Abuse of Power

Sexual harassment accusations snowball after Harvey Weinstein scandal

by Lauren Hugo | copy editor

Since the exposing of Harvey Weinstein, many men and women have come forward with accusations of sexual assault in the workplace.

Weinstein was an American film producer and co-founder of the entertainment company Miramax. Miramax has produced many accomplished films like “Pulp Fiction,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Chicago,” “Reservoir Dogs” and so on.

Miramax gained popularity and was successful enough to give Weinstein plenty of power over actors wanting to become famous or catch their big break.

Weinstein was first openly accused of sexual harassment by actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd. Following them were 13 accusations, three of which included rape, posted on newyorker.com.

High profile and well-established actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Cara Delevingne and Angelina Jolie also came forward with their own stories about Weinstein.

Since then, the hashtag #MeToo began to trend on Twitter.

#MeToo originated from activist Tarana Burke, who wanted to share her personal story of sexual harassment and assault. Actress Alyssa Milano popularized the tag on Twitter.

After Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, who is also an established actor, was accused of sexually harassing and assaulting men in Hollywood. His first accuser, actor Anthony Rapp, claims Spacey made sexual advances on him when Spacey was 26 and he was only 14 years old.

After more and more claims came out on Spacey, he decided then to come out as gay.

People were appalled by the timing of his reveal, and the response was not particularly friendly.

Spacey was dropped from Netflix’s “House of Cards” show, and Christopher Plummer replaced the actor in Ridley Scott’s “All The Money in The World.”

These allegations spread farther than just Hollywood, as the former Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was accused of molesting a woman when she was 14 years old. Another woman said Moore assaulted her in a car when she was only 16 years old.

As other accusations were brought to light, the scandal grabbed attention from the whole nation as Alabama’s Senate election rolled in. Moore lost to Democratic opponent Doug Jones.

The scandal even brought itself to Kansas. Former Democratic candidate Andrea Ramsey decided to drop out of the race for Congress after a 12-year-old case resurfaced and was used against Ramsey by her opponents.

The lawsuit was brought on by Gary Funkhouser, who alleged he denied Ramsey’s sexual advances and, as revenge, Ramsey had him fired from OneLab Inc. where she worked as Vice President.

Ramsey addressed the rumors and announced dropping her campaign on Facebook.

“Twelve years ago, I eliminated an employee’s position. That man decided to bring a lawsuit against the company (not against me). He named me in the allegations, claiming I fired him because he refused to have sex with me. That is a lie,” Ramsey says. “…It is far more important to me that women are stepping forward to tell their stories and confront their harassers than it is to continue our campaign.”

With all the allegations against celebrities and politicians coming out in recent months, it brings up the question why these stories/incidents were ever swept under the rug in the first place.

Our culture has allowed those in a higher power to have the ability to abuse their authority and hurt others without facing any consequences in return.

The fact many have come out with their own stories about sexual harassment and assault continues to inspire people to stop being silent and expose those who take advantage of the people below them.

If we are going to ever find a solution to the problem, it has to start with a conversation first.


Twisted Truth

photo illustration by Tatum Sturdivant


Students talk about how pornography portrays women in a negative manner

Tatum Sturdivant | editor-in-chief

In today’s day and age, people are continuously exposed to pornography whether they believe it, or not. From snippets on Twitter, a movie with a graphic sex scene or actually going to a website like Pornhub.

While all of these are different and they are not always viewed as personal sexual pleasure, one thing they do have in common is explicit sex.

In Pornhub’s recap of 2017, it was obvious what people wanted the most: women.

In 2017, “lesbian” was the number one term searched worldwide, while some of the other most popular terms were “milf,” “stepmom,” “step-sister,” “mom” and “teen.”

“[These statistics] sends the message that all women are nothing more than ‘sexual objects,’” former Butler student, Clark Tolleson says. “It is promoting objectification.”

While objectifying women, pornography is also sending false images of women. Some of these images include being “easy,” and just a source of sexual pleasure to men.

“Pornography portrays women as ‘being easy’ sexually,” Tolleson says. “Because of pornography, I feel like those who view the destructive product think women are more willing to take their clothes off for them or having sexual relations compared to those who do not watch or view pornography.”

Along with these consequences, objectifying women takes a toll on how society not only views women but also on how they honor them.

“[Pornography] shows women as an object that can be manipulated into whatever men want,” sophomore Savannah Steubing says. “Women have worked so hard to be respected just as much as men. We haven’t completely gotten the respect we
deserve, and I believe part of that is because men have an unrealistic outlook on women in general. With pornography becoming more and more of a normal source of pleasure for young people these days, I believe it is affecting the respect that women are demanding.”

