Tag Archives: women

Makeup is not Freedom

As I go into the final stretch of my undergraduate education here at Radford University, I’m preparing to enter into the adult world of employment. I, like many of my peers, am searching online sites and talking to different professors about potential job opportunities in my field. For the first time I’m looking at jobs that offer an annual salary and health benefits, wondering which ones I qualify for, and what to do to ensure I get the job I want. What to wear to an interview, and what to put in my resume. That’s what I’m focusing on in the last four weeks of the semester, not, for the first time in years, on my finals.

As a woman, I have a whole slew of things I have to consider when it comes to presenting myself to future employers. How high my heels are, how short my skirt, how to style my hair and most importantly what is the exact right amount of makeup. These questions are debated over and over until I finally perfect my interview outfit.

I’ve been told by many people that makeup is a tool. It’s a form of self-expression and it’s freeing. Strong women wear makeup, and they use it to show off their inner beauty. These same people were also trying to sell me thick concealers and foundations so maybe they were a little biased.

Here’s the thing. I love makeup. I’m the kind of girl that owns bright purple lipstick that I will wear around the house just for fun. But makeup isn’t freedom. It’s not strength. It’s definitely not a sign of great feminism. Women are expected to wear makeup in the professional world. Women who do are paid more and are more likely to be given promotions. Women who don’t are told they aren’t dressed appropriately. There are real-life consequences for me if I don’t put this gunk on my face.

No matter how people want to spin makeup to me, it still doesn’t change that fact. Girls can love makeup. They can become amazing artists and even make careers out of the field. But this one fact remains. Makeup isn’t freedom. It’s another way that society has made women feel like they are not enough. That we need to cover up our very skin in order to look appropriate to work in a cubicle. That’s damaging. Don’t buy into the idea that makeup is for strong women because that only deludes you into believing that you are benefiting from a system that preys on your insecurities and weaknesses.

Toxic Masculinity and Men’s Emotions

We talk a lot about how sexism affects women, but sexism is a double-edged sword. It not only has massive effects on women and how they go about their lives, but negatively impacts men in ways we tend to ignore. For example, consider young boys of about 12 or 13 – what emotions do they openly show? Do they hug their friends?

Now consider girls of the same age, and the difference is astounding. Young girls are very physically affectionate with their close friends; they openly share emotions and are seen showing a much wider range of them. Young boys are limited in their expression because of how our society views masculinity. Showing sadness is a sign of weakness, and elation is seen as caring too much. This leads to many problems with boys growing into men and the way they have relationships and show emotions later in life.

Many men in adulthood don’t have close friendships with other men the same way women do with other women. This is detrimental to their emotional and mental well-being and also causes issues when they get into relationships with women. There is a stigma in our society that only women can show emotions; therefore men may only show deep emotions to their female partners. This is unhealthy, and women must handle a lot of extra emotional labor because of this. Men must withhold their feelings until they have a female partner to share them with and feel vulnerable in front of. This is one of the leading reasons men have higher rates of suicide than women; women have built emotional support systems, while men are made to suffer alone or put the burden on only one person.

The stigmas surrounding men and their emotions need to come to an end, and putting value in those emotions is the first step towards that.


Cover Photo from “The Guardian”

Gender Studies for Scientists

Radford University, like hundreds of other universities across the country, offers courses in Women and Gender Studies. I grew up in a highly scientific conservative household that taught me to see courses on those subjects as silly and useless, which is an opinion held by a lot of scientists today. My parents were both college educated, in chemistry and computer science, and raised their six children to work towards a college education, preferably in the sciences.

It was natural for me to gravitate to the more ‘hard’ sciences like physics, chemistry, and biology. I never questioned why these more male-dominated fields were considered ‘hard’ and why female-dominated fields like psychology and sociology were ‘soft’ sciences. It’s certainly not to do with difficulty.

I’m taking my first gender studies class this semester, my last semester before graduating with a degree in geology. With each week, I learn more and more about the ways my gender affects the way I study in my field and the way my peers treat me. These ways range from the gender pay gap that will affect me while I pay back my student loans to the motherhood penalty that will make getting a job in geology with children difficult.

