Kaitlyn Andrews-Rice, Editor-in-Chief
In high school my sex-ed class was called DECISIONS. Our teacher, a tall man with a circular bald spot, a monotone wardrobe, and a pocket protector, wrote on the chalkboard with such excitement he broke the chalk:
SEX IS A RISKY GAME!!!
He underlined risky three times. Sex twice. It's unclear to me even now if he wanted the emphasis on risky or sex, but I remember giggling with my friends in the hallway after class. If you played the game of sex, what was the prize? Would we want it? Some of us were ready to find out and the rest of us went home to watch Dawson's Creek. We were kids of the 90s and figured a sensitive loner with a bowl cut would rescue us from Decisions. Surely none of this risky stuff would come into play.
I spent most of Decisions sliding notes to my crush and doodling on my notebook, killing time until gym class where I would make an excuse (girl issues) to get out of dodge ball. Fortunately, Decisions was pass/fail course and I passed.
With the recent allegations of sexual assault and harassment from Hollywood to Capitol Hill, I've been thinking of Decisions, how the bald teacher was trying to warn us. Sex was a risky game, and we girls would have to learn to play. We would negotiate relationships with possessive boyfriends and inappropriate bosses. We would accept the off-color comments by the mailman during our summers delivering mail. We would nod when the HVAC repairman asked when our husband returned from work, assuming we couldn't sign off on the repairs, no, not us, not the woman in the yoga pants.
Our November issue comes at a critical time where stories of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment are no longer whispered over the phone or typed in abbreviated text. This month we are speaking out.
Here at Split Lip our featured photography for Novemeber is "The Glass Ceiling" by Ray Im, a timely photographic exploration of the ways in which women are prevented from advancing in a career and life. Ruth LeFaive navigates the hallways, where talk of sex is indeed a risky game. Christopher James explores motherly love, Anna Kelley's poem is a game of love and language, and Caleb Michael Sarvis' short story is one of loss and letting go. This month's powerful memoir by Thea Anderson gazes back at the movie screen, a fitting reversal to the typical relationship between audience and creator.