TIME: FEM Spring 2019

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When we think about the concept of time, we often feel crushed beneath the weight of its inevitability. Or maybe we plunge into precarious waves of nostalgia — fetishizing a “past” we’ve never known that makes the pain of the present all the more real. Cushioned between the events of new life and eventual death, time is presumed to be a given, linear Truth. But perhaps if we think of time as a social construct, one which we are capable of collectively transforming, more fruitful reconstructions of temporality emerge that fully incorporate pleasurable interruptions, deviant discontinuities, and unsettling surprises — centering time in an abundant politics of desire. What kind of intersectional feminist praxis can equip us with hope in the face of what seems inevitable? Feminists are concerned with contemporary social formations and their construction through temporal mechanisms. The quotidian offers one point of departure into a radical reconstruction of time; seemingly insignificant moments of displacement and desynchronization provide a space of affective potential for different modes of being and desiring. In her book “Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories,” Elizabeth Freeman reveals the socioeconomic, political, and cultural intersections of contemporary constructions of time: “Some groups have their needs and freedoms deferred or snatched away, and some don’t. Some cultural practices are given the means to continue; others are squelched or allowed to die on the vine.” Heteropatriarchy, white supremacy, and imperialism whorl together in contemporary neoliberal projects which expand realms of profit and new domains for exploitation, augmenting flows of transnational capitalism across time and space. A feminist inquiry into the writing of history, the management of populations, and the production of meaning exposes time not as an inevitability, but

rather a purposeful construction by hegemonic powers that seek to control what constitutes a meaningful and livable life. The Time Issue takes a critical dive into the cultural, political, economic, and social implications of such violent constructions of time — we unpack present-day assaults on reproductive justice (pg. 6). We unveil the grip of white masculinity on meaningful cultural production (pg. 20). We make the case for leisure in defiance of cultures of efficiency (pg. 17). We demystify cliches of time that sequester alternative modes of healing (pg. 28). This quarter’s theme couldn’t be more timely, considering that this issue sits within the final chapter of my undergraduate career. FEM has been a home away from home for me since my freshman year, and I am eternally grateful for the cherished friendships and vast knowledge it has so graciously provided to me. Being Editor-in-Chief has been a challenge to say the least, but I wouldn’t trade the hours, the sweat, and the tears that I shed this past year for anything. I cannot thank FEM staff enough for sweating and crying alongside me during the weeks we spent creating this issue. While the heartbreak sets in as my time with FEM comes to an end, I’m also filled with incredible joy knowing I now get to watch FEM thrive under Chiamaka’s leadership. With our utmost love and care, we present this issue to you through our desire for more pleasurable lifetimes. Signing off,

Editor’s Note


6 The Heartbeat Bill: The Timed Attack On Reproductive Rights by Chiamaka Nwadike art by Elena Sviatoslavsky

20 Back to Your Future, Not Mine: Time Travel's White Masculinity by Sarah Garcia art by Paloma Nicholas

8 Giving Time, Losing Time: Women and Our Work by Elena Torres-Pepito art by Shannon Boland

21 Round and Round in Circles by Rhea Plawat art by Joyce Ding

9 Phasing by Lily Bollinger art by Emily Farag 10 Am I Adulting? by Paloma Nicholas art by Jenny Dodge

22 Capitalist Progressivism: Exploitation of Young People in the Nonprofit Sector by Ashley LeCroy art by Jolene Fernandez

12 Celebrities Have Found the Fountain of Youth and It’s Called Money by Jessica Sosa art by Grace Ciaccarelli

24 For the Survivors of Sexual Assault, Time is Never Really Up by Grace Stevens art by Malaya Johnson

13 Time & the First-Gen Experience by Alondra Serrano Gonzalez art by Malaya Johnson

25 Only Fools by Elliot Yu art by Joanna Zhang

14 The Female-Led Reboot: Going Back to Move Diversity Forward by Shanahan Europa art by Margaret Jackson

26 Hell Joseon: The Collective Loss of a Future by Eugene Lee art by Shannon Boland 28 Time Doesn't Heal Everything by Melissa Niles art by Emma Lehman

16 "A Product of Their Time" by Lisa Basil art by Eve Anderson

30 Serve Me to the Lord of Your Wants by Megan Anderson art by Elizabeth Gomez

17 To Do Nothing is Everything by Catherine Pham art by Maddy Pease

31 Expectation by Julia Do art by Natya Regensburger

18 Students & School: The Illusive, yet Inescapable Value of Time by Deirdre Mitchell art by Emma Sher

Table Of Contents

5 Editor-in-Chief Becca Vorick Print Design Directors Maddy Pease Elizabeth Gomez Director of Photography Malaya Johnson Online Design Directors Jenny Dodge Shannon Bolland Print Managing Editor Jessica Sosa Arts & Creative Editor Christine Nguyen Campus Life Editor Sophia Galluccio Dialogue Editor Gabriella Kamran Gendertainment Editor Kerri Yund Politics Editor Jhemari Quintana _____________________________________ Assistant Editors Alana Francis-Crow Chiamaka Nwadike Devika Shenoy Heidi Choi Jemina Garcia Jessica Sosa Kayla Andry Lia Cohen Megan Anderson Victoria Sheber _____________________________________ Copy Editors Amanda Nelson Anya Bayerle Emma Jacobs Grace Fernandez Isabelle Gilges Julia Do Leila Modjtahedi Marlee Zinsser Olivia Serrano _____________________________________ Writers Alondra Serrano Gonzalez Annie Lieu Ashley LeCroy Catherine Pham Chiamaka Nwadike Deirdre Mitchell Elena Torres-Pepito Elliot Yu

Emma Jacobs Eugene Lee Grace Stevens Jenna Welsh Jessica Sosa Katheryne Castillo Lily Bollinger Lisa Basil Paloma Nicholas Samantha Marmet Sarah Garcia Shanahan Europa Sophie Poe _____________________________________ Designers Grace Ciacciarelli Emma Lehman Paloma Nicholas Joanna Zhang Eve Anderson Emily Farag Joyce Ding Margaret Jackson Jolene Fernandez Elena Sviatoslavsky Natya Regensburger _____________________________________ FEM MAGAZINE dedicates itself to furthering the application of intersectional feminism to dismantle structures of oppression. We recognize that oppression operates along a multitude of intersecting axes, and we strive to present perspectives that might be otherwise marginalized, erased, or silenced in the mainstream media. We aim to offer perceptive critique of pop culture, report news and current events that we believe are essential to the feminist cause, and provide a space for creative feminist work. _____________________________________ FEM Newsmagazine is published and copyrighted by the ASUCLA Communications Board. All rights are reserved. Reprinting of any material in this publication without the written permission of the Communications Board is strictly prohibited. The ASUCLA Communications Board fully supports the University of California’s policy on non-descrimination. The student media reserve the right to reject or modify advertising whose content descriminates on the basis of ancestry, color, national origin, race, religion, disability, age, sex or sexual orientation. The ASUCLA Communications Board has a media grievance procedure for resolving complaints against any of its publications. For a copy of the complete procedure, contact the publications office at 118 Kerckhoff Hall @ 310-825-9898.

_____________________________________ FIND US AT Website: femmagazine.com Quarterly(s): issuu.com/femnewsmag Facebook: facebook.com/femnewsmag Twitter: @FEMNewsmag Instagram: @femnewsmag JOIN US apply.uclastudentmedia.com CONTACT US fem@media.ucla.edu www.femmagazine.com

Finance Director Monica Day Website Managing Editor Zixuan Wang Social Media Managers Brenna Nouray Kelli Hsu Video Director Alana Francis-Crow Jemina Garcia Radio Manager Marion Moseley Community Outreach Director Heather Miau Social Coordinator Cindy Quach _____________________________________ Special Thanks to Jennifer Ferro & Arvli Ward Tulika Varma Brian Pea Jake Tillis Front & Back Cover Elizabeth Gomez


The Heartbeat Bill:


The ongoing battle within the work of reproductive justice is intensifying in the United States’ federal and state courts. People across the country, but more specifically in the South and Midwest, are having their access to reproductive health services severely limited by pending legislation, such as the heartbeat bill, which is currently legal in Ohio, Mississippi, North Dakota, Iowa, Georgia, and Kentucky. The heartbeat bill is anti-abortion legislation that prohibits pregnancy termination after a heartbeat has been detected, which occurs for most people at about six to seven weeks. In Ohio and Mississippi, these bills will take effect as early as July 1, 2019. The bill enforces a ban on all abortion during very early stages of pregnancy – six weeks, which is barely past the time some folks even miss a period. Simply put, this bill is particularly vicious because it takes effect

sooner than most people even realize they are pregnant. Other states have had variations of the heartbeat bill introduced in their courts. In the state of Georgia, someone can be punished for crossing state lines to have an abortion, and the bill classifies birth control as a form of abortion to be limited as well. Severe repercussions within the bill include life in prison or the death sentence for people who miscarry or purposefully terminate their pregnancy. These violent restrictions not only make a mockery of bodily autonomy, but the State restricts human rights by expanding its power to establish false and fatal ownership over reproductive bodies. The push for the heartbeat bill in conservative spaces reveals the hy-


7 pocrisy of those who claim to have “pro-life” values, as they prioritize violent, life threatening bills such as the heartbeat bill over tangible, lifesaving legislation. This includes family planning techniques, more comprehensive sex education, improving child care organizations, or improving food and water access for children across the country. This devastating attack on access to reproductive services produces horrifying consequences. Making abortion illegal will not rid the U.S. of attempts to end pregnancies. According to a study by Lisa B. Haddad, board certified physician and associate professor at Emory University, and Nawal M. Nour, an obstetrician and gynecologist, restricting access to reproductive justice services directly increases the rates of unsafe abortions performed, and endangers the 42 million people who annually utilize these services during an unplanned pregnancy. According to World Health Organization (WHO), one person dies of complications from an unsafe abortion every eight minutes. In addition, children who are results of unplanned pregnancies are likely to have negative experiences in very early stages of life which affect childhood development. According to Cristian Pop-Eleches, an associate professor at Columbia University, restricting access to abortion services impacts “a whole range of additional factors broadly related to [the parents’] physical and emotional well-being resulting from involuntary parenthood [which] might affect the development of children within a family.” These are only a few of many consequences that result from restricted access to reproductive health services. These restrictions are rooted in the values found in dominant traditional protestant ideologies; they seek to uphold society's “morals” because abortions have been historically demonized and demoralized in attempts to exert reproductive control. We are primarily socialized to consider abortions as morally corrupt, and people who terminate their pregnancies are often socially shamed and isolated. Destigmatizing abortion is an important component of making them safer and more accessible. Access to safe reproductive services can mean the difference between life and death for those who do not want to be pregnant. These laws severely limit the freedom of those whose bodies are impacted by them. Ironically, those spearheading the anti-abortion legislative takeover are predominantly cisgender, old, white men who are not directly affected by these laws and do not ever experience the bodily consequences. This blatant attack on reproductive justice is part of a larger attempt to overturn Jane Roe, et al. v. Henry Wade (1973). Roe v. Wade is the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision which allows people the right to decide to end a pregnancy up until “fetal viability.” This time period has been defined as 23 to 24 weeks and was the base timeline for most abortion access laws across the country. In 2016, over 30 states, including California, had laws allowing pregnancy termination up until 20 weeks or later into the second trimester. However, the increasing reintroduction of anti-abortion legislation is a serious threat to reproductive justice.

demographic of people who can get pregnant. The U.S. is not the only country in which reproductive justice is in danger. According to the Washington Post, countries like Ireland, Somalia, Brazil, El Salvador, Iran, Nepal, Kenya, and many others have very rigid – if not completely restricted – abortion laws which are currently putting many people in danger. Reproductive injustice is a global feminist issue because people around the world are dying, contributing to the staggering but highly preventable mortality rates of unsafe abortions. Children of unwanted pregnancies are born in environments where they are usually unsupported or unwanted. This global issue of restricted bodily autonomy is being met with resistance from many organizing groups. Organizations such as the National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda and Funders for Reproductive Equity are examples of smaller coalitions working at the community level to resist regressive and violent changes within the reproductive justice movement. Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides services that contribute to reproductive justice, is under continual threat of being defunded, although their services are crucial for reproductive health services other than abortions. On April 11 of this year, South Korea ruled that a 66-year-old law which criminalized abortion is unconstitutional, putting the country on track to make abortion legal and accessible by 2020. In 2017, Oregon became the first state to make all abortions free and accessible for all folks including undocumented immigrants. Although the fight for reproductive justice seems impossible at times, there is meaningful work being done by many grassroots organizations and leftist legislators to fight for abortion access and reproductive justice overall. The fight for reproductive justice does not end without dismantling the structures that cultivate environments which allow bodily autonomy to be compromised by legislation. Dominant religious ideologies and cis-hetero patriarchy lead the ongoing attack against reproductive justice. In order to liberate those who are targeted by these systems, work must be done daily to combat these institutions of oppressive power. Actions such as donating and supporting your local Planned Parenthood and other grassroots organizations undermine the cis-hetero patriarchy. The conversations we have with our peers about reproductive justice need to incorporate normalizing abortion and destigmatizing language surrounding reproductive issues. In addition, we need to vote for candidates who have a strong, intersectional, pro-reproductive justice stance in their voting record and primary ideology. Abortions need to be free, accessible, and available without time limits attached. Placing a time limit on the bodily autonomy of those who are pregnant is inherently violent and a gross lapse of justice.

