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February 16, 2017


february 16




I don't really like talking about my boyfriend. With that said, here's a letter about my boyfriend. I wasn't in a relationship in high school. I didn't know how they worked, and in any case, my exposure to any relationship was high school Instagrams from my classmates with captions that read something like, "My soulmate forever. We're definitely not going to date for two months in college and then break up! Open relationship? Sounds like a good idea, babe. Love you boo." (I wasn't jaded. What? Why do you ask?) When I got to college, I met my boyfriend the first week of freshman year. He was walking out of the Quad, ready for a night out. I was walking into the Quad, ready for a night in. A match made in heaven. I gushed to everyone about my relationship. My Instagram and Snapchat were littered with pictures and disgustingly saccharine captions. But now I'm a junior. I'm not an eighteen–year–old anymore. And I realized something important: I don't need external validation. I don't need the reassurance of people knowing that I am in a loving, supportive relationship—because it's been


hit it or quit it, overheards, strange penn addiction


getting my wings back


eotw, asexuality


valentines around the world, roses,dating ideas for true quaker


mixtapes, falling in love with music





12 FEATURE birth control


dating app horror stories, digital long distance

17 F&TV

fifty shades darker, cuffed and scuffed


catalogue of passion, romantic muses and student art


frat under fire, soulmates, senators

Orly Greenberg, Editor–in–Chief Dani Blum, Managing Editor Chloe Shakin, Audience Engagement Director Sofie Praestgaard, Design Director Corey Fader, Photo Director Remi Lederman, Features Editor David Murrell , Features Editor Emily Schwartz, Word on the Street Editor Nick Joyner , Film & TV Editor Elena Modesti, Highbrow Editor Michael Coyne, Ego Editor Zoe Albano-Oritt, Vice & Virtue Editor Talia Sterman, Music Editor Morgan Potts, Tech Editor Katie Marshall, Lowbrow Editor Jillian Karande, Music Beat Mark Paraskevas, Music Beat Angela Huang, Music Beat Jamie Gobreski, Music Beat 2

proved again and again to me, by the most wonderful person. I'd like to think it was me just getting older and growing out of the high school need to keep the world updated on your relationship. But I don't think that's it. I just think our relationship matured. It's not a freshman year fling of taking photos at date nights and breaking up the next night. We've dated for two years. We're best friends. There's no "right" kind of a relationship. It can be long distance (pg. 16), it can be therapeutic and healing (pg. 4), or it can be non–sexual (pg. 6). Most importantly, a relationship is between the people it's between—there are so many nuances that no one else is exposed to, that no external person could possibly notice or appreciate. I've learned that those nuances are what make a relationship great. It's the things that no one knows that make a relationship special and intimate and different.

FUCK, MARRY, KILL: THE DP, STREET & UNDER THE BUTTON DOT COM. DISCUSS AT OUR WRITERS' MEETING TN, 6:30, 4015 WALNUT (AKA 4015 'NUT) Dalton Destefano, Film & TV Beat Michaela Reitano, Film & TV Beat Brooke DiGia, Film & TV Beat Annika Iyer, Ego Beat Julia Bell, Ego Beat Jackie Lawyer, Ego Beat Caroline Harris, Highbrow Beat Nick Castoria, Highbrow Beat Alix Steerman, Highrow Beat Claire Schmidt, Lowbrow Beat Andrea Begleiter, Lowbrow Beat Andreas Pavlou, Vice & Virtue Beat Gomian Konneh, Vice & Virtue Beat Aliya Chaudhry, Tech Beat Annabelle Williams, Tech Beat Colin Lodewick, Arts Beat Linda Lin, Arts Beat Staff Writers: Emily Rush, Haley Weiss, Lily Snider, Meerabelle Jesuthasan, Michelle Pereira,

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Shilpa Saravanan, Steph Barron, Bowman Cooper, Julie Levitan, Emily Cieslak, Lauren Donato, Sabrina Qiao Zack Greenstein, Design Editor Carissa Zou, Design Editor Teagan Aguirre, Design Editor Gloria Yuen, Illustrator Anne Marie Grudem, Illustrator Autumn Powell, Photo Editor Dayzia Terry, Photo Editor Brinda Ramesh, Photo Editor Young Lee, Video Editor Emily Hason, Video Editor Kyler McVay, Copy Director Paola Ruano, Copy Editor Erin Farrell, Copy Editor Lea Eisenstein, Copy Editor

Perren Carillo, Copy Editor Sofia Price, Social Media Editor Cole Bauer, Social Media Editor Maya Rosenberg, Social Media Editor Blake Brashear, Social Media Editor Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by Corey Fader, Autumn Powell, Brinda Ramesh and Dayzia Terry Contacting 34th Street Magazine: If you have questions, comments, complaints or letters to the editor, email Orly Greenberg, Editor–in–Chief, at You can also call us at (215) 422-4640. "I just want to cut a woman open and see if all that's really in there." ©2017 34th Street Magazine, The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. No part may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express, written consent of the editors (but I bet we will give you the a-okay.) All rights reserved. 34th Street Magazine is published by The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc., 4015 Walnut St., Philadelphia, Pa., 19104, every Thursday.




over heard PENN

We can all stop pretending to be normal now.



An OCRsexual girl: His LinkedIn is turning me on. Deprived Thin Mint lover: Does anyone know a good, reliable Girl Scout Cookie dealer?

Photo: Creative Commons We know your secret: Penn's weird as hell, and our eating habits are just a part of that. Highbrow's here to document all the strange shit people on this campus do while simultaneously pretending to be ordinary. Let's start with what goes down outside of the dining hall...



Sure, Taco Bell's meat sources might be questionable, but that shit is well–seasoned, so let's just get past that. Treat yourself to a double taco on your way home from class, and your anxiety will melt like the cheese you're about to consume. Be prepared to run into at least three people you've hooked up with as you stealthily try to exit the premises with your oversized to–go order. Feeling

bold? I have three words for you: Doritos Gordita Crunch. Next question.



They're older than dinosaur fossils themselves, but there's something alluring about capping off your average Houston lunch with a handful of peanut M&M's from the dispensary outside of Insomnia. Make sure to get really unnecessarily hyped up if you get more than six M&Ms in one turn. It's really an art.



I mean, dear god. Just the salt content alone is worth an entire paragraph of praise. Yeah, the egg is fluorescent and


You might be thinking, “Are you sure about this one?” But let us tell you, anime is getting pretty hot and steamy these days, guys. Trade in the typical “I’m single on V–Day” routine of chick flick, rom–com and repeat for some sexy, steamy, Japanese characters in heat. Comics have come a long way since your average Peanuts section in the paper. It’s time to start exploring beyond your horizons.


the bacon is perfectly ribbed with a suspiciously symmetrical line of fat, but I'm no longer asking questions. This puppy has given me new hope for mankind one too many times and deserves recognition. In the mood to not lose your shit before 10 a.m.? Pick one of these bad boys up for close to three cents, and the world will be at your fingertips for at least the next hour.



As long as their Tso's exists 24 hours a day, I'm fine with wandering into Fro Gro 24 hours a day. Got denied from Smokes' even though you're 21? Tso it out. Booty called by your lab partner on a Monday night? The General is in town. No need to ever have a bad night again.


Chocolate, teddy bears, roses, oh my! Why do we have to limit our indulgence in such items to only one day a year? Seems unfair to us. There’s never not a time for chocolate, so honestly, this is a no–brainer. When that V–Day chocolate goes on sale, stock up and unleash your inner Augustus Gloop—except instead of drowning in chocolate, we suggest you just eat it.


Sexiness is a social construct, and honestly, those things have become irrelevant these days, so let’s just throw it out the window. We suggest nixing the nighttime knickers and just going for it. Who says that admirers only have to

Student who's taking a back seat to no one: I should really just flyer my resume on Locust. An alternatively non–sexual consumer psych minor: I'm just thinking about penetration, but in the marketing strategy sense. An eloquent linguist: Is nut–sack one or two words? Guy in Frontera living on the frontera: I haven't used a condom since 2014.

be in secret? With love in the air and free time between your classes, you might as well start following the ones who catch your eye. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll notice you and feel the same way. There’s also the possibility that they notice and get creeped out. But hey, what’s life without risk?


