Young Women Smashing Societal Standards
Body | Fashion | Career | Education | Government | Activism Wellness | Community | Art | Entertainment
And we are the dreamers of dreams, Wandering by lone sea-breakers And sitting by desolate streams; World losers and world forsakers, On whom the pale moon gleams: Yet we are the movers and shakers Of the world forever, it seems.” — ODE, ARTHUR O'SHAUGHNESSY
“We are the music-makers,
Make Muse is a media brand dedicated to highlighting the vast and varied experiences of young women, trans woman, and non-binary individuals and all of the cool things they do--on any scale. We explore what feminism actually means by looking at existing societal standards for women through daily news, creative content, submitted work, and a semi-annual scrapbook-style print edition. Make Muse tells the stories of individuals doing cool stuff on any scale, rather than focusing on known-names or celebrities. Covering a wide range of intelligent topics, we know that young women are not solely interested in style, food, or art. Our content focuses on challenging gender roles and encouraging our readers to be daring, action-oriented, and most importantly, who they are, despite whatever society says they should be like. We publish daily news summaries, personal essays, poetry, and interviews centered around our mission. We share six news stories that dive into the topics of gender and feminism and their impact on body, career, politics, lifestyle, and art everyday, Monday through Friday, making it easy to stay informed and inspired to fight for gender equality. Our writers, photographers, and artists produce work that voices experiences and propel action. Interviews with featured women roundup our online content. The Make Muse magazine is a hold-in-your-hands keepsake comprised of exclusive pieces and the best of our submitted content, resembling a scrapbook or journal. It’s not just a magazine; it’s a momento that’s designed to be the perfect thing to look at when you need a bit of inspiration, a great gift for your best friend, or something special to look forward to twice a year. We’re covering intelligent topics, fulfilling a need for a smart print magazine for young women. Visit us at www.makemuse.online and on social media at @makemuse
Director: Maura Sheedy Print Editor: Kathryn Hornyak Online Editor: Beth Brandon Designer: Luiza Sandru Photographer: Melina Triffon
Writers: Sienna Brancato Kelly Friday Caroline Geithner Olivia Jimenez Lidija Jurovich Melanie Rodriguez Caitlin Panarella Mary Sutton Vivian Yang
Contributors: Sarah Beidatsch Lucie Blissett Alyssa Cassarino Danielle Decker Alexandra Geist Amy Morales Zehra Naqvi Sophia Naqvi Sarah Six Keyana Taffe Serena Zets
c ont ent s 4 Dear Reader, As the Founder of Make Muse, I’m thrilled to welcome you to the first print edition of Make Muse. Make Muse has been a part of my life for over four years now, and I’m ecstatic to bring this print magazine to life along with the entirety of the Make Muse team.
Make Muse began as a small Instagram account called @makeuplessmaura where I documented my experience spending a year makeup-free as a personal project. The experience gave me my first platform and initial passion to speak out against the messages society feeds young women, especially those related to beauty and body image. Living a makeup-free year still remains a defining period in my life, but after my no makeup experience, watching the 2016 political climate unfold, and holding my first job in a corporate setting, I came to the conclusion that beauty standards are not the only expectations for women that need to change-- change is needed in the entertainment industry, in politics, in the workplace, and so many other areas. Make Muse, an online news and media website and, now, a bi-annual print publication, is a continuation of Makeupless Maura as well as an ongoing response to these experiences.
Make Muse tells the stories of individuals doing cool stuff on any scale, rather than focusing on known-names or celebrities. Covering a wide range of intelligent topics-- body, fashion, career, education, government, activism, wellness, community, art, and entertainment-- we recognize that people like you and me aren’t interested solely in style or food or art. We care about the world, are worried about our futures, and want to have fun in the midst of our global chaos, too. Our goal is to give you the muse to go out and make a change, especially when it comes to societal standards for women and existing gender roles. You’re the young woman who writes her plans to save the world in her agenda, fills notepads with late-night hopes and dreams, and carries worn paperbacks in your favorite bag. This is a smart magazine designed for young women like you who know the value of offline content. We’re here for the movers and the shakers. We hope that Make Muse will be resource of inspiration that encourages YOU to be daring, action-oriented, and most importantly, comfortable with who you are, despite whatever society says you should be.
& The Make Muse Team
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words by LIDIJA JUROVICH
During my freshman year of college, I was assigned a semester long thesis project about any pressing issue I wanted to address. I researched the intersection between women and children’s self-esteem and their exposure to fashion and beauty advertisements. Months were spent scouring the internet for videos, articles, scientific reports, and more, learning about how modern-day advertising practices were deteriorating our selfesteem and self-confidence. Little did I know that this project would transform me into the body-positive activist I am today.
During my sophomore year of college, I became an Aerie Ambassador. My role was to educate girls at my college about the importance of learning to love yourself and embracing your imperfections. This position continued to fuel my passion for teaching girls and women body-positive practices, and led me to create this guide.
Now, at the end of 2018, it seems like almost every week a reputable brand introduces a new body-positive campaign or inclusive product line. From clothing brands like Missguided, to makeup lines like Fenty Beauty, to studies like one from Canada’s UBC Sauder School of Business concluding that campaigns that elicit envy in their customers actually hurts business, 2018 truly feels like the Year of Body Positivity and Inclusion. In honor of the Year of Body Positivity, the next few pages will be devoted to what you can do to educate, inspire, and learn to love yourself.
Brands need to change their marketing strategies in order to help the nationwide epidemic of eating disorders that have arisen due to unattainable body types created by advertisers. But it is also up to consumers to take a stance. One of the easiest and most effective things we can do is reaching out and voicing our opinions to brands on social media. Remember in January of 2018 when Tarte released a line of foundations with only a single dark shade in the whole collection? Thanks to outrage on Twitter on Instagram, Tarte faced serious backlash: a major drop in sales and customer loyalty. As a response, they, and other major makeup brands, are in the works of creating new foundation shades that are suitable for a much wider range of skin tones. Another easy way to take a stance is by refusing to buy from brands that continue to use Photoshop and exclude diverse body types in their cast of models. For example, I do not purchase from Victoria’s Secret or VS Pink, not only because shopping in these stores makes me uncomfortable about myself and my body, but be-
cause their advertisements are overly sexualized and intended for the male gaze. Because Victoria’s Secret has yet to change their advertising and social media strategy to current consumer demand by continuing to place their focus on over the top sexiness, exclusion, and emphasizing their products over their consumers, their stock value has dropped 44% in the past year (Bloomberg). Another important practice of smart consumerism is researching brands before you buy from them. A lot of brands have jumped on the body-positive bandwagon because it’s “hot” right now and promises to increase their sales. But not all body-positive campaigns are genuine, only a malicious way to bring in more revenue... A perfect example is the Dove #RealBeauty campaign. At first glance, a consumer might think Dove’s mission is incredible, myself included. But Dove is actually owned by the parent company, Unilever, an international consumer goods giant.
A few other brands in Unilever’s portfolio are Fair and Lovely Skin Whitening Cream, a skin bleaching cream targeted towards Indian and black customers, and Axe body spray, which has been in the spotlight for overly sexualized ads that objectify women. Dove has faced criticism that their #RealBeauty campaign was created just to boost sales, as their sister companies profit off telling women and men they aren’t good enough.
W O L L O F
Although each of these women are unique in their own way, from singers to bloggers to supermodels, they all have one common denominator: by using their individual skill-sets and platforms, they are helping teach the world the importance of bodypositivity and inclusion. (Major girl crush alert!) @iskra Body Positive Activist, NEDA Ambassador, #AerieREAL Role Model and Supermodel
It’s hard to search body positivity without ending up at Iskra’s Instagram page or one of her #SelfCareSunday videos. Beginning her modelling career in her early teens, Iskra quickly succumbed to the pressures of the fashion industry, and battled with eating disorders and low self-esteem. Now, she has become a role model for millions of girls and women after standing up to the industry and refusing to be photoshopped in any of her pictures. At the beginning of 2018, Iskra launched Everybody with Iskra, the first body-positive workout and healthy eating community, which places emphasis on sisterhood and self-care. Iskra is best known for being the face of Aerie, and is using her platform as an international model to voices her opinions and work to progress the fashion industry. Check out her TED Talk, Ending the Pursuit of Perfection, if you are interested in learning more about her story.