The foundation of the heartbeat bill lies in the heteropatriarchal and religious exertion of power through social control, which puts bodies capable of reproduction on a timeline dictated by the oppressive State. The arbitrary, socially assigned six to seven week time frame obliterates the freedom needed in deciding to bring a child into this world. Unwanted parenthood is the punishment imposed onto those who deviate from the hegemonic religious expectations and the cis-hetero patriarchal expectation of nuclear family structures. Because restricted reproductive service access is directly linked to increased unsafe and often fatal abortions, this state-sanctioned violence targets transgender men, gender nonconforming folks, cisgender women, nonbinary folks and others who fall into the specific Politics



If we could choose, free of obligations or guilt, how to partition our time, I imagine that we’d want to read books, talk with friends, cook our favorite dishes, or work on our novels. But, after considering the importance of empathy, or compassion, or a desire to effect change in the world, the way we spend our free time may start to look a little different. Put simply, we’re compelled to spend time helping other people. According to a 2015 survey by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost a quarter of Americans complete volunteer work annually through an organization. Nationwide, 25 percent of the population volunteered for a median of 52 hours over the course of the year. Perhaps unsurprisingly, across all racial, age, and income groups, a disproportionate number of those people were women. Women are spending their time helping others, and in the process, sacrificing their own self-preservation and economic stability. According to that same report, 28 percent of women volunteered their time, while only 22 percent of men did so. This pattern extends beyond unpaid labor; the White House Project’s “Benchmarking Women’s Leadership“ report found that women account for 73 percent of nonprofit employees, meaning they work in a sector that typically pays less compared to other industries. Moreover, a 2017 research article, “Gender Differences in Accepting and Receiving Requests for Tasks with Low Promotability,” found that women were 50 percent more likely than men to volunteer for a task that put them at a disadvantage, such as doing thankless jobs in the workplace. Overall, women are more likely than men to take on work that serves other people but is less financially rewarding. The lower financial returns of stereotypically feminine work is not by accident; the work that women have traditionally been socialized to do has been devalued specifically because of their gender. Christine Delphy details in her book "The Main Enemy" how work performed outside of the economic market, such as in the household, does not generate profit for the person who performs it. She locates the cause of this discrepancy in traditional family organization, in which women tend to the home and raise children while men work in the realm of the market. Women’s “voluntary” labor is taken for granted by the economic system, pushed outside the concept of the market and therefore compensated little or not at all. Volunteering also exists outside the market. While this time is freely given, when we put more time into helping others, it is less time spent on ourselves. This is not to say that the self is the only legitimate object of our work — empathy is necessary for healthy societies. But you cannot trade empathy for food, shelter, or other necessities for survival. Further, Institutions depend on "volunteer" work — we expect parents to volunteer for their child's PTA, for children to care for elderly parents, and for people to staff soup kitchens and conduct river clean-ups. Our governing systems are constructed with the assumption that people, especially women, will perform work without pay.

The nature of volunteering also varies through class. Upper-class women may volunteer through recognized organizations that allow one to accumulate social capital. Working-class women, however, may spend time caring for children or elderly relatives without pay — less visible and glorified work, and one which wealthier people often outsource to a paid professional. For some, volunteering is a type of conspicuous leisure. For others, unpaid work is necessary. Womens’ upbringing usually socializes them to be compassionate. They’re supposed to listen and show empathy, providing the emotional labor that keeps communities from falling apart. Women’s labor is also frequently explained away as “love” and not work. But it requires energy, skill and time. Working-class women especially experience the stressful “double shift” — working to maintain the household while holding a paid job at the same time. Feminized forms of labor might not be valued monetarily, but they are absolutely necessary to maintaining our society on a day-to-day basis. In order to achieve meaningful gender equity, we need to start holding all genders accountable for the affective labor of maintaining communities. Whether or not our economic system accords this labor any value says more about the system than it does about the effort and skill that an activity requires. Volunteering affects the community positively, and the fact that so many people are willing to do it is something to be appreciated. Even so, we need to be conscious of who is sacrificing their time and energy to do the things that are not supported by the market. The classical economic theory that governs contemporary policies doesn't account for people altruistically doing work without compensation, but such work is necessary because without it, the collective suffers. This uncompensated labor eats away at time that could be spent on a career or self-care, and in turn preserves gender disparities and systemic poverty. The patriarchal norms that socialize us and construct our world create these differences in unpaid work, ultimately subjecting women to disempowerment and a lower standard of living. As long as a patriarchal system remains intact while women do this unpaid work, those in power will continue to benefit from this imbalance.

Dialogue & Opinion



WRITTEN BY LILY BOLLINGER ART BY EMILY FARAG Maiden, I dress in indigo, I rise like oceans, I am tiger-eyed and rose-lipped, I was a molted dream. Maidens, sweet we are told pure as lilies and we glisten like dew in morning light they never told of the wickedness of Maidens the drunken lie of youth for though a mirror may reflect the sun she casts a shadow just as anything solid does and we Maidens, though fluid, are no less a woman and no less a girl Mother, you bathed me in your blood, you exist within invisibility, you are everywhere yet and still, you linger as a promise within me. both Queen and Enchantress and as the moon must push and pull the tides so too does Mother take what you give you always told me, and tell me still, this too shall pass what comes must go Crone, she appears as if through mist, she understands Maiden, she is cloaked in black and gold, she knows all that you or I could ever conjure. first I despised her and vain, I watch my own skin furrow you pull your silver hair she laughs at us both, it’s better to spot Death’s slow approach than be caught off guard, says Crone she looks on at time’s sprawl before her

She, You, and I stand threads, twisted together Child, Mother, Grandmother we phase around each other spun round and round the sun we serpent, apple, tree we desert sand, cool oasis, moonless sky since the genesis we have always been constantly in flux and as we end, so too shall we begin as we have each time been the echoing beat of a drum beneath our fingers the intake of breath before a rugged word the song of burial and union and birth risen from the sea like all who we come from and all who will come from us

Arts & Creative



It happened in a Target (as half of the most important things in my life do). Sick with what I was convinced was Influenza, I walked into the store, and made a beeline for the medicine aisle. No time for the toy section, not even the funky lamp section. This Target trip was *strictly* business. I found my Mucinex, gave a mournful glance at the fuzzy pillow section, and trudged onward. As I reached the front of the checkout line, I paused. Damn, girl. Look at you buying medicine with your own money and shit. This is some ADULT shit. I swaggered back to campus — part confidence, part debilitation from a roaring headache — feeling more grown up than ever. This feeling, of course, did not last long. Later that day, I asked my mom to pick up my NuvaRing for me at CVS (since it’s far away and I don’t drive), spilled orange juice on my new white blouse (and had no idea how to remove it), and forgot to pay my BruinBill on time (again). I’m a 19-year-old UCLA student and I’ve never felt comfortable calling myself an adult. Maybe it’s the fact that I only recently got my first paying job — or the fact that I can’t drive. Or that I still get flustered when ordering Thai food over the phone. Most of my insecurity surrounding the status of my adulthood (or lack thereof) has to do with my financial situation. I’m 100 percent financially supported by my parents. My financial dependency feels rather pathetic considering that I come from two parents who have been supporting themselves since their own college years. But this dependence is not out of the norm. According to a new report by Country Financial, more than 53 percent of Millennials over 21 are receiving financial aid from a parent or guardian. Why? Because life is a hell of a lot more expensive than it was 30 years ago. Forbes recently reported that the cost of college is increasing almost eight times faster than wages, making it nearly impossible to support oneself while being a full-time student. Especially at UCLA, with Westwood recently crowned as the most expensive area to rent in the state by the LA Times. This inability to be my own provider doesn’t feel very “adult” to me. So what does it mean to be an adult these days? The Baby Boomers had it easy: they may go to college, get a job either way, get married, have kids, then buy a house. The white picket fence dream instilled in them following WWII — a surefire trajectory towards adulthood. But this trajectory doesn’t exactly belong in 2019. College is much harder to pay off, and a degree no longer guarantees a job. People are also opting to wait a bit on the “getting married” part. The Pew Research Center reported that in the 1960s most men and women married in their early 20s. In 2011, the median age of first marriage occurred in the late 20s. That’s nearly a decade-long gap. Gen Z is the newest generation, and the most recent subgroup to be stumped with the age old question: am I adulting? This rag-tag group of kids (the eldest of them being only 23 years old) look a lot like their predecessors, the Millennials. Liberal leaning and (mostly) Trump hating, they are the most diverse generation ever to have existed, with 49 percent identifying as non-white in the recent Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends Report. They’re also the most depressed and stressed generation, and their greatest fear is financial instability (the poor dears grew up during the Great Recession of 2008). Consequently, their greatest aspirations after college are to gain the financial stability they lack, and to do so by also finding their dream job. Adulthood, for Gen Zers like me, is going to look very different than it did in the past. It will be more egocentric, career-driven, competitive, and financially unstable. And let me tell you: I’m fucking terrified. I haven’t picked a major yet, let alone thought about a future job. I’ve never looked through taxes or paid my own phone bill. I used to think adulthood was when I could stand completely on my own: buy my own groceries, earn a six-figure salary, rent an apartment at a reasonable price. And sure, this day will come, but not as soon as it did for my parents. Or my parents’ parents. Financial independence came quicker for them Arts & Creative


because they were growing up during a time when the cost of college was significantly cheaper. Not to mention, they were forced into this facet of adulthood because of a lack of financial support, while I, blessed be some god, have two loving parents who can front five thousand dollars a month for my education. The older I get, though, the more I realize becoming an “adult” is more like slowly inching into a cold pool. I started by booking doctor’s appointments for myself, eating a salad with (mostly) every meal, and getting an internship before eventually securing a paying job at a library. I may not be able to pay for my own apartment yet, but I am experiencing some “adultisms” here and there. However, many people are unwillingly thrust into adulthood by systemic socioeconomic oppression and/or traumatic life events, such as the death of a parent. Marginalized people are also systematically forced into "childhood" or "adulthood" through sexualization, racialization, infantilization and more, often with violent or even deadly consequences. Straying away from “adultisms” for as long as I have is a privilege made possible by my comfortable socioeconomic situation and my white skin. Pitying myself for my financial dependence on my parents is unproductive, and growing up gradually over time is a blessing. Maybe I was in the right, strutting back from Target. I’ll experience little “adultisms” here and there, and while I may not be a fully-fledged adult now, I’m definitely dipping my toes in the pool. In the spirit of “dipping my toes” into adulthood, I asked my friends to tell me a single time or instance when they’ve felt most adult. Here are their answers: “Flying by myself.” “Trying to take my bra off while driving.” “Taking MiraLAX.” “Mailing letters and packages.” “Getting excited about Marie Kondo-ing a friend’s room.” “Looking for an apartment.” “Deleting social media… for a week.” “Listening to jazz on the regular.” “Waking up two hours early to have a leisurely breakfast.” “Doing my taxes (probs did them wrong… but still).” “Being excited about vacuuming.” “Going grocery shopping by myself.” “Switching to cotton underwear ONLY.” “Giving a speech at my grandpa’s funeral.” “Making doctor’s appointments for myself.” “Killing a spider.” “Sucking dick for the first time.” “Pre-cutting veggies for a stir fry.” “Jogging.” “Paying for my own Ubers.” “Tipping an appropriate amount.” “Signing a lease.” “Collecting quarters for laundry.” “Taking a probiotic every morning.” “Living on my own for the first time.” “Getting a credit card.” “Friending my high school teachers on Facebook.” “Buying my own shoes.” “Clubbing for the first time.” “Going to court for a car accident I got into.” “Looking after my siblings.” “Attending therapy for my eating disorder.” “Confronting a guy for ghosting me.” “Going to work even though I was sick.” “Doing the right thing and cutting out dairy… mostly.” Arts & Creative


