I want to be an adult, but I am not sure it is going to work.
Columbia student will carry her mattress until her rapist exits school
September 2, 2014
While most students at Columbia University will spend the first day of classes carrying backpacks and books, Emma Sulkowicz will start her semester on Tuesday with a far heavier burden. The senior plans on carrying an extra-long, twin-size mattress across the quad and through each New York City building – to every class, every day – until the man she says raped her moves off campus.
“I was raped in my own bed,” Sulkowicz told me the other day, as she was gearing up to head back to school in this, the year American colleges are finally, supposedly, ready to do something about sexual assault. “I could have taken my pillow, but I want people to see how it weighs down a person to be ignored by the school administration and harassed by police.”
Sulkowicz is one of three women who made complaints to Columbia against the same fellow senior, who was found “not responsible” in all three cases. She alsofiled a police report, but Sulkowicz was treated abysmally – by the cops, and by a Columbia disciplinary panel so uneducated about the scourge of campus violence that one panelist asked how it was possible to be anally raped without lubrication.
So Sulkowicz joined a federal complaint in April over Columbia’s mishandling of sexual misconduct cases, and she will will hoist that mattress on her shoulders as part savvy activism, part performance art. “The administration can end the piece, by expelling him,” she says, “or he can, by leaving campus.”
As painful as I know the constant reminder of attending school with her rapist must be, I’m glad she won’t be the only one forced to remember. I hope the rapist drops out immediately…or better yet, I hope he faces the justice he deserves.
Sorry to do this to you on a Monday, but My So-Called Life premiered 20 years ago today and we are old.
what the fucking fuck. It was my 16th birthday.
I am still mad that they cancelled it.
I have no food in the house. It is raining heavily with lightening. I had an allergic reaction to something so now I have a rash and am itchy. Do I order pizza for delivery even though I just got it a couple days ago?
Representation Matters: Doc McStuffins
As you know, I am such a fan of media representation for women in STEM, but I haven’t given fair credit to the amazing Doc McStuffins! I feel like I’ve been living under a rock, but this little girl is absolutely perfect. She’s the daughter of a doctor and takes the things she learns from her mom and applies them to her own practice, Her toy practice! She’s smart, curious and according to show creator Chris Nee, she’s also a “strong, assertive character who’s going places in life”. In one episode she was struggling with a diagnosis for one of her patients, but that didn’t get her down. “I won’t give up, until I figure it out!” she cried! She is just the role model pre-school kids deserve.
While she’s teaching kids about health and hygiene, she also making a huge impact. Doc McStuffins is a top rated-program for the 2-5 age group. Little boys and girls love her; merchandise of the show garnered more than $500 million in sales last year. I can’t go to a restaurant or a grocery store anymore without seeming some kid toting her doll around. She’s everywhere!
While she’s awesome and adorable, most importantly she’s a great role model for young girls, especially for girls of color. There is a disproportionately low number of women in STEM, but there’s an even less women of color in STEM fields. Women of color make up about 7% of employed scientists and only 1.9% of the nation’s doctors.
“It’s so powerful to show representation of somebody who’s not usually on TV”, show creator Chris Nee spoke of this importance in a recent interview with MSNBC. Representation matters. Women, especially young people, need to see themselves in the characters they see. It gives them to the chance to say “I could do that, I could be that”. Even Disney executives admit the power media has on the way people, especially kids, see the world. So for a character like Doc McStuffins, a little girl of color who is interested in STEM, to have all the force of the Disney brand behind her, is something to truly celebrate!
gather them, john
As much as I have loved having this three day weekend, the kids are going to be SO off tomorrow.
Time for bed ya’ll.
From the Twitterverse. MSNBC appears to have misplaced Europe.
We get a fair amount of questions about illness and disability in the wizarding world, so let’s let Jo explain.
This is wonderful.
That’s the number of arrest warrants issued in Ferguson last year for nonviolent crimes. Compare that to the population of 21,135 people.
"White citizens were stopped less than 13% of the time despite making up 29% of the population"
At some point I’ll stop talking about Ferguson. Today is not that day.
"Love In the Time of Tear Gas." Picture from Ferguson
Why aren’t we seeing this everywhere? Soooo much more meaningful than this, which was everywhere:
Those were my EXACT thoughts.
We all know why.
"Love in the Time of Tear Gas" is a BRILLIANT title for this photo.
I don't think you're lying when you teach them to trust the police. The difference is teaching them how to handle bad people in good positions. To me, it's no different than teaching a student how to handle a bad teacher. Can you have classroom visitors for them to meet police officers, firemen, and EMTs? Then again, you know my sensitivities on this subject and you can take my bias as you wish. :D
Note: this became a ramble and went a little off topic — sorry about that.
I understand your points. I also understand why you feel the way you do — many members of my family work in law enforcement, courts, and military. I am proud of them and I know they do good work. I would tell any of my students to trust my family members and the law enforcement people I’ve met through them.
At the same time, in Pre-K, it is hard to teach about “gray areas.” Most of their world is either right or wrong. There are “bad guys” and “good guys.” Teaching them that most police are good, but there might be some bad ones opens some serious cans of worms and I have to spend some time thinking about how to do it and how to do it with that age group. It is something I’ve been rolling around in my mind.
But also, I have to remember that I am a white teacher in a class with only Black and Latino children. That they have likely already witness unfair treatment of their family members.
