Taari Coleman | Staff Writer
Rape culture is a growing phenomenon within the United States. One in five women will experience sexual assault during their undergraduate studies, according to Jenn Scott, Assistant Director of Interpersonal Violence Services in the Women’s Center at N.C. State.
Despite this alarming statistic, rape culture is increasingly becoming a topic that is trivialized on college campuses.
In late 2013, two separate instances illustrated this, the first, an email with the subject, “How to Lure Your Rapebait,” which was circulated throughout Georgia University’s Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. The email was sent by the fraternity’s social chair and included advice such as, “If all else fails, get more alcohol” and “no raping.”
A month after the Phi Kappa Tau email, David Hookstead, a student at the University of Wisconsin emailed a letter to the editor an independent newspaper on campus in which he said there was no such thing as rape culture. The letter was fittingly titled “Rape Culture Does Not Exist.”
For many, the idea that rape culture does not exist might seem to be something only a man would argue, but Caroline Kitchens, a reporter with US News shatters this myth. In her article, “The Rape ‘Epidemic’ Doesn’t Actually Exist,” Kitchens describes how “unclear definitions” and “illegitimate surveys” have botched rape statistics. Kitchens paints individuals accused of sexual assault on college campuses as victims. She has trouble with the federal government mandating that college campuses use a “preponderance of evidence” standard, which requires at least half of a panel to find that it is more than likely that a sexual assault occurred than not for action to be taken.
Scott explained the idea behind that philosophy saying in part, “On college campuses, the most one can incur by way of disciplinary action [for sexual assault] is expulsion, whereas [when] facing criminal charges, the result is jail time.” She continued with, “Being kicked out of college and spending any amount of time in jail are two completely different consequences. If it is acceptable to expel a student for plagiarizing, it should be acceptable to do at least that much for assault.”
There were a total of six forcible sex offenses reported to N.C. State according to the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report released by Campus Police in October 2013.
It is Scotts belief that rape culture has forced many to analyze and reanalyze their situations and often times, leads to an assault left unreported,
The New York Coalition Against Sexual Assault reports that 80 percent of all rapes that occur are acquaintance, or “date rape” and that more than 70 percent of rape victims knew their attackers prior to the rape. This unfortunately means that the rape that most people, most women, are afraid of, the dark-alley, random-stranger “preventable” rapes, are likely not to happen. According to Scott, though many movies portray some sort of depressant drug slipped into a drink, the most commonly used acquaintance rape drug is alcohol.
An Overview of the AASAC Black History Month Instagram Photo Challenge
Last week, the Afrikan American Student Advisory Council (AASAC) began its Instagram Photo Challenge in honor of Black History Month. Each AASAC organization has the chance to win a $100 gift card provided by the Office for Institutional Equity & Diversity (OIED) by taking a picture at the required location each day. Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the challenge. Good luck!
FAQS About the Challenge:
Do I have to be in the picture?
Yes. This is to ensure only original photos are posted.
How many AASAC Organizations can I hashtag in a post?
You can only hashtag one AASAC Org. per post each day.
Will I be notified if I post an incorrect picture?
Yes, you will be notified on your post if it does not count, along with an explanation. You can try again, by 11:59 pm!
If I’m not a member of an AASAC Organization, can I still participate?
Yes! Everyone is encouraged to participate. If you’re not a member of an AASAC Org., you can choose to hashtag an Org. you’d like to receive points, or not hashtag one at all.
Why should I participate?
This challenge is meant to provide an interactive and fun way to EDUCATE students about African and African-American History at N.C. State! The intrinsic reward of learning about the legacy of our people is greater than any monetary prize.
Author Discusses History of Medical Experimentation on African-Americans
Nia Doaks | Staff Writer
Two centuries ago, during enslavement, Black people were thought of as an entirely different species with unique medical profiles. Unlike white people, Black people were not expected to feel pain. They were seen as less intelligent and often used for painful medical experiments, according to award winning author Harriet Washington.
On Feb. 6, Washington came to N.C. State to discuss these and many other claims concerning enslaved Black people and their role in physicians’ medical trials.
Washington’s visit was a part of the Lawrence M. Clark Lecture series, an annual lecture hosted by the African American Cultural Center in honor of Dr. Lawrence M. Clark who made significant contributions to N.C. State’s African-American community and beyond, as former associate provost and professor of mathematics education.
Washington referenced her book, Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present and explained to an audience of students, faculty and visitors, a number of inhumane experiments that were done on Black bodies during the time of slavery in the United States.
One practice Washington discussed involved subjecting Black women to painful experiments in order to find treatments for obstetric fistula, a complication that can arise during childbirth. J. Marion Sims, a southern physician who is regarded by some as the “father of modern gynecology” spearheaded the experimentation for this disorder. According to Washington, in his experiments, Sims would often have enslaved women forcibly held down so that he could administer the pain-inducing experimental treatments, which he performed on the women without using anesthesia.
Washington said Sims’ reasoning for why Black women developed obstetric fistula more often than White people was based on the speculation that they were “sexually immoderate” and “dirty.” According to Washington, this was not the case. More Black women experienced the complication because the damage attributed to it was most common among young mothers, and Black women sold into slavery were forced to reproduce at an earlier age, according to Washington.
“Scientific racism justified slavery and justified research,” said Washington. “Physicians are socialized in their training and taught things that aren’t true. Science practitioners are not always subjective.”
Some of the audience was left in disbelief, stun at Washington’s revelations about the ill treatment of enslaved Black people for medical gain. “It’s appalling to hear about the experimentation [that they did],” said Maurita Harris, a sophomore in psychology. “Just the fact that they had the audacity to assume that Blacks couldn’t feel pain even though they obviously had to hold people down while experimenting on them. It’s an indescribable feeling.”
According to Washington, doctors in that time period compared Black people to animals and used that reasoning to justify their experimentation.
“When you say people don’t feel pain you are depriving them of human qualities,” said Washington.
Though many things have changed since that time, Washington says it is the long history of medical wrongdoings which contributes to the Black community’s general distrust of doctors and medicine.
“Trust lies at the core of patient-physician relationships,” said Washington. “But black people were deprived of that trust… [and] today African-Americans and white people are still treated differently when it comes to [certain things].” Washington went on to explain that, even today, Black people are treated differently when it comes to pain relief because of the lasting assumptions that they ‘don’t feel pain’.
Washington’s book, Health and Medicine: A Social Justice Issue is available for purchase in the N.C. State bookstore.
This unsigned editorial is the opinion of the Nubian Message’s editorial board, and is the responsibility of the editor-in-chief.
Apparently, it’s open season on Black bodies. Jordan. Rekia. Trayvon. Jonathan. Renisha.
If you believe the justice system, Afrikan-Americans are considered no more human today than 150 years ago. If you didn’t understand that the foundation of this country was built on the institutionalized principles of racism before, perhaps now you’re starting to wake up.
The fact that a jury can find a 47-year-old white man guilty of attempted murder, yet cannot find him guilty of the actual murder that occurred, proves a noose is not needed in order for lynching to take place. The glorification and celebrity-like status that these murderers attain is reminiscent of the lynching postcards that were sent with messages like, “wish you were here.”
For how much longer can we take being treated as threats because our existence scares the majority into having to “stand their ground?” For how much longer will we teach our Black boys that Amerikkka’s perception of them as thugs is their problem to control? For how much longer will we give tacit approval to the murder of our bodies by criminalizing being young, Black and outside?
They wonder why we say Black first and American sometimes.
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