until finally settling down to finish on Thursday.
If you think of your papers in that kind of system your stress levels go down. Now this can work with someone if they want to get something done early as well. Give yourself deadlines, really take the time to think about your assignment and know that unless you are completely at a loss and choose not to talk to your professor that you probably know what you’re doing. Stressing out over things does not make them easier to do or make the time go by faster. If you take a logical thought process and apply it to your goals not only will you feel less stressed but more organized even if you havent written a word. I spend my time relaxing yes, but I also spend that time organizing my thoughts so that when I do go to write I know what I mean and don’t have to dwell on multiple word choices or get confused by a topic i have to cover.
Essentially what I want you all to do is take a breather, don’t shut yourself into a freak out zone. Find the system that works best for you because stress will make it worse on yourself because your body does not take it well. So my suggestion if you can handle it is to take a 10 minute breather at some point today and think to yourself, “The paper will be written by/ the exam will be over in ____ (fill in number of hours and days) and then it’s done. Plan for your end point rather than worrying about your start or else you never will start. Try out different methods for your studying or paper writing to see what works best for you because I know we all have felt that panic of cramming in study time or crying over a paper we didn’t think would be done. If you have made it this far you know by now that things will get finished and if you don’t want to finish then enjoy whatever that incomplete brings you. Regardless of that, take some time for yourself! This is just a simple suggestion but one that has done wonders for me. And remember that despite how stressed we are, we all have something to be really happy about WINTER BREAK!!!
So there’s my little secret. Now get thinking, because it’s time for me to go write a paper.
Hey everyone sorry about this but I’m pushing the new post topic to Wednesday. I always say to make sure you follow your own plans for your self care. This week is my finals week with papers so I have to be up to my nose in books but I will be free on Wednesday to update for you guys. Hope everyone has a good week!!