The Privilege of Solidarity

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This article was guest authored by Savannah Daniels ’18

CW: this post discusses rape and sexual assault. 

This is an opinion piece, all views expressed within it are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Thrill.

How many survivors are enough to justify protecting?

In the wake of an open sit-in of support for survivors of sexual assault, op-eds and letters have been flying back and forth. Mic, Teen-Vogue, and Jezebel covered the campus events of the last few days, framing the sit-in as an all campus reaction to administrative mishandling of sexual assault cases. Alumni have reached out in support, and survivors have organized.

Sit-ins have a tradition of empowerment. To be surrounded by supporters, to see the faces around you and know you are not alone in your cause—it can be a source of great empathy and action. But that isn’t what happened this Thursday. Not for everyone.

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Check Your Shoes, Check Your Privilege

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I walked to Peirce from my 9:10 class this morning expecting nothing but casual conversation and a few pieces of cinnamon toast. However, upon arriving, I was confronted with several boldface questions written out in chalk on the sidewalk. “WHO CONTROLS ‘OPEN DIALOGUE?'” one read. Another questioned my sense of fulfillment here at Kenyon, and yet another asked if my socioeconomic status affected the way I thought about food. My mind instantly filled with shame over my white skin and comfortable home life — did I really take enough time to appreciate the struggles some of my classmates face on a daily basis? Did I fully grasp our diversity as a student body?

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