Pornography has become increasingly popular throughout the years with the Internet being so accessible. In 2017, Pornhub had 28.5 billion visits, which is approximately 81 million visits daily, 50,000 per minute and 800 per second.

“[Pornhub being that popular] is harmful to the human mind and it is harmful to future relationships,” Tolleson says.

One of the major ways that pornography impacts relationships is by promoting a variety of types of abuse during sexual relations.

“[If] they watch videos portraying abuse and try to recreate it without it being consensual, then [I think] that would be a problem within the abuser,” sophomore Kiya Augustine says.

While physical abuse can build from pornography, on the other hand, mental abuse can also surface from it.

“If men are not getting what they want from women, then they can argue with their significant other comparing them to the women in pornography for mental abuse,” freshman Molly Bottenberg says.

While pornography is not going anywhere it is important to be cautious of how it can influence relationships and how women are viewed.

“If you are not careful, pornography could take you over,” Tolleson says. “It can happen to anyone. Porn is not romantic.”

Unchanging Ideas


Design director Noah Merrell illustrates how men are scared to be their true self, because of social standards by showing an average guy curled in the fetal potion.

Nadine Armstrong | photo editor


In our society today, the way people view gender identity and expectations for women, gays, transgenders and non-binary (not identifying as male or female) have been changing. Something society is not talking about though is how “being a man” has changed, or if it has ever changed.

When thinking about character traits for men, people think men should be strong, confident, self-reliant, assertive and ambitious. They believe men should not let others see them cry; they should be leaders, protectors and provide for the family, while avoiding to partake in anything a female would do.

According to sociologists in Western industrialized societies, the “new man” emerged as a cultural message, for being both financially successful and emotionally sensitive, valuing tenderness and equal relationships with women. The unafraid “can do” man that goes head-on into traumatic events and feels free to cry emerged after 9/11.

“A man should be respectful, supporting and most of all understanding,” says freshmen Logan Lukens. “Some guys don’t understand that there is not perspective other than their own. Which I try to not fall into but it happens every now and then.”

Some people think that men should not be like the new man and that they should follow the stereotypical norm of society.

“I think men should continue to be the rock at home,” says sophomore Trent Smith. “They should not be sensitive because that is how bad children are raised.”

Being a college male can come with its problems. People think college men are reckless and only care about sex—not school and trying to figure out what to do with their lives.

“I do not follow that stereotype a whole lot, but I am definitely trying to figure out what I want to do as a career and grow as an adult,” says freshman Scott Slack. “I have been told that I have not been and am not manly enough. I do not find those opinions much of a problem though, because I identify myself in God’s image of who He made me to be and not who or what people say I am.”

When people do not follow the traditional gender roles, sociologists call it “gender binding.” Gender binding is defined as a gender ignoring, or altering, the roles so they do what they want or need to do.

For example, a father might be the stay at home parent and do the cooking and cleaning while the mother goes to work to provide for the family.

Watching the news, some feel like the media is more focused on women’s rights and what happens to them than any events or news about men.

“I think that the news has recently covered the harassment of women. This could be due to men being the more prominent perpetrator and that men may feel more uncomfortable or insignificant about being harassed sexually,” says Slack.

According to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commision, 16.6% of alleged sexual harassment charges are filed by men.

“There will always be problems with gender roles and the way society views them. I believe God has always specified intentions for women and men, not that one is more important or deserves something more than the other,” says Slack. “But that there are men and women, and they were made differently on purpose and both deserve each other’s love and respect.”


Digital Love

Editor-in-Chief Tatum Sturdivant illustrates the inapporopriate texts being sent to people by using XXX, a label usually used to state that something is highly pornographic like the conversation and pictures between people. 

Phone apps make it easy for students to exchange and save photos

by Lauren Hugo | copy editor

Sexting is not a completely new concept to people with smartphones. However, there is a growing culture of pressuring others to send nude photos. While peer pressure is almost an expected part of growing up, teenagers may feel the pressure even more so with smartphones making it incredibly easy to comment and message somebody, asking for pictures of their naked body.

A relatively recent report from Northwestern University showed that specifically women are facing a lot of pressure and feel “overwhelmed, confused, tired,” and “bombarded” when asked to send nude or semi-nude photos of their bodies.

Sexting can lead to certain consequences like the messages being leaked, accidentally sending photos to the wrong person, or even getting into legal trouble.

Despite these risks, some teenagers still comply with the pressure from peers.

Not everybody is on board for the digital experience though, like our anonymous student 1, who does not understand the appeal.

“Why would you sext,” asks student 1, “when you could just do it in real life?”

Others who send explicit pictures consensually use sexting as a way to spice up their relationships and explore their sexuality.

