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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Male birth control: The future of sexual health?

Birth control pills have been a female-centred form of contraception since its creation in the 1960s, but recent studies are being conducted on two new birth control methods for men. “A male contraceptive could change things between men and women. It might turn birth control into a shared responsibility, where it’s been a sole responsibility largely of women for the last 60 years,” said physician and medical columnist Brian Goldman on his CBC Radio show White Coat, Black Art. What is birth control? According to Planned Parenthood, birth control allows individuals to prevent pregnancy and plan the timing of it. Birth control, with the exception of condoms, does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Female birth control For women, […]

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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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Letter: Men needed to be included for feminism to succeed

With International Women’s Day on March 8, and the CUSA Womyn’s Centre hosting International Women’s Week from March 7-11, the feminist debate is once again on the minds of Carleton students. And with the debate comes the eventual question: is there space for males in feminism? I’m here to tell you there is room—you can’t manifest social change when you discount half of the population. Male allies are needed. Feminism is good for people of all genders—including men—because it is about social, political, and economic equality for everyone. Feminist campaigns and fighting for women’s rights has often become associated with man-hating for many. Ending this stereotype is the main focus behind the UN campaign HeForShe: to end man-hating and instead […]

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Students petition for increased resources on consent and sexual assault

A petition started by students in a feminist activism class has garnered attention from the Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) with its online call for CUSA to improve access to sexual assault resources for students. Bethany Drader, a political science student at Carleton, said she and several other students—including law student Linda MacMillan—put the petition together as a group project. The petition, hosted on Change.org, criticizes “a lack of information” on the CUSA website “for services such as Foot Patrol, The Carleton University Sexual Assault Centre, Student Run Sexual Assault Support Hotline, and The Womyn’s Centre.” Addressed to the CUSA vice-president (student issues) and vice-president (student services), the authors said the petition was “a call to update the information on […]

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