SDS Womyn's Caucus Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Abuse/Sexual Assault

Posted by Robin, Philly

hugging salt n pepper

A person-shaped salt shaker and pepper shaker hug each other, the salt shaker looks a bit taken aback.

This is post #2 in a series called I.N.A.Y.: It’s Not About You. I.N.A.Y. #1: “Effectively” Calling Out Patriarchy can be found here.

Recently, I had a series of discussions with a new male acquaintance about touching. Basically, I had tried to communicate that I disliked him touching me, and he kept doing it anyway. When he was confronted about this, his explanation was that he thinks people in our society are too isolated from each other, and in an effort to bridge our isolation, he goes out of his way to touch people.

The guy is certainly not the first person in my life to repeatedly touch me when I’ve tried to make it clear I don’t want them to, but I’ll give it to him that he’s the first person to have apparently put so much thought into it, indeed to have a theory around it.

The problem is, by reducing it to a formulaic theory (we’ve talked about the link between theory and patriarchy on here before), he is putting his ideology before the desires of actual people in his life. He is being harmfully dogmatic, his actions say “I know best what is good for you, better than you do. Even if you ask me not to touch you, I will because I know what you need.” I.E., he’s being paternalistic and entitled.

Read the rest of this entry »


By: Karen LaRocca

I might have to drop out of college.

My GPA is a .98; I had a 3.4 back in high school. I was a good student in high school, and I am one now that I am back in school.

According to the policies of college, this is no real excuse for failure in classes to a certain degree.

When college records are examined for maintaining scholarships, transferring schools, or getting an internship or job, GPA is what is seen and not the reason behind it.

I failed my classes because I didn’t do the required work. I wouldn’t go to class, too tired from the racing thoughts that haunted me at night. I wasn’t able to sleep, trapped in the thought of you and what happened in my own bed. I didn’t eat, dealing with the shock. I cut myself, unable to scream loud enough, unable to express the anger inside.

No one likes the depressed girl; the ‘Debbie Downer’ who ruins the vibe. Within a few weeks, I became increasingly alone; it seemed as though everyone had abandoned me. My only friends were Misery, Rage, and Silence.

Some friend of mine you were; telling me that it happens to everyone. Well, it doesn’t. It shouldn’t. If it happens to everyone, why is it never talked about? It seems as though rape is yet another word that is thrown around conversation with no particular meaning. “Ya, I was walking home in that sketchy neighborhood and almost got raped. Hahaha…”  Were you really? Is that what really happened? Why can’t I tell an experience that actually happened? Why does it hurt so much to even think about it?

The confusion; the shock; the self doubt; the disgust; the hate. Who could have seen this happening my freshman year, or any year for that matter? Am I just another statistic? Did I set myself up? If you all were really my friends, how could you just let things unfold the way they did? How could a person do this to me?

Who are you? The power you had over me as you held me against my will, you are aggression. The way you took advantage of me while my mind and body were under the influence, you are deception.

You were a stranger, only visiting friends for the night. I never spoke with you except to know your name. An ambiguous face that could be anyone, you haunt me every time I pass by another male. I wish I could seek you out. Tell you what you did to me then and still do to me now. Share with you the pain I have every day so you will always remember. Maybe you don’t even know what you did.

Trust, broken. Values, changed. Way of being, transformed. Life… somehow renewed.

You made me stumble, but I have picked myself back up. I picked up the memories of what happened that were scattered in the aftermath. I picked up my wounded mind and found a way to heal it. I picked up my torn spirit and made it whole; only a scar and the memories attached to it remain.

It has taken a long time to truely feel it, but I am not a victim of rape anymore; I am a survivor. I control my own destiny, and I refuse to have you control me any longer.

I might have to drop out of college because of you, but I refuse to go down without a fight.

-posted by Christa (Philly) and Emilyn (Drew SDS)-

by Andrea Gibson

there are days
when there is no way
not even a chance
that i’d dare for even a second
glance at the reflection of my body in the mirror Read the rest of this entry »

-posted by Emilyn (Drew SDS) and Christa-

I’m really excited to announce that we are showcasing a visual artist this week!  Katherine Murdock attended Drew University with Emilyn and I and has does really interesting work with different mediums.  She has done paintings/works with themes of sexual assault, environmentalism, and breast cancer.  You can check out her work and artist statement on her website: Enjoy some of her pieces below!

Partially Censored Pink Mannequins, 2009 (digital photo)

Raped, 2007 (Oil Paint)

Read the rest of this entry »

There are more problems with the L Word than I care to count, but occasionally they hit on something that is worth mentioning.  This episode was aired almost 5 years ago, but I still think it is worth posting and discussing.

In the episode Jenny discovers her roommate Mark had installed hidden cameras and had been filming them (including Shane and her partner having sex) for his “documentary”.

Read the rest of this entry »

posted by Emilyn (Drew SDS) & Christa

The Phoenix by Vanessa Nichols

At the dawn,

The sun sheds her cloak of mood, cloak and starry black skies

And stands naked, bright and shining,

Filled with yellow, and orange, and brilliance.

And all I can do is wish to be as lovely as she.

Such radiance! Like the Phoenix rising;

Arms turned into wings the color of glowing embers

Stretched as wide and far as the rays of the sun herself.

Bursting with passion and gold and blazing.

Too small and too wonderful to contain it all.

But we don’t believe in blinding flames anymore.

How can we dream of such light? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Carly, Providence SDS

For a year now, I’ve been struggling with the question of how to share my experiences, and my chapter’s experiences, of a member’s abusive behavior in a productive, conscionable way.

Read the rest of this entry »