Disclaimer: Content on the YP4 blog does not necessarily reflect the views of Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation. The views, ideas, statements or claims posted on this site by members of the public cannot in any way be attributed to either Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation.
You see a young woman walking towards you wearing a t-shirt. As she approaches, you begin to make out the writing. It reads: "I was raped".
What's your reaction?
If you're anything like me, you're more than just a little uncomfortable. Even as the former organizer of a Take Back the Night rally and sexual assault awareness programming, I still struggle with what to do when such an intense personal statement is thrust into the public sphere -- on something as ordinary as a t-shirt.
The shirts -- which are on sale at Scarleteen -- have a specific rationale as written by Jennifer Baumgardner.
The L.A. Times just published an op-ed piece by Democratic Representative Jane Harman, which, among other things revealed that "women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq."
As if fearing for your life in an unjust war isn't bad enough, female soldiers in Iraq must also fear the very real threat of violence from their fellow soldiers. Makes you wonder -- for women serving in the military, who is the real enemy?
And it's not getting any better.
My Facebook engagement lasted less than 24 hours.
I was one of the many whom, during the social networking website’s early development when two profiles first began to link to one another through a declaration of a relationship status, light-heartedly proposed an “engagement” to a female friend from high school.
As a new student at college where not everyone I knew was familiar with the nature of my relationship to my freshly declared “fiancé” and perhaps because these “comical
engagements” were not quite as rampant as they currently are, my relationship status caused confusion. I received several inquiries about “the lucky lady” as well as a sweet but misguided congratulatory email for my impending nuptials.
Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, nearly explicitly invited activism surrounding the 2008 Olympics in China.
Through his defense of the committee's decision to hold the summer games in China, Rogge said “It was right to award the games to China for two reasons. One is that we cannot deny one-fifth of mankind of the advantages of Olympism and
the Olympic games. It’s just not fair to do that. And secondly, we believe that the games are a great catalyst for change for China itself. The games will open up China to the scrutiny of the world, thanks to the 25,000 media being present.”
Today marks the fifth anniversary of an incredibly tragic day, but one that I know was also responsible for inspiring much of my involvement with and passion for the social justice movement.
I was a high school senior in Tacoma, WA watching the local news when they reported a young woman and Evergreen student from Olympia named Rachel Corrie had been killed in Gaza by an Israeli bulldozer while attempting to protect Palestinian homes as a member of the International Solidarity Movement.
Two seemingly unrelated pieces of news caught my eye this week. First, Stanford will be instituting a policy of waiving tuition for families making less than $100,000 per year in an effort to promote diversity. Meanwhile on the country's other coast, another one of the country's most elite schools is struggling with what exactly "promoting diversity" actually means.
So you know there's something wrong with our healthcare system when a state resorts to a lottery to provide health insurance to the uninsured.
Yup, you heard me right. A LOTTERY. FOR HEALTH INSURANCE.
Over 600,000 people in Oregon are uninsured and this lottery, which has already gathered more than 80,000 entires, will only select a few thousand names.
Last week, Laura Sahramaa wrote a blog about the connections between documentary media and social change as witnessed through the documentaries An Inconvenient Truth and Sicko. As a huge documentary fanatic (especially those aimed at creating social change) & aspiring documentarian, I wanted to highlight a couple of examples of simple, online videos made by the YouTube generation that are aimed at social change, if only to prove the point that you don't have to have a major movie studio or a distribution plan to pick up a video camera and start making some waves in your community.
Heather Mac Donald wrote a remarkably ignorant column in the LA Times on Sunday titled "What campus rape crisis?", in which she decides to project her own warped version of reality in order to deny the experiences of so many of our female peers who have experience sexual assault.
The City of St. Paul hopes to put a taser in every police officer's hand this year.
The requested 230 tasers would join the department's current collection of 140 and cost nearly $210,000. The City Council will vote on the proposal tomorrow and it is expected to pass.
The shipment is expected to arrive just before the city hosts the Republican National Convention this summer.
I think not.
While the police department denies that the purchase is a direct response to this summer's, um, "anticipated festivities", I think we can all see the writing on the wall and can recognize that more tasers will most likely only result in more police violence.