NOSTALGIA: FEM Winter 2022

Page 1

With almost half of the Winter 2022 quarter online, we have had the opportunity to be sentimental of the past. When I was younger, all I wanted was to be older. Now, as an “adult” I wish to be able to return to the “good ‘ol days,” but instead I just reminisce. Five years ago, I was running my One Direction fan account, ten years ago I was playing tag with the neighborhood kids, and fifteen years ago I was gardening with my grandparents. These memories bring me a sense of nostalgia, what about you? I have the honor of presenting you with our nostalgia issue, which was wonderfully proposed by our very own Cassidy Kohlenberger. With a great theme, came great pitches. We received 27 pitches, and narrowed it down to 17 articles. Our zine consists of five articles from each writing section. In addition, you can expect beyond cool photos from the nostalgia shoot and sweet tunes curated by our radio team. I would also like to take this time to thank our talented design team for taking our vision and making it a reality. I am grateful for FEM’s senior staff for being so amazing (as always). We could not have asked for a better 2021-2022 staff, I truly appreciate all of the love you have put into our community. Lastly, shout out to my brilliant managing editor Concepción for always being there for me and ourWithmembers.thatbeing said, thank you to our readers for supporting us and I hope you all enjoy our nostalgia issue! With love,

FEM PRESENTSTheNostalgiaZine

Editor’sNote Editor’s RevisitingNostalgiaNotePlaylistColaChicken Wings The Soundtrack of My Rage Our Invisible Reflection Are You Gaslight, Gatekeep, or NostalgicGirlboss? Dumps: Open Letter to the DismantlingChildhood-lesstheNostalgia of the Nuclear Family 221614128642

2022FEM 5 NostalgiaPlaylist 4 • Eliza — Livid • the rosettes — So Young • Honey Mooncie — Should’ve Been You • Kehlani — Honey • Cyanca — New phone • Erykah Badu — On & On • Hinds — And I Will Send Your Flowers Back • HNNY - Sunday • Donna Summer — I Feel Love • Kimya Dawson — I Like Giants • Sales — Big Sis • Umi — Butterfly • Miya Folick — What We’ve Made • Ezra Furman — Love You So Bad StaffContributors: Editor-in-Chief Cindy Quach Managing Editor Concepción Esparza Arts & Creative Section Editor: Charlie Stuip Amariyah Lane-Volz Trisha Khattar Dialogue Section Editor: Angela Patel Alexus Torres Najda Hadi-St John Campus Life Section Editor: Chloë Vigil Ashley Leung Minnie Seo Politics Section Editor: Mar Escusa Noor KelseyHasanNgante Entertainment Section Editor: Kelsey Chan Amanda La Julianne Estur Maya MakaylaLu Williams Design Co-Heads: Grace Ciacciarelli Hailey LaurenLynaughCramer Bela KatelynnHaiqiCoralCassandraChauhanSanchezUtnehmerZhouPerez Video Co-Head: Cassidy Kohlenberger Anna Ziser Social Planning Section Head: Anna Mook Cali Perez Chavez Kristin Haegelin Radio Co-Heads: Anjali KelseySinghalNgante Tiffany Peverilla Jaime Jiang

Mom: “I played card with your dad yesterday. We played 5 rounds and I won a thousand SheRMB!”started laughing. Dad: “Your mom had the best luck.” Mom: “I don’t know if it was my luck or if your dad was letting me win.” Dad: “Every time I had a good hand, your mom had a better one!”

ColaRevisitingChicken Wings

6. For the final step, place the lid on your pan/wok and put the fire at medium heat to boil. Once it is at a boil, lower heat to allow it to cook for 10-15 minutes. As it cooks, you will see the Cola caramelize. After 10-15 minutes, it is ready!


2022FEM 7

7. Here is my taste of my home to yours, I recommend enjoying your wings with some white rice! :)

5. Next, pour Cola (I recommend the brand Coca Cola) in the pan/ wok until the wings are fully submerged. If you are feeling fancy, you can add star anise and chili flakes in for additional flavor.