Celebrities Have Found the Fountain of Youth and It’s Called Money WRITTEN BY JESSICA SOSA


It seems like every few weeks, there’s a viral tweet that praises a certain celebrity for supposedly finding the fountain of youth. These tweets usually compare two pictures of a celebrity, one when they were younger and one in the present day, to show how this certain famous person seems to have not aged a day. In fact, putting “fountain of youth” into the search bar on Twitter reveals that people post these tweets every day. Celebrities like Paul Rudd, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Lucy Liu, and Gwen Stefani are a few of the names that often pop up in these constant conversations that, in turn, create a phenomenon. Most of the time, figuring out a celebrity’s skin care routine is nearly impossible. In interviews where celebrities like Paul Rudd or Gwen Stefani address questions about how they stay looking so young, they usually make some jokes or offer an overall unrelated pieces of advice, like “falling in love.” Despite all the measly bones that celebrities throw at us regarding their eternal youth, the truth is that there’s much more to it than moisturizer and exfoliating away dead skin. While some of these superstars might have simply hit the jackpot of genetics, there are various other factors dictating their supposed inability to age. Exclusive privileges stemming from income, lifestyle, dietary habits, career, and general access to resources play a huge role in how a person ages. As we all know, celebrities benefit from these privileges. This exposes a clear answer to the secret of the fountain of youth: it’s not hard to age slowly when you are a millionaire. Celebrities often endorse and promote beauty products from bigname cosmetic companies and advertise certain dietary habits which do not paint a full picture of their beauty upkeep expenditures. Fans consuming these advertisements and products are sold an idea that is, at least within their means, mostly unattainable. In the U.S. especially, where basic skincare routines are a fairly recent concern creeping into the mainstream consciousness, not many are aware of the dozens of steps that celebrities take to look so good. This guise of attainable beauty is obscured further when celebrities consistently utilize personal photographers and strategic lighting or optimal angles, in addition to regular intensive and expensive facials. Fans of these celebrities will nevertheless drop money for identical smoothness and glow in real life, only to find that a $10 Revlon foundation does not give them the same Photoshop-smooth skin as their “fave.” This inaccessibility to the “celebrity version” of a beauty routine also goes beyond skincare. In preparation for the 2018 Coachella Festival, Beyoncé challenged her fans to join her in going vegan. While this lifestyle choice may be deemed a “healthy” one that positively influences the way Beyoncé ages, it should also be noted that she has chefs and assistants who can acquire, prepare and deliver this food to her. Going vegan is already a tough commitment because of the time, money and effort it takes to learn about a new dietary routine and then implement it into one’s daily routine. While a chef is not a dermatologist, it is another luxury that many celebrities fail to mention when promoting their agelessness. What’s even more troubling is that, while it’s expected that millionaires partake in this lack of disclosure, it’s also quite common for influencers — a newer, more relatable kind of star — to mislead their followers with sponsored posts and other deceiving forms of product

advertisement. With the influx of influencers, agelessness has also seemingly turned into more of a tangible and attainable quality, something that can be simply sold in a “drugstore beauty routine” video on YouTube. But this perceived attainability just makes beauty all the more dangerously commodified. Influencers post photos of themselves smiling with sponsored products in hand daily, but we truly don’t even know whether they actually use these products regularly or just promote them for a check. It’s gotten to the point where wannabe influencers push products willingly without sponsorship, straining for the social capital that comes with being chosen as one of a given beauty company’s many Instagram brand ambassadors. Of course, it’s not difficult to figure out that a great chunk of time, money, and specialized resources go into making celebrities look flawless for the annual Met Gala. But, that’s not the problem. The problem is that we don’t recognize that celebrities are walking billboards for different products and lifestyles. They are simply human conduits to the consumer mass who see them as relatable individuals without fully perceiving how celebrity subjecthood is propped up by multiple, overlapping institutions of power, money and privilege. Of course, this hidden fact of celebrity is purposefully difficult to perceive — consumer capitalism functions to manipulate consumers on a mass scale, with fetishistic campaigns that continually dupe us into buying more and more products. So yeah, celebrities have found the fountain of youth, but it’s just filled with mounds of money.



Time & the First–Gen Experience WRITTEN BY ALONDRA SERRANO GONZALEZ ART BY MALAYA JOHNSON “Time is something valuable which we have little control over when we want to try and sobresalir [overachieve] like our parents want us to.” (Erik Torres, UCLA student) The concept of time is arguably one of the most anxiety-inducing subjects for any college student. Although it’s a social construct, this clock-ticking concept binds us to the constant reminder that our projects, papers, proposals, and our lives are all deadline-based. However, for first-generation students in college, the time they spend in academia often constructs many grueling obstacles that differ from those confronted by legacy or traditional students during their time in college. According to a study done by the Pell Institute, only 11 percent of first-gen students will earn their degree in six years, as opposed to the 55 percent of students who have at least one parent with a bachelor's degree. This statistic suggests that — while alienation, mental illness, and other difficulties are common to many university students — first-gen students are uniquely disadvantaged when they enter college. Further, the study states that this gap in degree attainment can be attributed to the fact that many first-gen students are less prepared for college, ultimately placing them at a higher risk of failing or dropping out. In reality, many first-gen students do not navigate academic institutions in the same manner as traditional or legacy students. First-gen students spend extra time and effort simply learning how to exist in systems of higher education, while traditional and legacy students usually have access to advice and knowledge from elders who went to college. Typically, therefore, being a first-gen student entails learning about the academic system only after you’re thrown into its institutions. As a result, first-gen undergraduates dedicate many hours to learning how to manage their time, or at least get by, until they fully grasp how to succeed in their environment. Choosing to attend an “elite” institution does not come without both a monetary price and personal sacrifice. Many first-gen students must divide their time between significant responsibilities both inside and outside of their academic life. Time is something to be thought about carefully before it is spent, and when it is spent, it must be

spent in a useful and productive way. Many first-gen students either feel as though they won’t achieve their goals if they aren’t constantly working or feel that external responsibilities take away valuable time that should be spent on their academics. Attending a competitive university also entails learning how to exist among people who have the advantage of pre-exposure to the rigor of academia. First-gen students will typically spend a good amount of their first, second — and for some — third, year simply learning how to catch up to their peers. This pushes many students back and further discourages some from being able to excel in these institutions. For the most part, first-gen students come into these spaces unaware of the amount of effort required to comprehend a single lecture, let alone the the amount of studying needed post-lecture for comprehension and mastery of the material. Making the choice to attend an “elite” institution does not come without personal sacrifice. For instance, first-gen students often feel the constant need to fill their time in productive ways because they convince themselves that a busy academic life validates all the effort that is being expended simply to attend the university. They are in a constant state of asking “what can be done next?” This then leads to the conclusion that first-gen students typically do not have the same 24-hour day, or seven-day week, that many other students have. Or, as UCSB student Diana Vergara stated, “There’s never enough [time] and I have to accomplish my goals before it’s too late.” Time is not something that many first-gen students spend idly. There are students who choose to completely involve themselves in a job, academics, and extracurriculars. This unfortunately leaves little to no time for leisure, self-care, or for being with friends and loved ones. It is typical of first-gen students to simultaneously work while attending university. Many first-gen students come from working class backgrounds, meaning that their families often cannot provide them with much financial support. The Pell Institute has found as well that first-gen students also come into the university with lower median family incomes and unmet financial needs. This means that many of these students spend much of their time applying for and working on or off campus jobs, while also constantly applying for scholarships or financial aid. In essence, work may vary, but it never stops. Navigating a space meant for the financially privileged is a challenge alone, but the daily stress that develops while adjusting to academic rigor, keeping up with assignments, taking on a job, and joining organizations on campus accumulates over time and results in burnout for many first-gen students. We think that the only way to measure up to our peers is to put aside what does not directly or immediately help us achieve that grade, position, or degree. As students striving to be the best we can be in such competitive atmospheres, we often forget to step back and make time for ourselves and for those who love us. It’s time for us to stop and think about the time that is passing us by when we measure success on an academic institution’s restrictive timeline.

Campus Life


The Female–Led Reboot: Going Back to Move Diversity Forward


When the female-led remake of “Ghostbusters” came out in 2016, I had no idea it would lead to a new trend of gender-swapping classic films. That paranormal comedy set the momentum for “Ocean’s 8” and “Overboard” in 2018 and “What Men Want” and “Hustle” in 2019 — all films with male leads swapped for female leads, as the term “gender-swapped” implies. To me, they’re fun and refreshing: The testosterone-heavy, white, male-centric heist films that my dad watched have been revamped to not only include, but feature, an unfairly underrepresented population of people — women. And it’s about time. The lack of female representation on and off the screen truly performs a disservice to women. Yet, according to a 2018 report done by the Motion Picture Association of America, women have “generally comprised a larger share of moviegoers consistently since 2009.” Considering this audience, gender-swapping past successful films seems like one portion of a solution to the lack of diversity in Hollywood. These reboots definitely create more leading roles for women in genres (e.g. action, sci-fi, superhero) that were previously exclusive to men. In a 2018 study conducted by Women in Hollywood, women “were most likely to appear in comedies and dramas.” The success of “Ghostbusters” (2016) and “Ocean’s 8” speaks to women’s ability to perform, and perform well, in any genre given the opportunity. When Sony Pictures Entertainment approached Paul Feig with the idea for a “Ghostbusters” reboot, the director had reservations. “I love the first one so much I [didn’t] want to do anything to ruin the memory of that,” Feig told Entertainment Weekly. “So it just felt like, let’s just restart it because then we can have new dynamics.” When I watched “Ghostbusters” (2016), I understood and appreciated the “new dynamics” Feig was aiming to achieve. Genderswapping the leads of the reboot underscores the Ghostbusters’ uphill battle as they fight to regain their reputation in the scientific community and promote believability in the supernatural. But now that they’re women, the female Ghostbusters are battling the male-dominated STEM community and news media that has traditionally invalidated the experiences of women. For example, in the original film, the main characters — Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) — lose their jobs at Columbia University after their research on the paranormal is deemed fraudulent, unscientific, and unworthy of funding. But at least the university forms their opinion solely on the characters’ body of work. In the reboot, Professor Erin Gilbert’s (Kristen Wiig) gender complicates her career trajectory. Not only does Erin have to work harder than her male colleagues to achieve tenure, but she is working under the added pressure of workplace beauty bias — in Erin’s first scene, her boyfriend is more focused on critiquing her outfit than giving her encouragement for her upcoming lecture. Thus, when the university threatens to disown Erin because of her previous research on the paranormal, the pressure she experiences differs from that of male