If he hasn’t made the move already, it’s never going to happen. Be the bad betch we know you can be and move on. You’re better than being a side jawn. You’re a main jawn. You’re the main JAWN. You’re like Beyoncé on the red carpet: fresh, fun, fierce and flirty. Except we hope you’re not impregnated with two fetuses. That might kill the vibe a little bit. F E B R U A R Y 16 , 2 017 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E



word on the STREET



hen I walk down the street, I wonder how many women I pass have clipped wings. How many of these beautiful faces I encounter have forgotten what it's like to soar, to be free. I decide each time the thought crosses my mind—too many. I know what a woman can feel like when the ability to move is taken away—taken away by a grip her memory waves like a white flag. A grip so thick with hate it reminds her over and over again what it means to lose control. Every moment that passes fills her hollowed out body with the anxiety that her own grip will never be strong enough again. She knows how much control is worth. So she constructs walls— builds them to hide behind in isolation. She molds moats out of the tears that stain her pillows. Now,

Illustration by Anne-Marie Grudem 4

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she is safe. Her mother always warned her: safety first. She teaches herself to transform, from a girl with an open heart into one who's seamed shut. With her innocence brutally stolen, she becomes a human shield. She teaches herself a lot of things: that it was her fault, that trust is make–believe, that self–defense tutorials on YouTube are a proper use of her time, that avoiding eye contact with men in the gym is necessary, that crossing the street just to avoid the man walking towards her is normal. But he teaches her to embrace her sexual power again. The boy she falls in love with after being assaulted teaches her demolition. She learns that breaking her walls is a difficult process, but a possible one. Learning to love sex again after being sexually as-

Loving sex again after being assaulted.

saulted is possible. Nobody has ever taught her that. When she sees this boy in her arms, the one she finally lets in, she has every right to reject her desires. Her body has conditioned itself to reject sexual contact in all forms, but her heart wants to be as physically close to this boy's heartbeat as possible. There’s a test she can use, so she uses it. She’s not the type of girl to wear her pain on her sleeve, but she decides to tell him she was assaulted. He is the chosen one she tells her story to. He doesn’t run away. He holds her tighter. That is when she knows it is okay. He is safe. At three a.m. on a Saturday morning, she learns that two people can mold into a puzzle that doesn’t complicate anything. She realizes he’s the missing piece she lost in a car that night months before. Sex makes the best feeling she’s ever had before seem dull. She knows storms well because her rapist turned her into one, but this connection she’s feeling now is electric. For the first time, she learns sex is not a chore to keep him. She knows her body is a temple. It’s building beautiful things between them. She sees in his eyes how she glows for the first time—in a long time. He plants galaxies in the lining of her stomach, and each pulse takes her to another millennium. She feels as if she never wants to come back down to earth again. She will cry again, and he might be a trigger without realizing. She may have sex dozens of times before the flashback comes. But it will come. She’ll feel defeated again. Shiver and think, damn, not this shit again. Each time it happens she’ll become more frustrated. Forgetting should be easy, but it’s not. She’s not the same girl that got raped anymore. She knows that. He knows that too. He’ll see the pain on her face and immediately feel the guilt she dreads for him to feel, because none of this is his fault. She doesn’t want her pain to fill his heart, when all he does is fill hers with bliss. But this time when the tears flow, she’s surprised. Instead of saying, “You’re going to have to suck it up and spread your legs,” like her rapist had, he says, “It’s okay, we will just lay, we will just breathe.” He will hold her with a grip she’ll never want to forget. Through this recurring panic, she will learn that safety is this new set of bones, the space she fills on his collarbones. She will learn that safety beyond her walls is possible. If she knew after being sexually assaulted that learning to love sex again was possible, she may have saved herself the pain. But nobody taught her that, because nobody likes to speak about assault. Nobody likes to hear these stories. Maybe if we start listening closer, they will no longer have to be told.




Penn's cutest couple will have you feeling forever alone. Street: Can you describe each other in three words? Brent Shulman: Loving, devoted and intellectual. Meredith Kline: I want to get this right. Passionate, interested, fun-loving. Street: What’s the best date you have been on? MK: This is really random. One time we went biking at the beach, and it was super beautiful. We have a lot of really special memories together, but one thing I would say about our relationship is that we also have a lot of the same friends. A lot of the memories that stand out involve them. When the pope came last NAME: MEREDITH KLINE HOMETOWN: ORANGE COUNTY, CA MAJOR: HEALTH AND SOCIETIES, BIOLOGICAL BASIS OF BEHAVIOR, CHEMISTRY ACTIVITIES: KITE AND KEY, SENIORS FOR PENN FUND, SENIOR PEER ADVISOR, HUP VOLUNTEER, PIPAC, JRP, MAIMONIDES, SDT, SPHINX SENIOR SOCIETY, OMEGA SENIOR SOCIETY

year, we’re pretty spontaneous, we were all just walking around and we decided to rent those Indego bikes. There were three of them and seven of us, so we just got on ET style and rode around Philly. It was super safe because there were no cars. BS: It’s kind of scary because it’s hard to balance. MK: We really like being adventurous, the beach, camping etc. For my birthday one time, Brent surprised me, and we went to the beach and had a picnic. Street: There are two types of people at Penn? MK: There are actually three. Those who are immovable, those who are movable and those who move. It's really only going to make sense to seniors because it

ANNIKA IYER was our Penn essay question. Street: If you could plan a Valentine's date with no limitations, what would you do? MK: We would wake up in the mountains, camping. Then we are able to walk around and find a basketball hoop where we play. We hike for a long time, meandering around, then we go to the beach and play volleyball and play in the water. Then we get to a nice dinner, and in our tent there is a projector, and we watch some movie that we decide on immediately, which never happens. BS: We wake up in the morning, and there’s a bagels and lox spread, but also food that I’m going to eat. I don’t like lox. Then we go skiing for a couple hours, and she convinces me to not be scared of skiing. Then we go have lunch with her grandparents in Florida. After that we go on a big hike up in the mountains near the beach so you can see the water. It’s not too hot

that you get sweaty all the time, but you can still feel it on your skin. Then we go play with her baby cousins in Irvine for a little bit. Her whole family is there. Then we go to a nice restaurant but it's not too expensive, kind of reasonable, and nice. Then after dinner, Meredith and I hang out with our friends for a bit, then we break away and walk around the city, sort of talking, not knowing where we are going. We were already in California and Florida on this trip, so fuck it, we’re in Paris. All of a sudden, we are by our apartment, and we go to bed, but instead of going to bed, we actually talk for a while about whatever random things till we fall asleep. Street: What fictional relationship do you guys relate to? BS: I kind of consider myself Aladdinesque. MK: That’s my favorite song, “A Whole New World!” I really kind of resonate with a little John Travolta, Olivia Newton–John

action. They are always excited to see each other. Our relationship has serious aspects, but we make each other more fun. Plus we met in the summer, so it's summer loving! BS: I also look great in a leather jacket. Street: I would do anything for love but I won't do… BS: I would do anything for love, but I won’t kill an innocent person. MK: I would do anything for love, but I wouldn’t throw away the toothpaste before its done! Street: What did we forget to ask you? BS: Is there anyone I would like to give a shout–out to? Shout– out to our fans, that we didn’t know we had, but apparently do. We appreciate all the things that you do; without you we couldn’t do all that we do.

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where taxation meets innovation.

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Amy* didn’t have much experience with sex in high school. But she thought that college would be different. Once she began going to parties at Penn and witnessing hook–up culture firsthand, though, she didn’t feel a stirring of sexual attraction like she thought she would. “I would go to freshman year parties and I would notice people pairing off, like, immediately,” she remembered. “And obviously I thought, I guess this is a thing I should be doing or I should want to do, but I didn’t. And it didn’t matter how many people I talked to boys, girls, whatever—it didn’t happen.” As the weeks of her freshman year ticked by, doubts about sex would occasionally crowd her mind. Am I just scared? Am I holding myself back? Finally, Amy settled on one conclusion: “I literally just didn’t want to.” Asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction for any person, regard-

less of their gender. Exact numbers are hazy, but one 2004 study estimated that 1 in every 100 adults is asexual. However, their numbers are belied by the lack of representation that asexual people have in the media, pop culture and mainstream LGBTQ discourse. Amy started identifying as asexual during her freshman year at Penn. Although she has always been asexual, it wasn’t until college that she began using the label, poking around on online forums like AVEN (Asexual Visibility & Education Network) and wearing a black ring on her right middle finger, a common identifier in the ace community. About three months after she began calling herself asexual, Amy told her parents over Skype. Although they hadn't heard of asexuality, they became supportive after doing some Internet research. Like other sexualities, asexual-

ity exists on a spectrum and encompasses a range of experiences. Certain asexual people are comfortable compromising their disinterest in sex with a sex–inclined partner, while others are entirely sex–repulsed. However, outside the community, many people are unaware asexuality exists as an orientation, and others are unconvinced of its legitimacy. “If I go to a party or something, the go–to line is usually some terrible joke along the lines of, ‘You’re asexual, does that mean you split in half to reproduce or something?’” Amy said. However, reactions aren’t always humorous. When Amy explains to people she’s asexual, most people haven't heard of it, and guys sometimes take it as a challenge or a rejection. One person even asked her if she had a traumatic event in her past that

save our store. The University of Pennsylvania has decided to terminate its lease with The Fresh Grocer® of Walnut Street after serving our community for the last 15 years.     Should our lease not be renewed, our local family-owned market would be forced to shut its doors on April 1, 2017. Learn more & help fight back at: 6

