The Oberlin Review

Feminized Gun Marketing Exacerbates Rape Culture

Editorial Board

February 27, 2015

Many women learn early on how to defend themselves in dangerous situations: hold their keys between their knuckles in dark parking garages; keep mini-canisters of pepper spray in their purses. From a young age, just as everyone learns to look both ways before crossing the street, women are taught not to walk home alone if they can help it, not to put their drinks down at parties, not to show too much skin — all for fear of inviting sexual assault. It’s a similar, if violently escalated, vein of logic that Second Amendment activists employ when they tell women on college campuses that the best way to protect themselves against sexual assault is to up the ante: Carry a gun. The argument, which briefly caught the...

Street Harassment Discourse Disregards Intersectional Issues

Editorial Board

November 7, 2014

When online videos related to pressing social or political issues go viral, the mainstream media sometimes weighs in. This week, the online branches of media outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post and NPR did just that in response to the video gracing news feeds across the nation: the viral PSA commissioned by Hollaback!, an anti-street harassment group. The video’s premise is simple: A woman is filmed from a hidden camera carried in front of her as she walks around “all areas of Manhattan, wearing jeans and a crew-neck t-shirt” for 10 hours. The two-minute video compiles short clips from some of the “100+ instances of verbal street harassment” the video claims she experiences over the cour...

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