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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Vagina Monologues addresses modern issues

The Vagina Monologues was written in the ‘90s by Eve Ensler—an American playwright—based on interviews she conducted with 200 women. The monologues cover a variety of topics, from hilarious tales of dry tampons and shaving mishaps, to horrifying recollections of war rapes and childhood molestation. Vaginas Against Violence (VAV) has been putting on the play for more than 10 years, according to co-director and performer Renée Antoine, and all proceeds go towards the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre (ORCC). The performances, however, do not stay the same. Former director and four-time performer Letycia Henriques said changes are made every year in terms of which monologues are performed and to the references included. A new addition this year was the inclusion of […]

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Students discuss women’s issues in Up for Debate Carleton

Student representatives of Carleton’s political party chapters debated women’s issues in Up for Debate Carleton, a non-partisan event hosted by Oxfam Carleton and Carleton Equal Voice in the Unicentre atrium on Oct. 1. The event was held in solidarity with the national Up for Debate alliance between various Canadian women’s rights organizations that called for a national televised debate between federal leaders on women’s issues. Present at the debate were Carleton Conservatives Rachael Ostroff and Jessica Klasser, Carleton New Democrats Miriam Illman-White and Letycia Henriques, Carleton Liberals Hillary Martin and Trang Thai, and Carleton Campus Greens Simon Hunt and David Hodgson. The debate was facilitated with questions contributed by various campus clubs and organizations. Debate topics brought up during the […]

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Vagina Monologues raise money for Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre

Carleton Vaginas Against Violence presented The Vagina Monologues on March 7-8 in the Minto Centre, with all proceeds going to the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre and V-Day. The monologues are based on a series of interviews conducted by American playwright Eve Ensler and, in the format of short sketches, openly discuss topics often considered taboo. As they portray many of the issues women face around the world, the monologues are meant to be saddening, amusing, and empowering all at once. Although the monologues were first written and performed in the mid-90s, their content is “intersectional and still relevant,” said Letycia Henriques, a director. There’s a spotlight piece each year in which a current issue is highlighted, she said. The sketches […]

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