Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Break the Box

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about acknowledging the legitimacy of less frequently discussed forms of abuse, namely verbal and emotional abuse. Soon after writing that post, I came across a beautifully crafted public service announcement created by the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. The purpose of the video, according to the description, is to illustrate the powerful ways in which verbal harassment and gender stereotypes perpetuate sexual violence. 

While watching the clip, try to recall instances in which phrases like those displayed in the video were directed towards you. Did you feel powerless, weak, angry, or even violent in  those moments? Furthermore, while hearing those things may not have caused you to abuse someone, have you ever treated someone poorly after being bullied yourself? Did you do so in an attempt to bolster your own confidence or to regain control of the situation?

I encourage you to take this as an opportunity to reflect on how your experiences affect the way you treat others, and furthermore, to realize how your actions may affect others' actions down the line.

"Sexual violence isn't just about rape or physical harassment. It begins when we hurt people through the words we use and attitudes we carry. Stereotypes of what it means to be a man or woman—for instance, boys should do physical activities and girls need to be "ladylike"—can limit our worth and potential, and create an unequal balance of power that perpetuates sexual violence." 
-TAASA Video Description

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