Ghostbusters because her worth is measured by not only her merits, but also her sex appeal. In the original film, women primarily held roles as witnesses to paranormal events. And although these female roles already pale in significance to their male counterparts, the 1984 version took the time to belittle the experience of these female characters. For instance, in the opening of the 1984 film, a female librarian experiences a terrifying encounter with a poltergeist. When she tells Peter and crew about it, Peter undermines her, asking “Are you currently menstruating?” “What’s that got to do with it?” the librarian appropriately snaps back. The reboot is comparatively more sympathetic and sensitive to incidences of female trauma. In one very touching scene, Erin opens up to her fellow Ghostbusters, Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) and Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), about how she was haunted by the ghost of her cruel neighbor for a year. “I told my parents,” Erin confesses. “And they didn’t believe me. Still don’t believe me. I had to go to therapy for years, and the kids at school found out, and they would...make fun of me, call me “ghost girl.” Thankfully for Erin, Patty and Jillian offer her the validation and support she was deprived of for the majority of her childhood and adolescence. The wholesome friendship of this female group resonates throughout the entire film — a quality that’s sorely missing between both male and female characters in the original. In 2000, the film “What Women Want” told the story of Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson), a chauvinistic executive at an ad company who gains the ability to read the minds of women after a blowdryer-in-the-bathtub accident. Now in 2019, its reboot “What Men Want,” goes a step further, invoking both racial and gender politics with the casting Taraji P. Henson as Alison “Ali” Davis. In Ali’s case, she gains the ability to read men’s minds after drinking Haitian tea from a psychic during her friend’s bachelorette party. In “What Men Want,” Ali is struggling to achieve partnership at a sports agency. It doesn’t help that her colleagues subconsciously and explicitly alienate her for being a Black woman in a male-dominated industry. By virtue of being a woman of color, Ali occupies a significantly lower position of power than Nick Marshall. Nick’s job isn’t in jeopardy when a woman is hired to be his advertising company’s creative director instead of him. Meanwhile, Ali consistently has to outperform her male colleagues to be considered for an executive position — her boss even threatens to fire her if she doesn’t get Jamal Barry (the film’s next basketball superstar) to sign with the agency. In fact, in order for Ali to guarantee Jamal signs with her agency, she has to pretend she’s a wife and a mother to impress Jamal’s traditional father. Whereas Ali’s fake family side-plot is portrayed as absolutely necessary to move the film forward, Nick’s family is mostly out of the picture. Overall, at a minimum this reboot better highlights workplace inequality than its predecessor. The original film’s recognition of the unfair treatment of women loses its impact after privileging the perspective of a man who witnesses these inequalities instead of a woman who experiences them. Conversely, in “What


15 Men Want” the middle man is cut out — women are empowered to speak about the prejudices they encounter, both inside and outside of the workplace. Instead of robbing Las Vegas casinos or European mansions like the previous “Ocean’s” films, the “Ocean’s 8” women steal a $150 million, six-pound diamond necklace from a celebrity’s neck during the Met Gala. In an interview with IndieWire, “Ocean’s 8” writer Olivia Milch expressed her excitement over the film: “It is such a joy to see those eight women on screen together,” she said. “I think beyond that, the skill and the camaraderie that goes into a heist film is so exciting and fun, and the legacy of the ‘Ocean’s’ movies is strong. I think it’s something that people are really excited for, because seeing badass women steal shit is a movie we all wanna go see.” Compared to the reboot, the only significant female role in “Ocean’s 11” is Danny Ocean’s ex-wife/love interest Tess Ocean (Julia Roberts). Tess’s character is always defined by her relationship to another man — either Danny Ocean or the casino owner Terry Benedict. “Ocean’s 8,” on the other hand, is chock-full of female characters that have backgrounds, ambitions, and personality — all traits that aren’t dependent on their relationships with men. “Ocean’s 8” also treats characters of color with more depth and consideration. For instance, the only two Black men in Danny Ocean’s crew — Basher Tarr (Don Cheadle) and Frank Catton (Bernie Mac) — are, unfortunately, boxed in by the tropes of demolitions expert and ex-convict, respectively. Compared to their white male co-stars, they don’t get much significant screen time. The one Asian character in “Ocean’s 11,” crudely named “The Amazing Yen” (Shaobo Qin) is more of a caricature than a character, performing acrobatic stunts and feats of strength with little to no lines. The female characters of color in Debby Ocean’s (Sandra Bullock) crew, however, are much more thought-out and well-rounded. The film first presents us with Amita (Mindy Kaling), a skilled jewelry maker looking for a way out of her mother’s house. Next, the enigmatic Nine Ball (Rihanna), an expert computer hacker with a soft spot for her family. And last but not least, Constance (Awkwafina), a crafty and hilarious street-hustler and pick-pocket. During the Met Gala heist, the camera doesn’t shy away from showcasing the varied repertoire of these women. The reboot creates characters that aren’t simply recycling the characteristics and skills of the previous “Ocean’s” crew. “Ocean’s 8” makes space for female characters in a male-dominated genre, providing women audiences with intriguing characters they can relate to.

between the original and its remake. We remember the reboots’ male-dominated context when the original “Ghostbusters” (1984) cast members Billy Murray and Ernie Hudson make cameos in the 2016 version, when Ali uses her psychic powers to read the minds of men more powerful than her, and every time Debbie Ocean visits the grave of the brother that did heists first. In an interview with The Guardian, screenwriter Kirsten Smith, co-writer of "Legally Blonde," says that the all-female reboot is “a safe way for studios to create female-driven content. I don’t want to blast female reboots because I feel it’s a means to an end. Eventually, we can get through this phase so that female original [big pictures] won’t be such an anomaly.” And Smith is right, original narratives about marginalized populations are necessary and reflect an even more powerful message: these stories can and will be successful without being overshadowed by the past tales of white men. Disappointingly, but unsurprisingly, all three of the movies discussed above were directed by men. In an article for The Verge, Jesse Hassenger writes, “It would probably help if more of these films were directed by women and people of color, rather than just starring them. People who’ve actually experienced racism and sexism may be bolder about addressing it in fiction and less inclined to play it off for light, easy, disposable gags.” On a more general note, Hassenger acknowledges my same enjoyment of seeing these identity-flipped remakes or sequels. “Certainly, women and people of color deserve more than endless remakes, but they also deserve to play catch-up with the kinds of popcorn movies white dudes have been starring in for decades.” Despite their limitations, these reboots contribute to a media movement that’s striving to integrate marginalized voices and stories. Reboots preserve a certain nostalgia for their original films while correcting for discrimination and biases that alienated audience members then and now. While it’s also important to recognize that the film industry produces these films primarily for profit rather than through genuine concern for on-screen representation, the integration of these narratives lays the groundwork for marginalized people to tell their own stories and undermine the hegemonic control the film industry has over meaningful cultural production.

From a business standpoint, these female-led reboots are a lucrative strategy. According to a study from the Creative Artists Agency and Shift7, “[the] top movies from 2014 to 2017 starring women in lead roles outperformed those starring men, regardless of budget.” For example, “Ocean’s 8” broke the box office opening weekend record for all Ocean’s movies, having earned $41.6 million on its opening weekend. While there are good things to be said about this gender-swapping trend, there is also a major caveat: although these new films create narratives featuring dynamic female characters, their existence and success are derived from worlds, characters, and stories originally created by, for, and about men. The shadow of white men unfortunately encompasses the space that these reboots inhabit — a reality and perspective that won’t change no matter how many years pass Gendertainment



The American political sphere is so shamefully invested in the idea that behavior can and should be generationally excused. This rhetoric insists on perpetuating a perception that human rights come second to a contextual understanding of prejudice. Presidential candidate Joe Biden has recently gained a lot of media attention for this very reason. Women have spoken out about his inappropriate physical advances, such as grabbing their waists, smelling their hair, and kissing their foreheads. Democrat Lucy Flores of Nevada and many others came forward citing Biden’s impropriety. Amy Lappos, a former aide to Representative Jim Himes, spoke out about Biden’s touching at a fundraiser event. There is also widespread criticism about how he has behaved towards young girls, such as kissing Chris Coons’ obviously uncomfortable daughter at Coons’ swearing in. In his public “apology,” Biden argued that he is simply from a “different generation.” At an electrical workers conference in Washington, he joked about who he has permission to hug, as if the expectation of consensual physical contact is laughable. Those defending Biden’s actions argue that we shouldn’t hold him to a standard that has manifested after decades of feminist pushback and an increasingly vocal #MeToo Movement. After all, he is old. He is merely a “product of his time.” He can’t be required to keep up with heightened expectations of appropriate conduct. It’s not as if he himself lives in this time period and has witnessed its social and cultural shifts. Apparently, demanding that politicians are knowledgeable about the basics of consent is too much to ask of the people who supposedly represent us. “A product of their time” is a phrase often thrown around to excuse the problematic behavior of those unwilling to be held accountable. Unlearning prejudices and harmful tendencies is rarely expected of those in positions of power. When we lodge complaints, we are met with the expectation that we passively wait for a long-lasting heteropatriarchal history to die off “naturally." When we say that someone is a “product of their time,” we presuppose that we live in a world where morality and accountability ascribed to a linear progression. Those capable of creating positive change need values aligned with the people they claim to serve. Politicians should be held to the requirements developing out of the political consciousness of the contemporary era, not those of the past. Otherwise, we perpetuate institutionalized racism, sexism, ableism, classism, and homophobia when these figures’ shameful actions are deemed permissible. The “product of their time” argument is not only counterintuitive, it also values the comfort of those in power over transformative social justice work. Consequently, when we excuse this narration of time, we also uphold the power of regressive politicians who actively erase and enact violence upon marginalized communities.

We live in a time in which the need for social, political, and economic change can’t be ignored. Innocent Black men are dying as white supremacy justifies racist politics and perpetuates mass incarceration, stifling the advocacy work by proponents of Black Lives Matter and similar organizations. When people’s rights are undermined by restrictive anti-abortion legislation, people die from unsafe abortions. When trans rights are disregarded, trans people are at risk of not receiving necessary healthcare, on top of the daily risk of violence they face for simply living. It’s not just about “respect,” it’s about the right to a livable life. We haven’t made the leaps and bounds towards social progress that we often think we have: In 2015, more Black people were killed by police than during the height of the Jim Crow era. We haven’t abolished the systems of privilege that allow certain people to claim to be a “product of their time” in the first place. Discriminatory policies are realities from which we have not distanced ourselves. They are perpetuated through education and socialization, through the people we elect into office, and through the internalized prejudice voters choose to ignore. We can no longer use the phrase “product of their time” to excuse prejudice or abusive behavior in the political sphere. As a collective, we are tied to the values promoted in our government. We cannot expect to see transformative change without actively shaping a collective resistance to heteropatriarchal norms that have never served us.



To Do Nothing is Everything We live in a culture that increasingly fetishizes being busy. Busyness can’t be equated with productivity — this hyperactivity is cultivated as an illusion of productivity. In the throes of late capitalism, young people are especially susceptible to the incessant need to always be doing — working and learning, pursuing what you love so you can monetize it, despite the impending risk of burnout. The limited time spent not working is often divided into the requisites of maintaining a perfect personal life: exercising, socializing, dating, clean eating, while also searching for even more realms to exist and excel in. The construction of time is inextricable from activity, and all contemporary activity seems to demand an end goal. Historically, work has been defined as a form of identity, ascribing a person’s societal value by their capacity to labor and produce. A person’s ability to survive is thus determined by their ability to generate profit — a construction of subjecthood that is maintained by the state’s control over temporality. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, time was chronicled by natural cycles of daylight and seasons, but industrialization empowered governing bodies to expand their influence over the masses through a reformulation of time in terms of labor. The emergence of urban factories and artificial lighting, for instance, extended work hours late into the night and year-round. This reconstruction of time resulted in a unique form of collective loss, as “people’ became “workers” and alienation from their labor, the products of their labor, and ultimately themselves. As we become further entrenched in the minituate of work, we perpetuate this process of forfeiting our agency to chase after a phantom security. Within this historical context, it makes sense that today’s pervasive culture of busyness strips away pleasure and our sense of self — the spaces in life where one can simply exist and experience without the imposed need for coherence and a sense of completion. Young people have been taught and pressured to dive into a homogenized culture of “efficiency” for the sake of socioeconomic survival. We exist in a uniquely precarious economic period in which financial security, such as a stable income and affordable living, is no longer guaranteed through traditional methods of social mobility like higher education — which instead places millions in unshakeable debt, perpetuating economic inequality. Meanwhile, millennial startups exploit the same sleek, colorful branding scheme and attractive minimalism. They wholeheartedly embrace the digital age under the guise of bringing you the best of everything — the best mattress, the best workout leggings, and even personalized vitamins. We order such products online from sites which we discover through personalized advertisement that pepper our feeds. We somehow gain satisfaction in the selection of “perfectly-personalized” items that are often from an ironically limited line of products — a specific satisfaction fed further by increasingly efficient digital transactions. But why wouldn’t you optimize your life to the greatest degree possible when you’re so busy? What wouldn’t you give for extra time to do even more? The current landscape of the attention economy also distorts the boundary between work and leisure. Attention is increasingly becoming one of the most valuable and scarce commodities of this historical moment, as tech companies funnel billions of dollars into algorithms designed to compete against other sites, apps, and ads for your personal attention. The longer they hold your gaze, the more money these companies make.


