ASAP and Tufts QSA recently worked together to line the steps commonly known as “The Rape Steps” with rainbow-colored bricks. We ask all members of the Tufts community to join us in dropping this triggering and trivializing name.
We’re launching a new campaign to raise awareness of slut-shaming and challenge people to stop using slut-shaming language. TULS stands for “Tufts Undoing the Language of Shaming,” and we’re challenging people to think critically before using words like “slut”, “whore”, and “bitch”.
Be sure to check out our op-ed, “Think Before You Shame,” launching the campaign, excerpted below:
The words “slut,” “bitch” and “whore” have become normalized into our vocabulary and therefore justified as fair game. I try my hardest not to say these words, and I also try to call out people who do. But that is not an easy task. So many people use the words in a casual or joking way: “That dress looks kinda slutty.” “You’re so rude, don’t be a bitch.”“Haha, you hooked up with three people that night? You’re such a whore.” I want to make people aware of how harmful their seemingly benign words can be.
There are four ways these words are harmful. First, they cause us to objectify and have less respect for the bodies and feelings of those labeled with these terms. Second, they make people ashamed of their sexuality. Third, when someone uses these words, it can be a sign that they might be violent in the future, but since these words are accepted as normal, we often fail to notice those signs. Fourth, they can be triggers for survivors of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence, mentally bringing them back to the moment of the traumatic event.
We hope that everyone participating in the TULS campaign gets something out of it. The goal is not to stop people from using three words for one week so that they can start up again right after. On the contrary, this is designed to get you thinking about how and why we use these words. You never know whom you may be affecting by your use of shaming language, even if that was not your intention. We encourage everyone to take on our challenge.
Do you have any observations or experiences you’d like to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
As we posted earlier, the Tufts administration responded to our Open Letter last month. Several of the initial signatories replied in a letter recently, which we have posted below. We invite all Tufts students to join the effort in the Fall, whether in the working group or in any other form. As always, comment here, or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or want to get more involved. Thank you!
Thank you to everyone who has signed or shared our Open Letter on Institutional & Policy Reform in the past few weeks. A week ago, members of the Tufts administration directly addressed in the Letter sent the seven initial signatories a response, and we felt that we should share it openly in the spirit of transparency and open conversation. We apologize for the delay. If you would like anything to be included in the response we send, please leave a comment here, or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Members of ASAP, the Consent Culture Network, and other concerned students recently submitted an Open Letter to various members of the Tufts administration. We invite the Tufts community at large to check out what we’ve been doing and participate in the effort.
Our overview op-ed: “Tufts Must Defend Survivors’ Dignity in Policy and Practice.”
The Open Letter itself, with details on signing: tuftsasap.org/campaigns/open-letter/.
Last fall, photographer and rape crisis counselor Ali Safran began reaching out to Massachusetts area colleges with a simple but powerful idea to help survivors of sexual assault share their stories. The project, called Surviving in Numbers, gives survivors a platfrom to anonymously share their stories through the numbers stacked in their stories. This April, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the posters created by survivors are being displayed in the various campuses involved.
ASAP hosted Ali at Tufts for an afternoon two weekends ago, where several survivors shared their own stories. Posters from survivors at Tufts and other colleges are now being displayed at the Campus Center. Check out these photos, and the display itself:
Photos by Ali Safran.
Trigger warning: discussion of sexual assault
Wondering what kale has to do with consent? Check out this new video from members of ASAP and the Tufts Consent Culture Network that looks at rape culture and victim-blaming:
We would love to hear your thoughts! If you have something you want to share, leave a comment on YouTube or on this post.
Special thanks to Nate Matthews for spearheading this project, to Stephen Goeman and Bruce Bausk for starring, to Kumar Ramanathan and Leah Muskin-Pierret for behind-the-scenes support, and to Danny Foster for cooking absolutely delicious kale.