Juliana Brint

As Molly noticed, there seems to be a fair amount of resistance and uncertainty when it comes to involving men in the prevention of sexual assault. It seems to me like the Eagle’s Editorial Board, galled by the import Lt. Rima Sifri says RAD for Men gives to the phrase, “I’m sorry, there has been a misunderstanding, I am leaving now,” didn’t notice the sentence immediately after that quote in their news story, which explains that there is also a tactical defense component. Maybe this is because there’s an underlying belief that to be a male involved in feminist causes, you must be somehow feminized, or at least not traditionally masculine.

I also have some issues with the editorial’s assertion that women must be involved in getting men to participate in the anti-rape movement. While sexual assault is usually viewed as a “women’s issue” and the onus is typically on women to prevent rape by speaking out, learning defense tactic, avoiding risky situations, et cetra, men need to have a role, too, and that role can be independent from women’s efforts—groups like GU Men Advocating Relationship Responsibility and the Men Can Stop Rape movement come to mind.

A key tenet of these groups, like RAD for men, is re-framing masculinity to focus more on the manliness of restraint and respect rather than aggression. This kind of work getting at the underlying motivation for sexual assault is essential and men can be more effective (or at least equally effective) at it than women.

Still, I don’t think that the Eagle’s editorial was totally without merit. While the assumption that the responsibility for reducing rape falls to women needs to be changed, I think there would, in fact, be some value in having an inter-gender conversation on what rape is and what constitutes consent. If we want to reduce sexual assault, we can’t rely entirely on either single-sex education or coed coalitions—we have to have both. It seems like the RAD course would be improved if it offered an additional session or two where both genders come together to talk about these issues while retaining the gender-specific classes.


Juliana Brint

Hoyas Anonymous—Georgetown Health Services’ attempt at harnessing the power of the Post Secret-model as an antidote to (now defunct?) “gossip sites whose outcome is hurt and increased separation“—has come into my good graces for not only having the greatest tagline on the internet (“Hoyas on the outside, Humans on the inside”) but also for posting what I’m assuming is the latest edition of the Stall Seat Journal, Georgetown’s WC-centric news source of record (I can’t be totally sure, though, since my stall-of-choice here in Kennedy is still woefully SSJ-deficient).

This month’s topic? Sexually Transmitted Infections! Because if STIs won’t scare the crap out of you (disgusting pun intended), nothing will:

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Boys, this could be you

Molly Redden

Vox Populi reports that GUSA voted to approve the $900 necessary to start the long-awaited RAD program, or Rape Aggression Defense classes. The money will be enough to buy four $225 training suits—for a class of women. But now that GUSA and DPS have invested smartly, they might want to start thinking about our men.

American University did, (its Resisting Aggression with Defense for men teaches physical defense in aggressive situations as well as tactics for avoiding physical confrontations), but not without supremely offending its paper of record The Eagle‘s editorial board, which instead of embracing the idea balked at the prospect of telling men not to be men:

“Men do certainly seem to be more aggressive than women, but it is doubtful that four classes, totaling 12 hours, would be able to change years of learned behavior or magically lower elevated levels of testosterone … Instead, Public Safety should offer a class in addition to the women’s only RAD class that includes both men and women. A class that caters to both genders could be doubly beneficial in that it would help men and women get on the same page about sexual assault.”

Public Safety’s Sgt. Dale Booth soon set them staight in an op-ed over their misconception of what the class actually teaches. Nonetheless, the editorial board’s initial response to what they saw as a proactive anger-management class for men still interests, because they broadly misplace male responsibility as it resides in the murky world of fights and assault.

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Juliana Brint

Stephanie Hannah, the Hoya’s new imitation-Carrie Bradshaw, popped her columnist cherry last week with a truly abominable set of recommendations for what to do if you happen to find yourself taking someone’s virginity.

The biggest problem with the piece is the assumption it makes that losing it to someone you’re in a relationship with = good and losing it more casually = bad:

“Yes, I have heard a few stories of people who were in relationships and had an amazing first time. However, I have also heard plenty of horror stories, from being in a drunk, sloppy stupor to him not being able to get it up.”

Please, there’s no one ideal, perfect way to lose your virginity. Sure, some girls want a bed of roses, a candle-lit room, a flute of champagne and their boyfriend of two and half years. But for some of us, Yom Kippur, the Leavey Esplanade, a couple shots of vodka and that funny guy we sat next to last week at Shabbat are just as good (uh, for example).

There’s only one absolute when it comes to losing your virginity: it’s as big a deal as you make it. Some people want it to be a big, romantic event, some want it to be something exciting and funny, some just want to get it over with. We shouldn’t be attaching a value judgment to which path people choose.

In the other shame-the-sluts section, she makes a truly bizarre comment about those who sleep around ending up with a guy like Trey from Sex and City who can’t get it up. Is she trying to suggest that there’s some karmic punishment for female promiscuity? And is she really incapable of going through her first sex column without a Sex and City reference?

The unbecoming judgy-ness aside, the column is not even that useful.

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Molly Redden

As you can see from our info page, we Vag Populi writers are raring to discuss the issues that challenge and confront women at Georgetown.

As far as “issues” go, we feel that campus is ripe with gender issues to discuss—from the occasional egregiously misogynistic articles that appear in campus publications, to the dearth of women in academic and some student leadership positions. The writers of this blog are also eager to draw from their wealth of relevant knowledge and pass it on—if you’ve ever wondered where to get waxed in Georgetown and where to avoid, this blog is for you.

And the Resevoir Dogs-esque banner above just goes to show that we mean business.