On Journalism & #StandWithButters

1 Jul


#StandWithButters update

Originally posted on And All Manner of Things:

This post is in response to a recently published article which quotes me regarding the current situation regarding sexual assault at JMU. Below is a longer response, but in case you don’t want to read it/just want the essentials this is where you can see it.

Per the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics I have told the author of the article and her editor that I expect my quotation to be removed from the article, as well as any information relating to me, any information from/about our interview, and any information relating to my correspondence with the author. I also have informed the author that they do not have my permission to publish any other information from the interview or from our correspondence as they were given under false pretenses and are not valid for use in an article.

I was lied to about the content of the article, my words were…

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Continuing the Conversation on Sexual Assault

20 Jun


Reblog from JMU SGA President

Originally posted on Student Government Association :

My fellow Dukes,

I am Taylor Vollman, your Student Body President. Now, more than ever, I am reminded we are “all together one.” Dukes continually amaze me by how much support is out there when one of our own is hurting. Sarah showed great strength to report her assault. While it is horrible, it did spark a necessary conversation about sexual assault on our and all college campuses.

At the end of last semester, I along with a couple other SGA members went to the White House to hear about the recommendations from the Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. We then realized the lack of dialogue within our own organization and were working to create a platform amongst the student body to engage in conversations about our own climate and policies at JMU. This provided a catalyst to get the conversation started earlier.

As a Student Government…

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James Madison University’s Embarrassing Handling of Sexual Abuse

19 Jun

Originally posted on Signed in Red:

JMU has always been a school that I’ve been proud to call home. A school that I brag about every chance I get, lighting up whenever anyone asks me about my college, my friends—my community. Today I felt the opposite. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. Even driving my car made me cringe every time I had to look in the review mirror and see the giant “James Madison University” sticker on my back windshield.

Many of you have read the Huffington Post article detailing three fraternity brothers sexually abusing a now former JMU student, Sarah Butters. Butters reported the incident to JMU over a year ago, providing the judicial affairs office with hard evidence of her attack: a video that the men had recorded of themselves as they groped Butters’ nearly naked body, passing her around as if she were a toy.

This incident alone is repulsive. It sickens me…

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James Madison University Fails to Properly Address Sexual Assault and Consent

19 Jun

Yesterday, the Huffington Post reported that a JMU student was sexually assaulted only to find that her attackers would be “expelled after graduation”. Two of her three attackers graduated on time and one will be returning in the fall to finish his degree. The student found a video of her being sexually assaulted by the three men where she repeatedly says “No”, approached judicial and university administration, and yet according to the student “Josh Bacon, the JMU director of judicial affairs, told Butters he couldn’t determine if the video scene was consensual”

JMU white

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Quick Hit: Why This Dude Needs Feminism

13 May

Often, we focus on the benefits of feminism for women but don’t always see how others can benefit as well. Men involved in feminism not only support it because they recognizing everyone should be treated equally, but also helps to redefine gender norms for both femininity and masculinity. Vlogger Connor Manning talks about men and feminism in his latest video and how it helps to break down traditional gender norms and expectations of masculine performance.

He talks about how he not only supports feminism because “women have been the systematically oppressed gender [...] and that is not even taking into account trans* people and anyone else who falls off the gender binary” but also because it helps to culturally redefine masculinity. Feminism should allow people to explore their gender performance and not feel constrained to traditional gender norms.

I love his video because of the focus on WHY we need to talk about feminism because change happens on the individual level in order to create cultural and social change. At the end of the day, I agree with what Manning says: “I need feminism because everyone needs feminism.”


Quick Hit: Shailene Woodley and the F-word

9 May

In writing yesterday’s post, I stumbled upon this article from The Daily Beast talking about Shailene Woodley’s remarks in a recent Time Magazine interview on why she doesn’t consider herself a feminist. When asked if she identified with feminism:

No because I love men, and I think the idea of ‘raise women to power, take the men away from the power’ is never going to work out because you need balance. [...]  And also I think that if men went down and women rose to power, that wouldn’t work either. We have to have a fine balance.