Every woman you talk to in male-dominated sciences can tell you stories about being talked down to by male peers and instructors or by being spoken over in debates. I’ve experienced these things here at Radford. Once a male chemistry professor told me that he didn’t like having women in the lab because they were a distraction to the male students, effectively telling me and all the other girls in the class that our education didn’t matter as much as our male peers.


The Biological Imperative

What does equality mean? Is it merely everyone having the same things, or is it everyone getting what they need? What about when the needs are so far out there that the government cannot legislate them into people’s possession? In an article published last year [6], there appears to be a certain measure of equality; men and women are stepping out of their marriages at roughly equal rates. Maybe it’s time we reevaluate the role marriage ought to play in our lives.

Perhaps it’s merely a timing concern [2]. The median age for the first marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men. It is interesting to note the article had to specify “first marriage.” In a sort of Hobbit-esque twist where the Tolkien characters have a meal more or less every hour they are awake, people seem to cycle through marriages not quite as quickly, but just about. 40% of people getting married today are not doing so for the first time [3], and 20% of marriages are both partners’ second (or more) marriage.

What does that tell us? Are people even meant to be bound together? Do we only need to get together to have sex and occasionally crank out another red-blooded tax-paying American, but for all intents and purposes live separate lives? White America, Black America, Male America, Female America, till death do we part, as long as we both shall live, so help us generic Deity/random quantum fluctuations? Much like an afterlife, it’d be real nice to think there’s something more to marriage than just a business arrangement and contractual obligations. Making a plan that does not account for reality has been, historically, a piss-poor recipe for success.

Is everyone getting what they want here? [4] Millennial women, as voiced by the author Jessica Jacobs, would seem to say they are not. Millennial men, as voiced by statistics [5] and anecdotal accounts [6] would also suggest a growing dissatisfaction with the way things are. All of us here in academia are free to debate the causes, but it’s clear that the vast majority are going to move on and find their own solutions whether we agree about why it’s happening or not. We’ll be unable to instill vital information in the latest crop of college entrants about the world the education system is self-tasked with preparing them for.

That’s a problem.




[1] http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/women-now-committing-adultery-same-rate-men

[2] http://www.bentley.edu/impact/articles/nowuknow-why-millennials-refuse-get-married

[3] http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/02/how-many-people-in-america-get-remarried.html

[4] https://acculturated.com/millennial-women/

[5] http://www.businessinsider.com/statistics-unemployed-men-drop-out-workforce-video-games-2017-3

[Featured Image] Huffington Post: The Five Best and Worst States for Getting a Divorce

Cat-Calling: Don’t be Sexist

One of the issues and daily harassments that women have to deal with is cat-calling. This is when men yell what are usually superficial, sexist and derogatory remarks at random women passing by. Some of the worst ones involve blatant and disgusting sexual acts or innuendos, while others objectify women and focus on one specific aspect of their body. You would think it would be common knowledge not to harass someone, especially a random stranger. Yet, it happens far too often.

cat calling
“Yelling at a woman to tell her she has a nice backside is, again, objectifying her and making her an object for your pleasure.” Photo from: http://az616578.vo.msecnd.net/files/2015/07/05/635717311775156065-116091019_attractive-woman-men-staring.imgopt1000x70.jpg

The thought process behind cat-calling is the cat-caller tends to have a skewed perspective on what a compliment is. Telling a woman that you’d like to have intercourse with her (usually said in more crude terms) is not a compliment. It’s objectifying her and reducing her from a real person to a thing for sex. Yelling at a woman to tell her she has a nice backside is, again, objectifying her and making her an object for your pleasure. Contrary to popular belief (or so it would seem), women are real people, actual human beings, and they are not there for the purpose of pleasing men. Hearing that they would be a good sexual partner does not make them feel good. It makes them feel uncomfortable and possibly worry they may be sexually assaulted.

Women like to be complimented; in fact, everyone does  it’s a normal part of being human. We like to hear nice things about ourselves. But being reduced to a single, sexualized body part or sexual act is not a compliment. It’s demeaning and dehumanizing. Women are more than just their bodies and they are not there to make men want them. A good general rule of thumb is that if you would say it to your mother, then it’s probably okay to say to another woman. If you wouldn’t say it to your mother then you probably shouldn’t say it to a random woman walking down the street.

