Losing it: understanding virginity in the 21st century

While the beginning of a new school year usually sees university students attending new classes, buying textbooks, and reading course outlines, some may also be hatching a plan to ditch their V-card status. On the surface, virginity seems like a pretty straightforward concept. A person is a virgin if they haven’t had sex, and isn’t if they have. Among millennials, virginity can even be the quickest way to decide whether someone is a prude or a slut. However, in reality, the concept of virginity is vastly more complicated. In fact, according to Ummni Khan, an associate professor of legal studies at Carleton University, virginity is a deeply ideological construct. “[It’s] based on cis-normative and heterosexist understandings of sexual phases,” Khan who […]

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OPINION: CUSA needs more action on social justice

Yoga. Pokemon Go. Smoothies. The weather. An event involving a giant mechanical spider and dragon. What do all these things have in common? They’ve all appeared on the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) Facebook page within the last month. While there is perhaps no major problem with posting about yoga three times and only posting about CUSA budget consultations once, there is, however, a very concerning problem with an association that represents around 24,000 students and yet very rarely shows any support for social justice issues that affect a large majority of us. In comparison, the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) has posted about Capital Pride student consultations, international students’ rights, Carleton’s Sexual Violence policy debate, Black Lives Matter, and multiple […]

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Policy talks: A look behind Carleton’s sexual assault conduct

On June 2, Stanford University student Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in the Santa Clara County jail for sexually assaulting a 22-year-old female at a party on campus while she was intoxicated. The verdict was met with an uproar from the public, some calling for a harsher sentence, and others finding it fair. An open letter written by the female who was assaulted, published on Buzzfeed, tells a harrowing tale of her experiences and their aftermath. Turner’s father, however, failed to see the severity of his son’s actions and said that his sentence was “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.” One thing is for sure about this case: it is one of many sexual […]

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Toilet trouble & transphobia: Controversy over gender-neutral washrooms

“Going to the washroom where I want to means acceptance,” said Michelle, a Carleton student who wishes to remain anonymous. According to Kate Krug, an anthropology and sociology professor at Cape Breton University, gender-neutral and gender-inclusive washrooms permit all individuals to enter without discrimination based on one’s preferred gender identity. “[They] are washrooms that are not sex specific, they are not designated for males or females . . . they are just washrooms,” Krug said. “There are a host of folk for whom sex-specific washrooms just don’t work, some of those are trans folk. People whose gender presentation doesn’t necessarily line up with their biological in the way that is expected,” Krug said. Krug added gender-neutral washrooms also benefit parents […]

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Editorial: Black history needs more attention

This month saw the annual celebration of Black History Month (BHM). Despite the importance of such a month, the publicity surrounding events being hosted by groups at Carleton didn’t match that of many other awareness campaigns. Carleton’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Centre, the Institute of African Studies Student Association, the Carleton University Students’ Association’s (CUSA) Race, Ethnicity and Cultural (REC) Hall, and CUSA’s Womyn’s Centre partnered to host seven events celebrating queer black students at Carleton. The REC Hall put on two more events to celebrate the month. The departments of history and African studies also hosted events. But none of these were very widely publicized by the university or CUSA—only one of them was retweeted on CUSA’s Twitter page. […]

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