Game of Thrones: How Much of My Politics Will I Suspend for a TV Show?

TRIGGER ALERT: Discusses scenes of sexual violence as they happen on Game of Thrones
SPOILER ALERT: Discusses up to Season 4 Episode 5, “First of His Name”

Game of Thrones is one of my guilty pleasures.  Now I’m beginning to wonder if I’m feeling more guilt than pleasure. This inner battle has waxed and waned over the four seasons but it’s recently become more pressing and it seems as though the guilt side is winning.  And it’s not for the scene (you know, of Cersei and Jaime in the Sept of Baelor) that many people were upset about from the “Breaker of Chains” episode.  Instead, this scene had only the slightest mentions and analysis from the … Full Article

Risky Business

The 2014 NFL Draft begins on May 8th.  For aspiring professional football players, the months and weeks leading up to the draft is a time when every aspect of their lives is scrutinized to the nth degree.  Talent scouts, general managers, head coaches, and even team owners shine a flashlight into the dark recesses of each player’s being to see if they are worthy of a multimillion dollar investment.  They dig for character flaws, criminal offenses, gang affiliation, mother’s occupation, and so on.  For the most part, no stone is left unturned and no question is left unanswered.

The same can be said for those aspiring to be professional basketball or baseball players.  I guess from a business perspective, … Full Article

Parenting with Privilege

Sometimes I write about issues for which I have a pretty developed and rooted opinion about or solution for – this one is more of an “I’d love your help thinking through this” kind of issue. As I have mentioned before, I have two daughters. My partner and I are in similar places when it comes to values and how to support the growth and learning of our daughters. However, I’ve been thinking a lot about the reality of raising daughters in a sexist society and the impact that could and/or should have on both the messages we give to them and how they might come across differently coming from my partner and I because we are different genders and … Full Article

Cultivating Change through Conversations on Consent

FIRST-CLASS-MALE-STAMPFirst Class means to be of the best quality. This year it is the premise of Texas Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month – First Class Male: Cultivating Change through Male Involvement, which TAASA officially commenced with a unique event on Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Download toolkit.

Those of us who assembled for this event were colleagues, coworkers, close friends, and acquaintances whose willingness to be real, be respectful, and be responsible steered us into a conversation of the best quality – a critical, deep, and unexpected conversation on consent.

I, along with most of the men gathered, had … Full Article

Gender-Based Prejudice: Only a Part of the Equation

As I decided whether or not to write this blog and then set out to do so, several things were happening for me. I kept wondering if I should write this – this white, middle-age, middle class, heterosexual-identified male will never be the person who knows the most about sexism. I decided I should write it because, as someone who identifies as male and who is trying to be anti-sexist, I reject this recent notion I’ve heard that both men and women are the victims of sexism.

My next decision was how to start this blog. I tried to start off clever by talking about the importance of math to understanding sexism. Instead, I managed to highlight my privilege while … Full Article

How do you say “teal ribbon” in español?

Today’s blog features sexual assault awareness and prevention month outreach efforts to the Latino community.

How do you say “teal ribbon” in español?
Written by: Laura E. Zárate, Arte Sana Executive Director

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 55 million Latin@s in the U.S. as of July 1, 2013, and according to the 2011 American Community Survey, over 37.6 million residents speak Spanish at home. While there have been some inroads in bilingual / bicultural victim advocacy, with 17 state sexual assault, domestic violence (or dual) coalitions adding an ‘español’ tab with web content in Spanish, many states with millions of Latin@s fall short of providing necessary bilingual victim advocacy.

This reality was painfully revealed in … Full Article

PREA: Too Important to be a Political Football

capitolprovidenceriIn 2003 the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was unanimously passed by both Houses of Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush. At a time in our history when rabid partisan politics was already beginning to rear its ugly head the Senate sponsors for the bill were none other than Edward Kennedy of MA and Jeff Sessions of AL. I’m sure it helped that there was a broad coalition of supporters that ran the gamut between the National Association of Evangelicals and Amnesty International. The general public seemed to truly understand that many of those being sexually … Full Article

Let the Activities Begin! – Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month Activities Texas Style

FIRST-CLASS-MALE-STAMPSexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month (SAAPM) begins next week! Our goal is to complement local efforts by providing tools, training opportunities and assistance as needed. Our shared interest in a “survivor centered” response from both the community and its systems drives sexual assault awareness efforts each year. This year’s focus on male involvement digs deeper to expand the onus of this issue to include the entire community.
This blog is the first of many to provide ideas and resources throughout the month of April. Please share with your community partners and continue the conversation online by utilizing #firstclassmale #saapmtx to … Full Article

Lupita Nyong’o and why self-esteem workshops for girls fall short

I keep a very vivid memory from sometime in the hormonal haze of my middle school years.  I remember riding in the car and trying to cover my arm and shoulder which were getting beaten down by the hot Texas sun in an effort to not get any darker.  It didn’t take much back then; my color changed in a heartbeat.  If I were to reduce the diversity of skin colors down to a cheap crayon box of 8, my coloring has always favored my mother’s brown more than my father’s white.  Few people I saw in my daily life since moving to the US when I turned 10 looked like me.  This was true for those I came across … Full Article

TAASA’s Diversity Task Force Announces Conference Scholarship Recipients

TAASA’s Diversity Task Force prides itself in the process by which recipients are selected. Each application was qualified and carefully reviewed.

We are proud to announce the 2014 Scholarship Recipients:

Rosalva Gomez
Family Ties
Waller, TX

Emma J. Smith
Sexual Assault Resource Center
Bryan, TX

Virginia Rueda
Center Against Family Violence
El Paso, TX

Luisa Trujillo
Regional Victim Crisis Center
Abilene, TX

Marcia Marshall
U.S. Navy
Fort Worth, TX

Virginia Johnson
Abigail’s Arms CCFCC
Gainesville, TX

We encourage all applicants to keep up the good work in positively impacting the anti-sexual assault movement. Thank you all again for taking the time to complete a thorough application and we look … Full Article