Male Circumcision in the United States and Consent

For the past two weeks I’ve talked about consent in the context of sex and how consent relates to individuals who are intersex. This week I want to broaden the discussion on a child’s right to decide what happens to their body through an exploration on circumcision.

During the Victorian Era, circumcision became a widespread practice as a treatment for masturbation. At this time, it was the belief of many doctors that masturbation led to many diseases, and that by removing one of the most sensitive parts of the penis, it could be prevented. Male circumcision was not just prevalent in the United States, but in all English-speaking countries at the time, such as Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. However, the practice decreased significantly in all of those countries except the United States in the following years. Now, between 60 to 90% of American boys are circumcised, depending on the region they live in, but only 16% of boys in Great Britain are circumcised, even though both countries were influenced by the ideas in the Victorian Era. So why is the United States still engaging in this practice? Continue reading “Male Circumcision in the United States and Consent”

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.
Continue reading “The (Not So Honorable) Honor Code”

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.
Continue reading “Time for a Body rEvolution”

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.
Continue reading “The Dreaded C-Word”

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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The “Girls Only” Guide to the University of Idaho

By Madison Griffin

Stress and depression is not a women’s only issue. After a lifetime raised on Cathy comics in the Sunday paper, I feel the need to say that the posterchild for depression is not a woman eating ice cream alone and watching “chick flicks” on Netflix.

Despite what we’ve been told women don’t get depression more often than men. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Anita Chatigny, women are just more willing to report symptoms of depression. Studies show that physicians (both men and women) are also more likely to diagnose their female patients with depression than their male patients exhibiting the same symptoms.

With that caveat—yes men experience depression too—I’d like to focus on a major symptom (and cause) of depression:

Abandoned_by_Artemis_Twitches.jpg (300×281)

Isolation.

Though women and men both experience depression, women and gender-nonconforming students are more likely to feel isolated on campus.

Continue reading “The “Girls Only” Guide to the University of Idaho”