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VOX’s Girls Group Reflect on Rape Culture, Body Image, Bonding

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Being a girl isn’t any easier than being a woman. VOX’s Girls Group provides teens in the program the opportunity to support each other in collective experiences while enhancing individual voices. Below are some reflections and collages a few Girls Group members conceptualized during their February 5th Girls Group Lock-In.

 

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Artwork created by Jaleelah Shaheed, 16, Creekside High School.

“Different World” episode key in understanding rape culture

When I first heard about the VOX Girls Group lock-in, I was a bit apprehensive.  Such events usually make me nervous but by the end of the night, I knew Saturday would only get better. The night started off with a candlelit dinner and went into a planning session for some forthcoming VOX events.

Later in the night, we watched an episode from “A Different World,” a series that focuses on situations on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which dove into the topic of how rape occurs and is often perceived in an incorrect manner. Some males may feel the need to prove their masculinity through taking control of women in sexual situations, as well as finding a way to defend their actions that are later deemed incorrect. In the episode, the two women who experienced such a terrible situation pushed forward with reporting the perpetrator. setting a positive example for more girls who might experience the same thing. 

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Artwork created by Miranda Mullins, 17, Duluth High School.

It was a beautiful experience to see how progressive a show was during the 1990s. Still, in media, the rape culture is perpetrated and often leads to development of malicious actions. I was glad to watch this episode not only for the lesson embedded within it, but also to see so many people of color being portrayed in both negative and positive lights.

– Sharah Hutson, 18, Mays High School

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Artwork by Alexandria Wilson, 18, North Atlanta High School.

 

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Adventures on the way to VOX  Girls Group Lock-In

“Wow, what a long day,” I think to myself after being in school for 12 hours thanks to after school activities.  “Maybe I should,  maybe I shouldn’t,” the thought lingers in my head, debating on going to VOX’s Girls Group Lock-In. I was really tired, but I always want to have fun!

As I begin to realize there were two different people in my head, I quickly get interrupted by my phone: it’s Susan, VOX’s Program Director. I read her text asking: “Are you still coming?” I sigh, thinking I’m really tired and ready to go to bed, but I still consider the fact that the lock-in might be fun. I reply saying: “Yeah I’ll be there!”

I finally get home to pack my things and get out he door. My ride takes me to the nearest MARTA station and drops me off. I head downstairs and wait for the train. I stand there waiting, waiting, and once again waiting. Finally the train comes and I realize it took more than an hour for it to come. 

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I text both Raisa, VOX’s News and Features Editor, and Susan and tell them I’m on the train and I’ll be there in 30 minutes. I finally get downtown and head to VOX. The first person I saw was Jaleelah and that he was wearing a t-shirt and shorts I couldn’t see over his shirt. I laugh and relax immediately and join in vision boarding. Long story short, the night was well spent. I was glad I came and I can only hope for another Girls Group Lock-in.

-Anita Rollins, 18,  Banneker High School

Featured image created by Anita Rollins. 

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