Letter From the Editors
MVMENT is a publication about gender and sexuality inequality, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual identity and more; it was created by three boarding-school students hoping to effect positive change in their community. MVMENT is run by students, for students, in high school and college campuses across the country. By engaging with personal stories, opinion pieces, investigative journalism, photography, artwork and other media, we believe that more people can become better-equipped allies in the fight against rape culture, gender inequities and sexuality discrimination.
For many, rape is a foreign concept. We read about select cases online and hear about “bad people” making “bad choices” on the news. We learn about seemingly isolated incidents of sexual assault. We may be tempted to believe that it could never happen to us or the people we care about. However, that is very far from the truth, and it is imperative that we understand the harsh reality we live in in order to become empowered allies and combat this culture.
All of our content is written, submitted, edited and published by a community of high school and college-aged students, all of whom bring a unique personal perspective to issues of gender and sexual inequality. Our contributors share their own encounters with gender and sexual identity and address the systemic inequalities that non-cisgender or non-heterosexual individuals face. MVMENT provides a platform for contributors to express their own exploration of gender and sexuality identity, whether it’s an open part of who they are, or it’s still hidden from those closest to them.
Our Survivor Stories section is dedicated to giving a voice to the survivors of sexual harassment, sexual assault, abuse and rape. These stories are often hard to read. They are equally hard to edit. They are emotional, terrifying, moving, disturbing and graphic, but they are necessary. They are anonymous, but they are also written by your friend, or the girl who sits next to you in class, or your brother, or your girlfriend. These are stories that have been too long silenced; now, they need to be heard.
According to a RAINN study, more than 20% of girls will be raped or assaulted as an undergraduate.1 54% of sexual assault victims are under the age of 30.2 These are statistics that seem distant and impersonal. The stories behind these statistics are not.
Rape, sexual assault and relationship violence happen across the country and across our schools. They are not isolated incidents but systemic problems. Both women and men are victims and survivors, as well as perpetrators. And the survivors are many: strong people, smart people, careful people, outspoken people, quiet people. Rape does not discriminate.
This is not a publication for girls; it is for the voices of ALL survivors, their allies and those who wish to create change that is not limited to their own school or community.
MVMENT was founded on the belief that by telling your story, by forming your own voice, by thinking about the role you play, things can change on a personal and an institutional level. We are a platform by students, for students. We are a platform for people of all genders and sexualities, for survivors, for bystanders, and for friends and allies.
It is also very possible that the readers, contributors and editors of MVMENT have, at times, perpetuated rape culture. Examining your own role in perpetuating this culture is uncomfortable, but it is vital. We believe that without having these conversations and challenging ourselves, we are allowing this culture to thrive—not by malice, but by ignorance.
These conversations are a fundamental step in changing the status quo that we have grown up in. A society in which 1 in 5 girls will reach college graduation with a story like the ones you will read on this site is not a society that we want to live in, want to watch our younger siblings grow up in, want to raise our children in.
Find your voice. This culture can only survive in silence.
Your Executive Board
Vinayak Kurup ‘19
Grace Carroll ‘19
Paul James ‘19
Jacob Zimmerman ‘19