This week in feminism has been full of strong, powerful activism from feminist-driven groups, like the 1 in 3 campaign and the It’s On Us campaign, as well as sobering news about sexual assault both on college campuses like the University of Virginia and in Hollywood. Read on for links and thoughts on the media’s biggest stories this week.
1. Bill Cosby is in the spotlight for sexual assault once again – this time, though, people are taking notice.
In the past few weeks, seven women have accused Cosby of sexually assaulting or raping them. Though the first sexual assault allegations against Cosby were made years ago, the accusations made in recent weeks have had far more staying power. Props to Netflix, NBC and TV Land for canceling upcoming Cosby specials in light of recent events; however, Cosby still is not acknowledging these allegations and performed in the Bahamas Thursday night at a benefit for a women’s health charity.
Salon does a great job of dissecting why exactly we are standing up and taking notice now. At the heart of it all? Feminism, of course.
2. Rolling Stone rattled students at the University of Virginia and on college campuses across the United States with their piece, “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA.”
(Trigger warning: The above link leads to the original Rolling Stone piece, which contains a graphic description of gang rape). The story details the university’s mishandling of the 2012 gang rape of a student, “Jackie,” and explores UVA’s responses to other students’ similar traumas.
Since Rolling Stone published the article, several university officials have responded, saying they plan to overhaul UVA’s policies on sexual assault and rape and that they will revisit the 2012 sexual assault in order to take proper legal action against the perpetrators.
The fraternity involved in the rape detailed in the article, Phi Kappa Psi, has suspended activity on campus for now, though students are demanding more from both the fraternity and the community. A group of anonymous students vandalized the fraternity house late Wednesday and released a letter to the student-run newspaper, The Cavalier Daily, with a list of demands.
3. NPR explored ways universities are attempting to prevent sexual assault on campus while avoiding victim blaming.
As the piece points out, universities are having a harder time straddling that line than they’d expected.
4. The It’s On Us campaign held a Week of Action to raise awareness and to educate students on what they can do to prevent sexual assault.
This week, students on campuses across the country participated in events aimed at ending campus sexual assault. The Week of Action came after the latest in a series of It’s On Us public service announcements was released last week, this one targeting bystanders. Check out #ItsOnUs on Twitter to see some of what the campaign accomplished this week.
5. The 1 in 3 Campaign also took action this week, holding a “speakout” on Thursday for women to share their experiences with abortion.
The campaign, which works to raise awareness that one in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime, hosted a livestream event from 1 to 9 p.m. ET yesterday, during which women could share their abortion stories via Skype and more. The 1 in 3 campaign aims to destigmatize abortion and start a nonjudgmental conversation about the topic.