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Rethinking gender and sexual assault policy: My story

While Stanford has a concrete definition of sexual assault, the SARA Office affirmed that before even consulting legal definitions, it is first up to the survivor to define what happened based on how they feel. I personally do not want to press charges; we both strayed blindly into grey areas that night. Luckily, I came out the other side without any traumatic emotional scarring or depression. However, not everyone may be so lucky if put in this situation. Never once have I called this woman my “attacker” or “assailant” because I didn’t emotionally respond as though it were an attack or an assault. To me, she’s just a student that made a mistake. However, she does deserve to know that what she did is defined as sexual assault. What she does not deserve is expulsion. We need to understand that we can’t solve these grey issues with black and white statements and punishments.

‘We Will Not Standby: A Bystander Intervention Theater Show’

Justice means dismantling oppressive systems and fighting for appropriate equity. Nuance means everything in the matter of justice. Depending on your place in a society that was built around an oppressive framework, a heteronormative, race absent show doesn’t do you justice. Teaching how to operate and dance around male privilege without spelling it out and challenging it, doesn’t do enough.

Hey there, beautiful

Not only are the aforementioned arguments ineffective at deflating the video’s intent, they move us toward the wrong sorts of conversations regarding the matter at hand. Instead of trying to correct our reactions toward the video or determine whether people have a right to be offended, we ought to be focusing on discussing what the video intends to convey without minimizing or writing off any reactions to it.

Let’s talk about sex

Let us catch up to this standard in how we engage in conversations about sex on campus, through active participation in relevant events, active discussion when possible, and active self-education. The alternative? A world in which sex in all its permutations and all its mentions is stuck under the perpetual cloud of gray areas.

Stand Against Normal

I #StandWithLeah because we’re all still lying down. The last few weeks have been a storm of controversial events: the Snapchat CEO’s leaked emails, Provost Etchemendy’s hasty response to the entire undergraduate population, #StandWithLeah and the ongoing struggle to reform the University’s sexual assault policies and resources. It’s easy to see those events as separate…