Pop-Culture | Posted by Bridget L on 04/29/2015
Where Are The Jewish and Queer Students at Hogwarts?
I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter. I grew up reading the books, have seen each film countless times, and dressed up as Hermione for many Halloweens. But while I’ll always love the series, I also recognize that it’s not flawless.
Last December, JK Rowling revealed that there were Jewish students at Hogwarts, and even provided readers with an example: Anthony Goldstein. This revelation prompted others to question whether or not there were LGBT students at Hogwarts as well. In a Twitter chat, Rowling addressed this by stating “But of course,” there were LGBT youth at Hogwarts.
I find these revelations problematic for a couple reasons. First is the fact Anthony Goldstein was only a background character without any distinguishing character traits for the duration of the series. …
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 …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Joneka P on 03/17/2014
Black Women Create: Highlighting Black Women in Film and TV
Many people underestimate the power that representation in the media can have for young girls, and especially young girls of color–but connecting with the experiences of another person and empathizing with their stories and lives is powerful. Whenever we talk about why representation matters, I always think about this quote from actress Whoopi Goldberg:
“When I was nine years old Star Trek came on. I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, ‘Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there’s a black lady on television and she ain’t no maid!’ I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be.”
Now, though, television seems overwhelmingly white. It wasn’t always this way. I grew up watching shows like Good Times, A Different …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Anya J on 01/15/2014
Why Girls Want American Girl to Commit To Diversity
When I was younger, I owned an American Girl doll, like many girls my age. I wasn’t as big a fan as some girls, but I really loved the books that went with each doll. I read all the stories that were in my elementary school’s library, and I still remember the different cultures and periods in history that I was introduced to by these stories of original creative, brave, and dynamic girls.
That’s why I was surprised when my friend Avery Tyson, who is twelve years old and a huge fan of the American Girl series, approached me to ask for support writing a petition to ask American Girl to include more diverse dolls. I remembered American Girl as being one of the only companies that made a …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Angela B on 11/18/2013
The SNL Scandal
I love Kerry Washington. She is probably one of my all time favorite actresses. Her character on Scandal is smart, intelligent and well written, a rarity for black actresses today. When I found out Washington was going to be on Saturday Night Live, I was beyond stoked and couldn’t wait to see the episode when it aired on November 3rd.
The week before the episode, there was a large amount of news coverage about the lack of diversity in the SNL cast. Specifically, since the show premiered in 1975, there have been only four black female cast members. SNL cast member Kenan Thompson told TV Guide Magazine that the reason SNL isn’t hiring black female comedians is because they “just aren’t ready and the talent pool is limited.” …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Anya J on 09/11/2013
Mary Lambert’s “She Keeps Me Warm” Does Queer Representation Right
You might have heard of Mary Lambert, or maybe not. You’ve probably heard her—she is the woman’s voice in the chorus of Macklemore’s song “Same Love.” I have a lot of complicated feelings about “Same Love.” Although I think the song’s message in favor of same-sex marriage is important, the line “if I were gay I would think hip-hop hates me” is downright false, since hip-hop is a genre with as rich a history of LGBTQ artists as any other. I also sometimes feel like Macklemore uses his privilege as a straight white man to speak over LGBTQ people instead of supporting their voices.
Luckily, Mary Lambert’s beautiful new solo song, for which she’s just released possibly the world’s most adorable video, “She Keeps Me Warm,” …
Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Talia on 05/17/2012
Women In The Kitchen: The Surprising Reality
Over the past several months, I’ve begun to watch competitive cooking shows obsessively. I mean, I don’t really know how to turn on my own oven and have never cooked anything in my life, but watching food shows has given me a desire to learn how to cook something simple…someday in the far future. But while these competitive food shows are certainly good for cooking tips, I couldn’t help but notice that women are largely underrepresented.
One of my favorite shows is Chopped, where four professional chefs are given a very short amount of time to make a dish composed of three or four random ingredients. There is usually only one female competitor on each episode. Every once in a while, you’ll see two women, but it’s unusual. There …