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5 PEOPLE DISCUSS THEIR EXPERIENCE OF BEING SLUT-SHAMED

Slut-shaming can make a judge sympathize with a rapist and wreak havoc on one’s mental health. As women, our personal lifestyle choices should not be used as ammo against us. Our bodies are not to be sexualized by men to make themselves feel better for their intolerable crimes against us. Our voices are not to be silenced because we had sex, wore a skirt, or any other reason people come up with to guilt us for our own tragedies. With this in mind, I asked five people to share their personal experiences with slut-shaming.

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DOES A SEXUAL DOUBLE STANDARD REALLY EXIST?

Unfortunately, women are often victims of the hookup culture on college campuses. Men are almost encouraged to sleep with a number of people, whether that be from their peers, their fraternity, or the media. Almost every movie that is on a college campus has some scene where the boy hooks up with someone and gets a round of high fives from their friends, while in another scene, a girl is shamed for having hooked up with a boy and she “should have known better” than to think a hook up meant they were exclusive

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OH, SO YOU THINK YOU'RE ENTITLED TO MY BODY?

Wilkerson’s victim stood in court and asked the judge to “have as much mercy for the rapist as he did for me that night.” Caryn Datz, the attorney for the victim, told the judge that Austin Wilkerson felt a sense of entitlement. “He felt entitled to rape her, he felt entitled to get away with it, and he felt entitled to lie on the stand about it,” she said.District Judge Patrick Butler seemed to agree with Datz. However, he “struggled with whether or not to put Wilkerson in prison.”

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HOW CAN WE USE TECHNOLOGY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT?

Communication and connectivity via technology is a great thing - usually. With the click of a button, a phone call can be made, a text can be sent, or a tweet can be posted. Just one of the benefits of this broad audience is the ability to have conversations about sexual assault. The use of social media (hashtags, sharing, etc.) allows much needed attention and support to be brought to sexual assault organizations.

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THE EASY WAYS THAT RAPE CULTURE HAS BECOME INGRAINED IN OUR SOCIETY

It’s hard to believe this is ever going to end. I don’t see that happening any time soon. As a survivor, it’s exhausting to constantly see these things. The scariest part is that I was a survivor for many years who was still laughing at these things. I was raised in a rape culture where all of this was normalized. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. But I’m glad that I do now.

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I CAN SEE YOUR BODY: DRESS CODES AND THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF RAPE CULTURE

Every day for two years this outfit was deemed inappropriate enough to pull me out of class and send me down to the office. There the vice principal would scrutinize me and either tell me I passed or that I needed to put on a sweater. Every day my education was interrupted while other girls in the same clothes were allowed to go about their business. Every day boys walked around oblivious to the fact that a dress code even existed.

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A ROUND UP OF WINS IN 2016

It was a year of growth in combating rape culture and stigma surrounding survivors, but it cannot end in 2016. With the new year, we have to work even harder. We have to support survivors. We have to protest and stand up when there is a trial sentencing that is much less than is deserved. This year was a show of strength, and next year is going to be even stronger.

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WHY DOES THE REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN IN POP CULTURE MATTER?

Our society is telling the stories that women are living, but they aren’t telling the stories about the world that women should be living in. The ones where there is no shame. Where the only consent is the enthusiastic kind, where the perpetrator pays the price and the victim isn’t the one who has to fight back against judgment and shame. These are the stories we need to demand from our media. Because representation matters.

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LETHAL LEGALITIES: HOW TITLE IX IS HURTING STUDENTS

The nature of these investigations and the minimal punishment given to the offenders are egregiously wrong. This raises concerns about how students can feel protected by a system that favors its tenured professors. Title IX often throws uninformed students into bureaucratic procedures that they hardly know how to navigate. When official complaints are filed, the person who receives the most protection is the one who caused the violation. 

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JEN'S DECLASSIFIED CAMPUS ASSAULT SURVIVAL GUIDE

I also don’t want to lie to you about this: college can be dangerous. Generally speaking, one out of every three females will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. For males, that number is one in six. Those statistics are generalized, again. The truth is that the numbers are far worse on college campuses, where sexual assault and rape are epidemics. The occurrence of sexual violence is much higher in settings where drinking is actively taking place.

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