After calling my parents on New Year’s Day, I realized suddenly that I haven’t been home in more than two years. The city that I grew up in has become so unfamiliar, so distant. I constantly struggle with the thought that my country does not want me back. And it could be true. Chinese international students are stuck between the worsening US-China relations, between racism in the States and criticism of Chinese netizens. “Don’t bring COVID back to China,” they would say. “Go back to China,” they would say. In the midst of all this, food is my purest memory of Whilehome.talking with friends about our parents’ cooking the other day, I thought about the food my mom used to make and started crying. I was reminded of the feeling of going home after school to a table of mouthwatering dishes. During dinner, my mom would always ask me: “Did you have a good time at school?” I would mumble yes while devouring a Cola chicken wing with my second bowl of rice (I was still growing). Unsurprisingly, the thought of food from home has become the biggest trigger for the girl who finds herself stuck in the U.S. What is the past tense of food? In our memory of food, is there a smell? Is there a taste? I decided to ask my mom for her recipe of Cola chicken wings, one of my favorite dishes, also a combination of the U.S. and China. Here it is, a taste of my home.

1. Clean about 1 pound of chicken wings and cut two vertical slices on the surface of each wing, put the wings into a bowl for the next step.

4. Then, put the chicken wings in a hot pan/wok and fry them for two minutes with medium heat.

Recipe for Cola Chicken Wings


3. After two hours, heat your pan/wok with 1 tbsp of cooking oil and 3 slices of ginger, cook until the ginger aroma fills the air.

writing and design by Haiqi Zhou

2. Now, you will make a marinade and pour it into the chicken wing bowl, start with 2 tbsp soy sauce, 3 slices of ginger, and 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce (optional). Mix the marinade and wings throughout, and let it sit out for two hours.

To a white reader, Cooper’s words are incendiary. How dare she say such a thing? Does she know how far she is setting back Black women right now? To a Black femme reader like me, her words were a balm. Here was a Black woman acknowledging the pain and fury of fellow Black women and femmes, telling them they had every right to be angry. Given how much we put up with in this country, from living with the chronic stress brought on by daily racism and misogynoir to being forced to shoulder the unrealistic (and racist) burden of being the savior of America, why shouldn’t we let the world know we’re pissed? Yet, Cooper’s words were a deliberate rejection of what I had to adapt to as a kid.

Indirectly, I was taught that the worst thing a Black woman or femme could be was angry. We needed to be calm and approachable. I watched my father, a Black man who can freely express his fury, tell my mother to “calm down” whenever she was in distress. I, too, got the “calm down” refrain from my dad and my mom. Being told to “calm down” peeved me more than some random kid making fun of my hoodie. If my parents weren’t telling me to calm down at home, I was hearing about people (read: white people) telling a Black woman to calm down. During the Obama years, Michelle Obama would easily be branded “the angry Black woman” because she refused to be in the background. Michelle always spoke up for herself and for those who couldn’t, but she might as well had been committing an act of treason every time she spoke.

The Soundtrack of My Rage

It was reminiscent of how Serena Williams’ rage on the tennis court was used against her in the press. At best, her rage was unsportsmanlike; at worst, it was ugly. As a result, Serena was seen as a raging animal or, worse, a crybaby. Seeing Serena and Michelle get torn down in the press or on social media sparked an awful thought in my brain: this is routine for us. Black women and femmes were always at risk of being subjected to misogynoir – a cross-pollination of racism and misogyny directed squarely at Black women and femmes – in their day-today lives. Thus, the famous “mad as hell” scene from “Network.”

