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

Choosing Not to Support Marginalization of Minority Groups Through Illustration

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 illustrating for Spectator, …

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Feminism | Posted by Talia on 06/7/2013

In Defense of “Freshperson”

Next Fall, I’ll be enrolling in my first year of college. I’ll be a freshman – a concept that’s giving me pause not just because I’m questioning the existentialist quality of being a freshman, but because of the word itself. Why must I be a freshman?

According to dictionary.com, the word “freshman” comes from the words fresh (as in new) and man (as in not woman), and has been used to refer to first year university students since the 1590s. This term is clearly a relic of ye olden dayes (or, for some schools, a few decades ago) when higher education was a realm solely accessibly to (usually rich, upper class, white, able-bodied) men. Although we have abolished or significantly limited the usage of numerous gender-insensitive …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 02/24/2012

A Feminist Rushes A Sorority

When I thought about what my college experience would be like as a high schooler, I never for a second even slightly entertained the faintest thought of joining a sorority. As a self-identified feminist, as someone who thought chapstick was a full face of makeup, and as someone who had about as much interest in enduring mosh-pits of grinding frat boys as she did in microbial taxonomy (read: none) I just had zero interest in what I, frankly, saw as an antiquated, possibly even anti-feminist and insulting tradition. Which is why when I pressed “send” on my sorority recruitment application last December, nobody was more surprised than I was.

Though I hadn’t entered college with a clear goal of finding my long, lost non-genetic “sisters,” my interest in joining a …

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Feminism | Posted by Liz P on 10/26/2011

Stand Up, Fight Back: Radical College Women Rock

One of the coolest things I’ve been able to do since entering college is become involved in radical politics. I think many people, and women especially, feel a few barriers to the realm of radical politics.

The word “radical” sounds polarizing. Actually, I didn’t identify as a radical until relatively recently. One of my professors explained that radical feminism, as opposed to liberal feminism, is interested in actually breaking down the power systems (patriarchy, racism, etc.) that form the fundamental barriers to equality. And it just clicked. Duh, I’m radical. There’s a stigma to the word, though, that I think presents a problem for a lot of people.

Radical politics are often dominated by that old chestnut of a demographic: white men. But for people of color, or for women …

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