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Center For Sexual & Gender Diversity To Host Events Throughout Fall Semester

Center For Sexual & Gender Diversity To Host Events Throughout Fall Semester

Penn State’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity (CSGD) will host a variety of events this fall, with topics including pronouns, sexuality, and empowerment.

The first event is “Game Time” beginning at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 6, in the HUB. That’ll be one of two events to take place in September.

The two events in September will be followed up with four in October, which is LGBTQ+ History Month, and three in November, which is Transgender Awareness Month.

The CSGD strives to create an inclusive environment where students, faculty, staff, and alumni can all feel supported. Within the CSGD, Penn Staters everywhere are able to access support, connect with others, and expand their knowledge on gender and sexual diversity.

Additionally, the CSGD has resources that span many different communities, including those who identify as queer and transgender and those who belong to the Commonwealth Campuses.

In honor of LGBTQ+ History Month in October and Transgender Awareness Month in November, the CSGD will host various speakers so students can learn more from members of their respective communities.

For more information, reach out to the Penn State Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity through Instagram or email.

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Vikram, who goes by Vik, is a sophomore from Rockland County, NY. He is majoring in Psychology and Business (for now) and is a writer for Onward State. Most days, you can find Vik partying a bit too hard, or spending a bit too much — unless you’re his parents, then you can find him studying avidly. 24/7. He promises.

Send your compliments to @vikkraj over Instagram and your complaints to [email protected] over email.

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Vince McMahon Retires: A Timeline Of Events Amid 2022 Probe Of Sexual Misconduct

Vince McMahon Retires: A Timeline Of Events Amid 2022 Probe Of Sexual Misconduct

Vince McMahon shockingly retired from WWE amid rising allegations of sexual misconduct. McMahon is in the middle of a WWE investigation regarding alleged “hush money” settlements.

From the day these allegations were announced, McMahon has attempted to weather the storm during a Summer of Hell by publicly stepping down—presumably for optics—and no-selling the brewing scandal in public appearances.

With McMahon reportedly retiring from all duties, however, 2022 will go down as the year that saw the unlikely fall of Vincent Kennedy McMahon.

Vince McMahon Investigated by WWE | June 15, 2022

In a bombshell report by the Wall Street Journal (h/t Forbes), it was revealed that Vince McMahon was the subject of an internal WWE investigation amid “hush money” settlements for sexual misconduct. Amid the damning accusations, WWE reportedly increased the salary of a former paralegal whom McMahon allegedly had an affair with. The investigation also meant the end of John Laurinaitis’ tenure as Executive Vice President of Talent Relations, a role that would later be assumed by Triple H.

Today’s climate is littered with the demise of one male mogul after another due to accusations of sexual misconduct. These very serious allegations against Vince McMahon are the biggest threat to his iron rule as WWE Chairman and CEO, and proved to be too much to overcome.

Vince McMahon Steps Down From WWE | June 17, 2022

Days after the scandalous report of McMahon’s WWE investigation, Vince McMahon stepped down as WWE Chairman and CEO. In his place, McMahon installed his daughter Stephanie just one month after Stephanie McMahon announced she was taking a leave of absence from WWE to focus on her family.

Fast forward to today, Stephanie McMahon and her husband Triple H are at the helm of WWE, a far cry from both of their intentions to step back in favor of family time.

“I love this company and am committed to working with the Independent Directors to strengthen our culture and our Company; it is extremely important to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace,” Stephanie McMahon said on Twitter.

“I have committed to doing everything in my power to help the Special Committee complete its work, including marshaling the cooperation of the entire company to assist in the completion of the investigation and to implement its findings.”

Despite Vince McMahon stepping down, many dismissed Stephanie’s interim role as an “optics play.” Vince McMahon continued to maintain creative control over WWE, and despite publicly stepping down, seemed to have more control than ever behind the scenes.

MORE FROM FORBESVince McMahon Steps Down; Stephanie McMahon Named Interim WWE Chairwoman And CEO

Vince McMahon Appears on SmackDown | June 17, 2022

Just hours after stepping down as WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon appeared briefly to open the June 17, 2022 broadcast of SmackDown.

In quite possibly his final appearance on SmackDown, Vince McMahon repeated WWE’s signature phrase: “Then, Now, Forever…” and “the most important word is Together.” McMahon reportedly shouted “f—k em!” in response to the mounting allegations against him before returning to a “business as usual” demeanor.

McMahon has attempted to no-sell these allegations throughout a very public scandal. Even in his retirement announcement he implied his age (77 years) was the reason for stepping away, with no references to the accusations. Vince McMahon followed up his SmackDown appearance with another empty appearance on the June 20, 2022 broadcast of Raw. McMahon briefly spoke about the impending return of John Cena.