Fearless Girl

On the eve of International Women’s Day, March 8, a new statue was installed on the Bowling Green in New York state. It is a bronze statue of a young girl defiantly standing across from the famous Charging Bull statue that is one of New York’s most famous landmarks. The new statue of the young girl is called Fearless Girl, and it is there in support of all women everywhere who are standing up and fighting for women’s equality.

The statue and its placement speak volumes about its intent and the impact it is meant to have. The statue is of a child and of a girl, both of which have been stereotyped as weak, partly due to sexism. But this isn’t a weak girl or a weak image. The young girl has her hands on her hips, her feet firmly planted, and she is prepared and ready to face, and win against, whatever comes her way. This is especially significant because she is in front of the Charging Bull statue. Bulls have long since been depicted as powerful male figures. They’re a symbol of strength and testosterone, the epitome of masculinity and manliness. They are extremely powerful and dangerous animals, and this young girl is ready to take it on in nothing more than a dress.

fearless girl
“On the eve of International Women’s Day, March 8, a new statue was installed on the Bowling Green in New York state. It is a bronze statue of a young girl defiantly standing across from the famous Charging Bull statue” Photo from: http://wtop.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/APTOPIX_Fearless_Girl_Wall_Street_11525-727×485.jpg

It’s great symbolism, and it sends a great message across. We live in a world where women still do not have true equality and where there is a great imbalance of power between men and women, with men in the more powerful position. But not only are women ready to fight, they are prepared to win. And they can and they will. They will also do it while still being women, while staying true to who they are and not becoming something else entirely. Hence, the young girl is in a dress, something that is traditionally feminine ( not that a woman has to be feminine to be a woman, they can be masculine and be a woman). Women are prepared, they are ready, they will fight (against great odds), and they will win. That’s what this is saying.

The statue will only be around for a short while. It was installed as a temporary fixture but its stay has already been extended past the original time period. There is a petition to make it a permanent part of the city, and it is gaining support.

Boys can Wear Skirts and Look Cute as Fuck

My boyfriend wears skirts. Not tunics, not man-skirts, and for sure not kilts. He wears skirts and he looks damn good doing it. Unfortunately, it took years for him to build up the courage to wear skirts as much as he wanted to. He suffered because of the male standards in our culture. I want to challenge these male standards and claim that continuing to follow them will be a detriment to our society as a whole.

Since around the 1920’s, it has become increasingly culturally acceptable for women to dress in pants. Today, women have access to blazers and suits that look great. Women have the choice to dress in a feminine or masculine way because they fought and earned that choice. Men have no choices at all. They must either dress in a masculine way or face ridicule. In our broader culture it is acceptable for women to want to be more like men, but for a man to give up his masculine power is a disgrace.

man skirt
“I want to challenge these male standards and claim that continuing to follow them will be a detriment to our society as a whole.” Photo from: https://i.ytimg.com

Men are culturally trained to reject feminine clothing in our society. This is because if a man wears feminine clothes, it implies the clothing and the people wearing it are as good as men. My boyfriend has been called sissy, fag, and other terrible names for wearing skirts. All these names come from other men. The idea of another man being happy and comfortable in a skirt is such a shock to them they feel the urge to tear down what they no longer consider a real man to preserve their own masculinity and their power.

Men need feminism just as much as women do. The core idea of feminism is that men and women are equal in society. True acceptance of this elevates women to the power of men, but it also unlocks the full breadth of the human experience to men. Feminist culture invites men to feel beautiful and powerful through makeup and clothing forbidden to them in a patriarchal culture. Feminism gives men a choice to be as masculine or as feminine as they wish, and it is not a mandate to become more feminine.

Even worse, modern masculinity standards are a parody of authentic manhood. We tell our boys to restrict their emotional expression, power through their pain, and never act like a girl. In order to preserve some idealized masculine fantasy, men are encouraging themselves to be less than full human beings. This unrealizable standard that men hold themselves to leads to corrupt and toxic masculinity characterized by external violence, hate, and internal self-loathing. Men, if you consider yourself a real man, call out your male friends when you hear them talking negatively about others in any form. A simple, “Hey man, that’s not cool,” is sufficient self-policing and is a start to changing minds. This is important if we want to work towards making our culture a more just and verdant society.