RIHANNA Rihanna’s passion for makeup began at a young age, and although she wasn’t allowed to wear it, this spark helped create her infamous Fenty makeup collection. In September of 2017, Rihanna made waves dropping a collection of forty foundation shades suitable for a wide range of skin tones, including often-overlooked deeper ones. The mission of her brand is to create products that everyone can use, and she places emphasis on creating products for groups marginalized by the beauty industry, like her Trophy Wife Highlighter. In the spring of 2018, she dabbled in fashion design, and created Savage, a sexy lingerie line with a size range much larger than available in big box stores like Victoria’s Secret. @badgirlriri International Superstar, Businesswoman, Designer, Actress
MEGAN JANE CRABBE @bodyposipanda Body-Positive Blogger, Instagrammer
Don’t let the cotton candy colored hair fool you - Megan means business. She has made it her mission to educate as many girls and women on the importance of bodypositivity as she can. At age 5, she began hating her body, and struggled with numerous types of eating disorders throughout her adolescence. By 2018, she had grown her platform to 1 million Instagram followers and had created an uplifting and inspiring community for girls to share their concerns, successes, and setbacks on their journeys to body-positivity.
@dothehotpants Speaker, Educator, Event Creator
Beginning her career in the fashion industry, Dana quickly realized that her work was fuelling her eating disorder. After leaving the fashion industry, Dana founded #MyBodyStory and the Ripple. Now Dana educates teachers, parents and care givers on how to stop an eating disorders in girls before it begins. Her Ted Talks, Keynote speeches, and Summit Panels are focused on putting children on a path towards self-love and empowerment. Check out her blog: dothehotpants.com to learn more.
We’ve talked about body positivity a lot, but that doesn’t mean your brain is going to immediately accept your flaws or imperfections. Body positivity is a journey, not without failures and setbacks. The most important thing you can do is create a tool box of activities, affirmations, and life-style changes that can help you learn to love yourself. Although it is a rewarding and beautiful experience, it’s not always easy - it took me almost 19 years to learn how to love myself. But it is well worth it, I promise you.
Here are a few brands making waves in the industry for inclusive and body-positive campaigns:
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An instant mood booster is jamming out to empowering songs that you can belt out. It’s the easiest way to bolster your confidence and attitude. I’ve shared a few of my favorites to get you started:
Check out some of the positive affirmations I’ve written out on the next page. 12
D0 : self-care practices Power Stances: Look in the mirror and realize that you, yes you, have survived your worst days, enjoyed your best days, and are stronger than you know. Do some power stances pretend you’re Beyonacé, Wonder Woman, your role model, or whoever makes you feel strong and worthy Drink a big mug of tea: green tea, peppermint, and chamomile are all calming choices. Watch a documentary on something you’ve always wanted to learn about - Hulu and Netflix have some great options Facetime your best friends Organize your bedroom: donate what you aren’t using 13
Create a mood board on Pinterest, maybe a dream home or vacation! Make a collage: I like creating colorful dream and goal boards to inspire myself and decorate my walls
Connecting women to nature @forrestfreckles
Burn your favorite candle and let the scent fill your room Go on a long walk Listen to calming music Draw in a journal DIY a facemask Bake cookies or something sweet Try some breathing exercises - they help more than you’d think Unfollow social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself Cut negative or toxic people out of your life, you’ll have instant results
One of my favorite ways to incorporate self-care into my life is by keeping up a good skin care routine. I like to end my night by taking off any makeup I am wearing, washing my face, and putting on moisturizer and night cream. Just sticking to these ten minutes at night knowing I’m doing something that is just for myself makes me feel like I can at least be in control of something.
Prints for sale: society6.com/cassarinoart Citations:
“Sauder School of Business.” UBC Sauder School of Business | University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada | MBA, MSc, PhD, Executive Education, EMBA. Accessed August 01, 2018. http://www.sauder.ubc.ca/News/2018/Using_envy_as_a_marketing_tool_can_ backfire. Rupp, Lindsey. “Victoria’s Secret Is Still Advertising to Women Like It’s 1999.” Bloomberg.com. May 23, 2018. Accessed August 01, 2018. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-23/victoria-s-secret-is-still-advertising-to-women-like-it-s-1999.
Power of Red Lipstick The Undeniable Power of Red Lipstick The Undeniable Power of Red Lipstick The Undeniable Power of
Power of Red Lipstick The Undeniable Power of Red Lipstick The Undeniable Power of Red Lipstick The Undeniable Power of
Power of words by DANIELLE DECKER
The Undeniable Power of Red Lipstick The Undeniable Power of Red Lipstick The Undeniable Power of
She was a historically expert gift-giver, but when I unwrapped the tiny present, I knew she missed the mark. Women fell into one of two categories: those bold enough to pull off red lipstick and those who knew better than to try. I fell into the latter category. Red lipstick was for other women– other, more fabulous women. It was for my mother, a serial red lipstick-wearer and the type of person who lights up a room when she walks in. Red just makes sense on her. She could wear red lipstick because she always had. So could those other women who wore red lipstick, because they were inherently glamorous. They were beautiful creatures worthy of this bold color. I was neither glamorous, bold, or sexy. Not to mention, I had nowhere to wear red lipstick, because clearly you had to be going somewhere for that sort of thing. I was a college student whose most important event was class. Given the overwhelming evidence that I was ill suited for it, I buried that tube of Mac Red deep in my makeup bag. Mom, for once in her life, had gotten it wrong. Red was everything I wasn’t.
red lipstick was for
other women... Red was everything I wasn't
The lipstick remained there for several months entirely ignored. That is, until one fateful night when I was getting ready for a night out. Noticing the red lipstick abandoned amongst my cosmetics, I threw caution to the wind. I may not have been worthy, but in a moment of reckless daring, I decided I could fake it for a few hours. I filled in my lips, lined my Cupid’s bow, and headed out with my girlfriends. Something peculiar happened. No one accused me of lacking the glamour required for such a statement. Nobody told me red was not for me. In fact, more than a friend or two told me how good I looked in red. Realizing no one had called my bluff, I began to test the waters and let that tube of lipstick out to play. Its appearance was initially limited to long nights exercising my newfound right to enjoy the bars. Its purpose seemed best served on those occasions, an aid to fun in the dwindling days of my college career. With adulthood looming on the horizon, I was anything but confident, yet those swipes of red emboldened me. I began to understand there was something behind red lipstick. It makes you feel things. It makes you different somehow. A few months after college graduation, I boarded a plane to Spain to teach English. Spain is where my red lipstick habit, which until then had been reserved strictly for bars and dancing, seeped into everyday life. 17
"I needed no one's permission to wear red."
After all, if any place demands red lipstick on the regular, it’s Spain. While conservative in many regards, the land of flamenco and sunshine and late nights is a country that accepts women who adorn their bodies however they please. Accepted are the grandmothers who dye their hair five shades of purple. So are the middle-aged mothers who bare their post-baby breasts at the beach without a care in the world. Also accepted are the women of all shapes and sizes who don crop tops and short shorts in the summer, unconcerned about whether or not they have “the body for it.” Spain allowed me to fully buy into the idea that I could be whatever type of woman I wanted, just as I realized this was something I would have to decide. Spain made me realize I needed no one’s permission to wear red.