Also under fire was former WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis, who was ousted from the company due to his alleged involvement with the former WWE paralegal. Bruce Prichard was named Interim Vice President of Talent Relations in his place.

Vince McMahon Hush Money Allegations Grow to $12 Million | July 8, 2022

WSJ’s original bombshell report received a sequel as a follow-up report noted McMahon had paid upwards of $12 million in NDA (non-disclosure agreement) settlements to former WWE contractors and personnel. Additional settlements ranged from $1 million to a stunning $7.5 million in alleged hush money. Accusations against McMahon included sending nude photos and “coercing” a former wrestler to perform oral sex.

Just one day prior, WWE Board of Directors member Connor Schell stepped down from his position.

“Mr. Schell’s decision to resign from the Board was not due to any dispute or disagreement with the Company, its management or the Board on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” read an SEC filing.

Despite the public statement, it’s not difficult to make the connection between Schell’s decision and the rising amount of negativity plaguing the company. In light of the rising allegations, streaming giant Netflix reportedly pulled its planned documentary series about Vince McMahon.

MORE FROM FORBESVince McMahon Investigation Gets Worse As Alleged Hush Money Balloons To $12 Million

Triple H Named EVP of Talent Relations | July 22, 2022

Triple H, nicknamed the King of Kings, went back on his throne as WWE announced he would replace John Laurinaitis as EVP of Talent Relations. This wasn’t even the most shocking announcement of the day on another whirlwind of a Friday afternoon in pro wrestling. The announcement preceded Vince McMahon’s own shocking announcement that the WWE Chairman was set to retire.

It wasn’t too long ago that both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon’s futures—as power brokers within WWE—were in question. With Stephanie McMahon as WWE Interim Chairwoman and CEO, and Triple H installed as WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Relations, WWE’s seemingly scrapped succession plan was reincarnated amid internal turmoil. Amid Triple H’s unlikely return to power, Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Wrestling Inc) reported Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn were not present at WWE SmackDown.

Vince McMahon Retires from WWE | July 22, 2022

Vince McMahon shockingly retired via Twitter.

“At 77, time for me to retire. Thank you, WWE Universe. Then. Now. Forever. Together.”

McMahon’s decision was reportedly in the works for a week before the announcement was made as only a small circle was aware of the news beforehand.

Stephanie McMahon and WWE Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan will be taking over as co-CEOs while Triple H steps in as WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Relations.

The announcement reportedly led to immediate backstage hysteria. Despite cynicism of McMahon possibly maintaining control behind the scenes, McMahon has reportedly retired from all duties, including creative.

“To all WWE Superstars: as I approach 77 years old (OMG am I really that old?), I feel it’s time for me to retire. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my passion, wisdom, and love of the business with you. No longer will you see the smiling, docile, level-headed, calm presence at Gorilla every week,” McMahon said in an internal memo.

“Your dedication to WWE will ensure that our company will continue to grow and prosper. Our organization is nothing without you. You are WWE’s only natural resource, chosen to perform in front of a global audience.”

“You are all WWE Global Ambassadors. Carry the WWE flag wherever you go. Wave it high and proud. And bust your ass to be all you can be as a person and as a performer.”

“One other thing—I won’t be with you, but I’ll be watching. Remember to keep your hands up, grab hold, and sell. Btw, SmackDown airs live tonight at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central on FOX.”

Possibly the most telling line, unintentional or not, is “I won’t be with you, but I’ll be watching.” Given Vince McMahon’s penchant for fighting and maintaining control, it’s safe that he will always be “watching” in some form or fashion until his final day on this earth.

Brock Lesnar Walks out of SmackDown | July 22, 2022

In response to Vince McMahon retiring, Brock Lesnar reportedly walked out of SmackDown. Per multiple sources, Lesnar walked out of SmackDown under the mentality that if Vince McMahon is gone, Lesnar is gone.

Lesnar’s sudden departure puts his forthcoming match against Roman Reigns—the WWE SummerSlam main event—in jeopardy. Lesnar has never been shy about walking out of WWE shows when the situation does not serve him. For Lesnar, McMahon’s ousting appeared to be a dealbreaker. In the end, cooler head prevailed and Lesnar returned to the building in time to close out SmackDown with a brutal beatdown of Mr. Money in the Bank Theory.

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Extreme weather, climate events may lead to increase in violence towards women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities

Extreme weather, climate events may lead to increase in violence towards women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities
flood river
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

As the climate crisis leads to more intense and more frequent extreme weather and climate-related events, this in turn risks increasing the amount of gender-based violence experienced by women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities, say researchers.