Makeup as an Artform

Women have used makeup to enhance or hide certain features of their faces since the 1920s, when modern makeup was first invented. Makeup has also been a way for girls and women to express themselves.

Some parents give their daughters little “makeup” kits that include lots of glitter, some “lipsticks” and “eye shadows.” It is a way that young girls can express themselves, whether they’re applying makeup to their own faces or the faces of their dolls/toys.

But as women get older, they start diving into more complex makeup tricks such as contouring and winged eyeliner. But, it goes farther than that. Some people become makeup artists and do makeup for others. They train at a school, or even a makeup store, such as MAC. Makeup becomes their tool for their form of living art. Makeup artists go to crazy new heights in fashion shows and makeup expos, and even for everyday clients.

“While there are professional makeup artists, women are now becoming more invested in their makeup, even those at home.” Photo from: www.youqueen.com

While there are professional makeup artists, women are now becoming more invested in their makeup, even those at home. There are countless men and women on YouTube trying to encourage everyday people to show off their inner “glam.” Women today are now spending more money on makeup to show that they can enhance their features just like the professionals.

In the 1960s, women went with a more natural look, which was a light coat of mascara and a natural shade of lipstick, just enough to enhance their features in a good way (1). But now women are going for more dramatic looks like cat eyes and hugely noticeable contouring on their cheeks.

Makeup is an art, but there are some people that do not believe makeup should be used. There are men that believe women are using makeup to hide what they really look like, and they even come up with certain memes that demonstrate this opinion.

Even though there are some that don’t believe that makeup is a good thing, many see it as a way of expression, or in a more professional light, an art form.

1 – http://articles.latimes.com/1990-03-04/news/vw-2440_1_art-form

Easter, church, and angry men

Today, as I was getting food ready for my church’s breakfast, a man came storming into the kitchen. He was very hostile and angry, but for reasons I will never know. I think he was a part of the Traditional section of church, while I, on the other hand, am a part of the Intersections side, the side of the church that is more accepting and focuses on Jesus’ message in relation to modern culture.

A very angry Easter. Graphic from Dreamstime
A very angry Easter. Graphic from Dreamstime

Once I saw his suit and tie, his holier-than-thou attitude, and his raging anger, I was sure he belonged to Traditional. As he walked into the kitchen, he began to yell at my mother, screaming about how she wasn’t suppose to use the right side of the oven, how the oven was on but now it’s off and it’s all her fault. He was almost on the verge of complete insanity, screaming and yelling about who’s allowed to use the oven, which my mom is, by the way. Even on Easter, in a church (which is kind of funny if you think about it) he acted so disrespectful and rude to my mom, a woman who was simply trying to make her signature casserole for the members of Intersections. He had lost his mind.

On top of that, there were children in the kitchen, seventh graders, who help my mom cook every Sunday. How could a self-respecting, sane man scream like that in front of children? It was appalling, to say the least. I was proud of my mom, however, because she was calm, attempted to talk to him about the issues, tried to correct him on what was appropriate and what was not. Although, it took a man to tell him he was out of line, I was impressed by my mom’s relaxed demeanor.

It was obvious that this rude, angry man had some serious issues of his own. My vote is for suppressed homosexuality, years of being married to a woman when all he wants to do his have sex with men. That would make me seriously angry too. He also has zero respect for women, to the point where you’re kind of scared of what he would do if there was no one around. I’m also worried simply thinking about that fact that he probably has kids, and could potentially be talking to his family the way he talks to complete and innocent strangers. That man needs some serious help and I hope Jesus or, more importantly, someone in the medical profession can help him out with that. God bless.

Women’s rights: For women, by women

Abortion is a decision that should be made by each individual woman and no one else. The idea that women’s rights are being decided by a board room full of men is asinine. Why would a bunch of men, who have no idea what if is or feels like to be a woman, be allowed to decide what women are legally allowed to do with their own bodies?

When it comes to abortion, women should be able to make that decision, to the best of their ability, dependent on what’s best for them. Most people don’t understand the idea that women who become pregnant won’t always be able to take care of the baby, that their social and economic status could potentially be detrimental to a baby’s life.

