carmen rios

SPARK Is Working with NFHS to #EducateCoaches & Prevent Sexual Violence


by Carmen Rios I’m excited to announce today that SPARK is working with the National Federation of State High School Associations in an effort to provide resources about sexual violence prevention to high school athletic coaches. Over 65,000 people signed SPARK’s petition, penned by Colby College football player Connor Clancy and me, asking the NFHS to offer…


Steubenville: Media Coverage Got it Wrong, so How Do We Get it Right?


by Annemarie McDaniel As the nation watched the Steubenville rape case come to a close, we also watched something else happen: the coverage of multiple news sources sympathized with the convicted rapists while ignoring the narrative of Jane Doe. The good old Internet has exploded, calling out how media’s coverage was offensive to the victim…


Take Action: #EducateCoaches in Sexual Assault Prevention


by Carmen Rios This past December, the US looked on in horror as a case of vicious sexual assault unfolded in Steubenville, OH. With the trial set to begin this Wednesday, what began as a local event will become a national conversation. And as media descend upon and digest the goings-on in the courtroom, we…


I finally forgive you, Halloween: an old person's manifesta

portrait of the artist as a lion

by Carmen Rios I’m 22 and I’m finally too old to be a part of this commercialized ‘SEXYTIME’ Halloween stuff. Also because I’m a lesbian, and we all dress like hipsters for Halloween anyway. It’s that time of year again! Ah, yes, the autumn: when pumpkin spice rocks my world, grandpa sweaters swaddle me at…


Hey girl, we don't call our sisters "bitch"–or do we?

The tweets that started it all

Is the word “bitch” acceptable? Kanye West posted a flurry of tweets on September 2nd examining his use of the word. He just wanted to think out loud with us today. So Kanye, here’s what we, the girls of SPARK, think about the word “bitch.” YingYing: As with any other word, “bitch” can only have…


How Facebook blocked me from my own account for being at Slutwalk 12 months ago

The warning Carmen received, along with the email sent by the person who reported her

by Carmen Rios If you told me five years ago when I signed up for Facebook that the site would eventually come to lock me out of my own account for speaking at a protest, I wouldn’t have believed you. But that’s what happened last Thursday, August 16. In August of 2011, I spoke at…


Represent US with Miss Representation

miss representation

The media doesn’t represent us–so we’re making our own media. We’re sick of media that shows women and girls as weak, catty, looks-obsessed, boy-crazy objects of pleasure, so the SPARKteam is joining Miss Representation in demanding media that fairly, fully, and accurately represents women. For every 1000 videos submitted, the folks at the Miss Representation campaign…


"Hey Shorty!" Is A Tall Lesson on Sexual Harassment

by Carmen Rios “When I advocate for our most vulnerable girls and women at the intersection of gender, race, class, and sexual oppression, I’m advocating for myself and my family.” These were the words that welcomed me to the newly released book “Hey Shorty!: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and…


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