Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SaVE Act: A Step in the Right Direction

As we have said before, rape on college campuses is a huge issue that needs to be better addressed. It looks like the proposed SaVE Act may be a step in the right direction.

The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, or SaVE Act, would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 and expand the 1990 Jeanne Clery Act to "improve education and prevention related to campus sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking."

Co-sponsored by Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the SaVE Act (S. 835) would expand the framework of sexual assault education and victims' rights to include domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, and addresses the issue of how to define consent in sexual relationships. Schools would be required under the act to include sexual violence statistics in their annual crime reports. Colleges and universities would also be required to explain how to obtain protective orders and other victims' rights whenever a student reports being a victim of sexual violence.

Frankly, the fact that colleges are not already required to do such things as inform survivors of sexual violence about how to obtain a protective order should be disturbing and should move senators to vote for this act. However, the senate often does not do what they should. Here's hoping that the senate does the right thing this time.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Kate Middleton & the Trouble with Fairytales

I just finished reading this article, the upshot of which was that

...there are certain undeniable truths about the sacrifices this young woman [Kate Middleton] has already made for her upcoming nuptials in addition to her career in fashion (Kate shortly worked for the British clothing brand, Jigsaw), and her photography (Kate had planned an exhibition she ended up not showing). As Cochrane states, "What's deeply dangerous about Kate for the monarchy, is that she looks as purposeless as the rest of them."

In many ways, Middleton has already failed to use her entry into this family as an opportunity to make them more modern. Instead she has convinced the Queen that she will not been reaping havoc and causing scandals galore like Diana, making herself much easier to "manage" (read: control). Kate is more willing to adjust to the royal family's ways than have them adjust to her, and in the process allowing the monarchy to remain unchanged when what it so desperately needs is to change.

All this being said, Kate clearly loves William and maybe at the end of the day, she is doing all this for love. But something about that doesn't sit too well with me. Perhaps it's the whole fairtytale factor thing.

Or maybe, just maybe, Kate Middleton has bigger plans than any one of us could imagine. I mean, Queen Elizabeth is not getting any younger, and guess who happens to be waiting in the wings to be Queen? Perhaps that was the ambition of "Waity Katey", as the British press famously dubbed Middleton, all along.

Maybe Ms. Middleton will get to have her fairytale, the last laugh, and show us all how it's done- as Queen of England.

Thoughts? Does Kate Middleton represent a new, more feminist version of women in the English royal family? Is it even fair to use her as a starting point from which to discuss the role of fairytale and marriage in modern society given her exceptional circumstances?