by Makayla Williams, design by Bela Chauhan


outburst – now part of modern cinema history – succinctly sums up my adolescence. I wasn’t always an angry kid, but, whenever I think back to my childhood, I only remember the rage. When I look at pictures from my youth, I always hone in on the big smile on my face in nearly every school photo. Maybe that girl had everyone else fooled, but I knew how angry she was. The memories that stick out from are the bad ones, namely the bullying and how it came in different flavors, like a shitty, knockoff version of Baskin-Robbins. I was overweight, so thinner girls and heavierset girls made fun of my body. I was shy, so extroverted kids made me feel bad for not talking enough. I was tomboyish, so I got sneers from girls who hated how I dressed and fangirled over “Doctor Who” and “The TheX-Files.”teasing over my weight led to an unhealthy relationship with my body and food. Eventually, I became convinced that I didn’t deserve to be alive. Suicidal thoughts suddenly became a constant in my life, and they continue to be part of my young adulthood. Worst of all, I took that pain out on others. I shut out anyone, kids and adults alike, who tried to bond with me. Most of the time, I thought I didn’t deserve friendship, that I deserved to be sad and lonely. Then, the switch was flipped. I can’t recall when but I was certain of one thing: I was mad as hell, and I wasn’t going to take it anymore. Who’s Afraid of the Angry Black Femme? In her 2018 book “Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower,” author Brittney Cooper makes a provocative declaration: Black women are mad as hell… and they should be. “Black women have the right to be mad as hell,” Cooper writes, “There is no other group, save Indigenous women, that knows and understands more than fully the soul of the American body politic than Black women, whose reproductive and social labor have made the world what it is.

Watching misogynoir happen in front of me, long before I knew such a word even existed, was distressing. I had to escape it – no, I needed to escape it. So, I ran headfirst into an unusual space, one where rage wasn’t this beast that threatened to swallow society whole: alternative rock. “I’ll Stop the Whole World from Turning Into a Monster” Today, there’s a running gag on Twitter about Black people loving Paramore, but, back in middle school, I treated them with abjection. In the mid-2000s, it was cool to hate on the “Twilight” franchise and the teenagers who loved it. Although Paramore had a song on the “Twilight” soundtrack, to be outed as a “Twi-hard” was a social life death sentence. So, in 2011, I listened to Paramore for the first time, free from any dumb pretensions about “Twilight.” A random music channel happened to be playing the music video for “Monster,” which was featured on the soundtrack for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” The most vivid memory I have about “Monster” was Hayley’s red hair. It was a light red with tinges of blonde at the roots, but still fiery. It was like Molly Ringwald got the makeover instead of Ally Sheedy in “The Breakfast Club.” In Paramore’s world, the outcast was the cool girl. But more than that, the outcast got to speak her mind. Reading the lyrics of “Monster” now, it is obvious that Hayley is directly addressing how she was vilified by her former bandmates in a blog post. Despite being twenty-three, I still interpret them the same way I heard them at twelve-years-old: a scathing screed against a rapidly crumbling world. Coupled with a grungy aesthetic and shots of the band running through an abandoned hospital, “Monster” captured my teenage experience. Whatever innocent world I lived in was shattered by wall-to-wall news coverage of Black bodies being brutalized by police officers and white supremacist vigilantes and the Black Lives Matter protests that arose in response. Adding insult to injury, of course, was the misogynoir prevalent in mass media and pop culture. When all you see is the horror of being Black in America, a decrepit, abandoned hospital quickly falling apart felt like an apt description of my Black adolescent experience. Somehow, these three white twentysomethings from Tennessee captured what it felt to be a Black pre-teen witnessing the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement and coming to grips with the insidious anti-Blackness of American life. It was unsettling. It was also the most realistic “Black women are mad as hell… and they should be.”

8 9 2022FEM

This is not mere propaganda. Black women know what it means to love ourselves in a world that hates us.”

Introduction With 1976’s “Network,” actor Peter Finch cemented his place in pop culture history, thanks to the now-iconic line: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” As TV news anchor Howard Beale, Finch’s oftquoted declaration conveys a specific type of rage. It’s the kind someone feels when they come to terms with how powerless and alone they feel. It’s a boiling, heartbreaking rage over the way life keeps disappointing Howard’syou.

(CONTENT WARNING: The following piece contains mentions of bullying, self-harm, body dysmorphia, depression, and suicidal ideation. There are also extended mentions of anti-Black racism, misogynoir, and white supremacy.)

10 11 2022FEM

If there’s one thing I have learned from this pandemic, it’s that America has been friends with ignorance for too long. Paramore grew up and dropped the deadweight that held them back from growing up. Maybe it’s time for America to do the same.