Many people think that if a woman becomes pregnant it’s her fault, and she should deal with the consequences of it, no matter the potential of not being able to give that baby a life worth living, a safe environment and a constant food supply. Not one person should be able to tell that woman what is best for her or her child.

We don't need no man. Photo from hamptoninstitution.org
We don’t need no man. Photo from hamptoninstitution.org

Pro-life individuals struggle with the idea that women who receive abortions are killing a human being, that getting an abortion is no different than murdering someone. This idea is simply false.

Ninety-two percent of all abortions occur before the end of the first trimester, 13 weeks, and 32 percent of those occur at or before the first six weeks of pregnancy. At this point in time, the “fetus” is truly a conglomeration of cells, not considered to be a baby or to look like a human. How can one compare an abortion, a removal of a group of cells, to the murder of an alive, walking and talking, human being?

An abortion at six weeks is no different than removing something like a tumor, which is a group of cells as well. Scientifically speaking, the thought that abortions are killing human beings is incorrect and should no longer be used in the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate.

The bottom line here is, no man, no woman, no child, should be telling another woman what to do with her body, how to use her body, or when and if she should want to get an abortion. It’s nobody else’s business. A woman shouldn’t have to give a justified reason as to why she has received an abortion. Women’s rights should be decided by women and only by women.

Nice guys don’t always finish last

You’ve heard of the expression “nice guys finish last.” And if you’re a guy, you may feel that term to be true. “Bad boys” are exciting, right? Being treated like garbage, ignored, but still able to go out to parties and be seen with the most mysterious hot guy there? It’s thrilling to have your heart torn into pieces and thrown into the fire. Right? Wrong.

Forget that overused, utterly long, unfortunate phrase. A new study by scientists for the University of Worcester and the University of Sunderland, both in the United Kingdom, discovered that men who are attentive to the happiness and prosperity of others rather than themselves may be more attractive to women in comparison to men who are just good-looking.

Image from parentmap.com
Selfless men are seen as more desirable, if women want a long term relationship. Image from parentmap.com

Altruism is the term for when someone acts in a way that is beneficial to others and not themselves. In the new study, the researchers analyzed what happened when two desirable characteristics, physical attractiveness and altruism, were investigated together, and whether women preferred one quality over the other.

In the study, 202 women were shown pictures of 24 men of varying degrees of attractiveness. Alongside the photos were descriptions of the men doing something like saving a child from a river or buying coffee for a homeless person. Other photos were accompanied with rude or unappealing situations, such as the man refusing to help in either of the previous scenarios.

The researchers found that being selfless gave men a better chance with a woman if she was looking for something long term.

In contrast, the new study found that selfish men were seen as more desirable among women who were looking for a fling. Farrelly said he found this result interesting, and he said one possible explanation is that it relates to other characteristics that women prefer in short-term partners. For instance, it might be that if a woman is looking for something short term, her choice of a partner might be one with less socially desirable traits such as narcissism, the researchers said.

If you want a fling, continue on your “bad boy” path, if you’re looking for something a little more serious, try finding someone who thinks of others than themselves..

Why women should vote for Bernie Sanders

Taylor Nguyen



The primary elections, which will decide the Democratic nominee for president, are only 4 and a half months away. Hillary Clinton still remains the frontrunner, even with the surge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Among women, Clinton’s lead over Sanders is even bigger. But it shouldn’t be.

I’m not one of those people that are saying that Clinton is polling well among women simply because she is a woman. Female voters, for the most part, truly believe that Hillary Clinton will represent the female demographic the best. That’s the problem,

because the biggest champion of women’s issues is not Hillary Clinton, it’s Bernie Sanders.

Bernie supports Women. Graphic from Pinterest
Bernie supports Women. Graphic from Pinterest

Let’s start with the issues that Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders agree on:

  1. Abortion and Planned Parenthood

Clinton and Sanders have both consistently supported leaving a woman’s reproductive rights between a woman and her doctor, and both have received 100% ratings from NARAL Pro Choice America. They both have criticized republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood by 500 million dollars.

  1. Gender Pay Gap

Both candidates have expressed outrage at the fact that women make disproportionately less than their male counterparts. Sanders also voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act, an act that makes sure that pay discrepancies are based on job performance and credentials, rather than just gender.