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Asexual students at Penn JULIA BELL

( the asexual flag ) made her uninterested in having sex (hint: she doesn't). Although asexual people do not experience sexual attraction, they still may experience romantic feelings for another person. Amy describes herself as biromantic: she can have romantic feelings for both men and women. The emotions she experiences around someone she’s interested in are the same fluttery feelings that are mythologized in romance narratives and Valentine’s cards—just minus the sexual component. “Sharing a part of yourself intellectually, or some sort of emotion—to me, that’s more intimate than any sort of physical thing you could do,” she said. “Things that you wouldn’t even share with your closest friends.” However, some asexual people don’t have romantic feelings for anyone. Jenny Xu (C ’17) is the current President of PennAces, a club for asexual students at Penn, and identifies as asexual and borderline aromantic. She first thought she might be asexual in middle school but originally chalked it up to being a late bloomer. “I didn’t really know that asexuality was actually a thing, but I knew I wasn’t sexually attracted to other people, which apparently everyone else was experiencing,” she said. “Surprisingly, you can get a lot of pushback from it,” Jenny said. “People will be like ‘No, you’re not,’ just straight out, ‘No, you’re not’...You can’t tell someone that the way they’re feeling at the moment is not valid.”

However, coming to Penn meant finding a more open– minded community. Jenny calls herself an “ace magnet” because she has made several other asexual friends since high school. The PennAces group was passed down to her from one of her ace friends who has since graduated. “It makes me really happy how accepting people are here,” Jenny said. “It makes me feel like the high school stuff didn’t even happen.” Jenny has found the LGBT community at Penn to be very welcoming toward asexual students, but she recognizes that the issue can sometimes cause a rift. Amy agreed that their place can be ambiguous. At Penn, asexual students can find that their preferences conflict with a sex–focused social culture. When Amy came to Penn, she acted straight by default because DFMOing in frats was the easiest expression of sexuality. However, when she didn't want things to progress beyond a quick makeout, things would sour. Although Amy recognized it was not the fault of her dance floor partner, both would become frustrated. "I felt obligated to try, but I didn't really want to," she explained. "It was a 'Oh, that person's attractive, I should be attracted to them,' not 'Oh, that person's attractive, I am attracted to them.'" *Name has been changed. Read more online at




DATING IDEAS FOR THE TRUE QUAKER Who needs a fancy dinner when you've got these ideas instead?

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honey, coffee, artichokes, olive Let your favorite landmark DINNER FOR TWO Want to go out for Valentine’s Day but don’t have any elabo- double over as an observatory Flexible Leasing • Single and Double Roomsare • all scioil and strawberries AT HOUSTON Individual Leases • All Amenities and Utilities Included rate, romantic plans? Let Street help you out with some Penn– as well. Pack a telescope, a blanTake a break from your lavish entifically–proven aphrodisiacs centric dating ideas that are sure to impress the one you love. ket, a pillow, some bug spray dinner plans and enjoy a peace- that can be found here. Why Call fruit salad and and maybe even some soft ful night out at Houston Mar- not make a sexy your Valentine's Day? speakers as you lay on the thick ket. From sushi to pizza to pasta spice up215.662.0802 grass located in front of Penn's and more, Houston Hall can Email SAUNA SESSION AT proves to be a quick romantic most beloved treasures. And fulfill all of your gastronomic getaway from the bustle of camPOTTRUCK don't forget to bundle up; late cravings and desires all within Stop in The Sherr Pool in Pottruck’s pus. evening temperatures are slated the comfort of our very own lower level is equipped with a 20 South 36th Street to be especially frigid! Avocado, chocolate, Flexible Leasingcampus. • Single and Double Rooms • sexy sauna for students and visbananas, watermelons, arugula, itors looking to warm up after Individual Leases • All Amenities and Utilities GOMIAN Included KONNEH Today to learn how to make a cold swim. Take a quick dip LONG WALKS The Axis your home away and consider heating up your DOWN LOCUST from home! night inside this convenient yet WALK Call lavish Penn amenity. Perhaps a Locust Walk's picturesque scenbold (and potentially awkward) ery is unnoticed and underap215.662.0802 move for a first date, this idea preciated by many a busy Penn is recommended for seasoned student. Revel in the charm, Email couples only. beauty and complexity of the many aesthetically—pleasing Now Leasing and architecturally–admirable Stop in buildings aligned on the exteriPICNIC AT THE BIO- or of the walkway as you saunFlexible leasing36th • Single and double 20 South Street ter down this true Penn gem. POND rooms • Individual leases • All Enjoy the aroma of nature There may be a couple of loose bricks sprinkled throughout the (and cannabis) while situated amenities and utilities included in the company of small, rep- path, but don't let that sad reToday to learn how to make tilian creatures on a picnic for ality stop you from enjoying a The Axis your home away two at Penn’s most beloved romantic night out. Call 215.662.0802 outdoor retreat: the BioPond. from home! Email AxisLeasing@AltmanCo.Com Don't let the constant influx of flashlights, security guards and Stop in 20 South 36th Street ominous footsteps scare you; STARGAZING AT this treasure is under 24–hour THE LOVE STATUE surveillance at all times, but still

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Love like Mr. Worldwide. Dale

Valentine’s Day in the United States is a pretty standard affair—chocolates, roses, candle– lit dinners with wine, you get it. However, around the world, many countries have different Valentine’s Day traditions and customs, and even distinct days for different genders and single people. With such a diverse student body at Penn, it’s only appropriate that we recognize some of the different ways love (or lack of it) is expressed around the world.

Day is celebrated one month after Valentine’s Day (March 14). Valentine’s Day is traditionally a day for women to show their love and appreciation for a special man in their lives, and White Day is considered a day for men to return the favor. In addition to that is the concept of “honmei” and “giri” chocolate. In Japan, giri chocolates are for one’s friends, coworkers and family members, while honmei chocolates are more romantic and usually given to someone you love. Rei Fujita (W ‘19) from Japan told JAPAN AND Street: “The fact that there are KOREA two holidays is better from the In Japan and Korea, White guy's perspective because it

seems more reciprocal than the each other once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar American tradition.” moon. Crystal Xie (C ‘19) says "Valentine's day is more popuCHINA In China, Qixi, while not lar with people my age, but I really Valentine’s Day, is some- think that the legend behind times considered a close equiva- Qixi is very special.” lent. It falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar moon, so the date varies from year to year but usually falls sometime in August. While White Day is more of a modern cultural phenomenon, Qixi is based on the myth of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl who fell in love. The legend says that the two lovers were separated by the Milky Way and can only see

You’ll always have a

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Leaving Asia, Brazilians also have a separate day for lovers. They celebrate “Dia dos Namorados,” or “Lovers' Day," on June 14. The customs for this day are very similar to Valentine’s Day. Dia Dos Namorados is celebrated on the eve of St. Anthony’s Day because Saint Anthony is said to bless couples with romance, happiness and strong marriages.


In Europe, Valentine’s Day is similar to the American tradition but with a few cultural nuances. In Denmark, it is com-

mon for men to write women funny poems, or gaekkebrev, on papers that have small holes cut in them, while in Wales, a traditional gift for Valentine’s Day is the love spoon.


On the other hand, two months after Valentine’s Day and one month after White Day, single Koreans can celebrate “Black Day.” For anyone who did not receive gifts on Valentine’s Day or on White Day, this is the day to get together, wear all black and eat jajangmyeon, a noodle dish covered in a black soybean paste. Whether you're single or in a relationship this Valentine’s Day, there’s always a tradition for you to follow. Each society may have different ways of celebrating—but at the end of the day, it’s all one love.




THIS VALENTINE’S DAY Roses are red and they’re a lot of money…read to find out how to spend less and still please your honey. The price–tag of Valentine’s Day can make anyone want to lock Cupid in a closet. While the hopeless romantics drool over the themed aisles in stores and the over–priced heart–shaped boxes of Ghirardelli chocolates, others who have Valentines to please just want to protect their wallets. The golden rule to follow to keep your wallet safe this Valen-


tine’s Day is to not stop to smell the roses. s. The price of roses can spike anywhere from 30–50 percent in the USA around Valentine’s Day, and CBS reported that Americans spend more than $2.1 billion on flowers. The best gift to buy this Valentine’s Day is your time and effort—it will make the Hallmark holiday more meaningful. Click-


PRICE: < $5.00


WHAT YOU NEED: A deck of playing cards & something to write with. WHAT YOU DO: Write on each card a reason you love your valentine. By the end of this project your Valentine will have 52 reasons to smile and something to look at whenever they are feeling blue.