I already knew the song was inspired by Hayley’s battles with depression, so that wasn’t the reason I had that painful lump in my throat. Like they did when I was twelve, Paramore captured what it felt like to be Black, femme, and in distress. Most importantly, Paramore gave me a muchneeded space to let out all the emotions I had been stifling throughout the pandemic–especially that twisted, monstrous fusion of rage and sadness. I was mad as hell, and I couldn’t take the depression, the anxiety, and the Black death anymore. I was tired of the constant negging on about staying positive; there was nothing positive about what we were living through. Being told repeatedly to “stay positive” or “remain calm” felt like more of the respectability politics I had swallowed since I was a kid. How was I supposed to stay calm in the face of both a global pandemic and exacerbated anti-Black racism? Matter of fact, why should I have to? Black femme rage is a terrifying thing, no doubt about it. When Black women and femmes get angry, it has the potential to upend everything the colonial-capitalist white supremacist empire holds near and dear. We can transform that anger into meaningful action; just look at how we turned Donald Trump into a one-term president. Mass media says we saved American democracy by rejecting the neo-facist, white nationalist reality TV reject, but really we just aren’t the type to suffer fools lightly. Nor did we save American democracy; it is just as corrupt as any of the institutions that have sprung from it. It’s been that way for awhile; it didn’t start when Trump got elected. We’re just waiting for everyone else to get a clue.

“All That I Want is to Wake Up Fine” As the world began to grasp the scope of the global coronavirus pandemic in 2020, I was also preparing to start my first year at UCLA. The fall quarter was supposed to be – please forgive the “High School Musical” reference – the start of something new. For three years, I worked hard throughout community college, pushing myself to get my associate’s degree. There were lots of tears, sleepless nights, and anger, but somehow I pulled off the impossible. Additionally, I was learning to live with anxiety and clinical depression. After years of struggling with ill mental health, I discovered what I was experiencing had a name and others my age were coping with the same struggles. Heck, I’d even gotten my first steady job working at the local movie theater. For the first time, things weren’t so bleak. I actually felt like a (mostly) functioning young adult. Then, the world shut down. For yet another year, I was at home with my parents, stuck in my tiny, messy bedroom. I had to subsist off unemployment checks that barely covered textbooks, let alone basic necessities. I had to learn how to navigate life with a mask on and re-learn how to go inside a store without having an anxiety attack. And, I had to make my bedroom a functional learning space, which was hard to do with all the Funko POPs that took up space on my desk. All of these circumstances reignited the rage I thought I had left back in high school. Worst yet, they also triggered depressive episodes that grew harder to recover from. Since I couldn’t see my therapist in person, I had to talk to her over the phone or Zoom, but this didn’t help.

Combining the zany, upbeat flare of the synthheavy 80s New Wave with classic coming of age themes, “After Laughter” honestly confronted the brutal and messy transition from adolescence to adulthood. As Hayley Williams told The New York Times: “You can run on the fumes of being a teenager for as long as you want, but eventually life hits you real hard.” I didn’t appreciate “After Laughter” when it was first released. Partly because I thought it was childish to be nostalgic for the stuff that brought you joy as a kid, and partly because I didn’t want to relive the worst years of my life during what proved to be the worst year of my young adulthood. So, I shut Paramore out. Fast forward to 2020, and I was listening to “Hard Times,” the first song off the album. “All that I want,” sings Hayley in the first verse, “is to wake up fine/Tell me that I’m alright/That I ain’t gonna die.” Despite the aggressively joyful synth-pop beat, that first verse summed up how I was feeling in the early days of the pandemic. More than going outside or being around my friends, all I wanted was to wake up the next morning and feel okay. Like the world as I knew it wasn’t teetering on the brink of collapse. Needless to say, I got choked up listening to “Hard Times.”

representation of Black American teen life I’d ever seen. After “Monster,” I immediately sought out more Paramore. I listened to their music, including “Decode” from the “Twilight” soundtrack, for the rest of that evening. Not just because I loved what I was hearing, but because, for the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel so alone and helpless.