  1. Family Leave

Sanders and Clinton are both staunch advocates for instituting paid family leave. Clinton stated that  “It’s outrageous that America is the only country in the developed world that doesn’t guarantee paid leave.” Sanders points out Scandinavian countries as examples of successful implementation for paid family leave.


Now let’s look at the issues that proves Bernie Sanders to be the optimal choice when it comes to women’s issues:

  1. Minimum Wage

This is an important issue. The majority of minimum wage workers are no longer teenagers, they’re adults. And a majority of those adults earning the minimum wage are women, many of them single mothers supporting their children. Sanders and Clinton both support raising the minimum wage, but Sanders supports raising it to 15 dollars an hour. That’s much higher than the historical high level in 1968 of $10.78 an hour (adjusted for inflation). This boost in pay will lift thousands of single mothers earning low wages out of poverty, enabling them to better provide for their families.

  1. Health Care

Both candidates have supported Obamacare, which has helped millions of women across this country. But Bernie Sanders doesn’t think the law goes far enough. As an alternative, he advocates for a single payer health care system, in which medical costs are publically financed and every American is covered. Hillary Clinton made it very clear in the first debate that she would not support a single payer system.

This is important, because even after the implementation of Obamacare, women have been discriminated in the hiring process simply because their health care costs are naturally more expensive than the health care costs of men. And if women do end up getting the job, they’re sometimes forced into taking a cut from their salaries in order to cover their medical benefits. This contributes to the gender pay gap.

Under a single payer system, medical costs would be covered by the government, which will lift the burden from businesses, and hiring decisions will be based on qualifications of the worker, not potential healthcare costs.


This presidential election is a very crucial one. Each party has a very different direction that they want to take this country, and within those parties are also candidates with differing views.

Democrats already know that they don’t want a Republican in the White House for the next four years. But it’s also important that Democrats elect a candidate that has the best interest of every American: Men, women, children, seniors, and every demographic. And after taking a look at both platforms of both candidates, the choice is clear.

When it comes to women’s issues, Bernie Sanders is the superior choice for the Democratic nomination for President of The United States.

What women really want from the government

Recently, a video came out that addressed the expectations women have of our government. A Fox News anchor in the video claimed that women want to be cared for by the government, much like they want to be cared for by their husbands, No, most women don’t want a husband to care for them. In 2015, many women are pursuing college degrees and putting the idea of having a family on hold. In 1990, the average age for women to get married was 23, and now that number has climbed to 27. Considering the average age for a woman to get married was 20 in 1960, it’s obvious that women are interested in things other than settling down.

Women are no longer going to college to get an “MRS” degree and are, instead, focusing on their own success.

Parks and Recreation's Leslie Knope, a driven woman in government. Graphic from IMDb
Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope, a driven woman in government. Graphic from IMDb

Many women are also becoming the breadwinners for their families. In return, that means there’s a greater numbers of stay-at-home dads. Many argue that men shouldn’t be stay-at-home dads because they’ll be emasculated. However, many stay-at-home dads have said that being home is a lot more difficult than they expected, and don’t feel inferior to their wives after their experiences

What these breadwinning, career pursuing women want from the government isn’t “to be taken care of.” In 2015, women aren’t damsels in distress who need a hero or a governing body to come swoop in and save the day. Women these days want to be respected and treated as equals.

What women want from the government is to be recognized and represented. The great thing about America is that we aren’t a country full of white, middle-aged men, as one would expect looking at the demographics of our government officials. Women outnumber men in the United States, yet aren’t as well-represented.

Many women want the government to recognize their medical rights. Although not all women agree, many women want abortion to be legal and recognized as a legitimate medical procedure. Many women also recognize that our healthcare is a huge issue in the US. Although healthcare has come a long way, there are many complications women face in receiving proper care.

More than anything, women want to be recognized as equal to men. Women are paid less than men, and are often refused positions simply because a man with equal qualifications also applied for the job. Because women are often unable to obtain a well-paying job, they’re also more likely to be uninsured or underinsured.

Women also want the ability to pursue their careers and a family — without having to choose between the two. Many women leave their jobs when they become pregnant because their employers don’t offer sufficient maternity leave or benefits.