Leisure is rarely private or restful when the act of curating and posting non-work experiences on social media is also culturally defined as leisure activity. On the other side of the screen, the passive dive into the aesthetically pleasing, publicized optimization of others’ lives is just as heady. I am painfully aware of my habit of switching between the same three apps, refreshing my ever-changing feeds, and letting hours pass as I stare into a screen and feel myself slip away into the endless, blue glow. The start-ups combining “wellness” and productivity center their monetary strategies on this addictive drive to keep scrolling. Blatant ads and sponsored posts pollute our feeds, further blurring the line between user-generated, personal content and advertisement — between escape from and return to a semblance of what we call “reality.”

Even relaxation is frequently mechanized as a series of tasks. There are copious articles, products, as well as workout and meditation apps dedicated to maximize the efficacy of “self-care.” Groceries are delivered on doorsteps with step-by-step instructions so you can successfully cook something healthy. Every individual goal is supposedly within reach, and there are no excuses when any need can be fulfilled with a few taps on a smartphone. This perpetual drive to achieve self-optimization not only demands perfection, but progress towards perfection. There is political value to idleness, to carving out time to do nothing but confront yourself, to think without productive motives and lie supine in the soup of what you thought to be a stable identity. Letting our thoughts wander, fade, and re-form is a type of non-productive exploration that allows us to gain personal insights about our experiences. Doing nothing can be a personal form of rebellion against the cultural expectations of mindless productivity, a refusal to be subjected to the institutions that deny us agency. Rather than turning to superficial, individual measures that will ultimately fail to suture the gaping socioeconomic wounds of the future, turning to idle time allows us to fully confront these wounds and bleed anger. This anger can be shaped into organized action, but it can first just exist as anger — a gradual revelation of the nuances of injustice. Carving out time to reflect deeply, or do nothing at all, is necessary in order to discover meaningful modes of healing and expose capitalism for the exploitative system that it truly is.

Dialogue & Opinion


Students and School: The Illusive, yet Inescapable Value of Time WRITTEN BY DEIRDRE MITCHELL ART BY EMMA SHER

The quarter system, God’s greatest gift to Janet Napolitano, in which students are treated like unpaid workers, only here to produce at the fastest rates while those at the top benefit. To put it simply, students on the quarter system have twothirds of the time that semester students have to learn the same material and produce “equal” work. At the same time, under this system professors have greater opportunities to take time off for their own research. A scholar’s published research serves academic institutions with prestige and reputation, resulting in higher revenue for such institutions. The undergraduate academic population, however, generates the least amount of profit for the university, both as an institution and brand. As a whole, the university values the mere completion of undergraduate work rather than the actual substance of said work. The nature of research institutions confines students to the margins as they attain what is deem an “adequate education,” showing little care or concern for the amount effort necessary to meet educational “standards.” So, what about those students who can’t meet deadlines or adjust to the timeline expected of them — how does the school regard these students and their labor? Campus Life

Throughout my academic career, I have always been one of “those” students — the students who struggle with deadlines, time management, and procrastination. While my teachers and parents usually chalked this problem up to laziness and low prioritization of school, I was recently diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD. Months prior to my diagnosis, my introduction into the onslaught of the rapid, highly competitive quarter system only aggravated my sense of academic inability during my first year attending UCLA. During this time, I began having an inordinate amount of anxiety in even the most minuscule aspects of my day-to-day life and could not manage the workload expected of me. Knowing this persistent feeling of claustrophobia from the overwhelming pressure of school was not a “normal” response to the transition into college, I went to UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at the end of fall quarter of 2018.

19 Ultimately, through a long series of tests, intakes, and questionnaires, CAPS confirmed that I’ve had ADHD for the majority of my life. Regardless of “intelligence,” this disorder considerably reduces a person’s ability to pay attention, concentrate, plan, organize, and manage time, and therefore causes intense difficulty when trying to take on and complete even average work. In that moment of diagnosis, it felt somewhat vindicating to have a legitimate reason for my supposed lifelong faults and failures, but that diagnosis cannot change anything about my life without action accompanying it — specifically from the university. Given the exceptional academic workload placed on students, it makes sense that an equal amount of attention be paid toward the wellbeing of UCLA's student body. The unfortunate truth of attending a large, renowned research institution as an undergraduate is that we simply aren’t a priority — a fact only made more apparent when a single student outwardly expresses a need for help from the institution. Tagged as a mere number to the administrative heads, what is one student in a lot of over 30,000? Take that large ratio and zoom in on one student neglected by the school. The daily effects of personal struggle and demanding expectations are multiplied by a competitive education sphere and its deficient support system, making it almost impossible for such a student to think in terms of the “bigger picture.” Students are constantly met with unrealistic, competitive academic expectations which lead many to fixate on their perceived shortcomings. Afraid they will be cast down the academic hierarchy, students often feel ashamed or are unwilling to admit to experiencing difficulties, causing them to instead internalize insecurities and a sense of unworthiness. As a result, students tend to develop feelings of deep isolation which often contribute to exceptional problems for many concerning school. In the midst of a strenuous and rapidly-paced academic environment, a university mental health program that is so clearly underfunded and under-resourced does little to help students. With few options, students seeking help reluctantly relinquish their own well-being into the hands of an inattentive administration. During my time at the receiving end of this sluggish relationship, I crashed — fast. Despite the fact that I was officially diagnosed by the university’s psychological service by January of 2019, I had to be subjected to a long, dragged-out process of gaining care and accommodations through UCLA. It took four months after my initial appointment in December to actually receive formal treatment from a psychiatrist. Consequently, I couldn’t even begin the process of filing for accommodations with the Center for Accessible Education (CAE) until April of 2019. Even with an actual diagnosis from UCLA itself, the university still couldn’t prioritize the well-being of one of its students in a timely manner. While four months is a little blip in the span of an entire life, it accounts for a considerable amount of time in the quarter system — encompassing an entire grading period. As a result, this gap between diagnosis and treatment only allowed my condition from the previous term to worsen. Without formal accommodations through CAE, I compromised my own health just to pass my classes during winter Campus Life

quarter. I wish this was hyperbolic, but I went through those three months thinking sleep was optional because I told myself the work wasn’t. Between the emphasis the university places on grades and the prevalent competition within the student body, I maintained the need to conform to the standards imposed by others. I was, at minimum, pulling two all-nighters a week and getting maybe three to five hours of sleep during other nights to stay “on top” of my work, which only contributed to my deteriorating mental health. I still couldn’t meet the academic deadlines ascribed to the timeline of the quarter system, handing in nearly every assignment late. Alongside my ADHD diagnosis, anxiety and depression symptoms developed as side effects because my condition remained undiagnosed for such an extended amount of time. Met with the institutional time constraints and expectations upon my entrance into academia, my personal problems with time management and concentration evolved, producing so much stress that I had multiple panic attacks and constant tension in my body. In order to escape this feeling, I had to either push the work off or split it up into spaced-out smaller segments. While probably better for my psychological, emotional, and physical health, trying to divide my work into feasible pieces didn’t lead to much more academic success than when I opted to procrastinate. Even though my “late” work was exceptionally better than what I could submit “on time,” teachers reduced its worth without fail. Is my work really subordinate to someone else’s simply because we submit our finished products at different times? Am I less valuable student because I can’t adhere to the administered schedule? Is my ability to gain knowledge less valid because I may take longer than "expected?" In some ways, being diagnosed with ADHD relieved the years of guilt I felt for not performing up to the standard of others. But then I became angry with the realization that my value as a student has been degraded for over 19 years due to a failure to uphold a particular set of subjective time constraints. By marking “late work” as inferior, the unethical academic construction of work in terms of efficiency rather than quality becomes alarmingly apparent. While I have always cared more about the actual content produced than the grade attained, it’s infuriating to genuinely care about the work you produce only to have it regarded as inferior by an institution that props up arbitrary time limits for “success.” Moreover, the university’s negligence of undergraduate needs made me feel like my only option was to continue to be confined by its restrictions, with no treatment for an entire quarter several months after receiving a diagnosis. Nonetheless, UCLA as an institution will not face any consequences for its neglect — only I will. Because ironically, the one thing about me, besides my tuition, that the administration cares about is my GPA — which is now permanently stained with the consequences of the institution’s failure to separate the unpredictable and complex lives of its students from the fictional restraints of its timeline.


Back to Your Future, Not Mine: Time Travel’s White Masculinity WRITTEN BY SARAH GARCIA ART BY PALOMA NICHOLAS rendered as prizes for white male protagonists. “About Time” (2013) demonstrates this specific heterosexual male perspective by limiting the ability to time travel to the men in the male protagonist’s family. The protagonist abuses this power to gain the woman of his dreams, even reversing time to stop her from having another boyfriend. By portraying time travel as an exclusively male ability, the film upholds the patriarchal notion of women as passive objects of desire subject to the whims of time rather than active shapers of history. Aside from “About Time,” Rachel McAdams has also starred as the protagonist’s female love interest in “The Time Traveler’s Wife” (2009), “Midnight in Paris” (2011), and “Doctor Strange” (2016). In each film, her typecasting demonstrates how women are excluded from time travel fiction unless they are fulfilling a secondary, heterosexual role. When I think of time travel movies, I personally jump to well-known examples like “Back to the Future” (1985) and “Groundhog Day” (1993). “Back to the Future” is particularly beloved, following protagonist Marty McFly as he travels back in time to 1955. Over the course of the film, Marty alters past events, creating a more prosperous life for himself. Through time travel, he revises pre-established history and faces no consequences for his actions. But why is Marty in particular allowed this power? In fiction, who has access to time travel, and what “real life” implications may this specific narrative have? Occasionally, we see instances of time travel outside of fiction. The histories of the “real” world are repeatedly subjected to acts of revisionism, with institutions of power rewriting history to misrepresent the past in significant ways. For example, in an area south of Houston, Texas in 2015, high school student Coby Burren found that his textbook described enslaved Africans as “workers.” Similarly, in 2018, a teacher in San Antonio, Texas asked students to list the “positive” and “negative” aspects of slavery on a worksheet titled “The Life of Slaves: A Balanced View.” Both cases reveal how history is a biased construct. We are often taught about historical events in ways that downplay the traumas of the marginalized in favor of the privileged; with the incidents in Texas, slavery is reframed to erase suffering and alleviate white guilt. Both examples enact historical revisionism — the practice of reinterpreting traditionally accepted notions of history for a desired aim. We can see that, both in real life and in the media we consume, white men are granted the power to rewrite history or represent it on their own terms. In “Back to the Future” and other time travel films, white men are frequently the protagonists because they are seen as the great arbiters of time. Marty’s revisionism, for example, extends beyond simply enhancing his own life once he alters the musical history of Black people. While in 1955, Marty performs Chuck Berry’s 1958 song “Johnny B. Goode,” disrupting history and retroactively making himself the song’s creator. Though unintentional, Marty abuses his access to time travel by stealing the work of a Black man. Shedding light on the “real life” incidents in Texas, Marty performs historical revisionism and reveals how white men assume history belongs only to them. Romance is another frequent theme in time travel films, with women

Both “Groundhog Day” and “Happy Death Day” feature protagonists who repeat the same day over and over again. However, unlike the male lead of “Groundhog Day,” the lead in “Happy Death Day,” Tree, repeats the day she is murdered. The violence enacted on Tree emphasizes the apparent vulnerability of the female body in contrast to the assumed strength of the male body. The female time traveler is thus not allowed to freely engage in time travel like men. Instead of using it for her own benefit, time travel functions to ensure her survival without allowing her to exert agency. Time travel TV shows like 2019’s “Russian Doll” also reinforce this violent, restrictive trope of the female time traveler — a testament to contemporary media’s perpetuation of this trend in such narratives. Meanwhile, other marginalized communities rarely play time travelers in mainstream narratives. While exceptions certainly exist — like the 2006 film “Déjà Vu,” 2012’s “Men in Black III,” and the 2019 Netflix film “See You Yesterday” — they are few and far between. The heterosexual white male protagonist consistently dominates this role because he is defined as the “default” figure throughout history. A white man can travel through historical periods without encountering the violence women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and people with disabilities face on a daily basis. Marginalized communities are barred from controlling time in fiction because, in real life, they are pushed to history’s sidelines, restricted from writing their own historical narratives. As a settler colonial state, the U.S. is only able to maintain its power through a selective account of history, written by its beneficiaries: powerful white men. This exclusionary revisionist history doesn’t find its origins in mainstream media and film, but such industries do reflect and reinforce these narratives. How we construct history influences how we see ourselves and others, exposing that, if marginalized communities gain greater agency over time travel and other science fiction concepts, more radical possibilities will emerge in our collective consciousness. This is why we need more adaptations of novels like Butler’s “Kindred,” Nalo Hopkinson’s “The Salt Roads,” and Marge Piercy’s “Woman on the Edge of Time.” Contemporary narratives may suggest that there isn’t enough room in the DeLorean to fit us all — so thanks for nothing, Marty. But, by uplifting marginalized narratives, room is made for more liberating and transformative experiences, debunking the power of the white male time traveler.