That simmering rage was now coupled with sadness. The seemingly endless news coverage of the police lynchings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the white supremacist vigilante killing of Ahmaud Arbery didn’t help either. I couldn’t bear to see more Black lives snuffed out by a colonial-capitalist white supremacist empire. Their faces, their deaths, their grieving families … they were all over my Instagram feed and the national news cycle. It was a brutal reminder that not only was Black death a constant fixture of the pandemic, but that Black death was a constant fixture of American life. For the first time in a few years, I re-listened to Paramore’s 2016 album, “After Laughter.”

For Paramore, “ignorance is your new best friend” makes for a great chorus. For the rest of America, it makes for a reality we’re tired of.

Time and time again it is proven that the voices of oppressed communities are unvalued and their voices go unheard. If the institutions and organizations we are a part of want to claim they support diversity, inclusivity, and equity, they must be held to a higher standard and held responsible for their failures. Professors can say they value and want to support their marginalized students, but active actions must be taken to prove that before they claim that they care. If they are not held accountable, UCLA will only further oppress communities that have given this institution and its student body the diverse and liberal qualities they claim to promote.

The United States (currently) faces the COVID variant, omicron. UCLA students and faculty find themselves scrambling from Zoom and to classrooms, with little support and high expectations. If the administration had just listened first to the underrepresented voices that requested for hybrid options, maybe the first four weeks of Winter Quarter would not have been as tumultuous. When the demands of marginalized people are ignored and suppressed, itultimately affects us all. A majority of a group may want to make the excuse that since a certain group is in the minority, their opinions and concerns should not affect the whole group— but it is quite the opposite. If the majority does not respond to the basic rights of a minority, the minority is further oppressed and subjugated by the majority, ultimately creating more inequality. There is a ripple effect that is created by a splash of apathy. Right before the genesis of Together, the early forms of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 were vetoed twice by Richard Nixon, leading to protests led by the Disabled in Action (DIA) organization run by Judith Heumann.

However, Together’s earliest article about disability rights is dated to 1994. As inclusive as Together and FEM have historically strived to be, the inclusion of disability rights within the publication has been a fairly recent development, though disabled people have always and will be a part of society. Our nostalgia should not come before the needs and rights of those around us, and perhaps part of our nostalgia praxis should include the reflections of our shortcomings.

the DSU conducted the longest sitin in UCLA history. However, the continuous usurpation of disability rights has been going on since late May 2021. The UCLA Academic Senate and consulting administration decided to place a unit cap on disabled students’ priority enrollment, ignoring the many difficult realities that disabled students have to go through. Even before the past few years, UCLA has been ahead of the disability law requirements, but have still fallen short. In another article from Together in 1994, then 24 year-old student Celia Salinas —a legally blind student— remarked that, “We are, in fact, ahead of the requirements by law.” Salinas then went on to comment on the “convoluted and stupid” ramps at UCLA, pointing out how they were “too steep, too narrow, and they’re not in a logical places… Also when it rains, where the ramp intersects with the street, it’s a big, huge puddle.”

In order to not commit the same mistake twice, it is important to learn what was originally wrong; however if the same mistakes persist, there has been no learning.

other social activism? How do we prevent ourselves from falling into selective allyship? We can start off with sincere, strict, and comprehensive reflection of our present Asmoment.UCLA returns to implementing in-person instruction, everybody can feel the prepandemic memories emerge. Things going “back to normal” necessitates adherence to COVID protocols, but is that enough? Is it enough when the Disabled Student Union (DSU) is still continuing to advocate for hybrid learning options, reinstatement of priority enrollment, and their basic rights to education when UCLA should have listened Recently,first?

Even the Medical Center at the time was not wheelchair accessible past the 1st or 2nd floor. While UCLA was supposedly ahead of the curve, clearly they were not listening to the actual thoughts and opinions of disabled people. Advocacy can only be considered as such if it takes into account the actual needs and wants of the group it is trying to advocate for.

