For my activism project I decided to perform a social experiment on the students of UMBC. I chose to do the project on slut-shaming because for the past 2 years I have been curious about whether or not people understand how harmful that form of shaming can be especially on young women or if they do it unknowingly.
In order to complete this experiment I formulated 3 situations based on true stories and asked each student to give their HONEST opinion. However, I did not tell the students the circumstances of the situations (in which the girls committed suicide because they were slut-shamed at school).
Click here to learn more about the experiences of LGBT youth in school!
According to the 2013 National School Climate Survey (www.glsen.org/nscs), conducted by The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), 55.5% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and nearly 40% feel unsafe because of their gender identity. Nearly 3 out of 4 students report being verbally harassed in the past year, and about 1 in 6 were physically assaulted because of sexual orientation. 61.6% of students who reported an incident said that school staff did nothing in response. Almost 1/3 missed at least one entire day of school due to feelings of unsafety. These statistics support a clear conclusion: schools are unsafe and unwelcoming for LGBTQ students. GLSEN’s mission is to work towards safe spaces in school for all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Continue reading
Girl-on-girl hate. There is so much of this in the world that Hollywood decided to make a movie about it. (“Mean Girls”, anyone?) Why is it that women are so catty with each other? It’s sad that this has become of the norm and people brush it off as if it’s no big deal. How is that okay? Continue reading
I am not a hero; I know that for sure. I am neither Bat nor cat nor Wonder woman, nor any other out or the ordinary exceptional human being. But I am an activist, and I do believe in making the world a better place, and I know that is in my power. I believe that we all have the power to evoke change no matter who or where you come from, and I try to make my life a model of this belief daily.
I am an activist every day that I raise awareness for at risk kids with my time, money and support. From founding a tolerance organization in high school to mentoring middle school students while I’m in college, I’ve never stopped listening to the kids whose voices have been intentionally drowned out. As someone who has had his or her voice drowned out in the midst of continuous and systematic bullying, it would be a dishonor to willingly ignore anyone else.
But I believe in human dignity. I believe in coming to a school without being afraid for your life. I believe in respecting one another, uplifting each other, and not being afraid to exist in our own communities for fear of torture emotionally and physically. If you think I’m an idealist, you’re probably right. But one way or another, I believe in change.