On some days, Time doesn’t wake up with me. It doesn’t rise or shine, just stays in bed, curled up in a comforter, knees in arms, folded into a loop: A loop I keep following round and round in circles back to the future.

On some days, I regret waking up to another nightmare. So, I address a stranger as “mamma.” On some days the stranger responds “Honey, she’s not here anymore,” and then wipes my leaking-hourglass face.

On some days, Time pulls me back with itself. And I, in frantic desperation, flail around with every forceful step ahead, trying to “not dwell into the past.” It’s hard to explain that a future doesn’t come to me automatically. So I tell people, “I’m trying to get over her death.”

On some days, mamma pulls the comforter off my curled up body and stretches her arm out towards me. I watch her angelic hand growing bigger in my eyes until it penetrates my bubble-cage and touches me into the “real” world.

On some days, I manage to get out of my bed, but the streets run too fast for my stupor to follow. And I sit there, among feet coming and feet leaving, mid-air, mid-moment, watching from the other side, and I wonder what it is like to feel “continuous.”

On some days, I go back into my comforter intentionally. And I find Time there, waiting. “Mamma” I talk into yesterday, “I miss you.” No stranger wipes my face off this time, so I spill until the hourglass shatters.

Arts & Creative


Capitalist Progressivism: Exploitation of Young People BY ASHLEY LECROY in the Nonprofit Sector WRITTEN ART BY JOLENE FERNANDEZ

As young people prepare to enter the workforce, one anxiety-provoking thought spiral consists of wondering if they have enough experience in their field of choice to get a job. For those who attain some level of higher education, this work-experience-before-actually-working typically comes in the form of an internship. Internships tend to be unpaid and exploitative of the young people who take them on. Potential interns may often feel caught between wanting to contribute something helpful and meaningful to an underserved community, while lacking the resources to accept an unpaid internship. These seemingly necessary unpaid internships can shut economically underprivileged young people out of their fields of choice. It appears as though nonprofit work is only really meant to benefit the already privileged.

According to United States tax law, a “nonprofit organization” is a business that is exempt from federal income tax because it has met the criteria laid out in Section 501(c) of Internal Revenue Code. This classification is usually assigned to organizations that exist for some sort of religious, educational, or charitable purpose. In theory, nonprofit status is meant to encourage philanthropic work. Many of these nonprofit organizations are headed by self-proclaimed liberals who assert that their principal aim is to uphold progressive ideas. However, despite these guidelines and proclamations of progressiveness, many nonprofits exploit their tax-exempt status in order to maximize profit, while leaving their employees and interns overworked and underpaid. As Candace Banks, a UCLA graduate pursuing a master's degree at King’s College London, demands: “How is the president of the Red Cross making seven figures, yet they can’t afford to pay fifty college interns?” The answer is simple: the heads of such organizations do not respect the time or energy of those who are doing the heavy lifting. At the end of the day, these people are still running a business. The exploitation of unpaid interns is especially notable in the nonprofit sector, where many organizations claim to support marginalized communities, but favor people from privileged backgrounds by default when their internships are unpaid. Such internships are inherently tied to the fact that time is devalued under the system of capitalism. Because of this system, only those with the most (usually unpaid) experience are able to get a job with stable income. Young interns are scared into performing countless hours of unpaid labor in order to reach that moment of compensation — which may not even amount to a living wage. Not only is this devaluation of labor and time symptomatic of imminent issues of economic disparity, but it also begs broader questions about at what point one’s time is considered valuable enough to earn a living wage. In 2012, the Atlantic published an article comprised of testimonies from students who worked unpaid internships in the past. One student, Evan MacKenzie, wrote that unpaid internships “overall devalue the actual work being done, lowering wages for everyone, not just the unpaid interns.” Another student quoted in the article argues that “the system works against class mobility” because it very obviously favors the “comparatively privileged.”

This notion of class privilege is especially relevant as liberal politicians and activists consistently prop up marginalized people as evidence of successful “diversity” measures. People of color, women, and LBGTQ+ people are frequently tokenized in order to make spaces appear more inclusive. Oftentimes, a marginalized person is given a role in an organization through performative acts of inclusion, so companies can show that they hire “diverse” people without making any structural changes. In the podcast “Hoodrat to Headwrap,” race and sexuality educator Ericka Hart and Ebony Donnely discuss class privilege as it pertains to Black people in the workplace: “Folx are… riding this diversity wave… but never actually dealing with the systems that would have it be that Black people weren’t going to be there otherwise.” Hart, who has worked in the nonprofit sector, goes on to criticize the use of terms like diversity and inclusion: “The only reason why we need ‘diversity and inclusion’ is because the foundation is white, and [we’re] not dealing with [the fact] that the foundation is white.” Candace Banks thinks that this type of performative inclusion is a real problem for the advancement of marginalized people in the workplace: “Diversity programs are absolutely necessary — especially when you look into the history of evolutionary bias — because people hire other people who look like them.” This means there is a problem with white, cisgender, male, able-bodied executives hiring white, cisgender, male, able-bodied employees. In theory, diversity programs intend to make room for genuine equity in the workplace. However, Banks adds, “diversity programs are not enough. There needs to be a fundamental restructuring, but no one wants to do that.” One of the main problems that Banks finds with diversity programs is that they “are usually focused on the middle of the company, not at the top.” The companies and organizations in question are not placing marginalized people in managerial positions, maintaining management practices that are overwhelmingly masculine and white. Often, the lack of diversity at the top of these companies and organizations is attributed to the idea of “paying dues.” The people in power are typically the ones who rose through the ranks, and the starting point for these managers and executives, especially in the nonprofit sector, is usually the unpaid internship. But this emphasis on unpaid work is inherently exclusionary and degrading. As Banks says, “unpaid internships disqualify a lot of people who live in low-income situations. I could never take an unpaid internship, because I need to provide for myself… I understand the need to be humble and come in at the entry level, but I’m not going to devalue myself or my time by not being paid adequately for my labor.” Positioning unpaid or underpaid labor as a prerequisite for eventual employment bars many marginalized people from their careers of choice. According to Federal Safety Net, people of color were disproportionately below the poverty line compared to white people in the United States in 2018. While the poverty rate for non-Hispanic white people was 9 percent, 10 percent of Asian people, 18 percent of Latinx people, and 21 percent of Black people were considered below the poverty line. Additionally, 38 percent of single-parent


23 in 2013, the CEO of the organization brought home an income of $400,000. Szal’s experience is a prime example of the devaluation of young people’s time and effort in the nonprofit sector. TFA and organizations like it prey on recent college graduates who are not sure what exactly their next steps should be — and this practice hurts both their employees and their supposed beneficiaries. The notion of burnout is currently spreading amongst young people entering the workforce. In a report for BuzzFeed News, Anne Helen Petersen refers to burnout as “the millennial condition.” Capitalism convinces us that we are not doing enough, that we must “pay our dues,” and work ourselves to the bone to attain a subjective form of “success” that has been constructed for us. Consequently, young people in the workforce tend to prioritize their work over their mental, emotional, and physical health. According to a 2018 report from Project: Time Off, 39 percent of millenials work full-time remotely, even when they are on vacation. The same report found that millennials are the least likely to utilize their vacation days out of all the people in the workforce. Surveys administered for the report found that young workers were not using their vacation days because they were afraid of the repercussions they would face in the workplace if they went away.

households were considered impoverished, when compared to a 5 percent poverty rate for two-parent households. In 2017, 65 percent of Black children and 41 percent of Latinx children were raised in single-parent households, compared to 24 percent of white children. Since white children are less likely to experience poverty or grow up in a single-parent household, it is often more financially feasible for them to take on unpaid internships as young adults. Thus, generational wealth and privilege opens doors for white people that do not usually open for people of color. While many interns are not justly compensated for their work, young paid employees are often not treated much better. Young people who work in the nonprofit sector often feel taken advantage of by the organizations for which they work. Roxanne Szal, who worked as a middle school teacher for Teach for America, feels as though she was not adequately prepared for the monumental tasks she was assigned. Teach for America services under-resourced schools across the country, inserting teachers from various regions into lower-income and disadvantaged school districts. New teachers enter under-resourced schools attempting to close educational gaps between children of disadvantaged socioeconomic classes and those from more privileged backgrounds. However, as Szal notes, the execution of this plan leaves something to be desired. She describes her first year with Teach for America as “being thrown into the deep end of the pool; every day [she] had the choice to keep treading or drown.” With only five weeks of formal educational training, she describes her experience as “very physically and emotionally demanding.” Furthermore, Teach for America did not provide Szal’s salary; she was paid by the school district in which she taught. This fact indicates that even though Teach for America claims that it works to support underprivileged schools, it actually places an economic burden on the district, while under-training its young teachers. Meanwhile,

Workers’ inability to prioiritize their own well-being is a direct effect of capitalist exploitation. They often can't take time for themselves because they are painfully aware of the precarity of their careers. If they can’t work, they are deemed disposable — workers can be easily replaced to keep the capitalist machine running. Workers know they are replaceable, and the ease with which they can be replaced is terrifying. This is not a phenomenon exclusive to the nonprofit industry, but in recent years this “replaceability” has certainly informed the way young people navigate the sector. While many nonprofit organizations profess missions of equity and progressivism, they do not extend these ideals to the labor conditions of their own workers. While there is corruption and exploitation within many nonprofit organizations, there are also many using their tax-exempt status for actual restorative work, with staff members who work admirably and tirelessly to help marginalized people through nonprofits. However, many philanthropic nonprofits are grossly underfunded compared to larger organizations like the Red Cross and Amnesty International, both of which have CEOs that earn up to seven figures annually. Meanwhile, smaller nonprofits like the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and the Los Angeles LGBT Center spend most of their budgets on providing tangible services to the marginalized communities they serve. As a result, these organizations often do not have the additional funds needed to compensate their young workers adequately, and young people who have the organizations’ causes close to their hearts may feel disillusioned despite their dedication. Nonprofit work, like every other kind of work occurring throughout late-stage capitalist development, is part of a much larger economic machine. The nonprofit industrial complex thrives on the labor of underpaid workers, as organizations disregard the physical and mental well-being of the individuals that they hire. Many nonprofits exploit the labor of their employees and interns until the point of burnout. Such labor practices grossly contradict the professed missions of many nonprofit causes. In order for these organizations to make a positive difference for marginalized communities, the nonprofit industry needs to see a huge structural change in the way it operates, from the ground up.



