September 25, 2016
Temple University’s Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) marched against rape culture in center city Saturday while most of their classmates were celebrating homecoming activities.
The March to End Rape Culture featured inspiring speakers, music, and a massive march through the streets of Philadelphia. The event welcomed all and prided itself on its intersectionality because anyone can be a victim. Not only are individuals affected, but loved ones as well. Therefore, survivors, protesters, and supporters alike and different all came together today to get the message out on the streets and via social media.
As a student, it is not to be ignored that sexual assault is an issue on college campuses countrywide. Through social media, many young people today are learning more about the true problems rape culture causes. One case that has brought about a lot of responses, reactions, and hopefully change, is the Brock Turner case that exploded via social media. Unfortunately, Turner was released after only serving three months in prison. In court hearings, there was more concern over the young man’s future, than the survivor’s trauma that she will suffer with for the rest of her life. This is an example of rape culture.
“This issue of rape culture is really important to FMLA because we are a college organization, and sexual assault happens on college campuses, and it should not be ignored…So it’s important for us as students to bring awareness to these issues that happen on our campus and also just changing the ideas of what women’s autonomy is and like, women’s right to choose to have sex with someone or not to have sex with someone,” said Kathleen Taylor, a senior at Temple and the president of the FMLA.
“We like to base our march around college campuses; we invite all the campuses to come and march with us. We’re more of an educational march, along with support to the survivors, so we want the students to know that we’re out here fighting for your right to say no…We’re out here to teach college students that you shouldn’t be afraid to say no. That is rape culture. If you are afraid for your life because you’ve said no to someone who’s very aggressive, we’re here to support you and we’re here to get the laws changed.”Robin Strougn, one of the march’s organizers, is very welcoming of the student body engagement.
This is the 5th year the march has been hosted in Philadelphia. Diversity in the crowd is the key to the success of the event so that all in the streets and online watching know that rape culture affects everyone and that no matter who you are, you have the right become aware and active.
Over 25 organizations were at the march, offering multiple forms of support and services by educating, counseling and helping anyone looking to get more involved in the cause.
For those inspired to get involved on campus, the FMLA meets weekly in Tuttleman room 307 at 6:30 pm every Tuesday. Not only does the FMLA participate in activism, but they also host educational panels and events on campus. The next event by the FMLA will be a tampon drive this November, collecting tampons and other sanitary products to give to those in need.