In a study published in The Lancet Planetary Health, a team led by a researcher at the University of Cambridge analyzed current scientific literature and found that the evidence paints a bleak picture for the future as extreme events drive economic instability, food insecurity, and mental stress, and disrupt infrastructure and exacerbate gender inequality.

Between 2000 and 2019, floods, droughts, and storms alone affected nearly 4 billion people worldwide, costing over 300,000 lives. The occurrences of these extreme events represent a drastic change, with the frequency of floods increasing by 134%, storms by 40%, and droughts by 29% over the past two decades. These figures are expected to rise further as climate change progresses.

Extreme weather and climate events have been seen to increase gender-based , due to socio-economic instability, structural power inequalities, health-care inaccessibility, resource scarcity and breakdowns in safety and law enforcement, among other reasons. This violence can lead to long-term consequences including physical injury, unwanted pregnancy, exposure to HIV or other sexually transmitted infections, fertility problems, internalized stigma, mental health conditions, and ramifications for children.

To better understand the relationship between extreme events and gender-based violence, researchers carried out a systematic review of existing literature in this area. This approach allows them to bring together existing—and sometimes contradictory or under-powered—studies to provide more robust conclusions.

The team identified 41 studies that explored several types of extreme events, such as storms, floods, droughts, heatwaves, and wildfires, alongside gender-based violence, such as sexual violence and harassment, physical violence, “witch” killing, early or forced marriage, and emotional violence. The studies covered countries on all six of the major continents and all but one focused on cisgender and girls.

The researchers found evidence that gender-based violence appears to be exacerbated by and , driven by factors such as economic shock, social instability, enabling environments, and stress.

According to the studies, perpetrators of violence ranged from partners and family members, through to religious leaders, relief workers and government officials. The relationship between extreme events and gender-based violence can be expected to vary across settings due to differences in social gender norms, tradition, vulnerability, exposure, adaptive capacity, available reporting mechanisms, and legal responses. However, the experience of gender-based violence during and after extreme events seems to be a shared experience in most contexts studied, suggesting that amplification of this type of violence is not constrained geographically.

“Extreme events don’t themselves cause gender-based violence, but rather they exacerbate the drivers of violence or create environments that enable this type of behavior,” said Kim van Daalen, a Gates Cambridge Scholar at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge.

“At the root of this behavior are systematic social and patriarchal structures that enable and normalize such violence. Existing social roles and norms, combined with inequalities leading to marginalization, discrimination, and dispossession make women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities disproportionately vulnerable to the adverse impacts of extreme events.”

Experiencing gender-based violence can also further increase vulnerability. When faced with the likelihood of experiencing harassment or sexual violence in relief camps, for example, some women or sexual and gender minorities choose to stay home or return to their homes even before doing so is safe, placing them in additional danger from extreme events and further restricting their already limited access to relief resources.

Extreme events could both increase new violence and increase reporting, unmasking existing violence. Living through extreme events led some victims to feel they could no longer endure abuse or to feel less inhibited to report the abuse than before the event. However, the researchers also noted that reporting remains plagued by a number of factors, including silencing of victims—particularly in countries where safeguarding a daughter’s and family’s honor and marriageability is important—as well as fears of coming forward, failures of law enforcement, unwillingness to believe victims, and the normalization of violence.

Van Daalen added, “Disaster management needs to focus on preventing, mitigating, and adapting to drivers of gender-based violence. It’s crucial that it’s informed by the women, girls, and sexual and gender minority populations affected and takes into account local sexual and gender cultures and local norms, traditions, and social attitudes.”

Examples of such interventions include providing post-disaster shelters and relief services—including toilets and bath areas—designed to be exclusively accessed by women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities or providing emergency response teams specifically trained in prevention of gender-based violence.

Likewise, empowerment initiatives for women and sexual and gender minorities that challenge regressive gender norms to reduce vulnerability could bring opportunities to negotiate their circumstances and bring positive change. For example, women’s groups using participatory- learning-action cycles facilitated by local peers have been used to improve reproductive and maternal health by enabling women to identify and prioritize local challenges and solutions. Similar programs could be adapted and applied in extreme event management to empower women as decision makers in local communities.

Case studies

Hurricane Katrina, violence and intimidation

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in August 2005, gender-based violence increased, particularly interpersonal violence or intimate partner violence, and physical victimization increased for women. Likewise, a study on internally-displaced people in Mississippi found that sexual violence and rates of intimate partner violence increased in the year following the disaster.

Furthermore, the New Orleans gay community was blamed for Hurricane Katrina, with the disaster being described as being “God’s punishment.” Same-sex couples were prevented from receiving relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, transgender people were threatened in shelters or prohibited access after a natural disaster, and LGBTQI people experienced physical harm and violence in post-disaster shelters.