For the Survivors of Sexual Abuse, Time is Never Really Up WRITTEN BY GRACE STEVENS ART BY MALAYA JOHNSON

CONTENT WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MENTIONS OF RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT. The year 2018 ushered in #TimesUp, declaring the clock had “run out on sexual harassment, assault and inequality in the workplace.” While the fund does incredibly important work, the rhetoric of “Time’s Up” feels slightly dismissive of lifelong consequences of sexual violence. From mental health conditions, to physical injury, to careers being ruined, the untold costs of victimization are not something that can be put on a timeline to be solved. When we say “time is up,” we recognize that a time existed when this behavior was both acceptable and rampant – in fact, in many industries and places it still is. We realize that time functions differently for powerful men than the women, allowing the former to rise while their victims continue to face the consequences of their abusers’ actions. We extinguish the idea that women who seek retribution for abuse are untrustworthy and opportunistic. Survivors pay the price of sexual assault with their time, their careers and their bodies — and the clock simply will not stop for them. As the #MeToo movement highlighted, abusers force their victims to make a choice: either keep quiet or speak up and be deprived of a career. This threat means women lose control over their own time, no longer able to direct their life on their own terms. They are forced to compromise and cooperate with corporate, misogynistic power or watch their goals be snatched away. This distorts the linear, progressive perception of time we rely on and idealize: that as time passes, our lives should get better. However, sexual violence warps the timelines of women it affects by inhibiting their physical ability, mental health and professional development. Perhaps the most infamous case of workplace sexual assault in recent times is the one leveled against the notorious Harvey Weinstein, film producer and co-founder of Miramax, accused of sexually abusing over 80 women. Using his position of immense power, he either forced women into silence via threats or obliterated their careers. Director Peter Jackson admitted to BBC News that he removed Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino — two of the first women to come forward about Weinstein’s abuse — from casting lists as a consequence of what Weinstein’s company had told him about the women. This example highlights the web of male power at the top of the entertainment industry, and how quickly gendered dynamics can push those who challenge this power out. As we know, Weinstein’s cyclical abuse is far from an anomaly in the industry. Like Weinstein, comedian Louis C.K. has both assaulted women and hindered their careers. After attempting to speak out about the incidents, these women were pressured by Dave Becky, C.K.’s manager, to stop talking. Despite many allegations, and after only nine months of “remorse,” C.K. returned to the spotlight. Beyond sabotaging careers, abuse leaves lasting physical scars. Quentin Tarantino has a history of subjecting his actresses to demeaning and/or dangerous conditions that cause permanent injuries. From actively inserting himself in scenes to spit on or choke Gendertainment

actresses (“Kill Bill,” “Inglourious Basterds”), to endangering their lives by forcing them into stunts, the violence Tarantino enacts towards women on set reflects more broadly on how women’s bodily autonomy is revoked, exploited, and violated in the workplace. In most media portrayals, #MeToo and #TimesUp brought swift change — we exposed predators and reclaimed our autonomy, leaving behind a society that was far less sensitive to issues of consent and sexual harassment. This idealized narrative, however, doesn’t truly deal with the reality of life after abuse. One cannot always recover from physical or emotional scars, especially when seeking support from a profit-hungry medical industry. We do not always get the justice we seek. Wedging survivors’ lives into a progressive, linear storyline does not inspire real, transformative justice and equity. These idyllic storylines also rarely illustrate the experiences of ordinary people who are survivors of sexual assault. A brief look at GoFundMe campaigns for survivors reveals how the non-famous are suffering: inability to access a safe, affordable abortion after being raped, fighting unemployment and alongside a PTSD diagnosis, chronic pain and the financial burden of treating rape injuries. The trauma of sexual assault endures far longer than the moment of bodily violation, and it’s crucial that these stories are told, too. These women do not have the power of a platform or fanbase to support them. Their abusers do not receive national attention for their actions. Unlike celebrities, they are fighting economic structures that keep them in hardship and a medical system that doesn’t support them. In the conversations about “what happens next,” we cannot let the guise of “progress” fool us into thinking that survivors are not still hurting. We cannot change the industry, the workplace, or the damaging culture that enables men to commit acts of sexual violence without first dismantling heteropatriarchal power. No reparations will make up for the time that has been stolen from so many, but with a sexual politics informed by restorative justice, we can ensure that the clock will not stop for anybody else.


Only Fools When I was a kid every star was a shooting star. They sat tucked between airplanes and astronauts, and they could only be seen from the shores of lonely beaches. They winked at their reflections in the dark ocean water as they shared silent whispers with the sea.


Oh but those stars, see how they pulse. Are they alive? Am I? When water churns slowly, those dark blue secrets mix with salt and dust. Will I ever know what they think of me? Could those gently crashing waves be so kind that their seafoam murmurs tell me that I am loved. When we finally part, I only beg that we say goodbye like it’s not the last time. The setting sun melts beaches into freshly tarred asphalt. The roads I take seem lonelier. Twinkling stars fade into twists of light and color, hidden by the smog of the city. Left turns on Woodbury Drive used to feel like going home, but now that house is just a house. Today will be yesterday, and I fear that I will turn her into a martyr. Little memories spark, the way sailors light lanterns to let their darlings know that they are coming home. Those lights from days gone by dance in careful lines across the horizon. They climb the air, licking the sky. They ask if I yearn. So perhaps I will burn the past. Maybe that would be kinder than leaving us both to freeze. A warrior’s funeral would truly be deserving. But I will not spark matches carelessly. They will not burn like those unloved letters. Who slipped from the fingers of ex-boyfriends into bonfires. I do not want the thick smoke and watery eyes and that anger. I will do so lovingly, with the fire that my mother cradled when she lit birthday candles on my sister’s cake. Soft and saturated in the light from better days.

Oh yes, I think. I yearn and I yearn and I yearn. I ache for the clever, childish hiding spaces in my bedroom and the sun patches in the hallways of my parent’s home. Books on shelves whose endings I didn’t used to know. Faces in pictures that used to be more familiar. These memories, these distant bonfires on empty sand. If these are the burning embers, then this longing must be the smoke that follows. The burn of ash in your eyes and the taste of soot. I will always yearn for the days that have passed. But my longing is infinite. It’s hungry and empty and grieving. All it does is want. These little flames keep me from starving, and the smoke keeps me humble.

When the ocean calls for me I will be a stranger, and the stars will watch from their opera box seats. They will cheer, but I will no longer wonder what they see. One day will be the last day, the last call at Woodbury Drive. When all my longing has paid off and yesterday is today. When we are briefly beautiful, and when we care intently. It is only then that I will approach those unapproachable waves, and with this fire harboured deep in my bones, preserved in the spaces between my lungs, I will jump into the sea. Is today not that day? Is this not the end?

Oh but the stars, those honest stars. When they smile they look so sad. Because their warmth will never reach me in time.

Arts & Creative


Hell Joseon:

The Collective Loss of a Future WRITTEN BY EUGENE LEE

What is “Hell Joseon,” you might be wondering? If you’re not from South Korea, you might have never heard of it. “Hell Joseon” is a term coined by younger generations in South Korea which refers to their anxieties about the future and the societal inequalities that currently exist in Korean society. The concept of “Hell Joseon” has come to represent the conditions created by the political, social, and economic institutions of South Korea, and how these institutions engender a “hellish” society that is near impossible to flourish in. These conditions involve rising unemployment amongst the younger generations, growing wealth and income inequality, increasing and more demanding working hours, lack of upward mobility and inability to escape poverty regardless of time and effort. It’s easy to see how these conditions can skew perceptions that the youth hold of South Korean society, bringing about conceptions of a biblical envisioning of Hell, rather than an envisioning of a prosperous and flourishing state. Joseon, also romanized as Chosun, refers to the Korean dynasty that ruled the East Asian peninsula before the invasion of the imperial forces of Japan. Although South Korea was liberated from being a Japanese colony in 1945 and then rebuilt into the contemporary society that it is today, many South Korean youth proclaim that their country is unlivable. This is because they feel as if they have been sold a false narrative of progress. Despite having modernized and risen as an economic power over the past fifty years, much of the socioeconomic benefits that have supposedly manifested in South Korea have not been experienced by the youth. The term “Hell Joseon” therefore claims that contemporary South Korea is just a reincarnation of a hellish feudal society, one that claims to have progressed beyond the strict stratification of the antiquated world, but in reality maintains the rigid class divides of the past. Further, “Hell Joseon” asserts that one’s place in the world depends on whether or not one is fortunate enough to be born into a higher socioeconomic


class, which is completely based on random chance. The wealthy still control all the levers of society, constructing and manipulating institutions which prevent or slow upward mobility for those who were unlucky enough to be born poor. Two popular modes of economic thought appear to serve as the foundational pillars upon which “Hell Joseon” thrives. Many people in South Korea subscribe to the “spoon class” theory and the Sampo generation theory. The spoon class theory was popularized in 2015, coinciding with the birth and rise of the term “Hell Joseon.” It claims that a person’s worth and place in society can be measured simply by analyzing the assets and income of an individual’s parents. The sum total of these financial markers can then be used to sort the individual into a socioeconomic class that corresponds to a certain spoon. Wealthier individuals tend to belong to the metal spoons, ranging from gold to bronze, while the poorer majority of society is represented by the plastic and dirt spoons. The conclusion that can be drawn when an individual discovers which spoon class they belong to is that they are destined to stay in the same spoon class that their parents belong to. There is no socioeconomic mobility — people can only descend in the hierarchy or stay in the same class since birth. The other popular idea emerges from the Sampo generation, also known as the Sam-Po Saedae, which can roughly be translated from Korean to mean the “Give Up Three Things Generation.” The Sampo generation is a neologism that refers to a generation of young people who face an increasingly perilous future. This terminology is derived from an economic anxiety which indicates that this generation will have to sacrifice much due the hazardous socioeconomic future that sits in their horizon. Due to the competitive job market and the rising cost of living, the Sampo generation, an age group which roughly overlaps with that of Millenials and Gen Z, deduces that their initial sacrifices will be in courtship, marriage, and children. In fact,


27 this conjecture is further confirmed by those who have already given up on acquiring these facets of life. Despite subscribing to an arguably heteronormative conception of “normal,” the Sampo generation as a concept highlights the declining birth rates in South Korea, and Korean society’s attempts to formulate an explanation for why many couples are choosing to not have children. The Sampo generation’s explanation for declining birth rates justifiably claims that the current socioeconomic state of the country does not allow for younger generations to even conceptualize a future for themselves in which they can court others, settle down, and have children. It just isn’t financially possible, especially when that time and money can instead be invested in building one's career and obtaining financial stability. This idea of generational sacrifice goes even further, claiming that if these conditions continue, over time, subsequent generations will be expected to give up even more elements of their lives. This may lead to forfeiting solid employment, giving up on owning property, and then eventually forsaking hope, health and ultimately their own lives. The conditions of “Hell Joseon” dominate the psyche of younger generations, encouraging many South Koreans to leave their country — for many of them believe that their peers in other nations somehow have it better. Unfortunately, the grass really isn’t greener on the other side. “Hell Joseon” is not an isolated occurrence. Despite culturally specific nuances that have roots in the unique historical background of Korea, “Hell Joseon” is a global phenomenon that has been named by the downtrodden Korean youth. There is no escape from Hell Joseon, and perhaps the term could appropriately be rebranded as “Hell Earth.” This phenomenon can easily be perceived in much of South Korean popular media. One show in particular, “Misaeng” (2014), which roughly translates to “Unfulfilled Life,” was extremely popular in its run, featuring a cast of employees who work at a trading firm. The main character, Jang Geu-rae, becomes a contracted temporary employee for two years after going through a harrowing selection process with his cohort of interns. Geu-rae previously faced ridicule and scorn from his fellow interns for failing to obtain a college degree and significant work experience, due to initially having trained to become a professional Go player. However, once he is selected as a temp employee, Geu-rae finds that his professional life does not slow at all; in fact, the pace of his workplace only increases, and he is expected to perform ever more efficiently. “Misaeng” resonated with many viewers, perhaps because it reflects how difficult it is to secure employment in this contemporary moment. Even when you do successfully manage to nab a position at a large company, you are constantly pitted against your peers to encourage higher levels of performance. If you fail to perform, you are ruthlessly cut. As previously state, although “Hell Joseon” is distinctly a Korean term, the social problems it describes are not unique to Korea. In fact, this generational consciousness characterized by economic distress can be found in a not-so-distant neighbor of Korea — Japan. The Satori generation is a Japanese neologism coined around 2010, referring to a generation of Japanese youth that is compared to the enlightened form of Buddha because members of this classification are believed to have liberated themselves from their own material desires. However, these young people obtained enlightenment not because they broke the chains of their material desires, but because they have been forced to give up their ambitions, desires, hopes and dreams due to their bleak economic situations. One could say that it is a perverse take on enlightenment, as a title that has been given to them ironically. This generation is seen as lacking ambition largely due to the fact that they have less purchasing power compared to older generations. They spend less money on food, experiences, and alcohol, and live at home as long as they can. The societal percep-