WHAT YOU DO: Write things on the coupon like: free back massage, romantic dinner, movie night, etc. (Ed. note: sometimes these are best when they’re uncensored.)

"REMEMBER WHEN” MASON JAR PRICE: < $7.00 (or free if you have a jar to use) WHAT YOU NEED: A jar, small pieces of paper, something to write with. WHAT YOU DO: On the small pieces of paper write down your favorite memories together and fold them up in the jar. Your valentine can grab a memory out of the jar whenever they please and you’ll recapture some fond memories while making it.

MEAN VALENTINE CONVERSATION HEART COOKIES PRICE: < $15.00 WHAT YOU NEED: Sugar cookie mix, heart shaped cookie cutter, frosting, and gel icing. WHAT YOU DO: If your Valentine vomits at the thought of Valentine’s day, then this is for you. This fun recipe mocks the typical Valentine’s Day conversation heart candies. First, prepare the sugar cookies as directed on the mix and cut heart shapes out of the dough. When the cookies are baked and cooled, frost the cookies and write with the gel icing funny sentiments like: "Loser," "Fuck you," “Kiss Off,”

ing a few buttons and ordering roses is easy but it’s impersonal and flowers rot. So impress your Valentine with one of these five DIY gifts this year—the best part is they all cost $15.00 or less to make.

Photo: Creative Commons “Eat Dirt,” “You Stink,” etc. Your Valentine will love your anti–gift gift that also tastes delicious. You can enjoy the dessert together.

BALLOON PICTURE SURPRISE PRICE: < $15.00 WHAT YOU NEED: Latex balloons filled with helium, printed photos of you and your Valentine. WHAT YOU DO: Print your favorite pictures of you and your Valentine and punch a hole in the top corner of each of them. Next tie the string of every balloon to one of the pictures. Leave this surprise somewhere fun for your Valentine to walk into. See what this should look like here. If none of these DIY crafts please your Valentine, find a new one or maybe just splurge for the roses next year.

Live music • Film • Dance • Theater Art Education • Community Feb 13 2017 @ 6:00 PM Free Workshop! Grant Writing – Beginner

The Rotunda & Vision Driven Consulting are teaming up to bring resources and capacity-building workshops to self-producing a rtists/musicians and event curators in all disciplines.

Feb 14 2017 @ 6:30 PM Love Jones 17

Valentine’s Day Dinner and a Show Featuring Ron Cook and some of the Best Comedians Singers and Poets. Meal Catered by Raheem Goldwire(Bistro70) and Ricky Williams (Ricky’s Rollers) Cash prizes for best dressed male and female and a best kiss contest. Doors open at 6:30 show starts at 7pm entry is $15 for a single $20 for a couple for tickets call (267)338-5507

Feb 16 2017 @ 8:00 PM Grant Calvin Weston/The Out Sider/Improv Messenger and Akimbo Research Project Feb 17 2017 @ 8:00 PM Loren Connors & Chris Forsyth and Taiwan Housing Project! Pres. by Bowerbird

Bowerbird is pleased to present the duo of Loren Connors and Chris Forsyth and a performance by Philadelphia’s Taiwan Housing Project

Feb 18 2017 @ 11:00 AM Philadelphia Intersectional Feminist Discussion Group Open Discussion

The February meeting of the Philadelphia Intersectional Feminist Discussion Group (PIFDG) will be an open discussion - no set topics - no speakers. Just show up.

Feb 18 2017 @ 6:00 PM Philadelphia Youth Poetry Movement (PYPM) Youth Night and Open Mic

(almost) Every third Saturday of the month, PYPM hosts a youth-led open mic and poetry slam for teens to come and share their work in a safe, uncensored environment.

Feb 19 2017 @ 3:00 PM Pariah: A Matinee of Performance Art

Pariah is a performance series that brings together the movement-based works of 4 east-coast based artists Tsedaye Makonnen (DC) , Esther Baker-Taparga (PA) , Waqia Abdul-Kareem (MD) and Marcelline Mandeng (PA). In their performances, they will use abject gestures to collectively explore what it means to be Un-American.

As an alcohol-free/smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides an invaluable social alternative for all ages.


4014 Walnut • F E B R U A R Y 16 , 2 017 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E




In the corner of my childhood bedroom sat a seven–foot tall caramel wooden CD shelf, housing yarn from my abandoned knitting phase (I’ve made one hat and started maybe eight scarves), jewelry, bottle caps from glass Cokes and a magic eight ball that never gave the right answer. At eye level, maybe five feet up, stood my CD collection. Collection might be an overstatement: there were maybe 20 discs in total. It remained meticulously organized in alphabetical order and my internal inventory is acute (Dad, have you returned my Adele CD yet?). Amy Winehouse, The Beatles, the first two Glee CDs (oh god), Green Day, Fergie, Jordin Sparks, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Madonna, Taylor Swift. It was a simpler time. Next to the square plastic cases, there was a stack of CDs left out to fend for themselves. Coated in dust, some accumulated scratches that rendered them dysfunctional. Many are

unremarkable in decoration: often, scratched in sharpie is just a name, a feeling or a season. “Autumn” is unplayable now; “For Jamie” is only 8 songs. Made out to me, just for me, by friends, acquaintances and crushes alike. With each of the CDs I owned, I engaged in the same ritual: I put on the CD, listening to it front to back end, following along with the accompanying booklet that rests under the plastic tabs of the hardshell, transparent case. I never love an album until I’ve listened to it all the way through. You know how certain songs remind you of certain people? I have too many songs—entire albums—that transport me to my old bedroom, the scratchy fibers of the floral rug grating my skin as I sprawl out and the raspy boombox blasts. There are songs that I owned, that I spent my babysitting money on. There are songs that owned me. They drowned my

eardrums in a wave of reverent thrill. Then there are the ones that were merely lent to me, shared with a plea, meant to please and intimate proximity. Somewhere out there are the melodies, those iridescent discs of affection that I lent out, too. I had to move out of that room this summer, and all my CDs fit into a shoebox. The shoebox sits neatly between a box of books and a box of schoolwork in the storage closet filled with all of my other belongings. I packed

away the angst (oh man, the angst, it could eat me alive), the melancholy, the bliss, the comfort and the fear. Holding all that in my hands, feeling it shuffle around as I carry it away, is a dissonant reminder of growing up and the complicated feelings that come along with it. Boomboxes take up a lot room. CDs, for that matter, do too. I've had to make do without those discs while living on my own, and have instead come to rely on a bluetooth

speaker and streaming services, a sign of the times as much as anything. As the world changes, so do I. Music will always be there, though—a shoulder to lean on and a rush of adrenaline all at the same time. Maybe if growing up is anything, it's making playlists on Spotify instead of burning CDs. Photo: Pixelheart / Pixabay



Photo: Pixabay


FALL IN LOVE WITH MUSIC You always remember your first love. And yes, we're talking about music. Here's ours. GRIMES Angela Huang On one of my ventures into the depths of YouTube at age thirteen––you’ve been there, it consists of the Trololo guy and Emu’s Pink Windmill Kids––I came across the strangest music video I’d ever seen at the time. Seven minutes long, pretentiously indecipherable and heavily “disliked” on Youtube, Grimes’ "Genesis" confused me to the point where I spent the afternoon Googling the meaning of the video and of the song. It was the first time I’d ever put so much effort into understanding a video, much less a song: the effort made me think rather than listen mindlessly. Indie darling Grimes based the video off of a Renaissance painting, "The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things," and the piece is a modern rework of older art. And in a sense, her music is a fresh take on the antiquated structure of pop music: her music is what I can only describe of a mishmash of so many different genres (Grimes cites artists from Outkast to Mariah Carey to Brooke Candy as her influences), but at its core it is unabashedly pop music. Grimes’ complex and eclectic witch–pop has made me find hope in the new generation of music and taught me

how to truly analyze the music and art that I consume. . THE FORMAT Talia Sterman When you’re an 8th grader, the rite of passage was to sing "Fergalicious" like the rest of them—or so I thought. One day, my brother was blasting a song I'd never heard of, and something clicked. That song was "She Doesn’t Get It" by the Format—it’s purely feel–good indie–pop/rock with a lead singer with emotions bigger than his already–massive voice. It was unlike anything I’ve ever heard, and I was loving every bit of it. I'd tell anyone and everyone who’d ask about my new obsession, and when asked about my favorite band, without a blink I’d say “The Format,” which would always elicit a “who?” Before I knew it, I spiraled down the path of embracing obscure tunes by anyone and everyone who was good with a guitar. That brought me to the likes of the Kooks, Modest Mouse and Phoenix (remember them?)—and that was just the beginning. Fast forward to 2017: the Format broke up what feels like ages ago, and from its ashes emerged Fun., which


arguably rendered frontman Nate Ruess a sell–out. The Format might not be the heart of my every playlist, but their influence is lasting. I’m never seen without my headphones, I’m willing to give almost everything a listen and I may or may not have been called a music snob more than once. So for everything I am today, I have Nate Ruess and his big mouth to thank.

and sunglasses and cool–looking instruments. I used to sit in class and daydream about starting a band just like The Ramones when my parents would finally let me play guitar. Today I still could recite almost all the “words” (read: gabba gabbas and hey heys) on their self–titled album. While I’m more of a Clash guy musically, these dudes will always be the epitome of cool to me, and that’s what music is about.