Words by MAURA SHEEDY
Ouchshe’s been stung with the not drop-dead-gorgeous, more like hopelessly less-than-average looks. She hates the yellow adipose and blackheads she’s been given. She starts to listen, then follow, then worship the diet tips the others buzz about. They say it’s as sweet as honey to be thin. She soon learns skinny is better than slim and that’s better than thin. The skinniest ones are the queen bees, the not-so-little lazy drones. There’s a reason there’s only one queen in the hive. And she wants to be itthe best, the worshipped. She becomes like the bad, who swarm home to their computers to share their stats and review diets. The inches around her waist come off like the bees take off pollen from flowers (making them prettier too). Until all the good flowers in the garden have been plucked, now there’s nothing but bones left. There’s a reason most bees don’t even live a year long. The remains are only some beeswax turned into a candle that only makes the relatives wonder why their little niece did this to herself. These bees stand for the skinny bitches who look hatefully pretty in their profile pictures. These bees stand for developing bulimia and binding calorie limits because you want to yuck inside you out as much as the yuck that you can pull on the outside off too. These bees stand for being hopelessly full of blah and bleak because you eternally badmouth your big, bulky body. Watch out for bee stings. You might be allergic.
10 Lingerie Brands for the Body & Soul words by VIVIAN YANG
Recently, while I was shopping for underwear, I realized how limited my options were as only two brands came to mind. Therefore, I was inspired to dig deeper into the lingerie industry to see what’s going on. According to the Edited, today, underwear makes up a larger proportion of the US market – 4% (equating ~$12 billion). And on a global scale, lingerie is expected to hit $55.83 billion by 2024. Interestingly, you would think popular lingerie brands are owned by females, but you see I found that not to be the case. The CEO of Victoria’s Secret is An 82-yearold man. The CEO Calvin Klein is a man. Agent Provocateur also recently hired a male CEO. Even the founder and CEO of newly-established Adore Me is a man. Can we all agree that this is problematic!? Don’t think so? Let me convince you: 1. When men control a female-focused industry, Women’s underwear is designed and marketed through a male gaze, which to be honest, is incorrect.
2. The point is comfort and confidence and not so much seduction. 3. Lack of innovation. Men are not the one wearing them... so how would they know what a comfortable and good lingerie is. With that being said. I did some digging for you guys and SURPRISE! Most up and coming lingerie brands doing good for the world are led by women. These brands highlight issues related to body image, financial equity, sustainability, as well as corporate social responsibility. Besides selling lingerie, they bring these issues to the surface and make fixing them a priority. When we support these women-led lingerie brands, we are not only supporting a new idea of what it means to be sexy, from a woman’s perspective, but also empowering women through our purchasing power. Because these brands are created for women by women, they know the value of comfort, practicality, and inclusivity. And when we choose to buy from socially responsible
brands (brands that care about customers’ well-being and are actually do things to fix problems in the world), we are also supporting the women they hire around the world who make the garments. It’s important to be mindful of which brands that hire women in less developed countries are actually paying them living wages with good benefits, because this helps to improve their standard of living, provide their children with education, and help them reach financial stability.
1. Naja Web: naja.co Insta: @naja
Overall, we need some Bomb lingerie that’s good for the body and soul. Here are 10 brands that I found that are comfortable and empowering. When you buy their products, you know you are not only doing good to yourself by buying comfortable clothes, but also contributing to causes that help other women.
Naja is serious about empowering women. Founded by Catalina Girald and Gina Rodriguez, Naja carries a wide variety of styles and fits in their collections, from bold, bright prints to classic colors. Their Nude for All collection offers bras and underwear in seven different shades of nude. The growing company employs single mothers and women who are heads of their households. Through their Underwear for Hope program, not only do they provide women in the slums of Colombia with employment opportunities to work from home and become their own “micro-entrepreneurs,” but they go one step further with flexible work policies that allow women to balance work and childcare. The company also pays the workers fair wages and provides them with health and childcare benefits. Moreover, every child of Naja garment workers receives books, school supplies, uniforms and all school meals paid by Naja. Also, two percent of Naja’s revenue is donated to local charities to provide continuous education to women. This ethical lingerie brand is also eco-minded, as Naja uses digital printing to drastically minimize water usage and utilizes materials from recycled water bottles wherever possible.
2. Lively Lively is inspired by what they believe makes women sexy today; smart, healthy, active and outgoing. They deliver bras and undies that fuse lingerie, activewear, and swim, taking the best elements of high-style and comfort from each category. Their team has more than 60 years of experience in lingerie manufacturing and strives to create the highest quality bras and underwear (they use the softest lace and innovative, functional hardware). They have their own factory, so the company has ultimate control when it comes to quality and customer feedback.
Web: wearlively.com Insta: @wearlively
3. Azura Bay
Azura Bay is an online website that carries a curated collection of ethical, eco, organic, & fair-trade lingerie brands - including some of our favorites like Sokoloff, PACT and Vitamin A. Many of the brands that they carry are woman-owned. When customers check out, they have the option of helping to restore and protect our environment and wildlife or to support health and human rights programs for women and girls around the world. Proceeds can go to Because I am a Girl, the World Wildlife Fund, or Nature Conservancy of Canada. Because I am a Girl (BIAAG) initiative is run by Plan International with the purpose of ending gender inequality and promoting girls’ rights. Plan operates a wide range of programs to improve the status of girls and gives them equal access to health care, education, protection, freedom and an opportunity to participate in society.
THINX is making periods more comfortable for women everywhere with period-proof undies that offer leak-free support on even the heaviest days of your flow. Guided by two pillars- empowerment and access- they are paying it forward to people with periods. Through their education program, they empower young people with safe spaces to learn about reproductive health and human rights. They also provide resources to like-minded nonprofit partners to create access and impact that matters. In addition, they ensure their female workers are paid fairly and work in healthy, safe, and supportive workplaces in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, they donate period products to grassroots organizations and local initiatives whose missions it is to ensure funding and distribution for programs and services that support underserved people with periods, including survivors of domestic violence, refugees, and the homeless.
WWF (World Wildlife Fund) is working to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature by ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption, and conserving the world’s biological diversity. Nature Conservancy of Canada - The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation’s leading not-for-profit private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2.7 million acres (1.1 million hectares) of land, coast to coast.
6. House of Anesi
Web: shethinx.com Insta: @shethinx
Web: azurabay.com Insta: @azura_bay
House of Anesi was founded after three friends, Jacob John, Leen Al-Taher, and CEO Stephania Stefanakou, met on the first day of the Reengineering Fashion competition at Ryerson University’s Sandbox. They ended up winning the competition with the Anesi bra, which adapts to a woman’s breast size changes and be 10x more comfortable than leading options. The Anesi bra (Anesi means comfort in Greek, btw) is the first of its kind. The company uses cooling gel straps, a unique 3D metal-free underwire, and elastically differentiated fabric that stays snug as your body changes to create the world’s first truly ‘smart’ bra.
Web: knix.com Insta: @knixwear
Web: harathelabel.com Insta: @hara.lingerie
Knix is a brand that puts women’s’ needs first. Knix is best known for two standout inventions. One is the Evolution Bra, which was one of Kickstarter’s most successful campaigns ever, generating $1 million in sales and over 55,000 preorders. The promise was simple: A bra that could do it all. It’s reversible, constructed for high performance, can be worn eight different ways, and is made out of antimicrobial, quick-drying, moisture-wicking materials without wires. Joanna Griffith created it as the first bra she could truly wear all day without changing for separate occasions. The company’s second high-exposure moment was with its leakproof line- underwear that promises to work as a replacement product or backup for your period, with different levels of absorption. The brand also established Knixteen, a teen-specific line, to provide teenagers with affordable and flattering period-management underwear. As their mission is to empower women and inspire confidence one piece at a time, the brand is collaborating with LGBTQ advocate Jazz Jennings to design bras for transgender girls.
