Time’s Up calls for feminist support

Ava Mazzei, asst. a&e editor

The biggest lie I ever told myself was that there would be time. ‘Tomorrow,’ I decided. Tomorrow sounds good. It can wait until tomorrow.

It was a humid day at my sleepaway camp when my co-counselors and I announced to our 14-year-old campers we would be participating in the activity called “Cross the Line,” where the campers step over a piece of tape if they fit a certain criteria. The counselors recited the simple “Cross the line if you have a pet” type of cues before easing into the more sensitive topics. After various questions, the counselor said, “Cross the line if you’ve ever been sexually assaulted.” 15 girls stepped forward.

Time’s up to pretend as if we have tomorrow to change our fate. Time’s up to pretend like thousands of people aren’t being sexually assaulted by the minute. Time’s up to pretend the world is uniformly safe and that everyone is equal. It’s time to get real. As college approaches, I can’t help but bear the fact that there’s  an “11.2 percent  (chance) of all students experiencing rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students),” according to rainn.org. At my top choice school, out of the 1,650 students enrolled, about 185 of them will be a victim in this unforgiving crime. The scariest of all, though, is that one of them could be me.

The United States Department of Justice defines sexual assault as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.” Some examples of sexual assault include forced sexual intercourse, molestation and attempted rape.

People have been calling the Time’s Up campaign and feminism movement stupid, ridiculous — even childish — all over the Internet. I can’t escape the people who threaten me most – all because they have access to my social media accounts. Time and time again people use media as an outlet to share their beliefs and that’s only fair; where I draw the line is when people invade my space of self-expression with comments intended to bring me down. If you don’t like my arts and crafts, just keep scrolling.

Why is it wrong or annoying for me to protest my right to be safe? Why am I constantly getting put down for standing up for myself and the millions of other women in the US?

This is not an issue of politics. It’s an issue of human rights. I’m not asking for sympathy here, I’m asking for change.

I attended the Women’s March in January not as a political statement, but to make a statement about how women are people, not objects. I attended the march to feel empowered by the men and women around me who believe in the same things that I do. It comforts me that people of my generation have the power to adjust our own culture, which is not doing all of us justice.

What I believe in is equality, which is something many people would like to say themselves. I believe that many are not educated on what is really happening in the world, and as an “almost” woman, I am scared for my future. So, while I can, I’m trying to make a difference so that one day, people can start depending on the safety of their tomorrows again.