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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To Be A Man Is To Be Responsible

By Jonathan Kalin, founder of Party with Consent

 “To be a man, is to be responsible,” – Antoine de Saint Exupery

My father died in a car accident when I was 12 years old. While I was old enough to understand that this spontaneous event would have monumental significance, I was unaware of how much my father’s passing would affect my understanding of masculinity as I grew during my formative teenage years.

As an only child, there was an immediate void of masculine guidance. Masculinity was something I would have to develop an understanding of without a consistent interaction with older men. That said, this did not attribute to a void of love. Experiencing the death of her father at a young age, my mother did everything in her power to teach me how to be a man, while simultaneously being my mother and my father.

We quickly found that certain educational moments between father and son were nearly impossible to duplicate as mother and son.We learned and struggled together as I grew up and grappled with things many take for granted like learning how to shave or how I was supposed to talk to women at school

Still, in her commitment to my development, she taught me more than I could have ever asked for. She showed me that , no matter what happens to you or what predicament you find yourself in, there is something you can do about it. So even if her husband died suddenly, she could still be my support system on her own. And for me, even if statistics show that 71% of high school dropouts grew up in fatherless homes, with my mother as my foundation, I knew I didn’t have to become a statistic.

My respect for my mother grew into a strong respect for all women in the world. When media and peers at prep school consistently portrayed women as objects or lesser than men, I always knew that something wasn’t right because of the strength that my mother portrayed day-in and day-out.

And in that strength, I learned from my mother how to be a man. See, being a man isn’t about shaving. It’s not about making rape jokes. It’s not even about having a dick. It is about accountability. It is about responsibility. And it is about doing our part to leave this world better than how we found it.

I didn’t just magically arrive at this point. It has been a journey and a struggle and it will continue to be.  Going into my freshman year of college, I didn’t define myself as a feminist. I didn’t define myself as an activist on gender issues. I actually didn’t even define myself as a man.

Blinded by my male privilege, I typically didn’t notice my gender.

This all changed the winter of my freshman year, when a friend of mine shared with me their story of surviving a sexual assault on campus. At the time, I thought sexual violence was something that happened in a dark alleyway, not at the campus of an elite liberal arts college for the leaders of tomorrow.

That was the catalyst that spurred me to act. I was a part of the inaugural class of Male Athletes Against Violence which is currently the only anti-violence group at my college. Now, I am entering my second year as president of this organization (since re-named Mules Against Violence)

Unfortunately, some people still think that sexual violence is a women’s issue and not one for men to consider. For years, people have been asking women why they got sexually assaulted for years. We are asking the wrong question. We need to stop portraying women as weak. We need to stop “blaming the victim”. We need to start focusing on men,, the perpetrators in 90% of sexual assaults, and considering ‘why did you sexual assault?’ It’s time for men to step up and be responsible.

That’s how my story ends today. Excited to see how it continues tomorrow. And the greatest thing about this movement is – you don’t need an intricate story. All you need to believe is “To be a man, is to be responsible.”

Jonathan Kalin is the President of Mules Against Violence at Colby College and the founder of Party With Consent.