Know Your Surroundings?

Today we have a post from incoming freshman, Amanda Campen.  Amanda is from Bogota, New Jersey and intends to major in Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice.  If you would like to be our next guest blogger just send an email to or leave a comment.

As a daughter of a single mother, my mother raised me to always ‘know my surroundings’.  For example, we often together watched Law and Order: Special Victims’ Unit. This popular television show with plots generally grounded in sexually based offenses sometimes makes rape, beatings, and the occasional female genitalia cutting seem like everything else on television – sensationalized fiction. It almost appears as if these acts are one time atrocities that  happen to girls who do not ‘know their surroundings’. Half the Sky and the documentary The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo have made me realize that many women across the globe do not have such a secure life as my own, and experience these atrocities not as television melodrama but as part of their daily real lives. These women and their experienced atrocities become part of male-dominated tradition, a solution to the reestablishment of a family’s honor, or casualties of war.

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