“Woman at War with the World”

Jennifer Doyle’s article, “Campus Sex, Campus Security”, starts off by her touching on the events surrounding what took place at UC Davis campus in November of 2011. Throughout the article, Doyle writes more broadly about the enforcement of Title IX, what it means to colleges, and what it should mean to colleges. The goal of Title IX is to provide a safe environment for all students, no matter what gender one is, prohibiting any discrimination based on that one factor alone. This kind of law is reassuring to many people that plan to attend college, people who are sending their children off to college, or people who are currently attending college. However, as Doyle goes more deeply into this topic, one will start to think more profoundly about what is actually being done to enforce Title IX? Are colleges really enforcing this law to every degree possible? 

Coming to the University of Delaware, I remember the countless presentations we had to sit through about these kind of topics, between orientation, the online course, and meetings with our RA. The main idea around these talks was that if something were to ever happen, we should most definitely report it to a trusted faculty or community member and seek out help. But after reading this article, it makes one reconsider the consequences of telling someone in authority. Would you feel safe telling a faculty member, if something where to ever happen to you? If not, what would be holding you back? 

As Doyle writes about charges of sexual assault on a campus and the investigation process, she says, “a woman violated by a man becomes a woman at war with the world” (Doyle 40). As scary as that sounds, is it really true? Are the consequences, for the victim, of reporting a sexual assault even worth the trouble? It seems as if there are just as many consequences for the victim as the offender. As a young woman attending a university, I want to be able to believe in this “justice system” that should be able to support me when I am most vulnerable. Do you believe there are any changes that should take place within the University of Delaware and other universities, as a whole, to promote a more trusted environment? And lastly, is there even an answer to Doyle’s question on, “what would it mean for a campus to actually account for its own sexual culture?” (Doyle 43). 

Big Words –

Profoundly: adjective. Penetrating or entering deeply into subjects of thought or knowledge; having deep insight or understanding: a profound thinker.

Sexual Culture: a subculture and community composed of people who have shared experiences, backgrounds, or interests due to common sexual identities.


Hiding From our Past?

Slavery, that once took place in America over 200 years ago, is something often disregarded in classrooms today. Most textbooks, professors, and teachers touch on the subject and then move on, leaving the profound impact it had on our country and people go unnoticed. Something that was so life changing to thousands of Americans should not be overlooked and Professor Edward Baptist understood this. In his article, “Teaching Slavery to Reluctant Listeners”, he explains the struggle he constantly had to go through with his students, when talking about slavery. He goes on to say, “as I walk into the first class of the semester, I know that I will find challenge, discomfort and even anxiety” (Baptist). But why does it have to be so uncomfortable for students like us to talk about this? Why are we hiding from the truth? Baptist then writes that most of his white students, at first, were defensive about this subject, “over the weeks to come, not only did they work harder, but their comments became less defensive, more insightful” (Baptist). When first talking about slavery, it seems as if his white students were defending themselves and refusing to look deeper into the subject. However, after a student encounter, the white students started to become more insightful and thought harder about the important impact slavery has had on our nation and what it truly means. But why, in the first place, did those white students feel the need to defend themselves? Clearly, white people are going to be uncomfortable talking about this horrible part of the past, but that shouldn’t mean it can’t be talked about. Not matter what race you are, or the history that follows you, everyone will be uncomfortable with this type of subject. But, we should still be able to have a truthful and deep conversation about it. So how can we make this an easier conversation to have? Why do you think it is still, to this day, so difficult to talk about? If you were in Professor Baptists class, how would you act when talking about slavery?

Big Words:

profound – penetrating or entering deeply into subjects ofthought or knowledge; having deep insight or understanding. 

insightful – characterized by or displaying insight; perceptive.