COLDPLAY Jillian Karande My family loves music. My dad sang the Smashing Pumpkins and Led Zeppelin to us as lullabies. My brother filled our house with the sound of his too–loud electric guitar while I was growing up. I’d watch my siblings and cousins go to concert after concert, aching to tag along. Finally, 2005 rolled around and newly nine–year– old me finally got my chance. I was allowed to go (with the whole family) to a Coldplay concert. I was over the moon. It was at the United Center. I had to stand on my chair to see the stage because I was actually four feet tall, big yellow balloons with confetti inside were tossed around during “Yellow,” my dad bought me a purple kid's shirt that said Coldplay on it and I immediately put it on.It was a musical awakening of sorts. Sure, my music taste has evolved past “The Scientist” and I’m not going to pretend that I’ve listened to any new Coldplay since "Viva la Vida" came out, but I’d be lying if I credited any other band with making me fall in love with music. And who am I kidding, I love “The Scientist.”

THE RAMONES Mark Paraskevas BRITNEY SPEARS I was raised in a punk rock Bowman Cooper family. My dad (and by asMy first concert was Britney sociation, my mom) listened to Spears’ Dream Within a pretty much nothing but older, Dream Tour. I was five. I’m mostly British punk rock in not sure what that says about the car, from The Clash to The my mother’s parenting skills, Jam. When other kids at school but I do know that Britney was used to refer to “Elvis” as the the first to spark my interest in King of Rock, I always thought music. “Oops…I Did It Again” they were talking about Elvis was the first song I knew the Costello. Who the fuck is Elvis words to, and as a kid, I would Presley? (and still do) sing it at the top I’ve come to appreciate those of my lungs every time I was in bands way more in my slightly the car. Back then, I would tell wiser age, but the band that re- people that I wanted to be a ally got to me as a kid was the pop star when I grew up. To be Ramones. It makes sense why honest, I still want to be a pop they would appeal to a little star when I grow up, but these kid musically—their songs days I try to keep that to myare simple and catchy. But self. Britney's the reason why I the reason why I liked them started singing, and music has so much is because they’re been a huge part of my life ever fucking cool. They were kids since. from40th the same & neighborhood Spruce St., University city • 215-382-1330 as me, with leather jackets


10 PM to 2 AM


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Winter Break, Esther Cohen (C'18) was in San Diego with her family when she noticed a black tar–like substance in her underwear. A quick Google search revealed this to be a symptom of early pregnancy. She sat there, staring at the screen, overcome with dread at the decision she might have to face. And then it hit her that it was December 30th—in 20 days, there would be a new President, and the laws protecting her right to choose might begin to disappear. Esther wasn’t pregnant. What appeared to be symptoms were actually side effects of the new form of long–acting, reversible birth control she had switched to following the election. The Nexplanon protects her eggs from unwanted fertilization by halting ovarian release and causing the development of a thick line of mucus inside her cervix. For the next three years, it will sit beneath the skin in her arm where the Trump administration cannot touch it. Esther is one of many women to reevaluate her birth control habits. “The day after [the election],” said Penn Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Joyce McNeill, “we started to see a constant steady stream of women who were concerned about future policy decisions, about insurance coverage and certainly about long acting reversible contraception." Esther recalls a time not so long ago when it seemed that women’s reproductive rights were on the brink of a leap forward. She remembers Hillary Clinton’s declaration at the third presidential debate: “I will defend women's rights to make their own healthcare decisions.” “I just thought, how powerful is it to have a woman on stage saying that? To see a woman, who 1 4 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E F E B R U A R Y 16 , 2 017

gets it on a personal level advocating for this kind of policy?” Esther said. “That means so much because it’s never happened like that.” For Esther, this is what makes the election results so devastating. “The ends at which their policies exist, especially on women’s issues, are so polarized,” she said. “It’s night and day what our country would have looked like.” Esther had hoped for a Supreme Court decision securing her right to an abortion at any stage and access to affordable birth control. Now, a group of men are threatening her right to make a choice that they couldn’t imagine facing—but that the women they govern fear every day. n adequate understanding about the importance of contraception is lacking not only among men in the White House, but also among men on Penn’s campus. Many female students interviewed for this article reported that their partners assume they have taken care of birth control in advance of sexual encounters. Sara Cerreta (N'18) believes that the feminist movement, necessary though it is, inadvertently fuels this assumption. “I feel like men probably feel like they can take a step back,” she said, “thinking all these women are so independent and they’re so in control of their bodies.” But failing to take responsibility for contraception is dangerous. Some women cannot take a daily contraceptive due to negative side effects—Liz Flick (C'18) and Breanna (C'18) (who asked that only her first name be used) experienced rapid weight gain and crippling nausea, respectively. Others, like

Briella Meglio (C'18), can and do take birth control—but the effectiveness of the method depends on the precision and consistency with which it is used. For the past eight years, Briella’s phone has vibrated at 5 p.m. every day. It’s a reminder that she must stop what she’s doing and take a pill, buying herself another 24 hours of control over her cramps, acne and chances of conceiving a child. “All I have to do is go buy a box [of condoms],” said Ben Pollack (C'18), who feels guilty when his female friends talk about the pill. “If a girl has a guy over and she forgot her pill, she can’t just run over to her friends and be like ‘do you have one?’” “It definitely controls my life in that way sometimes,” said Briella. “It's kind of a burden to have to think about it every day. Just missing it for a couple days can really screw you over.” Briella knows this firsthand. She remembers the terror she felt before finals season her sophomore year, when she realized she had missed a few pills and neglected to ask her partner to use a condom the previous night. She knew she had to take Plan B no matter the side effects, which, for her, were a night of vomiting and extreme abdominal pain. She also knew she couldn’t tell her partner. “I just didn’t want him to think I was irresponsible,” she said. “I was on this ticking time bomb, you know, you only have a certain number of hours

to take Plan B for it to be totally effective. So I just thought I’d rather be safe than sorry, buy it myself, take it myself and not tell him.” Looking back, she resents the feeling of shame that prevented her from notifying him of their mutual mistake. “We [as women] have to hide our bodily functions,” she said. “We have to hide the fact that we could possibly get pregnant. We have to hide our periods every month. It’s crazy to me that we have to hide what our body naturally does so that men are more comfortable with us.” A year later, he still doesn’t know. lthough the Affordable Care Act protects women's access to preventative methods, emergency contraception and abortions, it cannot shield them from the fear of an unwanted pregnancy. “It’s the most terrifying thing in the world,” said Esther. “People don’t realize that if it happens, it doesn’t matter how liberal you are,” said Liz, who had an Intrauterine Device (IUD) implanted because of the election results. “I don’t think abortion is bad, but if this ever were to happen to me there would be this underlying moral thing in my head that I wouldn’t quite know how to grapple with.” For women, this fear is distracting, universal and

relentless. “We have to constantly think in the back of our minds, when was my last period?” said Esther. “Am I pregnant? Could I be pregnant? Should I take a test? Should I go to the doctor? Men have never had to worry about that in their lives.” “Every girl who’s had sex has had a pregnancy scare,” she said. “Every. Single. One.” Given the daily and emergency precautions— both physical and emotional—that women undergo to prevent pregnancy, it’s no surprise that many navigating Penn’s hookup culture find it frustrating and confusing when men are reluctant to use condoms. “There’s generally a push amongst dudes to not use condoms because it’s cool to go raw,” said one male student, a junior in the College. “And it feels better.” “You put yourself in these situations where this person doesn’t care about you at all and you don’t care about them at all,” said Breanna. “But then you know that you’re the one taking on all the risk. I guess it’s like a power dynamic where you see the risk in something and they just don’t see it.” Not using condoms is dangerous because condoms are the only form of contraception proven to prevent disease transmission effectively. According to a 2016 study by a data science startup called The State of Education, Penn is among the worst schools in America with regards to sexual health. “It doesn’t make sense to me when you’re randomly hooking up with someone and they don’t want to use a condom,” said Breanna. “Why would you trust me? With STDs and birth control, you’re putting a lot of trust in someone you met like 20 minutes ago when you were really drunk.”

