Pop-Culture | Posted by Chloe H on 06/2/2014

*Trigger Warning* Why Aren’t Women Safe in College and the Military?

While women in the United States still undeniably have a long way to go before we achieve equality, we have made progress in various realms. For example, in terms of education, Oberlin College of Ohio became the first American college to admit women in 1833. In 1948, Congress passed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act granting women permanent military status and veterans benefits. Both of these acts indicated unprecedented opportunities for women to influence and contribute to the country in a way in which they’d been previously barred.

And influence and contribute they have: American women have done fantastic things to serve their country and people as college graduates and soldiers. However, equality on paper is hardly the same thing as equality in real life. One of the largest obstacles …

More >

Pop-Culture | Posted by Alice W on 05/27/2014

Why Sansa Stark Doesn’t Owe You Anything

Sophie Turner: the actress who plays Sansa Stark

I’m hesitant to trust people who call Game of Thrones’ Sansa Stark whiney, basic, boring and weak. How someone feels about Sansa Stark tells me a lot about how they think about women.

Sansa Stark is the eldest daughter of the once powerful House Stark. She’s watched her own father be beheaded, had her fiancee point a loaded crossbow at her while knights ripped off her clothes — all in the first season. Since then she has been forced to marry into the family who had her mother and brother killed. And many fans of the show hate her.

Sure, she is not the most sassy or kickass woman in Westeros, where Game of Thrones takes place. Daenerys is badass, beautiful, …

More >

Pop-Culture | Posted by Eliza V on 05/19/2014

The Fault In This Star

Shailene Woodley

Shailene Woodley certainly seems to be a star on the rise. She has starred in numerous successful teen movies in the past year alone, such as The Spectacular Now, Divergent and the soon to be released and much anticipated, The Fault in Our Stars. These roles and previous interviews had led me to conclude that she’s a great advocate for the current feminist movement and a marvelous role model for younger girls. She cares about the environment, she doesn’t seem totally obsessed with her appearance and she’s a driven, successful young actress. So, I was a bit taken aback when I read an article where she clearly stated that she did not identify as a feminist.

However, what shocked me was not just that she didn’t …

More >

Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Max K on 05/9/2014

Explaining the “Fake Geek Girl”

Girls like to game, too

A few days ago, a friend of mine came to me with an all too common complaint. She was trying to get into a predominantly male fandom and was being met with accusations of being a “Fake Geek Girl”. For the unfamiliar, a “Fake Geek Girl” is a girl who takes interest in nerdy things like video games and comic books for the attention, but doesn’t actually know anything about said interest. The problem is that this accusation seems to have no grounding in reality and has drawn the ire of many female gamers.

This raises an important question: if the Fake Geek Girl doesn’t exist, why is the accusation so common? To understand this trend, we must venture back in time all the way …

More >

Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Annemarie McDaniel on 05/5/2014

America Voted for Laverne Cox, So Why Didn’t TIME Magazine Listen?

When I was in 12th grade, I asked my parents to buy me a subscription to TIME Magazine so I could learn more about current events before heading off to college. I still remember when the TIME 100 Most Influential came in the mail, and the glossy collage of famous faces on its cover.  I read every single bio inside, thinking to myself how I wanted to know the stories of such important and inspiring people. Two years later, TIME 100 has tried more and more to capture the attention of young audiences through social media. TIME’s online poll allowed users to vote for their favorites and then share their votes on Facebook or Twitter. Friends of mine who weren’t regular TIME readers were still tweeting and posting about …

More >

Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Celeste Y on 04/28/2014

Lady Promposals: I’m Breaking the Prom Double Standard — Right Now

The art of the promposal

With my grade’s school day countdown approaching the twenties, obligatory end-of-high-school events are becoming very real, very quickly. Prom season feels like it has been coming for a lifetime and for some girls, it actually has. For those girls, it’s an exciting time. Dresses! Hair! Lipstick! Other things I’ve never been concerned with! In my opinion, however, the whole event has cast a dusky, dis-empowering and somewhat misogynist cloud over the final chapters of senior year.

For those of you who are unaware (adults) of modern day prom etiquette — it’s extravagant. A promposal is a self-explanatory invitation to prom. But they are usually and increasingly grand, romantic and often public gestures wherein boys ask girls to be their dates. They typically involve the spelling …

More >

Pop-Culture | Posted by Darializa Avila-Chevalier on 04/24/2014

Choosing Not to Support Marginalization of Minority Groups Through Illustration

Illustration by Darializa Avila-Chevalier

As an artist for my college’s newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, I sometimes have to illustrate pieces laced with unrecognized privilege. I’ve drawn for articles that fetishize poverty in Spanish Harlem and pieces that depict the “Columbia experience” as entirely universal to its student body. I’ve also illustrated for authors who have complained that “their privilege excludes them from conversation.” As a result, I, a low-income, Afro-Latina, first-generation American woman, feel alienated in my own community. This is not to say that Spec’s contributors aim to drown out the voices of the marginalized—I believe most have good intentions and hope to create a forum of expression safe for all identities. But intention is irrelevant when people of marginalized identities feel the ever-present divide reinforced.

I love …

More >

Pop-Culture | Posted by Paulina P on 04/2/2014

Body Shaming In College Health Services Needs to Stop

“So it says on your record that you have a history with an eating disorder.”

“Yes,” I sputtered. I know it’s true, but no matter how many times the nurse practitioners read it to me at Barnard College Student Health Services, it still feels uncomfortable.

“All right, well, we have a new policy where we have to weigh you once a year. I know we weighed you in the fall, but let’s just do it again.”

For years, these numbers ruled my world. Every day I would step on the scale, and that determined my worth—which is why in my second year of recovery, I refuse to weigh myself. In the fall, a nurse read the same medical history to me. She told me the same policy, and I stepped …

More >