2017 kicked off with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets in the name of women, a reaction to the election of a president and party that consistently threatened femmes, their rights, and their bodies. The year that followed saw a similar rallying: women's voices were being heard, their stories were being told, men (however powerful) were being held responsible for their actions. There's been a reckoning, it seems, but despite every major headline, we've only been chipping away at the entirety of the issue. In Hollywood, accused abusers are being fired, blacklisted, edited out of movies they've already filmed. Good. But in colleges across America, where the young women speaking out don't have clout or fan bases, sexual assault is still being treated more like a blame game than an actual crisis.
In September, Trump-appointed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced plans to reverse Obama-era guidelines on how colleges deal with sexual assault on campus. In November, journalist Vanessa Grigoriadis published her years-in-the-making book, Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power and Consent on Campus, an in-depth report that couldn't have come at a more necessary time.
We spoke to Vanessa about her research, the uncomfortable social truths it revealed, and the steps we need to take to unblur the lines when it comes to this all-too-common (and all-too-devastating) issue.
[Photo via Getty]