Friday, May 2, 2014

What We've Been Reading...

Happy May MWPC friends! Here’s a list of what we’ve been reading this week:

After a studied presented earlier this year about sexual assault on college campuses, the White House has recently launched a nationwide campaign spreading awareness about sexual assault prevention. The statistic that one in five college females will be sexaully assaulted while in college has been used as a talking point the President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden many times. The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler looks at where this statistic comes from in an article this week. Initially derived from the 2007 Campus Sexual Assault Study commissioned by the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice, the data comes from a single study conducted at two large universities. The response rate of the surveys was very low and responses from seniors were kept separate from university responses as a whole. These results produced different statistics than those reported, but have been combined by public officials to create the one in five figure.

Time Magazine’s Jessica Bennett published an op-ed explaining why we need to stop worrying about emasculating men. Bennett explains the existence of, “Women who subtly downplay their accomplishments in order to protect their boyfriends’ egos.” She writes that this is a feminist by day, traditionalist by night mentality. Under thirty women who are accomplished, driven, and self-assured are “outearning” their male counterparts in every major city in America. This is nothing to be ashamed of or hide. No, woman should feel that she must downplay her achievements in order to maintain a healthy relationship. And yet, Financial Advisor and Journalist Farnoosh Torabi acknowledges this paradigm: “When a woman makes more than her man, the odds are stacked against her in many ways: she’s less likely to get married, more likely to be unhappier in marriage, and there are many psychological and sexual costs.” Hopefully, women in our society can push the traditional boundaries and bring their checks home with confidence.

This past Monday, Annette Bosworth, a GOP U.S. senate candidate for South Dakota caused controversy by associating “food stamps recipients to wild animals”. The candidate shared a “lesson in irony” where she criticized the logic of the food stamps program. She stated that since park rangers advise people not to feed animals because then the animals will not bother to look for food on their own, the same should be done about people. Read more about these statements here.

In a series of emails and text messages, American University students that are allegedly associated with an underground fraternity made their way onto an anonymous Tumblr page.  These messages discussed rape in graphic detail as well as how to keep their illicit behavior a secret.  The explicit nature of these text messages has caused widespread outrage.  In response, a group of women and men attend American University started a photo campaign calling for an end to rape culture on their campus and expressing why they need feminism. Click here to see this inspiring and thought provoking campaign.  American University is unfortunately not the only offender. Facing mounting pressure from lawmakers, sexual assault survivors and activists, the U.S. Department of Education on released a comprehensive list of colleges and universities under Title IX investigation. Fifty-five higher education institutions are currently under review for allegedly mishandling sexual assault and harassment on campus in violation of Title IX.  

Enjoy this weekend’s beautiful weather!