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It confirms what we already knew.

Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

Videos of child sex abuse, rape, footage from spy cams, “revenge porn” are shockingly common on the world’s biggest porn site, PornHub, according to a report this week by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof in New York Times.

In his damning article, he recounts the struggle of Serena K. Fleite, who sent a naked video to a boy she had a crush on when she was 14. He shared it with friends, and someone posted it on PornHub. Her world imploded. Boys started demanding she send them videos and threatening to show her mum if she did not. She changed…

From racism to the ecological crisis, the only way we can solve the problems of today’s world is through crazy, utopian dreams.

Photo by Dima Pechurin on Unsplash

Utopias are like a vision board for our lives as a community. They are dreams too big to reach but which show us which direction to take. They are a way of manifesting where we want society to go, how we want to live, what progress means to us.

Utopias have existed for as long as we have. Cave people painted scenes in which they would always catch the buffalo and no one would be harmed. Ancient Romans wrote of a golden age in which humans lived in harmony with nature, which was mild and hospitable and provided for all…

A photo report from the streets of Greece.

Photo by the author.

In every town in Greece, there are ruins of an ancient world. Columns and graves, amphitheaters and baths, which have stood fast and braved two thousand years of time. These symbols of permanence strike a disconcerting contrast with the turbulent history of Greece over the past years. Peoples lives have transformed, as though in fast forward, because of the economic crisis, the arrival of 120 000 refugees fleeing war and misery in their home countries, and now a global pandemic that has shut down tourism, one of the country’s main industries.

In the streets of Athens or Thessaloniki, it is…

It sets a terrifying precedent.

Image by Steve001 from Pixabay

The announcement crackled through the cabin: instead of carrying on its journey to Vilnius, Ryanair Flight 4978 would be making an emergency landing in Minsk. Many of the 126 passengers on board started to panic, thinking something was wrong with the plane, but Roman Protasevich knew that something far worse was happening.

“Don’t do this. They will kill me. I am a refugee,” he begged of a flight attendant. She replied that they had no choice, they had to land the aircraft. They had received word of a bomb threat.

Roman Protasevich was arrested on landing. in Belarus, he risks…

Spaces of freedom to be our authentic selves have disappeared.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

As a teenage girl, sleepovers were a special time of freedom. Away from the eyes of adults, classmates and above all, boys, my girlfriends and me were free to be our true selves. It was a tiny pocket of time carved out just for ourselves.

It felt like a time of lawlessness, except the law wasn’t the penal code but the strict set of gender rules we had to follow at all other times. During sleepovers, we wore ugly pyjamas and no make-up, we laughed a little bit too loudly, our guards came down because we were sleepy, and because…

And we need to recognize it as a hate crime.

Photo by Külli Kittus on Unsplash

Trigger warning: sexual violence, rape, homophobia

She took him back to her place in the suburbs of Paris. They were kissing and started having sex. She asked him to stop, it was too painful. She had told him, at the very beginning of their date, that she was a lesbian, and that it might not go anywhere. She said stop. He didn’t listen. “You like girls, I’m going to make you like this,” he said threateningly, then beat her and raped her. An hour and a half of “torture”, she later told the court, of violence and pain.

During his…

Our focus is too often on punishing rape, rather than preventing it

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

We have many blind spots when it comes to rape, and most of them have to do with the fact that we don’t want to think about rapists. We don’t want to realize that they are not monsters, but just terrible people, and even worse, that those terrible people walk within our midst, they exist amongst our loved ones, the friends, boyfriends, family members that we see as good people. We are in denial because that is a hard truth to accept. We don’t want to admit as a society that our culture creates rapists by normalizing victim-blaming and violations…

It comes as a reminder that for girls, the teenage years are a time of harassment by older men.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Millie Bobby Brown, the actress that plays Eleven in Stranger Things, turned 16 in February last year, but there was no celebration, no awkward teen party of innocent flirtations or stolen wine coolers, instead, she marked the occasion by posting a sad and powerful message online. “The last few years haven’t been easy,” Millie said in a video posted online. She spoke of the challenges of growing up in the spotlight, and the “pain and insecurity” that go along with it.

“There are moments i get frustrated from the inaccuracy, inappropriate comments, sexualization, and unnecessary insults that ultimately have resulted…

Saying it isn’t flattering, it is dehumanizing and harmful.

Photo by Nicky Somers on Unsplash

The tinge of annoyance is almost instantly followed by a surge of nostalgia. An acquaintance of mine posted a long diatribe on her Facebook page, aimed at the guy she had just broken up with, although his name was never mentioned. It was one of those passive-aggressive posts that are clearly a personal dig, barely disguised as a relatable commentary on the human condition. It is the sort of post that was oh so frequent when I was a teenager, back when we first got our hands on Facebook and were still posting statuses about our mundane lives and private…

How to let go and move forwards.

Photo by Caroline Veronez on Unsplash

When I was growing up, I was painfully shy. Cower behind mummy’s legs shy. So shy I would make myself ill with stress every time I had to speak in front of my classmates. I would stare at the clock as others went forward to present, hoping, praying, that the bell would ring and save me from having to speak. I felt like I was in enemy territory in school. I barely spoke to anyone outside of my close-knit group of girlfriends, a group of other misfits.

Being shy didn’t feel like part of my personality but rather like some…

Stark Raving

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