n such situations, some men resort to deception. Liz remembers one hazy night in which she discovered that—despite her repeated requests that he do so and his repeated affirmation that he already had—her partner had failed to put on a condom. Breanna had a similar experience in which she received a text the following morning expressing a hope that she was on the pill. She wasn’t. “Why are you just mentioning this now?” she recalled thinking. “This would have been much more helpful four hours ago.” “It just puts you in this situation where you feel awkward and helpless and you don’t have control over your body,” Breanna said. She didn’t feel comfortable asking for her partner to pay a share of the $49.99 emergency contraception she bought from CVS. “After that happens it’s really hard to go back and be like, hey, that wasn’t ok,” she said. “Because they’ll be like, ‘Well, why didn’t you say something in the moment?’” The word “consent” is rarely used in the context of contraception, but some students view the two as indelibly linked. “A lot of times it gets completely overlooked, but asking if you want to use a condom is a huge part of consent,” said Breanna, citing a case in Switzerland in which a man was convicted of rape for failing to comply with a woman’s contraceptive preferences. “[Consent is] not just about yes or no and an action,” said Ben. “It’s about how and when.” For him, pressuring, deceiving or coercing women into sex without a condom is a violation. “It’s manipulating. It’s taking advantage. It’s all the things that you have to look for when asking for consent.” Penn Women’s Health views helping women to negotiate for condom use as an essential part

of their work. “Part of what we talk about in this office is women’s self–worth and feeling worthy of being able to protect themselves,” said McNeill. She believes that, when women provide the condom themselves, they can often prevent awkwardness or uncertainty in the interaction. “My standard line with women is that life’s too short for bad sex. And worried sex is bad sex,” said McNeill. Using a condom every time removes that worry. “You can have great, worry–free sex and enjoy it. That’s what it’s all about anyway.”

Penn students remain in a privileged position. At a school where 71 percent of students come from families in the 80th percentile for income, most are insulated from the potential effects of policy change. When Esther told her father, an oncologist, about her plans to get a Nexplanon, he assured her that she didn’t have to rush; he would cover it later should her insurance fail to. “But I’m not worried about me,” she said. She’s worried about women whose parents are not doctors—women like Anea Moore (C'19). A first generation student from a low–income family, Anea has no one to depend on financially. Following the death of both her parents in 2015, Anea has had to work three jobs in addition to her full course load. She cannot risk gaining a dependent. She is not currently interested in hookup culture, but she laments that her participation is, realistically, no longer an option. “I just want the freedom to decide,” she said. “Right now it doesn’t feel like I have any freedom.” As a first generation college student, she wants “all social, academic, and other parts of college” to be open to her. “It just really sucks that someone like Trump is undermining what my mother and my father worked so hard for all of their lives,” she said. Nonetheless, for most Penn students, resistance to these policies is born not of practical personal fear, but of fundamental moral outrage. “It’s not that I can’t pay for the co–pay of birth control,” said Sara, who had an IUD implanted following the election. “It’s that I feel like I shouldn’t have to.” Esther speaks for many women when she says that she is proud of her choice to arm herself against unplanned pregnancy and crippling medical bills. But as much as she appreciates the security, she resents the context in which the decision was made. “It’s ridiculous that I have to make this choice,” she said. “In a way, I’m not even really being given a choice.”



“The burden really falls on the girl to prevent herself from getting pregnant [and] to prevent herself from getting STDs,” said Briella. “With men being also the carriers of these things, it’s hard when one side won’t cooperate.” She notes that Penn students are, given the time and money they invest in their professional futures, generally responsible and forward–thinking. “You’d think that would extend to being safe sexually,” she said. “But it’s not the case.” Penn students “play Russian roulette” with STDs, Briella observed. “We really just hope that the other is smart enough to be safe with their other partners and we worry about it the next day.” Given her experience with contraception, Briella finds it insulting when men treat Plan B “like a magic candy pill” and condoms like a disappointment. But they do, and some women feel forced to choose between satisfying their partner and feeling safe. “You just feel bad because you want to be fun and carefree,” said Breanna. “But sex is just a little more serious than that. You’re like, I guess you expected this of me. And I can’t live up to that expectation.”

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Love isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be, especially when you add technology and pheromones into the mix. For a well–rounded look at Valentine's Day, Street cut the Hallmark bullshit and spoke to Penn students about their worst experiences with a dating app. From fuckboys to fake profiles to full–on stalking, these are their stories.





In December of last year, Grace* (C '17) she went on a Tinder date with a 26–year–old Swarthmore grad who listed himself on his profile as a Spanish tutor. They met up at Local 44 for drinks; she remembers thinking he was a little “awkward, but not necessarily creepy." (Ed. note: rave review.) She remembers him nearly interrogating her about her thoughts on modern dating culture, what she had set as her Tinder preferences and other specifics that a normal date probably wouldn’t ask. He kept pausing, staring into her eyes for what she thought was too long. The next day, she received a text from her date—an apology. “I’m sorry. I lied to you. It’s wrong.” Irony weighing heavy on her voice, she explains, “It turns out people pay him to teach them how to date.” His eponymous workshop’s method, elucidated in a LinkedIn slideshow, features tips for men seeking women, including “Touch Escalation.” To explain the lengthy pauses, he mentioned his philosophy that “awkward silences allow for sexual tension to grow.” Something, evidently, got lost in translation, since our long– suffering source basically had to converse for two while her dating workshopper stared intently into her eyes. Not content to let it lie, the workshopper asked if The Daily Pennsylvanian might be interested in writing about his workshop (Ed. note: It would appear he got his wish, a few months later! Happy Valentine’s Day!). “The goal is to educate men out of their fragile masculinity so they can have better relationships with women," the so– called dating master said. "There are very few straight men promoting this.” Grace didn't respond. The next day, around 3 p.m., her phone chimed with another text from him: “Want to get a coffee later today?” She did not.


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When Thomas Calder (C '20) received intermittent messages from a guy he matched with on Grindr, he decided to ignore them. About a week after the latest message, Thomas was Continued on next page. Photo credit: Creative Commons | Wikimedia


The case for online celibacy ANNABELLE WILLIAMS wandering around a local mall with his mom when he noticed somebody following him. Later that day, he whirled around and saw the person following him was—you guessed it—the boy he had matched with on Grindr. He hightailed the hell out of there.


Brandon Texeira (C '20) was browsing Grindr at 2 a.m. on Saturday, apathetically swiping in his high–rise dorm. He wasn't looking for a hook up, just trying to pass the time, but when a cute guy asked him to come over, Brandon called an Uber to meet his match. He stood waiting in the street for the mystery man to take him upstairs. “Lo and behold,” Brandon bemoaned, “my ex walks around the corner.” He had been catfished by his own ex–boyfriend, who not only subjected him to a 2 a.m. Uber ride and the abject humiliation of Grindr catfishing, but also had the nerve to accuse Brandon of cheating on him (they had broken up three months before). Safe to say Brandon went to bed angry. He’s stayed clear of Grindr ever since.

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DIGITAL LONG DISTANCE “No amount of heart emojis can communicate what you’re actually trying to say.”


Maybe you’re still with your high school girlfriend. Or say your boyfriend's studying abroad. Your significant other could have graduated already, or maybe you transferred away from your other half. Long distance relationships can take many different forms in college. What connects all these relationships is technology. Social media has played a key role in linkng people, but everything from texting and calling to Facebook and Snapchat can help people keep in touch with romantic partners and maintain relationships. Maddie Vaziri (C ’20) started dating her boyfriend, Jake Mitchell, the summer before her senior year of high school. Jake now attends Georgetown, but both of them are originally from Ohio, where they lived a mile apart. “That was difficult—going from that extreme to another extreme. But that being said, technology definitely made the transition pretty easy,” Maddie said. Kristine Park (C '17) began dating her boyfriend, Mark Bai (C '16), last spring break. Mark graduated from Penn last year and now lives in Chicago. They

Annalise and Nick see each other every two weeks. Kristine said, “It hasn’t been too bad because I guess it builds up the anticipation for when you do get to see each other. But I think especially with technology these days because it’s just so advanced, and like you can do video calling whenever, it’s been a temporary replacement.”

