OlioHouse | Our Stories, Our Bodies: Rape Culture in American History

“Medusa” by Luciano Garbati

In the midst of the #metoo movement, many of us sat in front of our screens and watched in painful, chest-gripping silence, as Dr. Ford recounted her experience of sexual assault. Giving her testimony to a sea of largely white male faces, Ford’s powerful speech act, felt at first to have the might of David’s stone hailing against a very real institution of American Patriarchy. But all too quickly, we were reminded that this Goliath seldom stumbles, let alone falls. Sexual assault and the degradation of women are not only forgivable in our world, they are essential building blocks of our cultural values. “Virile aggressiveness,” Simone de Beauvoir rightly asserted, “is a lordly privilege only within a system where everything conspires to affirm masculine sovereignty.”

This OlioHouse weekend will examine what it means to live in a rape culture. How do we as individuals experience rape culture? How do we confront it? And perhaps, most importantly, how might we be unintentionally contributing to it? We will learn about the history of rape in America, examining it's changing legal status, and its role in building a white supremacist patriarchy. With a close eye on race, class, immigration, and gender non-conformity, we will explore how rape shapes different realities for different bodies/selves. We will also examine the complicated debates within feminist theory regarding the issue of sexual assault.

The weekend will include two Olio lectures, guided journaling, watching a documentary, and small group workshops. All are welcome to attend—women, men, and everyone else. While the goals of this weekend will remain rooted in learning from academic scholarship, participants might find that such scholarship can provide a source of transformation and even healing.

Rough Sketch of the Weekend:


Noon- Arrive at OlioHouse to a communal lunch 

1:30pm - Olio with Jamie in the barn 

2:30pm - Free time 

5:00pm - Olio number two 

7:00pm - Dinner at the Lantern Inn 


8:30am - Breakfast 

10:00am - Guided Journaling 

Noon train back to Grand Central

Location: OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

296 Old Rte 22, Wassaic, NY 12592

This is our gorgeous home up in Wassaic, NY. We hold weekend seminars and welcome members of our scenius for creative residencies and projects. It is located less than a 20 min walk from the Metro North station in Wassaic and 2 hours from Grand Central. We are the proud neighbors of the Wassaic Project.

Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors

Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.

Learn about joining the Scenius for $10 / month

Other upcoming Olios

Jan 24

Living Room Salon | Tough Poetry in Dark Times

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Jan 31

The Dangerous Pleasure of Art

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

Feb 1

Feb 6

Olio Seminar | Space, Time, & Work: Understanding Labor

Taught by Lauren Hudson
7:30 p.m. at Berg'n

Sign Up - $75

Feb 9

OlioHouse | The Love Symposium

Taught by Skye Cleary
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150

Feb 15

A Good Friend is Hard to Find: Philosophy and Friendship

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 21

Living Room Salon | Music and Environmentalism

Taught by Kristy Barbacane
7 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Feb 22

The Circular Road: Art and the Religious Imagination

Taught by Michael Prettyman
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Feb 25

What Would Buffy Do? Radical Feminism and the Slayer

Taught by Jamie Warren
7:30 p.m. at Neuehouse Madison Sq.

Sign Up - $20

Feb 28

Into the Mystic: Music & the Moving Image

Taught by Whitney George
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

May 17

Rethinking Refugee Trauma and Mental Health

Taught by Kim Nguyen
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

May 29

Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7 p.m. at BAM Fisher

Sign Up - $20

Find out when we launch new classes!