Overall, women don’t expect to be taken care of by the government. We simply want to be seen as equal to men and have the ability to pursue a career as much as men can. Hopefully, in the near future, the government will take steps to ensure women and men all have the opportunities to pursue their dreams. The truth is, we Beyonce voters need to step up and make sure we choose candidates who are going to implement policies which will get us to more equal ground.

Women’s history at RU

Women’s History Month began as a week-long celebration in 1981. Congress asked the President to start “Women’s History Week,” in honor of women who had made invaluable contributions to the world.  As of 1995, each president has continued to support Women’s History Month.

Women’s History Month was celebrated

at RU on April 1 at the Covington Center for Visual and Performing Arts. In attendance were members of the RU campus community who lead panels, lectures, workshops, performances and exhibits. The whole month of March was devoted to celebrating and began with Sarah Hastings–director of RU’s psychology program–and a Circle of Life Inter-generational Dialogue. Every Monday in the month, different generations of women reach out and speak to each other about how they’re living based on their age.

women historyOn March 2, author Dorothy Allison , writer of “Bastard Out of Carolina,” appeared on campus. President Penelope W. Kyle also gave a short speech to the attendees of the presentation, “Our Wretched Sisters: Gender and Executed Women,” held in the Bonnie. In addition to the closing remarks about Women’s History Month, other events were also held, like the performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” and other sketches.

Although the concept of a month devoted to women is no longer foreign to me, it still makes me think. Is it just a little strange that we have a whole month devoted to the female gender? If Women’s History Month is only in March, does that mean every other month of the year (besides Black History Month) celebrates men’s history? There are a lot of skeptical remarks to be made about times like those. However, I think that the basic purpose is to reinforce and build the relationships with others around us.

To do that, we need to understand and appreciate one another. Sometimes it takes a lot to open up other’s eyes to show them what you’re really capable of and that you can make a difference. At this point though, doesn’t that seem a little weird? Shouldn’t we all know by now that we are part of one race: the human race? With that in mind, I still feel very conflicted about celebrating each part of society individually.

Does male privilege hurt male domestic violence victims?

October was Domestic Violence Awareness month, and with it, many stories of survival and awareness became public. Most of these stories were from women explaining the struggle they faced at the hands of their abusers. Although these stories are very harrowing, men seem to be missing from the victims demographic.

On almost all big posts about domestic violence against women, there’s bound to be a few comments from men asking, “what about men who are abused? Why aren’t they taken seriously?” One of the issues with domestic violence against men is that these instances often go unreported. Women are much more likely to report domestic violence and get help, although many women still don’t report these crimes.

Why is it that men don’t report violent crimes committed against them at the hands of their spouses or partners? The answer is simple, really. Male privilege has backfired on men in many ways, but the worst is that there is little support or sympathy for men who are victims of domestic violence. There’s not as many organizations that reach out to men who are victims because men have always been told to “toughen up” and “suck it up” when they’re frightened.

“On almost all big posts about domestic violence against women, there’s bound to be a few comments from men asking, “what about men who are abused? Why aren’t they taken seriously?”

When men report crimes committed against them, they’re often written off and even laughed at. Although I will admit that men have a physical advantage over women, domestic violence towards men is still very possible. Men have been taught that it’s not okay to hit a woman, and in many cases, men are scared to try to defend themselves and be mistaken for the instigator.

Many men would openly laugh at another man if he admitted that his partner hit him. Growing up, we all heard boys laugh at others, saying, “you got hit by a girl!” Inevitably, the boy will hang his head in shame and run away. Boys are taught to be tough and to hide their emotions, especially fear and sadness. This can be a huge disadvantage to men who do try to seek help.

As humans, we need to stand up against violence in any form and take these reports seriously. Violence is never okay, no matter who it’s being committed against. This male-dominant culture we live in which once served men well is no longer helping them. More men need to realize that feminism isn’t trying to tear them down, it’s trying to even the playing fields for both sexes. Men are just as likely to be victims of domestic violence, so it’s time we reach out to male victims and offer the support that is so readily available for women.

How is a man supposed to be feminist?

