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The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

From social media to City College; Sexual Assault Awareness month spotlights MeToo movement
Professor Sherri Patton leads a discussion Tuesday, at the Cultural Awareness Center, on the brief history of struggle against the sexual harassment movement in the US. Photo by Megan Horn | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

Chelsea Knowlton
Staff Reporter
[email protected]

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and the Cultural Awareness Center is hosting events to raise awareness and foster discussion about sexual assault and its effect on society.

On April 10, City College professor Sherri Patton led a discussion about the #MeToo movement, with events continuing this week. The Los Rios District’s chapter of Women Escaping A Violent Environment, or WEAVE, is holding a presentation and open discussion about dating, consent, sexual assault and how to cultivate healthy relationships. The event will be held Tuesday, April 17, noon–1:30 p.m. in the Cultural Awareness Center.

Patton spoke about the history of the movement as well as the disconnect between policy enactment and social change.

“Legislation is increasingly where activists can’t go,” said Patton at the event. “Laws are one thing but changing people’s minds is something entirely different.”
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Attendees were so involved in the discussion following the presentation that the conversation continued even after Patton left to make her next class. Many participants emphasized the importance of these kinds of discussions.

“A lot of women look at their experience and think ‘Is this significant enough? Was some guy telling me how good my butt looked inappropriate enough for me to tell other people about it?’” said City College alumna Haley Young, 22. “I feel like the Me Too movement allowed women with any story to share it so that people could see that probably every single woman you know has had some sort of encounter.”

Young’s sentiments are reflected in a survey released in January of this year by an organization called Stop Street Harassment. According the survey, 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had endured an unwanted sexual experience, out of over 2,000 men and women surveyed over the age of 18.

Another point of discussion was the concern that movements like #MeToo, which start on social media, don’t gain enough traction to remain relevant.

“It’s easy to sort of have movements flit in and out of the collective consciousness of students,” said 26-year-old City College student and self-proclaimed activist Robert Merges. “It’s not to say that social media activism is necessarily bad, and it has its place. I feel like it has to accompany calls to action, and it has to accompany organization, and that’s where the disconnect is for me.”

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