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Bitch, be careful: The importance of context in language

Whether or not you agree that “bitch” perpetuates a sexist conception of women and should be phased out, the lesson here is that context is everything: words matter, and it is vital to assess their meaning when they are used lest they mindlessly infiltrate our vocabulary like the word “like.” At the very least, people should be careful, speaking with intent not reckless abandon, recognizing exactly what they are saying, why, and to what effect.

Humor and responsibility

This responsibility to know the difference between offense and harm becomes more complicated when we leave the world of professional comedy for Stanford, but using this framework of determining who is the target of a joke is useful. Use humor in art or entertainment responsibly, and think before crossing the line of controversy and offense into more hurtful territory.

Photoshop: An unchecked evil

You don’t have to think all ads should promote realism or a certain body standard. But we should all agree that participating in a world of fiction – body parts that don’t exist – should at the very least necessitate FTC oversight, the kind of oversight it neglected to take on in 2011 or 2014 when it merely proposed laws advocating more research.

Sympathy and blame: Responding to rape

This seems to be an area in which men – the vast majority of the accused – are blatantly shown higher respect in the aftermath of these events compared to women – most often the victims. Rapists and sexual predators should be punished for their actions, and the level of distrust reserved for victims should not outweigh the level of distrust for perpetrators of sexual violence.

Why you Tinder on campus

The reason millennials in particular seek ease in a dating app is not just to amplify the number of connections. Rather, it is to assuage a valid fear that meeting in person is too risky. It’s risky because we assume that the only thing we’re allowed to ask of the people we meet in person is sexual, not personal.