Tag Archives: Tiffany

A Guide to Becoming Rich and Famous

16 Nov

Here is this weeks The View From Venus column, which can be found in the November 15th issue of The Chronicle, or on their website.

A Guide to Becoming Rich and Famous

by: E-board member Emily Perez

This week, instead of focusing on an issue specific to women, I have decided to write about one that concerns the human race in general. I want to write about compassion; the rarity of it, the appreciation of it, and the enduring power of it. If you are a Facebook user, you may have noticed a recent effort by senior Justin McCormack to strengthen our community with The Saint Rose Kindness Movement. When asked about the origins of his online campaign, McCormack noted that, “Saint Rose has a wonderfully close knit community.However, over the years I have noticed a disheartening trend on campus. When I pass by people that I’ve met but don’t know too well, they never seem to acknowledge that they know me. Often times I’d wondered if maybe it was just me that this happened to. It was not until a few weeks ago that I realized it wasn’t…That’s when I came up with the idea for the ‘Saint Rose Kindness Movement.”

“The intention of the movement is very simple: All it asks is for you to smile, wave, nod, maybe even say ‘hi’ to the people you pass throughout the day…This simple act of kindness can often make a person’s day and can sometimes spark new friendships. My hope is that it will at least bring some smiles to people’s faces and make everyone’s day a little brighter.”

Some people may question how greeting someone on the sidewalk on the way to class or stopping to help someone pick up their belongings could affect change. Sometimes I think of all the good things I have thought about other people and never said, of the unacknowledged blessings granted to me, and the muddle of unuttered declarations of thankfulness for those who have changed my life with their actions.  Regret colors my reflections on all I could have done to pay forward the gifts I have received. In order to engender compassion and gratitude in our day to day actions, I propose that we carry out the mission of the Saint Rose Kindness Movement by striving to bring attention to the moments of beauty we experience.

Do you share with others when you encounter a moment of unanticipated kindness, joy or love? Do you let the silver-lining moments of the day fade into nothingness, or do you sustain their shine by taking them as an opportunity to affect change?

For every act of kindness you observe in a single day, I challenge you to share what you saw and respond with your own demonstration of compassion and generosity. You might not be able to measure the magnitude of this change in your daily life, but it will run deep in the hearts of those you help.

We all need to stop and reflect on what we could be doing to support each other in these difficult times, because even the smallest act can make all the difference between floating and falling. Instead of constantly monitoring our own progress in trying to become the best, the most well known, the most sought after, we might instead try to redefine our standards of success in terms of how powerfully we have affected the lives of those who inhabit our world. To that end, I would like to close with words from the poem “Famous” by Naomi Shihab Nye:

“I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.”

St. Rose’s Selective Health Care

8 Nov

The View from Venus (November 8th, 2011)
Tiffany Knapp

Something many students may not be aware of is St. Rose’s policy on birth control access, namely that they don’t allow Health Services to provide or be involved in the administration of it. This is attributed, as one might expect, to the Catholic history of St. Rose. While I understand that the traditions of the College should be honored and not forgotten, I disagree with forcing particular religious values on the body of students, particularly now that St. Rose is a non-parochial institution. When being recruited to the College of Saint Rose, I asked about the Catholic traditions of the College and how they impacted the academics and student life on campus. I was told that they didn’t, because St. Rose was no longer a Catholic institution. However, the College has decided to take a “zero tolerance” stance on this issue on the basis of religion, and does not allow for our Health Services office to provide condoms or administer birth control.

This applies in particular to a type of birth control called Depo-Provera, which is a shot. I myself am on this type of birth control, and ran into a recent issue with being able to take it. Because Health Services is my only option for health care here at the College, and all this service requires is a nurse’s visit for a shot, I went to Health Services, requesting that they administer it. I was informed that they would not be able to because the College restricts the type of medical care they are allowed to give – had the shot been anything but birth control, they would have been allowed to assist me. However, because the Depo shot is used primarily as a means of birth control, the College has prohibited Health Services from administering it to students. I was directed either to Urgent Care or Planned Parenthood, both of which are a reasonable distance away from the College. Lacking a vehicle, this presented a problem.

In addition to being a general inconvenience, the assumption is that everyone who is on birth control is using it primarily as a means for birth control. There are medical conditions which are treated with it. For example, I knew a girl who was also on Depo (and was also turned away from Health Services) in order to regulate her hormones so that she would be able to have children some day. Without this regulation, she could have become barren – by being refused care by St. Rose, she may well have been risking her dreams of children some day. Severe menstrual cramps, mood swings, and even acne are treated with birth control as well.

Furthermore, the basis for this ban is a particular religion, to which not all students on this campus may subscribe. First, the College is no longer religiously affiliated. Yes, it has Catholic traditions and background, but not all traditions need to be carried into the future. In addition, a variety of religions are represented on campus, and not all of those view birth control in the same way that Catholicism does. Being raised Irish Catholic, I can say from experience that not even all Catholics agree with banning access to all types of birth control.

This narrow viewpoint does not reflect the wide range of campus values, and forces students to adopt particular values that they may not agree with – and they aren’t told this when they enroll, even if they explicitly ask if the Catholic traditions of the College are going to affect them. The College of Saint Rose has misled its prospective students into a sense of religious freedom, when in reality, Catholic values are imposed upon them.