FACE–TO–FACETIME In addition to texting and calling, FaceTime is a popular way of connecting partners. Analise Bump (C ’18) transferred to Penn from Syracuse her sophomore year. She started dating her current boyfriend, Nick Supley, who's a senior at Syracuse, the second semester of her freshman year. They text throughout the day and talk on the phone while Analise is walking to class or other places. They normally FaceTime before bed. “No part of me can even begin to imagine what people did before texting and FaceTime… I can’t even imagine the whole writing a letter thing. That would never work out for me honestly,” she said. Mathilde Beniflah (C ’18)

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met her boyfriend, Alex Ren- when on a video call. Maddie frow, through a mutual friend, and her boyfriend sometimes and they've been FaceTime each dating since Janu- “I definitely feel other while doary of her freshman ing homework. year. At the begin- connected, like She described it ning of the relation- I can reach him as, “like having a ship, Alex lived in study buddy.” New York. Since whenever I want Kristine also then, they’ve lived talked about usto. It’s definitely ing the “Share various distances from each other, easier than it Screen” feature with Mathilde livSkype, which was like at any on ing in Germany allows users to and D.C. and Alex other time." see the computer living in Philadelscreens of who phia for some time. Alex now they’re Skyping with. Kristine resides in Southern New Jersey, and her boyfriend use this feaabout an hour from Penn. ture to watch movies together Mathilde said, “It’s easy to and have also planned a trip this FaceTime and catch up while way. you do other things… We can easily have a proxy to a face–to– face conversation which is better than over the phone.” FaceTime and video calls in general, such as through Skype, While Skype and FaceTime allow for more levels for con- allow couples to communicate versation. Mathilde said, "I’m a in ways that feel close to in–pervery expressive person, I make son conversations, there are still a lot of facial expressions and ways in which technology falls hand gestures. I think that’s part short. Maddie and Mathilde of my communication style, so recognized some of the disadI’m glad that FaceTime can cap- vantages of conducting relationture more of that than on the ships virtually. phone.” “It’s hard to show how much However, not everyone talks you care when you’re only com-


municating with technology,” Mathilde said. “No amount of heart emojis can communicate what you’re actually trying to say.” Although technology can make the distance seem smaller, technology can also complicate and worsen arguments. “If you have a fight, it’s easy to hang up the phone and then not deal with it versus when you’re in person and you have to confront the issues… I think it’s harder to resolve issues in a relationship when you’re dealing through technology just 'cause it’s so easy to shut it off,” Mathilde said. Maddie recognized the dangers of being constantly connected. “We also both acknowledge the negative effects to always being able to be connected. We definitely try to be controlled with our use.” However, overall, technology has provided for positive long– distance relationships. Maddie said, “I definitely feel connected, like I can reach him whenever I want to. It’s definitely easier than it was like at any other time. So whenever I’m feeling sad or lonely, I just remind myself that it’s a million times better than it ever would have been for any other generation.”



The thin line between loving and loathing.


Discovering OTPs (one true pairings, for those of you who are TV amateurs) is one of the best parts of watching TV. With Valentine’s Day here, our favorite series will be bursting with romance and new and surprising hook–ups. From lust to love and sexual tension to screaming matches, here are the best and the worst couples of TV.


Ross and Rachel (Friends)


Perhaps one of the most quintessential couples of TV, Ross and Rachel have been a fan favorite for years. Ross, the nerdy professor, is somehow able to snag Rachel, the girl everyone drooled over in high school. The romance is kept alive by their vastly different interests that somehow complement each other so well—not to mention how adorably flustered Ross gets

around Rachel (remember when he walked into the dryer door after Rachel kissed him?). Although their relationship was the definition of “on–again, off– again,” they were friends before getting romantically involved, and even through the tumult of their relationship, they always put their—*spoiler*—daughter first.

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Jim and Pam (The Office) An office romance story that actually turned out right (and didn’t violate any major HR guidelines in the process), Jim and Pam earned their place on this list for their ridiculously cute moments (does anyone remember them eating grilled cheese sandwiches on the roof?). This couple accepts each other with vivacious banter and killer chemistry to boot, and they were truly best friends as well as lovers. Perhaps more importantly, Jim loved Pam through each and every frumpy grandma sweater she donned. If that’s not love, then I don’t know what is. Even through their rough patches, they manage to make it work, and they always come back to each other. What more could you want?

106 S. 40th Street Booth and Bones (Bones) Another relationship that is both professional and personal, Booth and Bones had a platonic working relationship inundated with romantic tension, a tension that kept audience members coming back for more even as producers dragged it on and on. Even while purely platonic, Booth still showed a fiercely protective side when it came to Bones, and although Bones is a rather logical, level–headed person, Booth is one of the only people able to rattle her (who remembers the bathtub scene?). More importantly, there’s a level of trust between this couple that is only strengthened by being partners at work.

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WORST COUPLES: all biting words, accusations and sometimes even physical altercations. On the outside, however, they tried very hard to keep it all together. After all, gotta keep up appearances for their students; Sam Keating would know. Buffy and Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) If dysfunctional had fangs, it would be in the form of Buffy and Spike. Although an undoubtedly attractive couple with major chemistry, they were definitely not the optimal OTP. From Spike’s murderous tendencies to Buffy’s stand–offish (and violent) behavior, this couple had more downs than ups, though there were some redeeming moments in season seven. Perhaps the biggest problem in their relationship, however, was that they were literally sworn mortal enemies: vampire vs. vampire slayer. Buffy likes a man with a bite, but her conscience keeps her from enjoying it.

Annalise Keating and Sam Keating (How to Get Away with Murder)

Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick (Keeping Up with the Kardashians) Scott Disick coupled with himself may have made it onto the “Best Couple List” (is there truly anyone who loves himself more?), but Kourtney and Scott definitely had some rough spots throughout the show. From Scott’s frequent philandering and substance abuse to Kourtney’s overriding desire to make it work (even after his endless broken promises), at times the only redeeming quality between these two seemed to be their razor sharp banter. Although a very fashionable duo, the two had some prolonged fights that made even the most dedicated fans cringe. Kourtney and The Lord are definitely one of the reasons fans flock back to KUWTK, but at the same time, their relationship reads more like a “what not do to” guide than anything

From adultery to annihilation, this devious duo spent more time scheming than saving their marriage. Their Photos: IMDb hate sex was more scary than sexy, and between them it was 1 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E F E B R U A R Y 16 , 2 017


FIFTY SHADES DARKER: A COMEDIC OPENING NIGHT Come for the sex, stay for the helicopter crashes and washed up popstar extras. DALTON DESTAFANO

I’m not going to lie; the first 50 Shades movie disappointed me. When you’re making a movie from a Twilight fan–fiction book (that’s what 50 Shades of Grey is, for those of you who were blissfully unaware), I expect a campy, sexy rollercoaster ride. Instead, I got a relatively banal romantic drama that took itself far too seriously. Still, I walked into Fifty Shades Darker on its opening night Friday with high hopes. Maybe the two leads would actually have chemistry this time around. Maybe Christian Grey would tie Anastasia up and carry out his wildest fantasies while a techno remix of “S&M” by Rihanna blares in the background. Universal Pictures, I don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but I feel like the next movie could really benefit from such a scene. The Cinemark Theater is absolutely packed. The people of University City have been longing for the day that Christian Grey and his mousy sidekick Anastasia Steele return to the big screen. My friends and I are subject to judgmental gazes as we sheepishly sit in the handicapped seats to avoid sitting in the front row (I know this is a

faux pas but the front row is awful). As the movie starts, I learn that this audience is here to have fun. They hoot and holler as the stiff billionaire Christian Grey seduces Anastasia with clunky dialogue, and laugh with each awkward sex scene. At one point, Christian calls up his assistant and asks her to transfer $24,000 into Anastasia’s account, just because he can. I am exhilarated at the mere thought of this, and briefly consider a foray into the world of sugar daddies. Anastasia protests, but Christian replies by telling her that it’s no big deal, as he makes that much money every 15 minutes. I start doing some mental math and realize that this means Christian Grey makes around $800 million per year. I am simultaneously jealous and proud of Anastasia—she snagged this man despite her questionable style and nonexistent personality. Good for you girl. Around 45 minutes in, the audience gets what we’ve all been waiting for. I'm referring to Rita Ora of course. The audience breaks into uproarious applause as she walks onscreen. I am kidding—I would guess that approximately 20% of the

audience recognized her and all who did were mildly confused. I spend a few minutes in deep thought. Who is Rita Ora? Why is she famous? Is it all because she sings “Black Widow” with Iggy Azalea? I am broken out of my contemplation when I hear that Taylor Swift/Zayn song assaulting my eardrums during a montage of Christian and Anastasia laughing and posing seductively on a yacht. This does not look like a movie; it looks like a Ralph Lauren commercial. My favorite moment comes after a tense scene where An-

astasia incapacitates her sleazy boss, who had suddenly made very creepy advances towards her. The moviegoers break out into screams and cheers—I like this audience! The rest of the plot devolves into a series of pseudo–kinky sex scenes and breathy conversations between Anastasia and Christian. There is a sudden helicopter crash, which may sound out of place for this kind of movie—it is. After one last extravagant party full of flowers and fireworks, the movie draws to a sudden, unexciting close. As I shuffle out of the the-

ater and towards Greek Lady, I am left to ponder: Will this story ever have any real drama or suspense? Who cut Anastasia’s bangs, and why do they hate her so much? What is Rita Ora’s next career move? Would I have gained any satisfaction from this film if I hadn't seen it in a packed theater? Hopefully all these questions will be answered in the final installment of the 50 Shades trilogy, which I will undoubtedly be seeing.

