Object/ Defy: Objectification is Dehumanization! MCS Upper School takes on Sexual Violence

This year the 7th and 8th grade students have decided to focus our activism campaign

on sexual violence. Needless to say, we had very intense debates, rounds of voting,

and homework to do before agreeing on this topic. It is both deeply personal and a

timely political topic. Students looked at a variety of subtopics relating to sexual

violence and also analyzed the root causes and effects. They brought up “rape

culture” in the media as a root cause, a lack of legal protections for victims of sexual

assault in the military and on college campuses, as well as a range of other issues.

The title of the campaign is Object/ Defy: Objectification is Dehumanization. They

have decided to focus on three areas that address this issue on a personal, cultural

and political basis.

Healthy Relationships 

Students will first learn and then teach other youth how to make sure all of our

relationships are founded on respect. This goes for romantic relationships as well as

friendships and professional relationships with adults. While for the most part, they

are not dating, thinking about these things ahead of time will help them to make

good decisions and give good advice to their peers.

Media and Culture

Students are analyzing representations of masculinity and femininity in the media

as a root cause of sexual violence.  They are looking at objectification and rape

culture and will be speaking back through remaking ads, and videos to reframe the

message, as well as satirizing news coverage.

Policy and Advocacy

Students chose to focus our policy goal on sexual assault on campus. There has been

a lot of news coverage and thus efforts by our elected representatives to respond.

The students have chosen a bill introduced in the Senate called the Campus

Accountability and Safety Act, which will reform how universities respond to sexual

assault cases and provide funds for survivors and training for staff. They

partnered with postcard.com to create a postcard campaign found at http://postcard.com/join-a-movement/28.

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