Owning It

25 Oct

Here is this week’s The View From Venus column from October 25th, by e-board member Abby Finkelman. It can also be viewed on the St. Rose Chronicle website. The Chronicle can also be found in various locations, in print, around campus.

This is the last column in Abby’s series on rape culture. I’d like to congratulate her on the excellent job she did educating us on a huge topic in only four, 600 word columns! She opened many eyes, and I hope elucidation doesn’t stop there!

Owning It

This is my final View from Venus column about rape culture. I know many of you have enjoyed this series (well, “enjoyed” might not be the right word–appreciated, perhaps). I have gotten some really wonderful feedback; people have said how much they agree, what a problem this is, and how nice it is to see it acknowledged.

Others have said different things. I have been called a liar, and told that when women wear shorts skirts and drink, they are basically asking to be raped. Which is sort of…missing the whole point of the series, yeah? You know, the part where I point out that victim-blaming is a massive problem and that women have every right to wear what they want without worrying about getting raped, just as men do?

What I find telling, and disturbing, is not that people missed the point–I cannot be responsible for everyone’s reading comprehension–but that people took it so personally. That people, both publicly and anonymously, were so upset, so offended by what I said that they felt the need to say really nasty things to and about me.

A lot of people do not think about rape culture.  Even women do not always really solidify in their heads that this is what the world is like; we know things are uncomfortable, but it is not until someone says it that we go, “Oh. It isn’t just me.” There really is something going on. And it is wrong. And it is systemic. And there are other people who want to fight it. But it is not just women who say this. I can find lots of men who have also, upon being confronted with their male privilege and the culture it perpetuates, been horrified, and wanted to stop it.

Then, of course, there are the men who feel very differently. The men who feel attacked, who feel that they have to get defensive, and shift the blame. The men who feel that acknowledging that American culture is one in which (we are back to the beginning now, quoting Wikipedia!) “rape and sexual violence against women are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or tolerate sexual violence against women” is the same as saying that they personally condone, normalize, excuse, tolerate, or commit sexual violence against women.

And these men lash out. It is the women’s fault, those trollops. They should know better. I am generalizing (of course I am, I have 600 words!), and a bad person. The stats say rape is totally not a problem anymore. They would never do that. If there is a problem, it is somebody else’s. And me? The one with the chutzpah to write about it? Well, I cannot tell you what I am, because I do not respond to anonymous slander. (Apparently “being an adult” does not include signing your name.)

This response disturbs me. Not the personal attacks. What disturbs me is the persistent refusal by some men (I emphasize here that many men have been wonderful about these columns) to just say, Yes, there is a problem. The way that women are treated in this country is a problem, and I am part of the problem by association, and I am going to do everything I can to help stop it, because I care about my mother, my sister, my girlfriend, my girl friends, all women, none of whom deserve this treatment, and because I care about equality. Because I am a decent human being.

That’s all I am asking for here. I am asking for the men of this campus to recognize the problem, recognize their privilege, and be decent human beings. And I have faith that they–that you–can do it.

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work

11 Oct

Here is this week’s View from Venus column from October 11th, by e-board member Abby Finkelman. It can also be found on the St. Rose Chronicle website, or in print all around campus.

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work

  1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks
  2. When you see someone walking alone, leave them alone!
  3. If you stop to help someone with car problems, don’t assault them!
  4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.
  5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!
  6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry–don’t attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.
  7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.
  8. Always be honest with people! Don’t act like a caring friend to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.
  9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with a sleeping person!
  10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “by accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it for you.
The above list, which can be found on Feminist Law Professors, may elicit a number of reactions. Amusement, anger, discomfort, defensiveness, understanding. The men reading this may find themselves confused. Let me explain. Women are given lists like this all the time. Parents, teachers, magazines, orientation sessions, there are endless lists telling us what we need to do to keep from being raped. This is fine, except for one thing:It is not our responsibility to keep from being raped. One of the most twisted outcomes of rape culture is telling women that it is our job to make sure we aren’t victimized–and, therefore, that if we are victimized, it’s our fault. This is absurd. I should be as free as any man to walk alone, to wear what I please, to get drunk at a party. The idea that it’s my responsibility to carry a whistle rather than someone else’s responsibility to not rape me is outlandish.

Worse, if I don’t carry the whistle, or I choose to get drunk, I get blamed for my rape. By my rapist, by society, by the authorities. I don’t have room here to detail all the women who are told by cops and judges that they shouldn’t have worn short skirts, but it happens daily. That’s rape culture. That’s a culture that blames a woman’s assault not on the man who assaulted her but on her clothes. You may have done it yourself. Said things like, “She shouldn’t have gone home with him if all she wanted to do was make out.” No, he should have accepted that when she said she didn’t want to do more than make out, he had to stop. Women fall prey to victim-blaming, even, heartbreakingly, blaming themselves; I have heard women make excuses and try to explain why it’s really their own fault that they were raped.

Victim-blaming is bad for everyone, turning women into self-loathing bad guys and letting men off the hook. Combating it should be one of the highest priorities of a culture that wants to be anti-rape. Until we can place the blame for rape where it belongs–with the rapist–we might as well write “ENABLER” across our chests. Well, maybe not the chest. Because if we draw attention to our chests, we’re just asking for it.