Web: houseofanesi.com Insta: @houseofanesi
Hara uses soft bamboo fabrics and natural dyes that come from fruit trees for their bralettes and undies that are made by their in-house production team in Bali, Indonesia. The company ensures fair working conditions and living wages and provides many staff perks. To produce high-quality bamboo fabric, a non-toxic solvent is used in a closed-loop system to break down the ‘woody’ bamboo pulp. They only source their bamboo fabrics from suppliers that can provide both organic certifications for growing raw bamboo and OEKO-TEX 100 certifications, which prove that no harmful chemicals were used throughout the various stages of the process and no harmful chemicals are present at all on the final product.
flare.com | knix.com
Shop Glo Sisters words by ZEHRA & SOPHIA NAKVI
Zehra Naqvi was a CEO, entrepreneur, and fashion designer all at the age of 13. Her initial small business turned empowerment revolution, GLO, launched as a means to need a demand in Hong Kong then grew along with Zehra who is now 19. Zehra’s sister, Sophia Naqvi, is a 17 year-old Singaporean-Pakistani student, activist, and entrepreneur living in Hong Kong. At the tender age of twelve, she and her sister Zehra launched GLO, an online fashion store that brought trendy graphic tee-shirts typically only found in the US to Hong Kong. Since then, Sophia has not only grown GLO into a successful clothing company with thousands of customers worldwide but has also aided GLO in its transition to becoming a socially aware space with the creation of the Empowerment Campaigns and GLOHub.
8. Negative Web: negativeunderwear.com Insta: @negativeunderwear
Negative prioritizes fit, function, comfort, and aesthetics. They focus on the essentials and ditch the rest- there’s no lace, no padding, no bows, and no decorations. Millennial cofounders Marissa Vosper and Lauren Schwab market their lingerie brand Negative Underwear as the anti-Victoria’s Secret, aiming to make lingerie from a woman’s perspective, instead of through the eyes of a man. The University of Pennsylvania alumnae are standing out in the undergarment industry, offering women high-quality, comfortable, and stylish lingerie through a direct-to-consumer business model. Negative Underwear retails bottoms from $28 to $45, and bras from $55 to $75. They just launched their first in-store retail collaboration with Steven Alan.
9. Neon Moon Web: neonmoon.co Insta: @neonmoonco
Neon Moon is a London-based, body positive lingerie brand that celebrates women of all shapes, sizes, and races. Their high-quality, accessibly priced pieces are ethically made in factories in the UK as well as different parts of the world. Affordability is extremely important to Neon Moon, as their mission statement is, “feminist lingerie is not a privilege, it’s a right.” The brand has been well-received by the community, launching after a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign raising over £7,780 for the company. It has since featured in Bustle, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and other renowned publications.
10. Third Love Web: thirdlove.com Insta: @thirdlove
Thirdlove had developed a collection of bras that look as incredible as they feel. Their innovative Breast Shape Dictionary enables you to identify your shape and find styles that fit your body perfectly. To cater to women whose breast size fall between cup sizes, they invented half-cup sizing to provide more accuracy. Rather than relying on standard industry size templates, they design and fit their bras using real women’s measurements. They launched #BreakTheMold, a campaign to encourage bra-wearers to carve one’s own path, say no to ill-fitting expectations, and embrace the beautiful details that make each woman unique. At its core, the campaign is about supporting one another. They’ve donated over $3 million worth of bras to women in need across the country since 2013. 24
www.shopglohub.com SOPHIA When GLO was first established, I focused a lot more on the technical aspects of the company - contacting manufacturers, handling and creating a shipping schedule, building a website, and establishing our brand through social media. Meeting different manufacturers, contacting influencers, and learning how to organize code for the website was definitely no easy task for a seventh grader, but GLO was something that Zehra and I were deeply passionate about, so none of the initial heavy lifting I had to do felt burdensome. Starting a company at a young age was absolutely daunting, but it’s helped me grow in so many ways that other extracurriculars, such as a playing sport or joining a club, couldn’t. I learned about leadership, collaboration, communication, and most importantly, maturity, in ways that have contributed immensely to the person I am today. Furthermore, working in the fashion industry at the young age of twelve allowed me to observe and better understand the role we play in the transmission of beauty standards and fortification of certain social inequalities prevalent in the industry, such as colorism and lack of representation. This understanding not only led to the establishment of the empowerment campaign in 2016 and GLOHub in 2018, but also allowed me to delve deeper into understanding systemic social inequalities through all of my other extracurricular activities and in numerous academic settings. In my final year of Middle School and first year of High School, I became deeply invested in understanding social inequalities and beauty standards that were prevalent in my own communities. Although I grew up in a multicultural environment and city, I still felt the effects of colorism and discrimination, and began to realize that these effects had been affecting my own confidence and self-esteem. However, I never really questioned why these social issues existed, what I could do to bring awareness to them, or what I could do to solve them. In my Freshman year of High
School, however, I began to feel strongly about advocating for these issues, as I saw a lack of discussion or acknowledgement of them in my own High School or within groups of people my age in Hong Kong. The Empowerment Campaign was born in October of my Sophomore Year, after we decided that GLO was a unique platform that could be used to instigate conversation, acknowledgement, and change surrounding beauty standards and social issues that we felt had to be acknowledged.
Using something as fundamental as the quintessential graphic tee to empower young women and men to question the prejudices they held or were facing was something we felt would be innovative, and had the possibility to grow into a larger movement. Two years later, I can confidently say that our hope for the empowerment campaign has been realized, with the release of two more empowerment campaigns and creation of GLOHub, an empowering space for young entrepreneurs and innovators to discuss their ideas for how we can collectively better our communities and the world. I always hoped it would, but never imagined that in such a short time, it would’ve been able to grow to where it’s at now. I remember all the milestones - getting our first samples delivered, our hundredth order, reaching 10,000 followers on instagram, shooting for the first empowerment campaign. We initially just expected to get a few orders a month from customers in Hong Kong, but within a few months, we were shipping orders all over the world, from the US, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and France, to name a few places. Additionally, GLO didn’t start out as being the socially aware brand that it is today - initially, it was simply a brand that seeked to fill a niche in the market and to allow teens in Hong Kong to have the same access to trendy, high quality, affordable fashion as other young adults around the world did. I’m so proud of the fact that now, GLO is focused on empowering young people and working to give disenfranchised people a voice through GLOHub. In my Sophomore Year of High School, I took AP World History as my first AP Class. I’m very much a humanities oriented person, and although it was known to be one of the hardest classes at my school, I was looking forward to the class as I knew that I was interested in the subject. Through the course, I learned why history is so relevant, and how it’s contributed to the way we live life today. Studying the rise and fall of empires, birth of new religions, and interstate conflicts gave me a renewed understanding of the way society today functioned. Specifically, studying colonialism allowed me to understand why issues such as colorism, racism, and certain eurocentric beauty standards were prevalent in Pakistan and Hong Kong, both post-colonial countries. This fascination of understanding social inequalities led me to do extensive research into the subject, including a two and a half week long internship at the Asia Art Archive that included working with the research team.
ZEHRA In my final year of Middle School and first year of High School, I became deeply invested in understanding social inequalities and beauty standards that were prevalent in my own communities. Although I grew up in a multicultural environment and city, I still felt the effects of colorism and discrimination, and began to realize that these effects had been affecting my own confidence and self-esteem. However, I never really questioned why these social issues existed, what I could do to bring awareness to them, or what I could do to solve them.