I identify with this because it was reminiscent of the reactions to feminism I’ve received over the years, and especially with my story from this past weekend. Why I love the Daily Beast article though, is that it recognizes that it’s not Woodley’s fault, rather it’s a generational misunderstanding. We all know feminism is the other “F-word” but rather than attack Woodley and other people who misunderstand feminism’s true meaning, the author points out we must have patience and understanding. Educate those who are misguided and prove that feminism is for everyone.

Anyway, it’s some food for thought. What do you think? Leave a comment below!

Education is Key: A Personal Narrative

8 May

This past weekend I had the pleasure of taking part in a discussion of feminism with a large group of friends. The catch is this friend group consists entirely of Christian Hipsters who, for the most part, don’t know anything about feminism! How did this real-life, sitcom-like experience happen? All because a few of us decided we wanted to make a difference.

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Final Post: Imparting my Feminist Wisdom (?)

5 May

After three semesters on the ShoutOut! blog–two of which were spent as Editor–I’ve learned quite a few things about myself and my feminism.  I’ve experienced so much personal growth, and I feel the need to share some of my personal insights for anyone who needs a pick-me-up, a small dose of empowerment, or a gentle reminder that no matter what you’re going through, it gets better.  Here are some of my favorite life’s lessons, from a feminist perspective:rosieeee

1.  Fall in love with yourself…every day

This one is seriously a daily struggle.  We are all subject to scrutiny and judgement from the outside world on a daily basis.  There are some days where getting out of bed is that toughest battle you’ll fight.  But even when you feel like the world is on your shoulders, love yourself.  It’s easy for someone else to empower you, but it’s much more permanent if you can will yourself to be strong, self-reliant, and self-empowered.  Love yourself, and make the nasty, self-doubting voices in your head love you too.  Confidence is the sexiest thing an individual can wear.  Continue reading

#QuickHit: Using Feminism to Leverage Marketing Strategies

5 May

Clever…but is this real empowerment, or just whitewash?

Is there a tension in using your purchasing power to buy your feminism?  Check out this article to find out what researchers are saying.  Below is a fascinating snippet from the post:

Examples of “radically literal feminism” and “sexism-positive feminism” include GoDaddy’s Superbowl commercial, which features a female bodybuilder, and Snickers’ complimentary harassment commercial, respectively.

Some beauty companies, with Dove at the forefront, also use feminism and empowerment messages in their advertisements, reported Danielle Kurtzleben at Vox.

Kurtzleben explained Dove sells a variety of products, but viewers see ideologically charged commercials about inner beauty rather than these products. Critics are saying this is a hypocritical message.

“The problem with Dove’s message that women need to have more confidence in their looks, critics say, is that it still upholds the idea that women’s beauty is of utmost importance, albeit in a warm and fuzzy way,” wrote Kurtzleben.

“Some (including Kurtzleben) also pointed out that Unilever (Dove’s parent corporation) is selling “real beauty” even while it sells products like Slim-Fast and Axe, a line whose identity is in part built on the idea that body spray is irresistible to well-endowed, bikini-clad women,” she wrote.


Sunday Night Spotlight

4 May

As out semester draws to a close, be sure to tune in for our last spotlight “hoorah.”

As a fan of Audrey Hepburn, YourKnightinShiningTutu loved reading this article about her “hidden feminism” and how she actually did stand for more than simply style and fashion and implores you to likewise give this article on “The Week” a quick read!

ImagineHerstory stands behind Gabby Giffords as she lobbies to have greater gun control laws on those who have been accused of domestic violence.  These new restrictions would help keep women safe and are absolutely necessary.

MyManifestA is sharing this article to try and help raise more awareness of a current crisis in Nigeria. 234 young girls were kidnapped and, it seems, most likely sold to rebel militants as wives. A social media campaign has been started which you can share and follow using the hashtag #BringBackOurDaughters.

Ladychaotica21 wants you to check out the White House PSA against sexual assault!

Why are colleges and universities not stepping up like they should until after something really bad happens? steeleba found this article about American College not even applying to receive a sexual assault prevention federal grant.

SarahStar77 thinks you should check out this post on Jezebel, which discusses how GOP politician, Pastor Det Bowers, blames divorce on women as they care too much about their children, which causes their husbands to cheat. Such hate towards women needs to stop.

mscherhorowitz found this thought-provoking article written by a queer woman who discusses her struggle to negotiate her sexuality being visible or “remaining straight until proven otherwise.”


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