1312 —at the time— was not keen on the idea of a feminist centered news outlet. However, the destigmatization of feminism in mainstream media in the 1980s allowed the publicated to be redesignated as a feminist paper. Eventually, in 1996, the publication decided to rebrand what we know it as today: FEM — UCLA’s Feminist Newsmagazine. While I looked at an old copy of Together from 1975, I found myself looking at the flipped out curtain bangs, huge square glasses, and different prints. Through this indulgence in the aesthetics of Second-Wave Feminism Advocacy, I almost forgot about the reality of the movement, which was saturated with white feminism, selective allyship, and respectability politics. In recent years, it’s been easy to point out the problems and recognize the importance of intersectional feminism and womanism. Even an article from this issue of Together says, “‘Where are minority women in feminism?’” We find ourselves asking the same question — albeit with different words and perspectives — nearly 50 years later: have we made space for marginalized people within feminism or As the word “Nostalgia” provokes retrospection, it can be easy to reflect upon the past with rose-colored glasses — remembering the good days when there seemed to be never-ending freedom from worry and everything seemed so much easier… Was everything really as great as we remember it to be? Even before the pandemic, was everything perfect? Memories of dunkaroos, Lisa Frank, De Neve Late Night, and maskless students may come to mind, but is it the proverbial “good ol’ days” or the sheer ignorance that makes it easier to look back? The process of looking back on these times can prevent the reflection of the mistakes and flaws of not only ourselves, but also our society and campus. Perhaps this nostalgia, an escape from our reality, paves over the words we most needed to hear and the people we needed to scrutinize in order to Let’sprogress.take a look at FEM. Our publication was first known as “Together” from 1973 to 1996. In the beginning, Together was considered a women’s interest paper. UCLA Our Invisible Reflection by Minnie Seo, design by Lauren Leung Cramer

LifeCampus 2022FEM

14 15 Are You Gaslight, Gatekeep, or Girlboss? by Chloe Vigil, design by Coral UtnehmerCREATivE+Arts 2022FEM

dance about. Does it lie in your escape? The books you read, the shows you watched, or maybe, the Tumblr blogs you were too young to see. But where are you in this narrative, Memorieschild? of youth come hard to you. While everyone recalls their childhood filled with reds, oranges, blues, pinks, and purples all you can recall is gray. Being the parent who raised babies while being the baby yourself. Everything you did was for your family because you love them so much. It feels as though your life was never truly yours and all the choices you make are perfectly calculated, producing the best results. Your grand performance of childhood that deserved a standing ovation was met with the shy squeak of a mouse. No one has ever thanked you or acknowledged the sacrifices you made, but you have never expected praise. This was your responsibility. Even now you may not have any regrets about your childhood because you hold intense love for your family. You love them enough to be okay with the idea of sacrificing your own childhood because you kept your family together. You know that the children you raise will have long-lasting childhood memories. You know that everything you sacrificed made sure your family survived another day. But it’s okay to be angry about not having a childhood. It’s okay to be upset at the gray area of your crucial developmental years. It’s okay to have never refined your narrative; you have never taken the time to care for yourself and explore your likes, wants, and needs. So, what do you like? No, not what does your family like or what were you expected to like, but what do you like? It’s okay not to know. It is okay to be confused. Now is your time

AFrom,Healing Child Hello Lonely Child, How are you? I ask this as I know it is rare that someone genuinely cares how you are feeling. I ask you now in hopes that you reflect on yourself today as you read this. I hope you deeply evaluate how you truly feel, not the feelings you show to your family or the sentiments you express in social settings, but the authentic you. You are unreasonably expected to perform well at all times and perform well you do, but what about you? You, whose hazy, childhood memories are overrun by a forced responsibility over a child, while you were a child yourself. You, who carries hazy memories of translating important legal documents for your immigrant parents. You, whose hazy childhood you spent raising yourself and becoming your own provider. An adult since you were old enough to take directions, from “watch your brother” to “make yourself lunch”; you alone have faced challenges and tasks that no one else your age had to do. You alone, who was so worried about providing for yourself and your family that you had childhood ripped away from you. Time that was for watching whatever was playing on Disney Channel or Nickelodeon was replaced with worrying about if your family had enough money to feed everyone that day, or if your family would be able to survive another fight. My little peacemaker, nostalgia is hard for you because what is there to be nostalgic about? You were never allowed the luxury of playtime or the beauty of self-discovery, expelled with anxiousness and worry. What is your Doesnostalgia?itliein the children you raised? Watching those kids growing up, taking them places, helping them with their homework, laughing whilst watching their smiling faces