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ART FROM THE HEART Penn's student artists explore the theme of love LINDA LIN Student artists at Penn have taken the classic theme of love as a muse and revolutionized it through their acting, photography, poetry, drawing and filmmaking. A short selection of their work makes up this online Valentine's Day exhibition exploring self–love, romantic relationships, companionship and heartbreak.

THEATER Chelsea Cylinder (C'17) and Peter Beik (C'18) were cast as romantic leads in a musical by Penn Singers. They clicked instantly and have been dating for over a year now. Having collaborated on multiple shows on campus, they found themselves sharing the same passion for theater and becoming better actors. "It's amazing to be with someone who really cares about the arts and who is talented and knows how to do these great works of theater justice," Chelsea says. While acting, both feel comfortable and motivated by each other's company. Peter says, "Having someone there that you are close with is like a nice, safe blanket...It's inspiring to have her around. That kind of makes me want to push myself to do better."

Peter and Chelsea Chelsea echoes, "When he's there...I feel like I have an audience...It's not like a pressure, but I just want to do well for him." This semester, Chelsea and Peter were cast as love interests again in Penn Singer's The Sorcerer. Since this is her last show, Chelsea feels particularly special. "To be doing my last show with [Penn Singers] and have him be my love interest is amazing and a nice way to end," Chelsea says.


Love often becomes stronger when it endures hardships. Isabella Cuan (C'18) captures the selfless and multi–dimensional love between her grandparents in a series of black–and–white portraits. "I wanted to break down the traditional image of love into its parts, rather than create an artificial image of a happy couple," Isabella says. Born in Havana, her grandparents were stripped of all of their belongings in the years following the Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro's takeover. Later, they immigrated to Spain and eventually the US. Wanting to express their absolute love despite the turmoil, Isabella chooses to convey strength in a vulnerable way by portraying her grandmother leaning on her grandfather's shoulder with eyes closed. The pose, in

its monochromatic scheme, creates a genuine and powerful result. For a class portrait project, Chaz Smith (C'17) promotes the importance of self–love, responding to certain people's belief that in order to feel loved, they need to be in a relationship or have sexual interactions. Highlighting the beauty of Black women's natural hair, Chaz explains his photograph: “Mainstream media has pushed the narrative that straight hair is the norm of beauty...I wanted to let Black women know that they are loved and...they don't need anything but their own bodies to be beautiful. In order to love your neighbor as yourself, you first have to love the image that you were created in.”


A spoken word poem for his girlfriend, "If the Skies Get Rough," is Benjamin Silva's (C'19) way of commemorating their first year of being in a long–distance relationship after going out for two and a half years. As a reassurance that the future will be just as smooth, the poem is a perfect vehicle to convey his feelings about a significant other because it is written in his own voice. "There's something special about the fact that when my girlfriend

reads the poem 2,000 miles away, she reads it in exactly the same way that I would read it to her," Benjamin adds. For Tochukwu Awachie (C'19), poetry allows her to reveal only as much as she wants, depending on the concrete versus abstract imagery, or the explicit versus implicit ways of expression she employs. She enjoys the ability to create order for many kinds of emotions that romance can inspire through poetry, whether it be pleasurable, empowering or tumultuous. "[Poetry] allows the combination of what one sees, experiences and feels at the same time," she explains.


In a series of stream–of–conscious and autobiographical drawings titled "You Think You Know Me," Mengda Zhang (MFA'18) draws inspirations from her dating experience and ponders the performativity involved in romantic relationships. "We will never know a person completely because we are always performing a kind of role. Sometimes you know the person from the perspective he or she wants you to know," Mengda explains. Characterizing the project as an irony of two people getting to know each other, she incorporates a train of thought of her former

date. From remembering having drinks with him—drawing his profile view and his music hobby—to illustrating a flu virus he got and the vegetable he put in his smoothie, Mengda attempts to visualize him in a symbolic and snapshot–like way, yet will never be able to capture his true, full picture.


Relationships, however, can sometimes be challenging and disheartening. In a short film titled Aspects of Modern Farming, Alexander Atienza (C'17) explores the reality that some relationships fade away rather than end abruptly. The film depicts a couple breaking up and their inability to communicate with each other. "Though they ultimately part unsure where to go next, both achieve greater understanding of themselves than either of them could have of each other," Alex explains. Despite the potential pessimism, the film is also about being realistic and moving on.with each other. "Though they ultimately part unsure where to go next, both achieve greater understanding of themselves than either of them could have of each other," Alex explains. Although there is potential for pessimism, the film is also about being realistic and moving on.

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An unidentified off–campus fraternity has come under fire for a controversial email it sent to female freshman this week. The email, sent from the account definitelynotoz@, was sent to an undisclosed amount of recipients, but appeared to include a majority of women in the freshman class. It had the subject line “Very Wonderful V–Day”, and was addressed to “Lovelies.” However, the remainder of the poem turns into different, arguably more aggres-


sive verses. Following the first stanza, which has positive phrases like, “We’re looking for the romantic ones/ And say no thank you to the ones who just want sex,” the letter appears to take a more contentious tone, addressing the recipients as “Bitches,” and including lines like, “Tonight is your first showing/ So please wear a super short skirt so we can make you feel really uncomfortable.” Alexa Palacio (C '20), who received both this email and the controversial email sent earlier this year by off–campus

fraternity OZ, commented, “I was impressed by how little they cared about rhyming and meter. I guess they just really wanted to get across their disdain for all women, even on Valentine’s Day.” In an email to Street, the president of one on–campus fraternity emphasized that the organization that may have sent the email was unaffiliated with both the University and the Interfraternity Council (IFC), adding, “we absolutely do not condone this organization’s behavior, and will subsequently use it as an excuse

to throw off–campus groups under the bus, even though we in the on–campus frats are pretty creepy too.” The full text of the poem can be read below.

Lovelies, The day is now upon us May we have your attention please We’re looking for the romantic ones And say no thanks to the ones who just want sex. Just kidding. Bitches,

V–Day night will get you going With questionable jungle juice flowing all night Tonight is your first showing So please wear a super short skirt so we can make you feel really uncomfortable. 406 is where you’ll join us Because our other house got shut down because of a drug thing (don’t worry about it) Bring your friends And anyone who hasn’t been warned about us yet.

HOW TO FIND A SOULMATE AT PENN That LOVE statue is there for a reason, right?





Go to your class Facebook group and start looking at who has posted recently.

Facebook stalk them from your alter ego Facebook account and like a pic from 2012. This will show them you’re interested and have done your homework but will still keep them guessing.


Hack into their Penn InTouch and memorize their schedule. Wait outside all of their classes. When they come out, immediately cover your face with your hands. Mystery is sexy.


“Bump” into them in the Houston salad line. If you have the same order, it's love.

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Next time you pass them on Locust, give them an extremely enthusiastic greeting.

“Coincidentally” book the GSR next to them every night for a week.


Find a lawyer to appeal the restraining order. Stand on the compass and shout, "Does anyone know a lawyer?” Wait about five seconds before you’re stampeded by people giving you their parents’ business cards.


Repeat steps one through seven, but while maintaining a distance of 250 meters. ANDREA BEGLEITER




You can’t ignore me forever, Sen. McConnell!

It’s Valentine’s Day, and you’re looking for a gift for that special someone: your senator. They haven’t taken your calls, texts, emails or faxes, but you’re hoping that maybe the perfect V–Day gift will get them back in your (ideological) arms. To help you out, Street’s put together a list of eight fabulous gifts to send to your senator’s office. This Valentine's Day, show him or her you truly care (about the future of our democracy).

1. A DOZEN RED ROSES Display your never–ending love (and/or deep resentment) of your Senator with twelve red roses, symbolizing the twelve–step plan you have for defeating their re– election campaign. 2. CUSTOMIZED M&MS Customize a five–pound bag of M&M's with romantic slogans like “WE WILL REMEMBER, TOOMEY” and “WATCH YOUR BACK, HATCH.” 3.A GOODIE BASKET OF THE HOTTEST NEW SKINCARE ITEMS



the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded 4. A CUTE STUFFED with a federal judgeship.” — TEDDY BEAR It's got hearts for eyes, Coretta Scott King. and if you press its paw, Sen. Elizabeth Warren shouts 7. AN EDIBLE AR“Shame!” from its adorable RANGEMENT Get one that spells little mouth! out “VOTE NO ON MNUCHIN” in melon. 5. A LUMBAR SUPPORT BELT How else will your senator 8. YOURS & MINE survive being so spineless for MEMBERSHIPS TO THE ACLU the next four years? Your Senator may not ap6. A BOOK OF INSPI- preciate the gesture, but you’ll rest easy knowing you RATIONAL QUOTES Include romantic phrases both contributed to stabilizlike, “Mr. Sessions has used ing our democracy! Just be sure to include a brief note, saying “Use these to wash the blood off your hands, Senator.”

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