In my Freshman year of High School, however, I began to feel strongly about advocating for these issues, as I saw a lack of discussion or acknowledgement of them in my own High School or within groups of people my age in Hong Kong. The Empowerment Campaign was born in October of my Sophomore Year, after we decided that GLO was a unique platform that could be used to instigate conversation, acknowledgement, and change surrounding beauty standards and social issues that we felt had to be acknowledged. Using something as fundamental as the quintessential graphic tee to empower young women and men to question the prejudices they held or were facing was something we felt would be innovative, and had the possibility to grow into a larger movement. Two years later, I can confidently say that our hope for the empowerment campaign has been realized, with the release of two more empowerment campaigns and creation of GLOHub, an empowering space for young entrepreneurs and innovators to discuss their ideas for how we can collectively better our communities and the world. I always hoped it would, but never imagined that in such a short time, it would’ve been able to grow to where it’s at now. I remember all the milestones - getting our first samples delivered, our hundredth order, reaching 10,000 followers on instagram, shooting for the first empowerment campaign. We initially just expected to get a few orders a month from customers in Hong Kong, but within a few months, we were shipping orders all over the world, from the US, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and France, to name a few places. Additionally, GLO didn’t start out as being the socially aware brand that it is today - initially, it was simply a brand that seeked to fill a niche in the market and to allow teens in Hong Kong to have the same access to trendy, high quality, affordable fashion as other young adults around the world did. I’m so proud of the fact that now, GLO is focused on empowering young people and working to give disenfranchised people a voice through GLOHub. In my Sophomore Year of High School, I took AP World History as my first AP Class. I’m very much a humanities oriented person, and although it was known to be one of the hardest classes at my school, I was looking forward to the class as I knew that I was interested in the subject. Through the course, I learned why history is so relevant, and how it’s contributed to the way we live life today. Studying the rise and fall of empires, birth of new religions, and interstate conflicts gave me a renewed understanding of the way society today functioned. Specifically, studying colonialism allowed me to understand why issues such as colorism, racism, and certain eurocentric beauty standards were prevalent in Pakistan and Hong Kong, both post-colonial countries. This fascination of understanding social inequalities led me to do extensive research into the subject, including a two and a half week long internship at the Asia Art Archive that included working with the research team. As I grew older, the issues in the world that had been part of my life from a young age became extremely apparent. What did it mean to be Pakistani and Muslim in America or even in Hong Kong. How would I address the discrimination in a positive light? GLO grew as I did and the platform shifted to empowerment. I feel it’s so important to use your platform to incite conversation. Whether you share a Facebook post or create a clothing line, beginning conversation about these issues is key and I wanted to do this when I realized that GLO could be used to incite change back in 2016.
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Our future is to continue to be a site for conversation and empowerment. With the launch of our sister site: www.shopglohub.com we aim to empower and encourage young entrepreneurs to continue pursuing their passions and inciting conversation with their work. The business ideas and art of young people shouldn’t be dismissed but should be celebrated and that’s GLO’s aim.
C P I I
A T V T
Some of you may be wondering
swallowing her skin,
how we know this one is a female.
chameleon-ing her body,
Well, when we captured her,
masking herself in artifice.
she was grasping a copy of Cosmopolitan in
She is cunning, a master of deception.
She was a difficult one to capture,
She has learned to manipulate her
like a Holy Bible.
let me tell you.
appearance to her advantage.
Men are usually found holding Sports
Most come easy, willingly.
She is just applying the camouflage she has
They have been told this is what they should
become so accustomed to.
That is how we distinguish their genders.
struggling to take flight.
Don’t tap on the glass!
Her stomach caves inward
We have tried for so long
like a mouth begging to be fed.
to make her believe she is not a sideshow.
Can’t imagine why though.
Hair hanging in lank curls like coiled snakes.
We tell her she is not trapped.
Who wouldn’t prefer the safety of constraints
Eyes hollow, with black sunken lids.
We convince her she is free.
to the freedom of danger?
She attempts to smile, her bloody lips
Do not ruin our carefully crafted illusion.
In time, she will come to love it here, to love the attention of the dozens of
cracking with a motion that has become unfamiliar.
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen,
Her teeth are yellow and broken.
She will live the rest of her life in this cage,
I will be your tour guide today.
She does not look like much.
striving to amuse,
Isn’t that what they all want?
attempting to entertain.
Isn’t that why they paint their faces in that
You’re in for a real treat!
She is the finest specimen in our collection.
They should crave this life.
Ribs jut from her chest like wings
We will not let that happen.
Look to your left and see a girl
We’ve got a new exhibit that’s just arrived,
If you watch her for long enough,
and it seems to be a crowd pleaser.
she may walk a few circles around the cage
We weigh her against a grain of sand
and wear such constricting garments?
Follow me, and stick together!
she has come to call home.
at the end of every day
They are certainly a strange species.
We’ll be entering the enclosure soon.
But only if you’re lucky.
and tell her she is too much.
Most of the time she remains immobile,
“Shrink yourself,” we say.
The inscription on the outside of her
Don’t step too loudly. You’ll startle her.
the last vestiges of protest finally leaving her,
We feed her a mixture of vodka, concealer,
enclosure clearly reads:
She is fragile and unaccustomed to your
as though a watchful statue,
and her own blood
She was not born in captivity.
hoping to disappear into anonymity.
from a baby bottle.
No sudden movements.
What is she waiting for?
She cannot grow large enough to escape the
You will provoke the beast.
Or better yet, who?
box she lives in.
words by SIENNA BRANCATO
Bl ack Femininity
words & photography by KEYANA TAFFE
sprout from kings and queens
a history of resilience grown bound to a commitment to persevere
to color the chains that weigh us down to paint a different narrative bury us with our ancestors
and weâ€™ll thrive among the flowers
? s r o t n e M , e r e h T u , g n i l Are Yo g g u r t S A , e It’s M ! ! ! t l u d A g n You IDAY LY FR
L by KE words
You may be asking yourself: what is it like to have a mentor? Well, I’ve never had one, so I really couldn’t tell you the specifics. A better question to ask me would be: what is it like without a mentor? Once I graduated from high school, my plan was to major in Neuroscience, minor in computer science, and maybe throw in a certificate just for the hell of it. After a semester of college, I had a serious chat with myself and decided that maybe Neuroscience wasn’t the best choice for me. This was around the time I checked my grades and saw I was sporting a D in Chemistry, which happened to be a required minor for the Neuro major. Believe me, that D was not for lack of trying, but Neuro just wasn’t in the cards. So, I was in major limbo. For a while, the humanities pulled me into their grasp and I thought I could major in Anthropology and maybe live in an obscure village in the Amazon for a few years studying the lifestyles of its inhabitants. Shockingly, that major didn’t pan out either. After that, I decided to go back to my roots and major in Computer Science. I was a decent enough programmer, but I had to work extremely hard to keep up with everyone else in my classes who seemed to have a natural talent for writing code. And don’t get me started on those 90% male classes. After two semesters as a CS major, I had an even more serious chat with myself. I didn’t want to spend my career staring at thousands of lines of code searching for “bugs.” I scrapped that major too. I can tell you at this point in my college career, I lived everyday in a mild to moderate panic. Two years gone, and I had still not officially declared a major. At the end of the last spring semester I visited my academic advisor, and completely leveled with her. I said-- and this is a direct quote--
“Dear God, please help me, Lauren, because I have no idea what I’m Doing.” Lauren successfully calmed me down and
started grilling me. What classes did I like? What aspects of my job did I like? I work in a healthcare office for the university, so we developed a list of healthcare related majors, and after choking back tears and taking a couple deep breaths, I decided to apply to a Health Information Management program. I got in. I sure hope this one sticks. Actually, it probably is a good idea to ask this question,
R U O Y T A H W T O N ASK ! U O Y R O F O D MENTOR CAN and more. How can having a mentor be beneficial? and is it worth it? My answer, coming from someone who struggles without a mentor, is yes, it’s worth it. Having a strong mentor, especially a female one, as a young woman can enrich your life in more ways than one, but particularly in your career. If you’re anything like me, you might be young, confused, nervous about stepping out into the real world. Thankfully, a mentor can help with that. If you’re just starting out, a mentor can help you get your foot in the door of industries you’re interested in. They can teach you the inner workings of the workplace environment, while helping you identify your skill sets. Building a successful and fulfilling career is all about strategy, and everyone has to start somewhere. With a mentor, you have the chance to develop a plan- a vision1 early on that could potentially define your advancement. Essentially, mentors help you get where you want to go, even when you might not know exactly where that is yet. They serve as conduits for networking, introducing you to others and making connections at every turn, maybe even suggesting you for a promotion. The connections they can help you build are priceless, especially the one you create with your mentor directly. For young girls, trust is so important in our jobs. We want the assurance that we will be treated fairly and with respect. Once we establish trust with our mentors, we can open up a little more and gain invaluable perspective.