I grew up in Suburbia with very little diversity. I had a handful of friends that weren’t white, but those were pretty much the only people of color I actually knew. Sure, I heard about racism and about instances where people in power treated groups of people unfairly. I didn’t agree with it, but I also had no idea how rampant it really was. I didn’t know how often it happened. I didn’t see it on tv, and I didn’t know anyone it had happened to.
But in college and afterwards, I was fortunate to befriend some awesome people who were black. These friends were ever so patient with me and took the time to teach me things that again, weren’t their responsibility. I had questions, so many questions. I had questions about hair, questions about terms, questions about what slang was ok for white people to use, and got really upset when I was called thick. They got to know my heart well-enough that I knew I could ask them about these things that I hadn’t felt comfortable asking other people. I was afraid my questions and ignorance might be taken as racist or rude or something. I had been so afraid of offending that I just never learned.
And as I became closer to them, I heard their stories about driving while black, walking while black, being detained without given a reason, etc. Every single one had more than one story of a time it happened with a police officer. They had stories about their parents, aunties, uncles, cousins. It was hard to find out how naive I was. They made jokes about keeping certain lawyers on retainer for when this happened, but I think there was a bit of seriousness to it.
I ended up sort of dating one of these great guys who are some of the most considerate, intelligent, compassionate, and protective people I know. One night, I volunteered to be the designated driver while some of his friends were in town. I was pulled over while driving them back to the house. The guy I was dating was in the passenger seat started apologizing as soon as the cop went back to his car. He said it was his fault for being in the front seat. That he’d pay the ticket. We didn’t even know why I was pulled over yet, and he just knew it had to do with the color of his skin. I was shocked at how quickly he jumped to that conclusion. The police officer came back to the car and then took everyone’s license to run. I think that’s legal, but when I finally got the officer to tell me why he pulled me over (after asking multiple, multiple times what the reason was), he said it was for making a left-hand turn on green after 2 am. I went back the next day — there’s no such sign there. Or on any of the nearby streets. I was not ticketed, but I did show him a police courtesy card once he told me why I was pulled over.
And when we got home I told him that under no circumstances was he to be sorry I had been pulled over. That if I had been ticketed he wouldn’t have had to pay for it. That I never would have held him at fault for someone else’s prejudices.
I can’t pretend with my students like their police encounters will mostly be positive. I don’t think I can tell them that it might be bad. I’m stuck in this place where I really am at a loss.
My students are not white. Their families probably won’t ever have a get out of jail free card. I don’t know the statistics on positive vs. negative police interactions are with people that are black or Latino, but I doubt it is good. My students will likely face a situation where they or their parents are questioned or pulled over solely based on the color of their skin.
I want to protect them from that knowledge. I want them to think the world is a wonderful place.
So as I struggle with this, I will focus on what community workers such as police are supposed to do, why we need police and other first responders. I will point out the Youth Relations Deputy and invite him to my room. But I will also teach students how to speak up for themselves and the importance of standing with someone else when they are not being treated right. I will continue to take classroom situations and allow them chances to solve the problem or think of solutions instead of just solving for them.
And I will continue to write letters and try to raise awareness.
Why my Joe Schmoe is awesome
Joe Schmoe has flaws, just like the rest of us. He has a hard time understanding people’s experiences / reactions that are different than his own. I’ve tried for years to get him to understand that my general anxiety disorder is different than times he has felt anxious because of work. He tried to understand, but his reactions to when I felt pretty much paralyzed because of my anxiety showed he didn’t get it. This summer, I explained what happens when the anxiety hits. That I want to hide under the covers. I can’t stop thinking about it. I lose sleep. It interferes with things I enjoy. One Christmas was ruined because I was worried students’ parents would be mad that I got them Christmas presents. That the anxiety is usually caused or triggered by mundane things. Things that I intellectually know are not big deals. Things that I know what to do or say, but am really freaked out/scared/worried about doing. That I have to imagine putting those worries in a box, locking it, putting on the top shelf and locking the door and then giving the keys to someone I trust. And I have to remind myself of that vision often.
I explained this because of my anxiety over dealing with my homeowners insurance with the flood, arguing over warranties, trying to get my account right with the internet company that didn’t put my account on vacation as asked, and trying to negotiate a better deal for my satellite tv. That those things all at once, had me wanting to run for the covers. No amount of “listening to him” do it would help for future circumstances because I already knew the basic things to say. That didn’t make the anxiety go away. It didn’t make my belief that such representatives tend to listen to men better than women go away. It didn’t make my worries about money and being screwed over disappear. He worked on the things I was stressed about, but I still didn’t think he got it completely.
With my dish washer problem, I was getting pretty frustrated. I e-mailed my Joe Schmoe about some Labor Day ads on appliances I saw in the paper and asked his advice about which way to go. Before I could open the e-mail which said I should go into Lowe’s, see if they had any open boxed dish washers, and negotiate an even lower price, he called to offer to call the store himself and negotiate because he knew how much it upset me. I was grateful, and he agreed, but there were no such dish washers. He gave me the best advice he could and I went into the store to pick a model myself.
I called him afterwards to tell him what I picked. He told me he was proud of me. Just now he texted me to tell me he just told my grandma how proud of me he was — because of the dish washer.
Now. I don’t need him to go overboard about being proud of me doing simple things that I should be doing. But I think he’s starting to get it.
Who lives in Nashville and wants to come SPINNING with me????
I’ve got a discount code for you :)
I wish I lived in Nashville today.
"Given the timeline and the league’s hesitence to take action, it’s hard to tell whether the NFL took a stand against domestic violence or was simply left with no alternative from a public-relations standpoint?"
Too little too late for sure.