Victims of James Deen Still Wait for Justice

By Sam Kennedy
Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault and Rape

If you read “Porn Taught Me Everything I Know About Sex” earlier this year, you might be curious to hear about the results of James Deen’s rape allegations. Well, if you were hoping for good news, it’s not looking so great. Despite multiple women coming forward and accusing porn star James Deen of sexual assault, his career is still thriving.

Deen specializes in BDSM roleplays and fantasies for adult films. Many victims claimed this is how he was able to get away with sexual assault. Actresses would implement use of the safe word, but James Deen would continue in films. Women would begin crying, begging him to stop, or saying their agreed-upon safe word over and over again, and he would continue to have sex and degrade them on camera.

BDSM is all about trust and respect. Partners will agree upon a safe word beforehand and if at any point that word (or action) is done, all sexual activity is to halt immediately to make sure that all parties are safe. BDSM can be physically and emotionally draining, pushing participants to their limits. It is important to respect your partner and take care of them. For James Deen to continue in these sexual acts when his partner has indicated a want for him to stop is rape. It does not matter if it is BDSM or in a porn movie or anything else. If you engage in sexual behaviors without full consent, it is sexual assault.

Unfortunately, James Deen has not been officially charged with anything. He is facing fines for violating workplace safety regulations, but that’s about the extent of it.  Instead, James Deen has disturbingly became more popular after these rape allegations. He became more widely searched and was being hired just as frequently, if not more so, to participate in adult films.

I am deeply troubled and saddened by this. For porn industries to condone this sort of james-deen-feature-768x512.jpgbehavior or to even not care about these allegations perpetuates the dangerous work environments for porn stars. Every worker deserves to feel safe in their work environment, and that includes sex workers. James Deen has been accused by 9 separate women of assaulting them, and has made multiple comments and tweets similar to the image on the right – (despite him claiming to be a feminist and that he has no idea where these accusations are coming from.)

All of these things and his career doesn’t take a hit? We are basically telling people that female sex workers are not worthy of respect. That we do not care about their safety. That they are props and tools in the film industry. And this doesn’t sit right with me at all.

Stay tuned for more updates on James Deen and other sexual assault reports within the porn industry.

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The (Not So Honorable) Honor Code

Universities should have the right to implement their own forms of rules, guidelines, and punishments. If it is a religious-based school then they should have the opportunity to operate under religious constitutions and freedoms. If students sign this contract or attend this university, than they are aware of what they are agreeing to. Seems pretty straightforward and reasonable, right?
Well, unfortunately, this honor code can cause a mess of problems when it comes to unforeseen “consequences” of breaking this honor code. Although I am sure there are many such consequences of this, the one that’s causing the most headlines is rape.

Brigham Young University is currently under fire for its honor code and its lack of 572a8a74091d3.imageintervention for rape victims. Multiple students have come forward saying that when they went to the school about rape allegations, they were threatened with suspension or expulsion for violating the honor code.  Sophomore Madi Barny, who ended up drafting a petition to protest the honor code at Brigham Young University, is one of these many victims. One of her arguments is that the logic of the honor code says that if a victim hadn’t been drinking, hadn’t been in a male’s dorm room, or hadn’t been engaging in other sexual activities, perhaps the rape wouldn’t have occurred. Needless to say, I was horrified when I heard about these cases.
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Time for a Body rEvolution

Image is everything. And everywhere. Whether it’s on the internet or in magazines Model-Woman (1)(or anywhere else, to be honest), we are being told what it means to be beautiful. Yet America’s perception of beauty has changed throughout the years, and we’re having a hard time keeping up. For women, we are seeing airbrushed images of models with not much diversity. For men, we see chiseled chests and 8 packs with, again, not much diversity. The majority of the images we see do not reflect our population in America. Looking at the photo on the right, it’s clear to see that we are NOT being shown accurate representations. (Picture on the right depicts avg. woman size, avg. female model size).

*For those of you that are curious about men, the average weight and height for men is about 194 pounds and 5’9. The average male model is 150 pounds and 6’0.