Nostalgic Dumps: Open Letter to the Childhood-less by Alexus Torres, design by Bela Chauhan morning. Wake up early on Saturday and watch cartoons. Play in puddles in the rain. Color outside of the lines. Learn to become comfortable with yourself, but also with others. You have been alone for so long and sometimes you feel as though people are a hindrance to you but it’s okay to let people in. It is okay to ask for help when you need it. No one will think you are weak or annoying for needing a helping hand. You are human, harmonizing child. Your life does not end when you turn eighteen. You are a forever-growing tree. You will grow new branches, new leaves, and, over time, maybe even some fruit and flowers. Even in your growth journey, you will experience hardships. You may not flower every spring. Some will take your branches and use them to start a fire. You will lose branches and leaves as you grow but that’s okay too, it is all a part of the circle of your life. Now is the time to focus on your needs and focus on your likes and dislikes. What makes you happy? What makes you unhappy? What’s your favorite song? Who’s your favorite cartoon character? What’s your favorite book? What’s your favorite food? Now is the time to figure this out. Figure it out for you, not your family, not your kids, not for what your friends have said but truly for yourself. You deserve the kinship of childhood, lonely child. You deserve the chaos of childhood, peaceful child. You deserve the clash of childhood, harmonizing child. This and much more. Now is the time to discover yourself, child. To discover yourself.

2022FEM 16 17 DIALOGUE

FEM 2022 Looking Back, Looking Forward FourFEMmembersgetupcloseandpersonal! photo editing by Lauren Cramer interview by Cassidy Kohlenberger photos and creative direction by Grace Ciacciarelli In line with our Winter Quarter theme, we sat down with FEM members of departmentsdifferent,majors, and ages who reflected on moments in their lives that contributed to their individual growth and support of FEM’s politicalhighlightednarrativestheirmoretheirawkwardvisionanti-imperialist,anti-capitalist,intersectional.Fromlaughingoversharedexperiencesofpreteenyearstoconfessingcomplexstruggleswithinlivesandrelationships,theofourfourparticipantsbothapersonalandcoming-of-age. 18 19

“Growing up with having only a maternal figure in my life, having my mom be two parents, I think it was kind of cool to see my mom feel like she didn’t have to pick up a masculine side and fulfill masculine duties. Having that example, not feeling like I had to stand up to a man’s perception of success–I think being feminine is easily successful seeing my mom do it.”


“I used to woodwork with my dad a lot, and he was one of my biggest supporters in challenging my femininity. That kind of led me to challenge other aspects of my life as well, and I started labeling myself as a feminist in middle school, and that spiraled into the feminist pipeline of realizing all the things in the world that needed challenging.” “W hen I was younger, my grandma would go to these rich people’s homes and clean. I’d help her out and sometimes I’d get really nosy and go through people’s rooms, pretending it ’s my own. That’s really tied with how I’ve grown I think, because I’ve really been looking for where I belong and can create a community that’s my home. It’s helped me grow that socioeconomic perspective.”

AleAle BelaBelaCaliCali KyraKyra

Celebrity crush? “Nicki Minaj When I saw the ‘Anaconda’ video I was like, This is it for me!” Favoritemember?1D “Harry. I am a Wattpad girl through and through.”

Coolest middle school fit? “My emo black pants and an oversized hoodie.”

“I remember seeing the Lizzo Cuz I Love You album cover and realizing that I didn’t have to keep shrinking myself to be beautiful. That cover was the first step to unlearning a lot of the hatred I had for my body growing up. I have fat, I grew up chubby and I still have fat and I am fat. But for me, that’s not as negatively charged anymore because [I recognize] that that’s what capitalism sees us as–you think fat, you think bad; you think big, you think ugly. To me, those words aren’t as hurtful anymore.”