Generally, mentors exist to motivate, direct, and inspire focus. They motivate you to push yourself, and define your own personal idea of success. They stand with you to direct you to the farthest reaches of your career goals. They inspire the utmost focus within you, to ensure that you are doing everything you can to better yourself. For women in entry level positions, knowing that someone, especially another woman who went through the same challenges, is confident in them is immeasurable to their personal development.
Here’s looking ! ! ! r o t n e m , u o y t a So, a mentor can inspire you. They can act as a driving force at the beginning of your career and long after. But how far does a mentor’s reach really go? What can they teach you about your chosen field, about life in general? What can you learn from their experience? When you’re just starting out, mentors can prepare you for a career, because unfortunately, you can’t be a lifeguard forever. Summer ends, and winter is coming in the form of a 9 to 5 job. Having a dedicated mentor by your side can be the difference between getting that job, or getting passed over.
People need people to succeed. And women need women. In my own job, I work with the most amazing and hard-working women. They work well together and feed off of each other’s achievements, offering support, advice and complements when they’re due. I’ve seen them problem solve in minutes, and foster an environment of positive communication and connectivity at every level. They ignite a spark within me. I want to be like them when I grow up, and I want other girls to find these kinds of role models too; to see other fabulous women in action in the workplace, and to gain exceptional life experience from them.
WHERE IN THE WORLD I S MY m e n t D L o R O r W E H ?! T IN E R WHE
Once you have a focus, a mentor can help you find internships, apprenticeships and more, all perfectly attuned to your goals. They can be there for every stage in your career from beginning to end. With more girls rising through the ranks in underrepresented fields like STEM, law, and finance, having a mentor can provide the confidence needed to follow through and make a difference in the course of your entire life. Maybe you aspire to be an female entrepreneur, strike out on your own and start your own company. There’s a mentor for that. Maybe you want to write the next great American novel. There’s a mentor for that. Maybe you have a passion that can’t be contained. There’s a mentor for that too.
I S MY mentor?!
Talking about having a mentor is all well and good. But actually getting on your feet and finding the right one that works best with you can be daunting. As I mentioned, I don’t have a mentor, but I’m always look out for one. I’ve spoken with other young women who have amazing mentors and time and time again they all say the same things about what they get out of their experience. They want to find a good listener, teacher, and leader2. Someone who won’t put them down, but instead lift them up. Someone to build a connection with that just might end up to be a lifelong friendship.
Sometimes, a family member can make the best mentor. More often than not, a family member knows you, knows your limits, knows what you’ll do to succeed, and wants to help. Whether you like it or not, family influences you. They help you discover your core values, and aid you in your journey of self discovery. As long as they are willing to push you, give you constructive criticism, and guide you on your path, a family member might be the perfect mentor. However, for some of us, maybe a family member is the last person we want as a mentor. Maybe after living with them for 18 years you discover that your values are a little different, and while you love them, you can’t work with them, and that’s ok.
work or within your network, especially a strong female leader, can galvanize you in so many positive ways, and maybe even inspire you to make a difference in another girl’s life. If you’re not in school, there are tons of organizations, websites, and companies designed to help you. You just have to start looking. On International Women’s Day, Project Mentor was launched by Lauri Levenfeld and Adrienne Arieff with the express goal to address the lack of effective mentoring in young women seeking out first jobs or those returning to the workforce. Their mentors range in expertise from Business of Art, Entrepreneurship, Beauty/Lifestyle, Branding/Consumer Insight, Business Of Fashion, Coaching, Food, Communications/Events, Marketing, Media/Journalism, Education/ Recruiting, Entertainment, Wellness, Venture and more, and they’re all available for you.
u o Y e Ar , e r e Th n Me ? s r o t Often, you can find the best mentors right in the classroom, or right next to it. If you’re attending your professor’s office hours after every class, having long discussions about your life choices, the “real” world, and more, maybe your mentor is right in front of you. Teachers and professors are leaders who have the potential to impact you, even if they aren’t a professional in your chosen field. I’ve personally met so many people who started a relationship with a teacher as a student, and have grown that relationship into a dynamic mentorship. There is a profound level of trust between teacher and student that has the capacity to evolve into something that can positively impact you and ignite a passion you might not have known existed otherwise. In college, or even high school, your teachers and professors are there to help you succeed, to motivate you, to guide you, to listen to you, and of course, to teach you what you want to know. If you can find one that checks off all those boxes, it can’t hurt to ask them to be your mentor.
Outside of the classroom, a mentor could be a professional contact. Someone who does the kind of work you want to do and can tell you how they got there. They can also help you grow your network by connecting you with people who could be resources later down the line. Earlier, I spoke about what it means to me in my own job to see dedicated and persevering women kick ass at work. They know what they’re doing and they make me feel like I can do it too. I see their drive, ambition, and dedication to the healthcare field, and it’s infectious. Finding a professional mentor where you
Career Mentoring Programs are popping up in companies, hospitals, corporations, and social service organizations everywhere. You can also find them on websites like LinkedIn. They all have the same thing in common: they give you the chance to get paired with a hands on guide to help you along your path.
1. Lisa Tener, “11 Ways Mentors Can Help You Succeed – And How To Get Their Help,” theglasshammer. 2018, http://theglasshammer. com/2016/04/27/11-ways-mentors-can-helpyou-succeed-and-how-to-get-their-help/. 2. Joel Peterson, “Finding a Great Mentor – 10 Things to Look For,” 2014, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/finding-great-mentor-whatlook-joel-peterson.
Can you only have one mentor? Would you stop after eating just one slice of pizza? Of course not. Having multiple mentors gives you an opportunity to cover all your bases. Different mentors have different areas of expertise, can help you with accountability, and can provide unique perspectives. Multiple mentors can increase the size of your networking capabilities and can introduce you to new collections of people put in place to help you achieve success and security. You can create your very own dynamic mentor squad.
We each have different needs and want to feel secure in our career path, especially right at the beginning when venturing out into the real world for the first time feels so scary. A mentor is someone who can help you along your career path before you even get a “real” job. When we choose our own career path, whether that means becoming an entrepreneur, a congresswoman, or an astrophysicist, we are also accepting the challenges that come with it. And having a mentor by our side, empowering our choices and teaching us to take action in our careers, can help to make our goals a reality. Finding the right one is just the first step.
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The Female Career Path
Caulk of the Walk words by BETH JENSEN Recently we had a plumber to the house to fix a leaky faucet. He replaced a gasket and then casually mentioned that I may want to have my husband re-caulk the sink because some of the caulk is wearing off and it could cause mold to form underneath if water leaks through. When he said this, I was in the middle of writing him a check for his services. I stopped writing. …I’m twitchy these days.
The constant onslaught of random casually sexist comments seems to be overwhelmingly everywhere. I’m tired of hearing it. I’m tired of enduring it. I’m tired of rolling my eyes and bitching in private to my husband or friends about some sexist plumber. A paradigm shift that’s almost impossible to keep up with is multiplying: #metoo and #timesup and the giant disgusting boil that’s been bubbling under the surface for decades, centuries, has popped and is oozing into and over everything. Including this, yes, perhaps small comment by an ignorant plumber. Since I woke up to the decades of casual sexism that I casually endured and casually brushed aside, I just can’t casually go back to sleep. It’s the assumptions that get me.
