Tickling or Torture: What It Teaches Us About Consent

By Alyssa Bluhm

I have a vivid memory of being tickled when I was about five years old. My dad and my uncle tickled me to the floor, sandwiching me between the wall and the dining room table. While my uncle tickled me, my dad pretended to pull Cheerios out of my bellybutton and strawberries out of my strawberry-blonde hair, slurping them up like a delicious bowl of cereal. That was one of my dad’s favorite jokes when I was young, and it’s still a fond memory. Mostly.

I also remember that, as the tickling continued, my laughter turned to tears of pain, that my ribs felt close to cracking with every gasping breath, that I felt cornered and helpless, and that nothing I did would get them to stop.

Photo by Caroline Hernandez

Continue reading

Domestic Violence: More Prevalent Than You Think

By Kelcie McKenney

One-in-three women have been victims of domestic violence.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), one-third of women have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. For men, it is one-in-four. Those types of statistics paint a vivid picture for the reality of unhealthy relationships: they’re far more common than you’d think.

“In an unhealthy relationship there almost always tends to be a power dynamic in place and the person who’s being abusive, whether it’s emotionally or psychologically or physically, makes it pretty much impossible for that other partner to be able to win any kind of argument,” said Becky Redetzke Field, the University of Minnesota Aurora Center Legal Advocacy Coordinator.

Photo by Lorna Scubelek

Continue reading

The Truth of Heartbreak

By Kelcie McKenney

Few things hurt more than heartbreak. That soul-crushing feeling lingers in ways other pains don’t. It feels like someone forcefully ripped a part of you from your body, leaving a gaping hole stretching from your sternum to the pit of your stomach. Heartbreak sucks. We’ve all been there or have seen someone go through it, and while there is plenty out there on dealing with heartbreak, I wanted to lay out some truths from my own experience.


  1. Everything hurts

There is no better way to put it. Heartbreak is painful and difficult, whether it was your choice or not. You’re going to be hurting, possibly even cursing the heavens for putting you through so much pain. Not only are you saying goodbye to a person you cared about, but you’re also saying goodbye to a future you envisioned with that person. That isn’t easy to deal with.

Continue reading