The comparison of ourselves to these images can be incredibly dangerous – mentally and physically. So what can we do about it? Well, the body rEvolution at the Women’s Center has some ideas.
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The Dreaded C-Word

I was 14 and thought that SNL was the peak of comedy, especially during presidential races. Although I was an avid McCain supporter at the time, I couldn’t help but laugh at the Palin skits. Everyone was raving about them and I had to be a part of the fun. Sarah_Palin_by_Gage_Skidmore_2.jpg
My mother, however, was not so amused. She tsked and snorted at every joke lobbed Palin’s way that challenged her intelligence and credibility. “I can’t stand how awful everyone is to her.” She finally complained.
“Did you see the t-shirts that were made about her?” My father asked.
“No, why?”
He sighed and said, “On the radio, they were talking about how a bunch of liberals are now wearing t-shirts that say ‘Sarah Palin is a
c-word… CONSERVATIVE.’”.

My mom gasped and shook her head. “Wow. Real nice.”
“I don’t get it.” I chimed in. “What are they actually referring to?”
Before my dad could respond, my mom snapped, “It’s one of the worst things you can call a woman.”
I was shocked. “Really? What is it?”
“I don’t even like saying it. No one should ever be called it.”
My dad finally pulled me to the side and informed me of the dreaded word. And I held very tightly to the idea that it was a word that should never be spoken.

I’m not really sure what made me change my mind within the past year or so—maybe it was exposure to it in music and writing. Maybe it was during a senior thesis about how quickly language changes and the power and influence that comes with these changes. Or maybe it was my gender communication courses that made me question why the nastiest insults are directed towards women.

C*NT.

What is it about that word that brings me (and many others) so much satisfaction, yet is still one of the most taboo words of today.
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Samantha Bee: The Hero We Need

By Sam Kennedy
Comedy is a male-dominated world. Samantha Bee acknowledges that in her very first sketch on her TV show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. In a room full of reporters, she is berated by the journalists asking her every variation of the question, “What’s it like to be a female comedian?” All female comedians will be asked this in some way or form during their career. If they’re lucky, they might even be told, “You’re pretty funny for female comic!”download (1)

So Samantha Bee’s answer to these comments? “Witches.” Obviously, that’s how women are able to be funny AND successful. Through demonic ritual, blood sacrifice, and dark magic. There’s just no other answer.

Why is it so absurd for a woman to be successfully funny? Is it really that rare of a thing? The answer is, no. They unfortunately just don’t get as much publicity as their male counterparts, and are much more likely to receive harsher criticism and judgement. (Take a look at all of these controversies that have occurred throughout the years, if you don’t believe me.) Which is part of what makes Samantha Bee so damn good. If you watch Samantha Bee, you’ll know that she’s excellent at the comedy game. With a comedy news style mimicking that of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, she finds the humor in the most exasperating and frustrating aspects of current events.
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Pink Vs. Blue

By Sam Kennedy

I had been working at Subway for a month when Monster’s University came out. While other kids at McDonald’s were getting toys of Mike and Sully, Subway wanted to give a more useful gift, and we had a variety of cute, different colored draw-string bags that went with every kid’s meal. While I know I loved the toys I used to get at McDonald’s, I appreciated the bags because it meant I wouldn’t have to listen to little kids complain that they didn’t get the toy they wanted. However, that’s not to say these bags didn’t come with their own set of issues. Actually, only one issue: the color. Although it was never the kids that complained about it.

Each of my coworkers had a different method for distributing bags. Some would simply grab a bag at pinkblue-1024x580random, and that was the bag they got. I had other coworkers though who were very adamant as to who got what bag. “Blue and green bags are for the boys, pink and purple bags are for the girls.” This made me bristle, especially when one of my coworkers would “correct” me in front of the customers. “You gave that little girl the wrong bag,” she would scold me. “Wrong bag” meaning a blue one, of course. It drove me nuts. But I didn’t know how to politely tell her that her insistence of assigning colors based on gender was… well, ridiculous.

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Eve Ensler: A Spotlight in Honor of International Women’s Day

For those of you that don’t know- International Women’s Day is on Tuesday, March 8th. The University of Idaho’s Women’s Center would like to pay tribute by giving our readers a week of us celebrating what this day means to the world—and us as women—and highlight the accomplishments of feminists around the world. I will be starting this week off by applauding one of my favorite feminists: Eve Ensler.
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Eve Ensler’s most noted works is The Vagina Monologues, and 2016 is its 20th anniversary. For twenty years this play has touched the lives of many women, inspiring them to love themselves and their bodies. Even though this play was written 20 years ago, it is still prevalent in today’s world and Eve Ensler has not stopped her advocacy for feminism. She has created many different non-profit organizations like V-Day and One Billion Rising to raise awareness of violence against women, has written many different books and plays, and has even been a guest speaker on TEDTalks a number of times.
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