tion of them revolves around a sort of parasitism, almost as if this generation leeches from its elders while failing to contribute to the rest of society — which is ironic simply because this generation lacks the financial means to fully engage with the rest of Japanese society. Like South Korean media, Japanese media interrogates the conflict that their nation is dealing with as well. “Persona 5” (2016), a video game released by Japanese studio Atlus, is a story about the reclamation of futurity. The game features a cast of high schoolers who lead miserable lives dictated by various powerful figures in society, such as CEOs, or prominent individuals in various other fields, such as politicians. Due to the actions of these men, the high schoolers suffer a loss that transforms their futures into predestined tragedies. However, these students are able to prevent these futures from occuring once they discover an alternate reality —- known as the Metaverse — which coexists alongside the real world. Within the Metaverse, the distorted hearts and psyches of humans manifest as physical places, called Palaces. When the Palaces of these corrupt figures are infiltrated and their desires are removed from the confines of said Palaces, the cast is able to alter the minds of the powerful, forcing them to accept the moral repercussions of their actions and publicly expose their own wrong doings. The cast of students is able to reverse their predetermined fates and reclaim the future that was taken away from them by these oppressive figures of authority. However, despite being a story of liberation, the future cannot be reclaimed without otherworldly intervention, thus making the future in the “real world” seem even more bleak and inevitable. This idea of a hopeless future is prevalent in Euro-American spheres of entertainment as well. “The Good Place,” a popular show currently airing on NBC, explores similar ideas of futurity and morality. Although at first about the moral journey of the main character, Eleanor Shellstrop, the show eventually veers away from individual will and critiques societal systems and institutions. In its later seasons, the show suggests that no matter how much an individual attempts to be a “good person,” they are morally implicated for participating in capitalist structures and unethical business practices that all people are complicit in. Although not a direct one-to-one with the “Hell Joseon” social condition, Euro-American entertainment critiques its own capitalistic structures, and how they impact an individual's own sense of morality. In fact, the current discourse surrounding generational inequalities is dominated by conversations involving the conditions that Millenials and Gen Z face, such as rising cost of living and lower wages, despite a rapidly growing economy. These circumstances, coupled with the proliferation of fascism on the global political stage and the growing presence of climate change issues can explain why, as a generation, there has been a shift in lifestyle and financial patterns. And even if individual employment and economic stability are obtained, what does that mean in the greater context of a future that is no longer guaranteed because of the impending threat of public health crises and environmental disasters? At this point, optimism for the future easily starts to seem like a privilege held by those who have the financial and political means to avoid a devastating future, However, a defeatist attitude shouldn’t be embraced. This state of collective pessimism is not set in stone — “Hell Joseon” developed in a span of fifty years through the establishment of social, political, and economic state power. We have queer, feminist, and critical race thinkers to learn from during this time of despair who teach us that deviant, non-normative forms of pleasure and play are portals that expose transformative and radical ways of thinking and being. With collective, grassroots action in the present, perhaps a tragic future can be reborn into a future that isn’t mired in catastrophe.



Time Doesn’t Heal Everything


There’s a moment that comes in many of our lives, often during adolescence, when we suddenly realize that we’ve moved far away from our childhood naivety and innocence. Usually, this is because we start facing new situations with maturing minds, gaining awareness about the world and our own experiences within it. Those experiences may vary greatly from person-to-person, and are especially affected by different facets of one’s identity. But no matter what our problems are, it’s probable they aren’t easily healed by band-aids and daydreams like many issues of our youth could be. Instead, we are often told that the most trusty method of healing for the hardships we encounter, and the deeper pain we feel, is time. The phrase “time heals everything” is a commonly exchanged piece of advice — and it is likely many of us have repeated this pearl of “wisdom” to others in pain. The phrase is often cushioned by good intentions, as it signals a reassurance that we eventually move on from the hurt of the present. Arguably, however, this concept has negative repercussions in terms of our ability, as people and as a collective, to unpack and handle emotions, mental health problems, and systemic injustices. Research conducted at Arizona State University in 2016 confirmed that expecting time to heal both others and ourselves is unhealthy, because the idea creates a standard which asserts that everyone is supposed to be naturally resilient to adversity — keeping many people from seeking help and more active modes of recovery. These expectations also stick coping onto a timeline, as though individuals must be completely over a negative experience after a certain period of time. If someone continues to openly struggle with the same issue, admitting that time in fact has not healed them, they may eventually get accosted with the necessity to “just get over it.” This attitude goes beyond how we regard individual experience, reflecting how systemic oppression is minimized and ignored by privileged classes of society, dismissing how race, gender, sexuality, ability and class function systemically to aggravate injustice while also disguising it. People who regard issues such as racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry as though they barely exist anymore and shouldn’t be actively discussed often have this mindset solely because some time has passed since the end of the Civil Rights Movement and the first waves of feminism. Just as we expect time to heal individuals, there’s an expectation that the passage of time automatically serves social “progress.” Such a narrative is why movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter are disregarded by people with privilege — especially

those who are not personally connected to the social movements — because it allows them to justify their lack of care and activism, believing that time on its own has already brought, or will continue to bring about, real social progress. Essentially, time as a cure-all, when coupled with the belief that systemic injustice concludes with some arbitrary date set in the past, stimulates dangerously dismissive notions towards anyone who remains outspoken about their experiences of oppression. I don’t necessarily have complete disbelief in time’s ability to create transformation and growth in society or one’s own life. My issue here stems from the fact that the notion of time healing everything romanticizes the future and brushes aside the importance of acting in the present. Reinforcing the idea that time will make things better often leads to passivity, as we wait for some moment to come that suddenly brings a dramatic shift to our physical and emotional worlds. From my own experience, I grew up relying on time to heal everything I went through, which led me to suppress a lot of my emotions, thinking they would just eventually go away. In reality, the passage of time alone did not heal my wounds, but instead exacerbated them through each new, negative experience that came my way. During my first year of college, I got lost in an unhealthy, emotionally abusive relationship. This situation not only created new wounds, but also made many resurface from my adolescence regarding my self-esteem and mental health. I started to realize how many problems I never unpacked throughout my life because I truly thought time would take care of them. However, I still found myself shoving away these realizations and turning to time, hoping if I just forgot and moved forward, I’d be okay. I shifted my focus to the future, seeing it as my way out of all the negativity surrounding me. I took on internships to move towards my desired career; I pursued new relationships in hopes of more positive experiences; I worked tirelessly at school to eventually transfer to UCLA. Setting goals is healthy, but attaching them to a timeline that you expect to fix your problems is not. Once I started college at UCLA, which was essentially the end goal of my hopeful timeline, it became clear to me that my wounds hadn’t been healed by simply moving forward because I did not feel all that much better. In fact, I entered a very dark, confusing place — I realized I cannot solely count on time, or the desires and goals I set within it, to unload, dismantle, and do away with the negative state of my mental health and every little thing that has ever put pressure on it.

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This way of thinking stems from the oppressive nature inherent to the ideas of “healing” from time and “just getting over” problems we face. Social norms, whether it be going to school, getting a job, or finding a partner, are tacked onto a timeline of expectations that people feel pressure to follow throughout their lives. In turn, people are shamed if they do not find healing, happiness, and success within the confines of these norms. What these norms expose, however, is that the inability to meet markers of healing or success is not inherent to any individual or community, but is rather an effect of the oppressive institutions that seek to determine our livelihood. The problematic expectations that form from the common reinforcement of “time heals everything” holds back both the individual and the collective from wholly acknowledging the truth of difficult lived experience, in turn preventing real healing and solutions. In a lot of ways, we never truly learn how to deal with problems outside of applying a band-aid and daydreaming — relying on the passage of time and romanticizing the future are arguably the grown-up versions of these methods. Educational systems should promote teaching and open dialogue about emotionality and interpersonal rela-

tionships, allowing us all to be more present and understanding with ourselves, others, and our communities. It’s also important to note that the seemingly linear movement of time does not mean healing itself is linear. Coping with struggles is a process we all face throughout our lives — some struggles might affect us longer than others, and some can come at us in waves at different points in time. While time may not heal everything, time still needs to be taken to properly deal with the issues we have individually and communally. When faced with the reality of a difficult situation, it can be easy to put it off or dismiss it, thinking that hardship will eventually go away with time. In actuality, our wounds hardly ever disappear on their own; if not acknowledged and attended to, they will likely just continue to grow, and not heal, with time.

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Have you asked for me recently and found me gone thickened into a new syrup — unnatural and indulgent? Selfish child, I am, sticking my hand into the oven too soon. Rather me char around the edges than ruin the taste — mind the debt you owe. Selfish child, stick to laptop keys and hard work. This syrup will not crystallize into something you’re comfortable sleeping on.

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Nhanh lên. (Hurry) There is nothing left for us here. Out the window, the waves crash; the clouds fly by. Skin to skin, sweat on sweat – I cannot breathe on this island. But, soon, we are here. Nhiều người khác không được may mắn như vậy. (Many others are not so lucky) I see it all unfold in front of me, I’ll dance and I’ll sing; I’ll learn and I’ll solve Ở nước Mỹ tôi có thể là bất cứ gì tôi chọn lựa. (In America, I can be anything I choose to be) A new book each night. Another lesson tomorrow. Opportunity, potential sprout like weeds. And, I, am hopeful Còn nhớ không những gì bố mẹ từng làm cho con vả mọi người làm cho con? (Do you remember everything that father, mother, and everyone has done for you?) Dạ. (Yes) Then you should know, you are not one of them. Your life is not your own. So I speak a little more softly, So I will dream, this time, quietly. Dạ. It can wait. I can wait Colors dash past me. All that is left is the feeling in my palms, the knowing in my heart, that once, I held them Just pick; just choose. We are all relying on you. The lines turn into paths. They say that’s my destiny. I take the hand into mine. Together, we make a house, but not a home – Each person a half, not a whole The sun and the moon and the rain, pass overhead, all for naught.

The wind blew our seeds onto the pavement I hold her in my arms. She babbles, I croon; She waddles in whichever way, and I am shackled to an axis, when I know I once longed for space Your bright eyes dart from person to person “You’ve got a special one,” they say. I know. She has to be. For her small shoulders will have to bear a generation’s worth of regret. All that we did not achieve is for her to bring to fruition You read me the classics, and sit me down with equations that I do not understand. You tell me I am good, but more often, that I am bad. Nếu còn muốn thành công, (If you want to become successful) nghe lời bố mẹ. (Listen to father and mother) Why? It’s “Dạ.” I do not yet know what that encompasses. All I know is I like to blow raspberries and make people laugh. Arts & Creative

But, my antics are met with scowls. Don’t you see how lucky you are? I have sacrificed so much for you. Do not squander it away Dạ. So I read and I dance and I sing and I solve; plaques and medals and ribbons in hand, the world at my fingertips, happiness just out of reach. When they compliment me, you smile. Hand on my shoulder, gripping a little too tight. All that is good in you, is from me Không. (No) All that I can be, is me I will not be soil for the grain you chose not to sow I cannot be, the filling for the shell that you have left hollow Cám ơn (thank you), but my life is my own.