Football, Fandom, and (a lack of) Feminism

Great post


By Monica Chin and Annie Kaufman

Super Bowl Sunday, which attracts an estimated 110 million viewers, is one of the most significant days for advertisers nationwide. This means the biggest companies, flashiest advertisements, and most hype. Fueling the conversation about representation of women in these ads, The Representation Project started the #NotBuyingIt trend on Twitter during Super Bowl 2012. The goal was to critique the depiction of women in these multi-million dollar campaigns. This year, The Representation Project came back swinging with their #NotBuyingIt app, which allows users to document sexist portrayals of women in advertising and send direct messages to companies protesting this destructive imagery. The hashtag was used more than 15,000 times during the Super Bowl, attesting both to the widespread use of sexism in advertising and the frustration of viewers across the country. Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 2.47.14 PMWhile such activism advances the fight against sexist advertising, sexism is still rampant and…

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How I Became Pro-Choice at 8 Years Old


[Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author.  HAVEN, as an organization, does not support or condemn abortion, but believes that all people are experts on their own experiences and should be trusted to make their own decisions.]

If you will bear with me for a few sentences, I will eventually come to the point of how I personally came to a pro-choice position at 8 years old. My life is often influenced by the experiences of my past and this memory was recently brought to the surface. I personally enjoy the intricate set up of a story, my personal creative process and the moment of opportunity to contemplate the speculative. I hope that the way it which it is framed is able to create an illustration within your mind.

Gas Station Revelations

The day I essentially became pro-choice (without having those words of course) was…

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Trigger Warning 101


by Sarah Roberts

You may have seen the trigger warnings on articles posted at this blog, or on your Facebook newsfeed. Not sure what trigger warnings are?


Triggers warnings are an explicit statement that a following piece of media contains descriptions, language, or imagery that some may find disturbing, or ‘triggering’; i.e. likely to induce an extremely emotionally distressing response such as posttraumatic flashbacks, anxiety, or a strong urge to self-harm. They are a vitally important part of maintaining safe and inclusive spaces in our communities.  They empower survivors to decide if and how they want to engage with material.


Trigger warning should be placed at the beginning of potentially triggering media.  The usual format is the term “trigger warning” followed by a broad description of the triggering nature of the content.  Avoid warnings with too much description because you don’t want the warning itself to be triggering.  For example:…

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Five Reasons the Government Shutdown is Especially Bad For Women

Great points. Thanks to the Women’s Community Center at Stanford University


By Anna Blue

    So it’s not like any of us didn’t expect it. There’s been so much name-calling and political sassing in Congress in the last couple months that a government shutdown was bound to happen.  Especially after conservative Indiana Representative told the Washington Examiner on October 2, “We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

    Since then, there have been too many shenanigans to count: Harry Reid offensively calling Boehner out on his “credibility problem”, Representative Randy Neugebauer assaulting an innocent park ranger for blocking the WWII memorial that he and his fellow Congressmen closed, or even Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s decision to lambast Obama in a Washington Post Op-ED. If all of that isn’t enough evidence for you, then let me give you five super important reasons why this government shutdown…

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What I Like and Don’t Like About Being a Boy: Thoughts from a group of Grade 4 Boys.

Thanks to our friends at Higher Unlearning

**The following is an excerpt from the Higher Unlearning post ‘Understanding Boys, Understanding Girls‘**


I spoke at a conference in Toronto back in 2012 where my mission was to hang with a group of Grade 4 boys, all day. All. Day. Just me.

No sweat.

These boys from various parts of the city settled in, as their educators then went into their own day session.  A freckled boy with long red hair came by himself and sat down. A young boy then whispered loudly to his small group of fellow classmates at end of the room “Yo, is that a GIRL??”

And there it was, right on time, that train is never late.
Pressures to be a certain way.
Pressures to enforce a certain way of being.

We started out the day talking about how there are rules for people deemed boys and girls to behave and act a certain way…

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National Campus Sexual Assault Summit


Angela Rose

PAVE’s National Campus Sexual Assault Summit: Prevention, Empowerment, and Policy
Featuring Sarah Rice from MTV’s The Real World

WHAT: National nonprofit PAVE (Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment) present the National Campus Sexual Assault Summit: Prevention, Empowerment, and Policy, webcast live to 300 colleges nationwide from Georgetown University Law Center, with MTV’s Sarah Rice, among other guests.

WHEN: Friday, September 27, 2013

WHERE: Georgetown University Law Center
Room 207, McDonough Hall
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

12:40 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Welcome and Introduction
Angela Rose, Survivor and Activist, and Founder of PAVE

1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. – Surprise guest

1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Panel 1- The Survivor’s Voice & Organizing on Campus
Laura Dunn, Survivor & Activist, Founder of SurvJustice, PAVE Ambassador, Media Commentator

Wendy Wyler, Survivor and Activist

1:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Panel 2 – Policy, Title IX, and the Justice System
Nancy Chi Cantalupo…

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A Moment of Gratitude

Kickass K.Hart

Just the other day I attended a fundraising kick off for the Melrose Alliance Against Violence’s annual Candlelight Vigil and Walk. It is an event held every year in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness month, to raise funds for programs and resources in effort to break the cycle of violence. MAAV has been a huge support to me, and continues to be, as I continuously cope with being a sexual assault survivor. So it is important to me, that I give back to them in any way that I can to show just how important MAAV is to me. My first opportunity to do so was at the fundraising kick off event, where I agreed to step out from behind the safety of my computer screen and share a little of my story with those in attendance. It was a way of expressing just how important their efforts as…

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Boys don’t cry

This is my favorite quote from the piece:

“I am very aware that I’m another woman writing about ‘the crisis of masculinity’, not that I’d like to call it that. The Guardian recently published an article about the prevailing absence of men from debates about their own gender; public females, often figureheads for feminism, are speaking out about masculinity more and more, but their rallying cries are often met with stoic male silence.  As the article says, this doesn’t have to be the case, and hopefully won’t continue to be.”