I’m about to rip up this check, I think. I had to caulk my sink in my Chicago apartment every six months or so because our landlord was a cheap asshole and told me it was “fine” that the sink was basically dangling off the wall. I’m the one who removed the 90’s style glass sliding doors on our bathtub, scrubbed the scraps off, sanded, re-caulked, and painted the areas that were dented while my husband cooked dinner and cleaned the kitchen. “What makes you think I’m not the one who does the caulking in this house?” I said to the plumber.
He laughed. I think they laugh because they’re uncomfortable. I had to force myself to not nervously laugh along with him. A nervous laugh that would give him permission to not feel bad about what he said. Because if I’m laughing then I might not be serious. I continued, “My husband is not handy like that. But I am.” He said, surprisingly, “Oh, my apologies for making assumptions. Most of the women clients I meet don’t have an interest in caulking and usually have their husbands do it. This where you’ll want to caulk it to make sure it doesn’t leak.”
Of course he didn’t actually say that. He didn’t say anything. He stood there awkwardly. Laughing at me. Laughing at women. Yes, I know there are “good ones” out there but I also know that there are really really “bad ones.” And mediocre ones. And passive aggressive ones. And mansplaining ones who think they are contributing to the movement by explaining how hard it is to be a woman. Or challenging women to “Out their abusers!” without realizing how offensive that is, or picking and choosing which abusers are really the “bad ones,” because it’s a “grey area,” and because it’s “complicated.”
And then you’re continuously confronted with the ones who say, “Oh calm down it’s not that big of a deal,” and the other ones who say, “It’s a joke, Beth.” Or when they say “Since you moved to California everything is suddenly sexist,” And those who say “Oh you’re one of those feminists,” like it’s a bad word. Suddenly it feels like there’s many more bad ones than good ones. Or at least a lot of ones who don’t get it and don’t seem to even want to try.
And this makes me twitchy. And makes me want to whip out my caulk and seal every one of their sexist mouths shut until they just stop. Or are impeached. Yes, I’m angry. Because decades of this kind of bull shit sucks my patience to play nice or at least to play along.
And I’m tired. And I’m definitely never hiring this plumber again. And I’m glad I spoke up this time. And I intend to speak up every other time until the change that is coming is finally, deservedly here. And then some.
words by KELLY FRIDAY
On the interview:
On sexual harassment:
“Oh you’re a woman?”
“I feel like I’m walking on egg shells here”
You were expecting a man, based solely on the name I share With men and women
You say it like you’re the victim You feel falsely accused
I see surprise and concern etched on your face
A lingering touch
Discomfort and frustration hidden on mine
An unwanted hug
You say it like it’s a bad thing:
An inappropriate comment
You’re worried about the accusation
As if I can’t do the work
I’m worried about coming to work today
As if my gender ruins my name for you
“Yes,” I say without a smile, “It does feel tense around here.”
As if I’m less than you deserve “Yes,” I say politely with a smile, “I’m a woman.”
On getting started:
“Come on, you can take a joke right?”
On maternity leave:
“We couldn’t just wait around for you to get back so we had to promote someone else?”
You say it like you need it to be true
You say it like I’m to blame
Like if I can’t take the joke
As if you had no other choice
That makes me
There I was, laboring to bring new life into the world
Now, I have to start all over again
Laboring for the promotion that should have been mine
I’ve only just started, I think I can take it
“Yes,” I say on my way out the door,
Can I take the joke?
“But you said it would be waiting when I came back.”
“Yes,” I say kindly, but with less of a smile, “I can take a joke.”
A Teacher’s Manual: How to Reduce Gender Bias in all Areas of Education. words by CAROLINE GEITHNER
When I was in 10th grade, I was struggling in a chemistry class, consumed by selfdefeat and the conviction that I was not only terrible at chemistry, but that I was “stupid” at all sciences. When we got to class one day, the usual periodic table was not displayed on the whiteboard. Instead, we spent the entire class taking surveys and watching videos about a “Fixed vs. Growth mindset.” Stanford University research Carol Dweck introduced this idea, and I believe it speaks to the power of our attitudes in shaping our achievements and happiness. My teacher decided that we could take one day off from chemistry. Our self-esteem was more important. Introduction: The Psychology Behind Gender Bias In considering the various ways that gender bias manifests in our education system, it has been eye-opening for me to discover the degree to which bias is far less obvious than we think. In turn, gender bias manifested in the classroom is embedded into a complex web of curricula, teaching attitudes, after-school activities, and more. Gender must not be thought of as merely a biological concept, but as a social one, too. In society, gender differences are based less on chromosomes and far more on social constructs. And, we often fail to realize that believing certain social differences between men and women will actually allow these differences to manifest, whether they are rooted in reality or not. This is a phenomenon well-known in psychology as the self-fulfilling prophecy. It refers to a belief or expectation that an individual holds about a future event that manifests because the individual holds it. Say you think you’re going to have a terrible day. It is quite possible that this expectation will cause you to make this prediction real. You might subconsciously dwell on everything remotely negative and refuse to acknowledge the positive. Whether the belief you have is true or untrue, it can affect the outcome of your behavior or that of another person. 44
It is comforting to me that our attitudes allow us such a wide locus of control. Rather than focusing on the circumstances we are in, it is far more empowering and productive to focus on our attitudes and reactions to these circumstances. What makes me even more hopeful is that we can focus on shaping more inclusive attitudes from the very beginning. Educators, for instance, play a pivotal role in early childhood development, influencing how children are socialized, how they understand their identities, and how they form perceptions about the identities of others. It is time to start the conversation about gender bias earlier and in all aspects of education. I think this task is three-fold. Specifically, I think that it entails concrete measures to avoid stereotyping kids, changing the language that we use everyday, and actually having a conversation about current gender bias. Curricula should be relevant; it should address real-life bias. How to integrate gender-equal messages into the school system in all subjects
- HistorY We all know that history textbooks notoriously undercredit the tremendous achievements of women. It seems like a daunting task to consider every notable woman and every history textbook that has either left her out or misrepresented her. There are, however, several events in history that teachers can easily teach with a feminist lens.
The Women’s Suffrage Movement
Some textbooks or books describe how and when women were “given the right to vote.” This language, whether kids realize it or not, reinforces women as passive recipients of a basic human right. It does not adequately frame them as the agents of change and ambition that they were and still are. Women earned the right to vote. They fought for it, and they claimed it. Verbs ought to be active, not passive, to reflect these relentless efforts. The Declaration of Independence The Declaration of Independence says “all men are created equal.” Whether at an all-boys school, all-girls school, or co-ed school, it is vital to point this out-- to clarify that in some ways, “man” is synonymous with all people, and in other ways, it isn’t at all, and women have been historically excluded. We shouldn’t stop students from learning about the Declaration of Independence, but we can point out and discuss what it is missing, and how times have changed.
Teaching elementary school children math need not always use made-up word problems with hypothetical situations. Maybe it’s time to use real numbers and real statistics for kids to deal with in math class. For instance, there are dozens of ways to expose children of all ages to the gender pay gap. This past March, the Finance Sector of Norway posted a video of four different pairs of children—a girl and a boy in each pair-- completing tasks. In each pair, the boy and the girl did an equal amount of work, and then the boy was given a quantitatively greater reward than the girl. This is one way, for instance, to show the gender pay gap. It is one thing to tell kids “There is a gender pay gap and it is unfair” and another to show them how unfair it feels. For older kids, the gender pay gap can easily be incorporated to a math lesson. Teaching percentages? Use these statistics in math problems: In 1980, women earned 64.2% of what men earned for the same week of work. The most recent data from 2016 shows that the number is now 81.8%. When you were in elementary school, did you have math classes that were relevant to society? I personally felt like math was a subject completely detached from real life issues-- and while this didn’t mean that I learned less math, I now realize that it is quite possible, if not necessary, to learn how numbers affect the world we live in.