To men, feminism can sometimes be a scary word. It sometimes brings up the imagery of bra-burning, man-hating, all-around terrifying display of female dominance. In a male society where being girly is social suicide, it can be hard for a man to actually consider himself a feminist, but it happens.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Aziz Ansari, and John Legend have all recently come out as feminists despite being men. While this isn’t evidence of a trend that men are starting to understand the importance of feminism, it has sparked a lot of discussion about the need for men in the feminism movement.

In a recent article posted in mic.com , and shared via Huffington Post, writer Derrick Clifton lists 11 simple rules to follow if you want to be a male feminist. By the end of the article, any male would come out of it thinking the entire purpose of that article was to tell men to shut up and keep quiet while the women are talking. It says that men don’t decide if they are “allies” to the feminist movement, women do.

I am an ally of the feminist movement. I don’t do it to get “ally cookies” as the article suggests, and I don’t do it so women will like me. I consider myself a feminist because treating women as equals is the human thing to do. No one, male or female, gets to tell a person they have to be accepted into this role of supporting equality for women. Similarly, if you’re greatly outnumbered in war and you have allies that want to help you, you don’t tell them that they have to be accepted first. That’s a good way to lose the feminism battle.

Feminism isn’t the same as man-hating, but it seems like the loudest feminist voices in media are out to shame all men because of the sexist pigs among us. It isn’t fair to the people who genuinely want to help. True, I’ll never know what it’s like to go through a pregnancy, a period, or a paycheck that’s less than a male of the same job, but that doesn’t mean I can’t add my voice to the feminist cause. It’s time to do away with the concept of male privilege and start working together to make real progress on gender equality.

It would be nice to think that women can win equality without the help of men. It would also be unrealistic, seeing as men equal about half of the population. Feminism wouldn’t survive without the help of men telling other men why sexism is wrong. It’s an unfortunate truth that some men will only listen to men, but it’s the truth nonetheless. It doesn’t make men inherently bad because of it, but it’s a system that will take time to break down.

Unfortunately, as long as feminism has the reputation of man-hating and shaming, it won’t get far. No minds can ever be changed when the entire demographic of ‘oppressors’ is antagonized the way they’ve been. Men have a real stake in feminism, and shutting up and listening isn’t the right way to make progress happen.

Hot mugshot guy and how the internet works

Last week, the picture of the famous “hot mug shot guy” went viral and women everywhere OVARYacted. Of course, plenty of people were also quick to criticize. One of the posts that made me cringe when I see it every five minutes is a photo of Hot Mug Shot Guy (Jeremy Meeks) next to a photo of Corporal William Kyle Carpenter who was recently awarded a Medal of Honor for jumping on a grenade to help save his fellow marines. The post with Meeks and Carpenter criticized women for swooning over Meeks for being hot although he’s a criminal, while claiming that Carpenter was “overlooked.”

A viral image that circulated Facebook comparing the achievements of Kyle Carpenter with the flaws of Jeremy Meeks. Image found on Google.
I’m not saying that Carpenter’s sacrifice wasn’t a huge deal. As a girl who grew up in a military family, I’ve always had a huge appreciation for the military and all they do for us. I’ll also admit to getting a little hot and bothered when I see a man in uniform. However, those of you who agree strongly with the Meeks vs. Carpenter post must not know how the internet works. In my online reporting class, one of the topics we discussed was how posts get a lot of traffic, and how things go viral. One of the main things that makes things go viral is novelty. Articles that present an idea or event that is different and unusual will go viral.
The reason Meeks’ photo went viral so quickly was because he’s hot. Have you ever seen a mugshot? They’re never flattering. Never. But this criminal somehow made his look like a cologne ad. Two very conflicting things collided in this photo: a mugshot and sexy. Those two things create novelty and novelty makes things go viral. That, folks, is how the internet works.
The big issue I have with the Meeks vs. Carpenter post is that just because women get a little hot and bothered over a hot mugshot doesn’t mean we’ve dismissed his crimes. Meeks is still a felon, and is paying for his crimes. Sure, it’s interesting that such a vogue-worthy guy would also happen to be a “bad boy,” but he’s committed serious crimes. Although girls can swoon over him and talk about all the “dirty things” they’d do to him, but knowing what he’s done, if they ever met him in real life they’d probably be kind of nervous.

Besides, ladies — he’s married.