At MasculinityU, we certainly believe in ending that silence and will continue to work to do so. Please check out Sophie Hemery’s blog post and continue to follow her writing. She has a powerful perspective and will undoubtedly emerge as a prominent voice in this space.

Throwing like a woman

ImageMan up and grow a pair; woman up and grow a vagina?

Both are daunting psychological demands, let alone biologically challenging feats. The first tautological taunt reflects an empty, ridiculing reaction to (usually) male emotional vulnerability. The second I’ve rarely heard. Since when is acting ‘like a woman’ and having a vagina aspirational, particularly for men? Of course neither unsympathetic suggestion is in any way useful in engaging with another person’s problems.

I am very aware that I’m another woman writing about ‘the crisis of masculinity’, not that I’d like to call it that. The Guardian recently published an article about the prevailing absence of men from debates about their own gender; public females, often figureheads for feminism, are speaking out about masculinity more and more, but their rallying cries are often met with stoic male silence. As the article says, this doesn’t have to be the case, and hopefully…

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Why This Particular White Guy Still Says #IAmTrayvonMartin


 “To the middle class, white, socially concerned activist who wears a shirt emblazoned with those slogans, you are wrong. I know you wear that shirt to stand in solidarity with Trayvon, Troy, and other victims of injustice. The purpose of those shirts is to humanize these victims of our society, by likening them to the middle class white activist wearing it. And once we’ve humanized the victims, this proves to us the arbitrariness of their deaths and thereby the injustice at play. But the fact of the matter is that these men’s deaths are anything but arbitrary. The fact that the real Troy Davis and Trayvon Martin and countless other victims of oppression are buried under 6 feet of cold dirt while we middle class white activists are alive, marching, and wearing their names is an indication that our societal system is working exactly as it’s intended.” – Emma Halling, March 2012

My brothers are black. That often throws people off when we talk about our family, but it is true. In March of 2012, I was initiated into the Pi Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. The five distinguished men who were on that line with me are five of the people that I am closest to in this world. They know that they can call me up day or night and I will drop what I am doing if they need me. They do the same for me. They have been there for me in my darkest moments. They have shown me love and compassion that I thought couldn’t exist beyond the blood bonds of family. They have shown me the true meaning of solidarity and brotherhood.


This is my family picture (with one brother missing who is currently serving in the Peace Corps)

Around the same time that my line brothers and I were having one of the most transformative and rewarding experiences of our life, Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. Many young people rallied around his parents in a call for justice. We marched. We took to social media. We demanded that Zimmerman be apprehended and be put on trial.

On Twitter many, myself included, took to using the hashtag #IAmTrayvonMartin and demanding #JusticeForTrayvon. One young woman saw it a little differently though. Emma Halling, a young activist, took to YouTube with a compelling message for people like me (that is to say her white, middle class peers). She called us out for identifying with Trayvon when in reality we needed to check our privilege and recognize that we had more in common with George Zimmerman. On that account, I don’t disagree with her. I am tremendously privileged. As a white man in America, my cup runneth over with societal privilege. I am also tremendously fortunate, like Emma was, to have had life experiences that led me to question societal norms and the status quo.

I’m encouraged by the dialogue that she spurred with her video last year and also fascinated by the “We Are Not Trayvon Martin” meme that has taken hold in the past few days. To see men and women of different colors and creeds name their privilege and talk about how they are honoring Trayvon’s memory, is something that is powerful. Still, I’m conflicted. Try as I might, I can’t fully sign on to that line of thinking. While I recognize that the systems in place in our country treat us differently and in ways that are unbelievably unfair to men of color, I still have a desire to identify with the hopeful young soul who was gunned down tragically.

For me, it boils down to the concept of Ubuntu that Archbishop Desmond Tutu explains so eloquently:

“In our country we’ve got something called ubuntu. When I want to praise you, I say this person has ubuntu. Because in our culture there is no such thing as a solitary individual. We say a person is a person through other persons. That we belong in the bundle of life. And I want you to be all you can be, because that’s the only way I can be all I can be. I need you! I need you to be you so that I can be me.” -Archbishop Tutu, October 2007

For me to live a full life and feel completely whole, I need to see the humanity of Trayvon or that of my line brothers. Just because they were born black and I was born white and we were both born into a system that grossly favors me over them, doesn’t give me the right to say “I am not them”.

I refuse to believe that we are not Trayvon Martin. Because as long as young men of color are not safe to walk the streets in peace, none of us are whole.