Date Rape: It’s the Rapist’s Fault

September 10, 2014

A number of comments made by prominent figures in the past few weeks’ have brought rise to an ugly but familiar topic: date rape.

Last week, community member and former George Washington University president, Stephen Trachtenburg, said that women should “have to be trained not to drink in excess” in order to prevent being raped. A Fox News panel, made up of mostly women, came to a similar conclusion in response to his comments.

Meanwhile, on Labor Day, pop star Cee Lo Green implied in a series of tweets that nonconsensual sex only qualifies as rape if the woman is conscious. Then, Dartmouth graduate Andrew Lohse released a tell-all book about his experiences in a fraternity that accuses fraternity culture of promoting rape.

Lastly, the past week brought the news of the invention of a nail polish that changes colors to indicate date rape drugs are in a drink when a finger is dipped in it. These news pieces spurred talking heads to do what they do best: compete to make the most outrageous comments possible in a farcical debate of the issue. But in the case of rape and its victims, there needn’t be a debate.

Let us be clear: rape is never the victim’s fault. It is the rapist’s fault.

A woman getting drunk should not and does not give predators license to rape. Are men so animalistic that they have no self-restraint when encountering an inebriated woman?

There are predators in our society that people should be wary of. Men and women both have the ability to get themselves into compromising situations when it comes to alcohol and sex. Yes, tools like date rape drug detecting nail polish can help women avoid getting drugged, but the onus shouldn’t be on them.

We need to change the conversation and our culture more broadly so that sex is not treated as conquest. By obscuring the two, not only we not only objectify sex partners but we also essentially turn having sex into a right of someone who has gone through certain steps, like dates. Sex is a privilege, not a right.

Fannie Mae HQ for Sale

Fannie Mae is abandoning its iconic, colossal headquarters on Wisconsin Avenue NW and moving to a consolidated office downtown. The driving force behind the move, according to company sources, is the building’s crumbling office infrastructure. Noted architect Leon Chatelain Jr. designed the Colonial Revival building to house the Equitable Life Insurance Company’s headquarters.

Construction of the 228,000 square foot space was completed in 1956. Looking forward, the property will likely draw the interest of local commercial real estate firms, in addition to educational institutions and embassies. From a commercial real estate perspective, the property would be best utilized as a mixed-use condo development, with its glut of space and its close proximity to public transportation.
This would require the current building to be razed in lieu of new, modern architecture, which could draw complaints about construction, traffic, parking, and green space, among other concerns, from the community and neighboring Sidwell Friends School, American University and area embassies, who would likely want to maintain the building as is for aesthetic purposes.
An acquisition of the property would be a logical choice for nearby American University, which has been leasing office space in a wide range of District locations over the past few years.
Assessed at $81,000,000

Tech Gadgets for Back to School

August 20, 2014

Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker — $199

This portable speaker is perfect for the new school year. Bose products are known for their great sound quality, and this speaker lives up to expectations, packing a punch while easily fitting in your bag. Bluetooth lets you or friends pick the tunes from your phone without the hassle of wires.

Spotify — $10 per month

While Spotify Premium may not be a gadget technically speaking, the service and app that come with it are a must-have for college students. Spotify’s deep library is not unique to the music streaming service, but the company’s social features blow competitors Beats, Pandora and Rdio out of the water. Users have the option of linking their account to their Facebook page, which allows them to send music to friends, check out playlists made by other users and tune into classmates’ listening tastes to discover new songs. The $10 per month price tag may seem expensive up front but with all of your friends’ and the world’s music at your fingertips, the price is worth it.

Panasonic RPTCM125K Headphones — $15

These in-ear headphones have all of the features a student could need, including high quality sound, an ergonomic fit and a connected microphone with a remote. They are also easy to replace if broken or lost in the whirlwind of student life. If you’re looking for more high-end in-ear or over-ear headphones, avoid flashy brand Beats and get a pair of Audio-Technica, Sennheiser or Klipsch headphones.

Google Chromecast — $35

Google released the Chromecast last summer as a cheap alternative to the Apple TV. The device is incredibly easy to set up and allows users to watch content from their Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, Hulu and ESPN accounts on their television. Users can also stream anything from their computer or mobile device to their TV in seconds through the Chrome browser.

MacBook Air 13-inch with $100 dollar Apple Store gift card (before Sept. 9) — $999

The MacBook Air is a great computer for students. It fits nicely into any bag or backpack, weighing only three pounds. With a battery that lasts up to 12 hours, students can leave their chargers in their dorm room and know that they’ll have enough battery life for class, the library and anything else they may need their computer for later on. Be sure to show your college ID for a discount and take advantage of Apple’s back-to-school deal, which gives away a $100 dollar Apple gift card with every MacBook purchased.

GoPro Hero3+ — $400

GoPro’s latest iteration brings a high-end HD video camera to the palm of your hand. The “smaller, lighter, mightier” camera is perfect for weekend trips, outdoor adventures on the Potomac, urban exploring and filming college hijinks. The GoPro app makes sharing videos with family and friends easy. The app can also be used as a remote controller for the camera.

Kodak PixPro Smart Lens SL10 — $230

Kodak’s PixPro Smart Lens system is a powerful camera that easily clips on to your Apple or Android smartphone. While other products attempt to enhance your smartphone’s camera, the Kodak PixPro is a standalone that sends high quality photos to users’ phones using Bluetooth technology. The PixPro Smart Lens is available in a 10x and 25x zoom and is a great product for amateur and more serious photographers.
(Exclusive deals at Radio Shack for both lenses.)

Kindle Paperwhite without Special Offers — $139

Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite is the most advanced and easiest to use e-reader on the market right now. The touch screen device does a handy job of replicating the feeling of reading a paper book and is conveniently backlit for nighttime reading. In addition, the Kindle allows readers access to Amazon’s vast collection of reasonably priced e-books, which includes free classics that are covered in class but not by copyright laws.

Fitbit Flex — $100

Fitbit is leading the pack in wearable health technology with its subtle, comfortable wristbands. The company sells a variety of band products enhanced with hardware that tracks physical activity, calories burned and even how well you sleep. The band transmits this data to the fitbit app, which helps you set fitness goals and set your alarm to optimize your sleep schedule.
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