“I’m all for [sexting] if both parties are for it. Me personally, I feel super awkward and I don’t know how to do it. But if the person makes you feel comfortable, then so be it,” anonymous student 2 says. “It can be beneficial for long distance relationships too.”

Long distance relationships lack physical affection, therefore sending sexually explicit photos and messages allows the relationship to experience intimacy, no matter the couple’s location in the world.

All that is needed: Wi-Fi (or data, if you have enough left to use).

“Although [sexting] is not essential in a relationship, it can make long distance feel not-so distant,” says student 3, who is involved in a long distance relationship themselves.

Applications within smartphones and laptops like iMessage, Skype and Snapchat are where most people send naked images or dirty messages.

Snapchat allows users to send sensual photos back and forth for only a temporary moment of time before it “disappears.”

Of course, if the receiver decides the photo is too good to let go, they can screenshot it then save it in their photos or keep it in Snapchat, where there is a feature called “Moments” that allows users to save old snapchats.

Snapchat is entirely aware of how users are using the application because within their feature “Moments,” there is a tool called “My Eyes Only” and users can hide whatever photos they want inside a pin-coded folder.

Kansas law requires sender and receiver of explicit images be over the age of 18.

In 2016, Governor Sam Brownback signed House bill 2501, which addresses sexting and blackmail, or revenge porn: dirty images that may have been sent consensually but are used against one of the parties to intimidate or harass.

The bill makes posting this kind of material without consent a felony in Kansas. A person being convicted of felony blackmail would mean up to six years in prison.

The bill also lessens the penalty for sending explicit images of minors when the offender is a teenager.

The intent of the legislation was to make it easier for law enforcement to crack down on sexting, but avoiding extreme felony convictions for teenagers.

Sexting is something that has to be done responsibly, if done at all. Each party has to be of age and should have trust and consent, as nobody appreciates unwanted pictures and nobody needs to be pressured into sending images.


Staying Safe

Students talk about importance of safe sex

by Allison Simon | assistant editor

Whether it is an one-night thing, a new relationship, or getting close to someone
familiar, it is important to have healthy, safe sex. Being sexually healthy is all about protecting yourself without stopping the fun.

Sexually transmitted diseases, STDs, are diseases that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. These include chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis and HIV. Many of these STDs do not show symptoms for a long time. Even without symptoms, they can still be harmful and passed on during sex.

“The first step in having safe sex is trusting the person you are with,” freshman Kaitlyn Ewing says. “If you trust that person you are comfortable with them. You can ask them if they have STDs. You need to have that trust. If you don’t have that conversation there are ways to prevent STDs and pregnancies by birth control and other ways of contraception. No birth control is 100% effective, the biggest way to prevent an STD or pregnancy is abstinence. But if you are going to be having sex use condoms and birth control.”

While STDs affect individuals of all ages, they take a particularly heavy toll on young people. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that youth ages 15-24 makeup just over one-quarter of the sexually active population, but account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted infections that occur in the United States each year.

You can get an STD by having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has an STD. Anyone who is sexually active can get an STD. You do not even have to “go all the way” (have vaginal or anal sex) to get an STD. This is because some STDs, like herpes and HPV, are spread by skin-to-skin contact.

Peer pressure can play a factor in the spread of STDs and pregnancy. Many people, especially boys, feel pressure to have sex before they are ready. According to research released from Psychology Today, some 63 percent of teens believe that waiting to have sex is a good idea, but few people actually do.

“Don’t do what you are not comfortable with. If it’s not the right time or the right person don’t do anything you don’t want to. It may be hard in the moment but you need to trust yourself to make the right decision,” says freshman Chandler Mongeau.

Consistently and correctly using latex or polyurethane male condoms + lube can lower your chances of getting HIV and certain other STDs—whether you are having vaginal or anal sex.

The Butler college health center located in the 1300 building offers many free tests and education to college students.

“We provide anyone free education and we offer free STD testing for anybody that wants to come in. We provide free condoms to anybody and then just education really is our main thing. At the testing center, we are trying to cut down on the numbers so anybody that wants testing we are doing it for free and we can get people caught,” Director of College Health Services, Jamie Sharp says.

“They can come get tested anytime Monday through Friday. If someone comes in the next day to get tested after they have been sexually active it will not show up on a test. They need to wait at least a week or two. There is a dormant period before symptoms start to show,” Sharp says.

Many STDs are asymptomatic until they are quite far advanced and, by the time you start seeing symptoms, permanent damage may have been done.

“Testing for aids is a blood test. We send that off. It is free. It is part of the STD testing involves HIV and syphilis. Those are blood tests and we get a urine sample and that tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Those are the most common that we see. As far as the HIV test we just get a little sample of your blood and send it off and we get the results the next day,” says Sharp.