Flooding and early marriage in Bangladesh

Studies suggest a link between flooding incidence and early marriage, with spikes in early marriages observed in Bangladesh coinciding with the 1998 and 2004 floods. Next to being viewed as a way to reduce family costs and safeguard marriageability and dignity, these marriages are often less expensive due to -induced impoverishment lowering expectations.

One study included an example of the head of a household explaining that the 2013 cyclone had destroyed most of his belongings, leaving him afraid that he would be unable to support his youngest unmarried daughter, who was under 18. Marrying off his daughters was a way of reducing the financial burden on the family.

‘Natural disasters’ increase triggers for violence against women and girls

More information:
Extreme events and gender-based violence: a mixed-methods systematic review, The Lancet Planetary Health (2022). DOI: 10.1016/PIIS2542-5196(22)00088-2

Extreme weather, climate events may lead to increase in violence towards women, girls, and sexual and gender minorities (2022, June 13)
retrieved 13 June 2022

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SU’s campus is becoming saturated with inappropriate sexual events

SU's campus is becoming saturated with inappropriate sexual events

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years you may have noticed the overt sexualization of campus activities. From seminars like Kink 101 to school-sanctioned extracurriculars like the recent drag shows, it seems like everything has been sexualized at Syracuse University. While at first glance these eccentricities of college life may seem harmless, the truth is that they are anything but.

Students on campus have noticed. Sophomore Ralph Graham, an attendee of SU’s most recent drag show, said that he was speechless while watching the show.

“The drag show finals were definitely over-sexualized for the most part, and (it) was not what I was picturing in the first place,” he said. “No wonder why many friends of mine decided not to attend anymore at the last minute.” No wonder indeed.

Graham said the show involved nudity, routines, music and dialogue that wouldn’t be out of place at a strip club. But because many people think condemning lewd drag is a criticism of the LGBTQ community overall, which of course is political and social suicide, they avoid judging such activities at all. While the show may have felt empowering for individuals on stage, it plays into various stereotypes and can further alienate the LGBTQ community.

One would think that a university intent on escaping its party school reputation would seek to limit this outward appearance of raunchiness. And it has to an extent, promoting safer sex and therapy opportunities. But incomprehensibly, it then turns around and creates seminars like Kink 101 which, as columnist Augustus LeRoux writes, is “aimed at teaching students how to tie-up, whip and burn their sexual partners.”

Political science major Anthony Draghi reacted to Kink 101 by saying that “offering these sorts of courses and openly talking about these activities can create a social stigma that undermines the most intimate aspect of a relationship and can help create an environment of social gratification that pushes people to revert to obscure measures for pleasure, ones they may feel unsure of later on.”

Apologists for this trend of oversexualization typically fall back on the idea that it is consensual and therefore is both harmless and not anyone else’s business. But the same people who would make the case that these matters are private affairs that don’t concern anyone else turn around and advocate for the normalization, public acceptance and even celebration of those same behaviors.

In The Daily Orange’s coverage of this most recent drag show, Ilsa Dohner, who goes by Dilf Dangerbottom, echoed the sentiment of flouting social norms. “I can be sexual, I can be funny, I can be goofy, and I don’t feel embarrassed about it,” Dohner said. “It’s like putting on a persona but also, Dilf Dangerbottom lets me be who I really want to be without thinking about what people think about it.”

The explicit goal, or at least the result, of this lewd behavior being accepted on masse is the dissolution of social standards, the annihilation of shame, and the normalization of all sexual activities as equally wonderful and productive. That may sound nice on paper but it’s simply not true and pretending like it is has dangerous ramifications. Overexposure to sex, in the form of pornography or hypersexual activity in general, has been correlated with the shrinkage of parts of the brain as well as decreasing decision-making skills and general restraint.

When it comes to BDSM, what qualifies as true consent isn’t all that obvious and the activity can often bond more aggressive brain functions to sexual ones. Psychiatrist Norman Doidge writes in his book “The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science” that the brain is subject to changes.

“The human libido is not a hardwired, invariable biological urge but can be curiously fickle, easily altered by our psychology and the history of our sexual encounters,” he wrote.

This is the real danger. These hypersexual and deviant behaviors do not only affect those involved with the behaviors because exposure alone can literally alter minds without consent. And the campus is becoming increasingly saturated with this activity. If this trend continues, no one should be surprised if SU never shakes off its status as both a party school and a hotspot for sexual misconduct.

At the moment, this is not the end of the world. There’s still time to avoid these consequences. There’s a way to deal with sex without making its very mention taboo, but this current trend is reactionary overkill. The fix is not to demonize sex, but it’s not to worship it either. The solution is really quite simple: to make intimacy intimate again.

John Parker is a freshman Writing and Rhetoric major. His column appears biweekly. He can be reached at [email protected].