TIME Magazine’s Rape Crisis Article

TIME Magazine’s Rape Crisis Article

I often feel torn about watching and reading the news. When I was growing up, there were newspapers in the mornings, and the evening news on the TV at 5 or 6. I always felt strangely comforted by Walter Cronkite’s voice: “And that’s the way it is.” Now we can get news 24/7 from many different sources. Usually, I attempt to stay informed with the Huffington Post and NPR. If it’s been a rough day, I might skip the news. Today was a great day and when I heard the news that the Central Park 5, the young boys who were falsely accused of raping the Central Park Jogger, were awarded millions from the City of New York, I got goose bumps. I watched the Ken Burns doc on this case. Ken’s daughter started a film project about the CP 5 for her school and when she asked her dad for help, he became interested. I am sure that part of the reason that this issue came back into the spotlight was because of Ken and his daughter. That’s what I call “Using Your Talent For the Highest Good.” I have always aspired to make art that makes a difference and furthers social change for the greater good. Which leads me to my next point. I just read another article about the “Rape Crisis In Higher Education” and I do NOT have goose bumps. In fact, my stomach is in knots, I feel queasy and sort of dead inside with disgust and sadness. I do feel a flicker of hope that this is a cover story and it’s getting...
Clery Center Training: Who Knew It Could Be So Inspiring?

Clery Center Training: Who Knew It Could Be So Inspiring?

Sometimes, I get really discouraged by the news. I often feel conflicted. Should I just meditate, go to yoga, read spiritual stuff and stay in my happy place? Or should I at least attempt to stay current with what’s going on in the world? My brain tends to focus on the negative. And the more I study about how our brains work, I realize that that’s how we survived as humans. We were hard-wired to focus on the “threats” in order to survive and continue our species. So I love it when I am able to choose to focus on the positive. Last week, I met many amazing people during the Clery Center Training in Edinboro, Pa. I met Abigail Boyer, the Assistant Executive Director for the Center, and I could see how committed she is to making a difference. It seems like there is a shooting on college campuses every week now. And the numbers are going up on the sexual assaults being reported. Since I speak about assault prevention and response, it seems overwhelming to see the numbers going up instead of down. And that is why I am so grateful that I attended this training. The Clery Center was founded because a student, Jeanne Clery, was brutally assaulted, then killed in her dorm room. Her parents became advocates for victims’ rights and for improving campus safety, education, and response. I sat with chiefs of police, heads of security, deans of students, professors, student activity leaders, and more, from all over the country. There is an army of people in higher education who are taking on the...
Why Our Culture Is Still a Rape Culture

Why Our Culture Is Still a Rape Culture

One more reason why our culture continues to be a rape culture: Last year, I attended a college conference with my agent. We were there to meet students and their advisers. The event was basically like speed dating but for college students and lecturers. Colleges come to pick what they want to bring back to their school. Since I am a comedic motivational speaker (I speak on avoiding addictions, sexual assault, and body image), my work is a good fit for orientations. My agent and I worked the booth together and we spoke with a lot of orientation directors. There was another “speaker” who worked the booth with us. This man is a professor at a university, where he teaches philosophy. He (let’s call him “Jeffrey”) went on and on about his religious views and how hard it was for him to eat Kosher where he lived. He seemed to enjoy complaining about how difficult things were for him. While I didn’t agree with all of his points of view, I did respect his devotion to his religion. I began to view him as a goofy, out-of-touch, clownish sort of “nutty professor” who seemed pretty harmless. On the second day, “Jeffrey” and I got into a conversation about sexual assault. He said, “Well, I just don’t believe those statistics of 1 out of every 4 females is assaulted on campuses. I think the number is over-inflated.” I said, “Oh really! I disagree. Every time I talk about my experiences of assault and molestation as a teen, and a college student, there is always someone else who says that they...
Sex Talk…Part 2

Sex Talk…Part 2

Let’s Talk About SEX…Again. In an earlier post, I wrote about when I first started speaking on college campuses it was about addictions: eating, drug, and alcohol. Later on, my agents had asked if could talk about sexual assaults too and I said: “If it will help anyone else, Yes.” It was a part of my story. And I knew that if I could save one student from half of the misery and suffering that I had been through, then it was all worth it. As I worked on my “new topic”, I had old feelings of shame come up, yet I continued to write and re-write the talk. I had lots of support as I geared up for my first “Sex, Drugs, and Alcohol Talk”. I was scared but excited to hopefully make a difference. What really surprised me though, was how everywhere I seemed to go, if I was open about what I was working on, and my “new” topic came up in the conversation, the other person would say: “Oh, yea, me too. That happened to me to, but I never told anybody”. Or “Oh, that happened to my mom, my brother, my cousin, my roommate, my sister, my girlfriend, my neighbor, and on and on and on.” It was everyone: boys, girls, men, women, gay and straight. Everywhere I went, I heard stories of assault on campuses. I could not believe it. I was shocked. The more I practiced my talk and got used to talking about sexual assault, the more that everyone around me seemed to be telling me about their experience. Now I...

Pin It on Pinterest