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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Everyday Feminism founder Sandra Kim speaks

Photo by Maddie Jaffe ’17

Photo by Maddie Jaffe '17
Photo by Maddie Jaffe ’17
Last Wednesday, FIA*STARSA hosted a lecture by Sandra Kim, founder and CEO of the independent website Everyday Feminism. Kim’s lecture focused on the national sexual assault issue and finding inclusive means of combatting it.

Kim opened the lecture by expressing her enthusiasm that such a discussion was taking place. She said that all too often sexual assault goes unexamined because “most people don’t notice that everywhere around us there are people who have dealt with [sexual assault] and that this is happening because it’s so normalized in our culture.”

Kim explained that she felt the silence on the topic came from both the United States’ history and its societal fear of the subject.

“As prevalent as sexual violence is in our society and on campuses, due to the level of shame and judgement that we have as well as lack of education on what actually is going on, far too many people are being assaulted without even really identifying that that is what happened to them,” Kim said. “We’re seeing more and more talks and services made available, but not enough people are accessing them because we haven’t yet really made the shift in culture around [sexual assault].”

Kim presented the largest barriers to correctly identifying or acknowledging sexual assault. Kim noted that one barrier all survivors face is the difficulty of acknowledging that they’ve been victimized.

Kim’s following topic focused on the barriers survivors face once they have accepted their experience as an assault and begin seeking help.

Kim said her experience as an advocate for sexual assault survivors had shown her that marginalized victims lack support from their communities and law enforcement. This reception show that “really the focus is to protect the perpetrator,” Kim said.

Kim concluded her lecture with one final list of ways people can start dismantling the barriers survivors face on their college campuses. She encouraged colleges to “have explicit policies and information available online, including ones addressing different identities and situations,” to train faculty, staff and students, to transform the party culture and to provide survivor-centered support. Above all else, she stressed the need for survivor and targeted communities’ involvement in creating more inclusive systems to stop assaults.

Following the lecture, students asked Kim questions ranging from what to do when straight male peers won’t stop joking about sexaul violence to how to respond to a person who commits a rape but doesn’t understand it. In both instances Kim advised a one-on-one discussion with the man and the perpetrator to try and establish the basis of their perceptions of rape and help change them. She also said both instances would be why more community discussions of healthy sexuality and consent are so vital.

“Currently rape is one of the few times where the person hurt is told that it is their fault or that it probably didn’t happen. We can change that. You can change that. We have to change that,” Kim said.

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    Joseph TaylorSep 8, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    This video post is actually enormous, the noise feature and the picture quality of this film post is genuinely awesome.