21 2022FEM

Full video interview coming soon onFull video interview on


Best place to shop during your preteen years? “Claire’s, 100%.”

The idealism of the nuclear family has become customary to the United States since its inception. Along with this custom, however, came the traditions of protest, discontent, and active destruction of social barriers by Black, Indigenous, and immigrant communities of the 19th century. It is the mobilized effort of marginalized communities in the US that single-handedly continue to battle the generational nostalgia of the everproblematic nuclear family.

22 Politics

family to not only be critical to humanity’s purpose, but also to policy agenda-setting.

23 2022FEM

The efforts of contemporary lawmakers and politicians desperately push for policy agendas which attempt to uphold and protect these traditions. The center of American life and of political action largely recognizes the preservation of the nuclear Family by Noor Hasan, design by Cassandra Sanchez

The sociological standpoint of the nuclear family actively discounts class struggles, one-parent households, and individuals who cannot have or do not want children. It forcibly takes individuals outside of its parameters and, for generations, emotionally isolates them through its stereotypical views of the American family. A family living in the US with immigrants, Black individuals, Muslim individuals, Jewish individuals, Latinx individuals, LGBTQ+ individuals, Asian individuals, Native American individuals, and other POC, (or an intersection of the listed identities) is simply not allotted the structural privilege of being recognized as warm, charming, homey, and are not free to express vulnerable emotion in the ways the white American nuclear family is.

Dismantling the Nostalgia of the Nuclear

The classic political landscape of the United States has structurally placed the sustenance of the nuclear family at the forefront of every one of its institutions. At the core of this nuclear family rests a firmly heteronormative (heterosexuality as the prefered societal norm), white, evangelical Christian household with—historically speaking—staunch colonialist agendas. The pitiful social institutions of the very first colonizers of Eastern American Indigenous lands obstinately contented evangelicalism and the white nuclear family as “superior” and “modernized” in comparison to the spiritual, social, and political practices of the region’s Native Americans. The colonizers felt their social structures were morally correct and by expanding their colonialist agendas through “God’s virtue” of Manifest Destiny, they effectively placed the sentiment of the nuclear family at the core of the formation of the United States. Sheer irony rests in the fact that the Indigenous Native Americans not only had existing vastly intricate societies, politics, and religions, but also taught the “modern” colonizers how to bathe and effectively sustain themselves and the land. It is evident that the modern US nuclear family was fundamentally built upon racist and ideologically destructive grounds. These racist barriers continue to flourish and for generations have actively excluded each and every minority group. The white heteronormativity of the nuclear family has created nostalgic imagery in media (I Love Lucy being a prime example), holidays, politics, and in our nostalgic views of the very concept of family. The comfort and warmth the stereotypical white family brings around the Thanksgiving table is a powerful form of targeted capitalistic imagery that has been indoctrinated into the cultural understanding of how the American family is supposed to look. A family which does not adhere to the strictures of heteronormativity, whiteness, and evangelicalism is not recognized as one which is warm, comforting, happy, and nostalgic in the ways the nuclear family is and thus, not granted the same social and political Throughprivileges.theknowledge and insight taught in an enriching public history course by UCLA Professor Dr. Tawny Paul, I learned it is this reason that the white colonialist American holiday of Thanksgiving is still widely celebrated today—it is a nod to the “nostalgia” of an escape from the diversified urban cities and a return to inside the suburban white New England nuclear home. The capitalist market behind Thanksgiving also relies on this nostalgia and exclusion to appeal to traditional American conservatism.

It is for this reason that contentious political debate relentlessly encircles the subject of family. The conservative pleas in the political arena at large serve to protect the white evangelical family. Gun control, abortion, expanding LGBTQ+ rights, easing immigration law, and expanding voting rights actively threaten the intrinsic racism and sociopolitical conservatism of the evangelical nuclear family’s belief system. The conservative obsession with protecting “family values’’ is a thinly veiled rhetorical tool which seeks to protect the white nuclear family whose ancestors aggressively colonized Indigenous lands.