Corrective Rape: Sexual Violence in the Rainbow Country

Content Warning: *rape, sexual violence, homophobia*

“The term “corrective rape” stems from the prevalence of the crime in South Africa, where it is used to describe rape perpetrated by straight men against lesbian women in order to “correct” or “cure” their “unnatural” sexual orientation”– Roderick Brown, Corrective Rape in South Africa: A Continuing Plight Despite International Human Rights Response

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Destroying Stigmatizing Language: How To Talk About Mental Health

Enter a classroom scene where students are shoving cell phone screens in each other’s faces, frantically whispering, “Check out this video! She’s so crazy” and shouting out, “How about that kid who had a breakdown in the middle of class? What a psycho.” These phrases are so commonly tossed around in social group settings that there’s one person in the scene that is often overlooked: the kid flashing back to three panic attacks he had this morning just at the thought of getting on the school bus that morning. She wonders if she would be ridiculed or labeled as “crazy” for an uncontrollable condition that makes it harder for her to function compared to everyone else. Another teen, that is labeled “weird” or “deranged” for his outbursts of twitching and whispering to himself, is made to feel ashamed of his schizophrenia by the casually cruel way that his peers talk about mental health.

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“Stop trying to make it about race”: How Queer Culture was Co-opted by Whiteness

The flag was changed to include me and my black/POC counterparts to let us know that other queer people see the ugliness in our community. It signifies real unity. It means that the racism one member of the queer community experiences means something to everyone. It means that white LGBTQ+ people will come fight for their queer counterparts at other marches that may not pertain to gay or trans rights explicitly, but still affect our community. If you have an issue with that, you’re a part of the problem. Period. You’d rather not add two shades to a flag than acknowledge a problem in your own community. At least racists in the south will say it with their chests. You’re just a coward.

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A Clarification of Our DACA Statement

Our University’s independent newspaper, The Torch, recently reached out to us to put a statement together regarding the University’s action/inaction in light of the DACA repeal. The statement we sent in was as follows:

“As members of the student body who care so deeply about this school and our peers, we are glad that the university is taking necessary steps in helping undocumented students. We, as an org, are comprised of students of all backgrounds, and we maintain that this diversity is important as it allows for us to work through our different perspectives and lived experiences. We know that our fellow students bring their own experiences to the table, and sometimes those experiences put them at risk. We believe that the University’s efforts are showing the campus community that not only are undocumented students welcome here but that their right to stay will be protected. We know that there is a DACA for Dummies meeting coming up, and we believe that this is a great next step in continuing to educate the campus-wide community about DACA and why it is so important in the lives of people who came to this country as kids and have no recollection of any other home but this one. Lastly, we want to say to any undocumented students on this campus that we see you, we support you, and we will continue to fight for you.”

We understand that in connection with this article, our statement seems flat. For clarification, we are happy that the university is providing options to students who need them. But we also, as always, know their response could have been quicker and taken more of a stance. Time and time again, our university waits too long to say the right thing, and never really takes a hard stand. This is why we sent administration a letter regarding their non-response to the events in Charlottesville, and it is the very same reason that, from the 16th-20th, we will be protesting on campus each day. We truly hope our statement was not tone-deaf. We did not mean to imply that the University’s efforts were perfect, as we know from our own experiences that they seldom, if ever, have been. We have been posting on our personal Instagram page about DACA renewal resources since the repeal was first announced because we stand by DREAMers 100%. We have been posting educational infographics for allies or students who had never even heard of DACA before. We hope our own stance on this issue is extremely clear: We need to provide a space that will protect our undocumented students and will work with them quickly and effectively so as to keep them in the only place they call home.

Eating Disorders In Marginalized Communities

The bodies of transgender women and of women of color are over and over again told that their bodies are inherently less desirable,  that the way that they perform their femininity is unsatisfactory, so it’s no wonder why many women in those communities are susceptible to developing an eating disorder. Not only are women of color held to the standard of thinness that white women are, but they are incapable of being able to perform the desired whiteness of our society’s beauty standards.

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8 Points on White Allyship

For the past few days, I’ve really been pondering my place as a white ally. I’ve been scrolling through Facebook seeing my own friends and family condemning black protesters, saying they should protest differently, saying they’re disrespecting the country and those who fight for it, saying they should get up and go somewhere else. It made me consider how uncomfortable I was willing to get in order to stand by the black community. It made me think about how my whiteness in majority-white spaces is important because majority-white spaces often don’t give black people a seat at the table. I decided to compile some of my thoughts and main points about what it means to be a good white ally in the face of a racist country.

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Official Statement on Title IX

Being that we are an organization committed to making sure our student peers know and understand their rights, we have decided to release this statement concerning Betsy DeVos changing Title IX protections. We would first like to explain what Title IX is and why it’s so important. Then, we hope to outline things our university and others can do to continue supporting students who were victims of sexual assault. We want these students, now and in the future, to know that we see them, we hear them, and we support them.

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