If a male lawyer made $3,000 per week, how much would his female coworker make? How much more does the woman need to earn for their pay to be equal? Inclusive Language I think it is difficult, but nevertheless invaluable, to strike a balance between acknowledging gender bias in society and using gender-neutral language that refuses to reinforce and highlight gender differences. In some Swedish preschools, teachers have changed the very language they use everyday. Instead of constantly referring to gender, with the common phrase, “boys and girls”, they say “friends” or call children by their names. This is a simple yet powerful way for teachers to instill in children what we have in common as opposed to our differences. Saying “children” rather than “boys and girls” or “parents” instead of “mom and dad” is hardly a difficult adaptation.
Avoid statements that generalize, such as: “boys are more…” “girls are more….”’ “you guys” or “guys” = everybody, everyone Avoid using “honey” and “sweetie” exclusively for girls.
Gendered Nouns & Alternatives Man Mankind Freshman Man-made The common man Mailman Fireman Police man
People, humanity 9th-grader, first-year student Machine-made, hand-made, artificial The average person Mail carrier, postal worker Firefighter Police officer
Speaking Up & Listening Throughout elementary school, boys and girls need to be taught proportionately about the value in speaking up and in listening. There is a time and place for both. A handful of students cannot dominate the classroom, and teachers must be profoundly aware of this. Think back to your childhood - did you have a classroom environment where you felt that your voice was valued; where you felt that teachers wanted to hear from you? When it comes to not only education, but also a sense of self-worth, it makes all the difference in the wurld.
The very layout of the classroom plays a powerful tool in students’ level of comfort and self-confidence. Teachers could switch the seating arrangement on a daily or bi-weekly basis. Give all students a chance to sit at the front, the back, and the middle. One day of the week, let students sit wherever they want. They need the freedom to decide where they are most comfortable, and giving them this token of freedom is more likely to foster cooperation in return. For those who aren’t comfortable speaking up in class, discipline and punishment will not encourage them to participate. Offer an equal balance of participation through teacher lectures and student-only groups.
Distribute Positive Feedback Often and Equally
In 1995, psychologists Steel and Aronson defined stereotype threat as “being at risk of confirming, as a self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one’s social group.” Nowadays this may not be surprising to us — we are learning more about how women’s lack of confidence and tendency to undervalue their own skills contributes to a lack of female representation in some fields as well as the gender pay gap. This is not to locate the blame in these women. It is to acknowledge that women first heard and absorbed from their surroundings that they are not as good as men. It is to confront precisely where this occurs, and how it can be reversed.
Most importantly, anyone can acquire a growth mindset. Carol Dweck cites several prerequisites: one must acknowledge and embrace one’s weaknesses, view challenges as opportunities, know your learning style, prioritize learning over seeking approval, reward effort and actions rather than traits, and learn to give and receive constructive criticism. Whether a first-grader or senior in high school, these lessons can be given to students in dozens of ways, and ought to be. Young girls and women are continuously told - both explicitly and implicitly that they are inferior to men. We need to reframe what we are telling girls in school, and as a result, what girls are absorbing, so that they don’t inherit this mindset. Gender bias towards girls in the school system is far less obvious than we realize. At the same time, it is both possible and necessary for teachers to minimize these injustices through a holistic approach. Girls’ education and well-being will profoundly benefit when teachers tweak the content of school curricula, the everyday language used in the classroom, and promote high self-esteem.
Ackerman, Courtney. “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in Psychology: 10 Examples and Definition (+PDF).” Positive Psychology Program - Your One-Stop PP Resource! May 01, 2018. Accessed August 10, 2018. https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/self-fulfilling-prophecy/ Berman, Robby. “The United States Gender Gap in 2018.” Big Think, Big Think, 24 Mar. 2018, bigthink.com/robby-berman/the-frustratingly-persistent-united-states-pay-gap Hebblethwaite, Cordelia. “Sweden’s ‘gender-neutral’ Pre-school.” BBC News. July 08, 2011. Accessed August 10, 2018. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-14038419 “Stereotype Threat (Steele, Aronson).” Learning Theories. September 30, 2017. Accessed August 10, 2018. https://www. learning-theories.com/stereotype-threat-steele-aronson.html
Imagery by OLIVIA JIMINEZ
My 10th grade chemistry teacher’s lesson on fixed and growth mindsets would become more applicable to my life than I could have ever predicted. She taught us that people with a fixed mindset believe that their basic abilities, intelligence, and talents are fixed traits. This often leads to an all-consuming fear of looking stupid, and a desire to look intelligent. After all, you are born with a certain amount of intelligence, and have no ability to change it. People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, understand the value in effort and persistence. Their abilities and intelligence are not fixed but rather can be greatly developed. This mindset is inherently rooted in hope and resilience.
C O L O S S U S
Stereotype threat has been demonstrated in dozens of academic and non-academic experiments. It has been proved to harm the academic performance on women in math and younger girls whose gender has been highlighted before completing a math task. It has decreased the performance of women in negotiation, women in driving, men in social sensitivity compared to women, and many, many more. One of the most effective ways to reduce the impact of stereotype threat is to remind people of their potential.
Why I Am More Worried Than Excited for My Sister to Go to College In just a few days my younger sister will be graduating from high school, and in just a few months, she will be starting college. Although this is an incredibly exciting time in her life, I almost wish I could keep her in high school forever. Why am I so worried? Sexual assault on campus, and the stigma that “if it happens, it happens, it’s just frat culture.” I know that if I had younger brothers instead, this fear would cease to exist.
At the end of my sophomore year of college, my best friend told me that she was almost sexually assaulted at a party. A boy that she had turned down for months decided that no wasn’t a good enough answer, tricking her into drinking to the point that she was vomiting. She passed out in his bed. When she texted me this, I was infuriated, holding back tears in my class, and also wanting to punch a hole in the wall next to me. If it wasn’t for one of her friends intervening, taking her home and watching her, the boy would have been successful. This pig even had the audacity to play off the night as a joke, as if continuing to feed her shots to the point of blacking out and not scoring was comedic. I will never forget the day after I was sexually assaulted, sobbing to a friend at a bench outside at our campus’ chapel wondering if it was my fault and why I had put myself in that situation. Society had taught me to victim blame myself. A boy I had never met, drugged me, and had sex with my near lifeless body. I knew what was going on, but literally didn’t have the energy to say no or push him off me. Because I was so uneducated about sexual assault, rape, and verbal and physical consent, I didn’t even know what the situation was classified as. Just because society would be so quick to ask: I wasn’t wearing anything particularly suggestive. I wasn’t throwing myself at him. I wasn’t someone that didn’t know of my rights. I wasn’t someone who consented to anything. Yet it happened anyway.
CHANGE IS NOT COMING FAST ENOUGH...
Colleges have made an effort to try to teach students about consent, but I believe it does little to help. At my school, the summer before freshman year, we
were forced to watch a 5-minute cartoon comparing rape to offering someone tea and if they don’t want it, don’t force it. This quickly became a joke at our school, and in my opinion, did nothing. If anything, it just made people take the concept of consent less seriously. Consent needs to be taught at a younger age. This begins with a lack of comprehensive sexual education in middle and high school. Universities that continue to make jokes about sexual assault (or pretend that a five-minute video will solve all their problems) permit their male students to expect that they will get away with sexual assault. And female students are more at risk than ever. At the root of all of this is the notion that some men are raised to believe that it’s okay to have non-consensual sex with a woman, conscious or unconscious. One in four women will be sexually assaulted by the time she is 21, but these are only the reported cases. Every girl I know has a story about sexual assault or knows a close friend that has had an encounter with sexual assault. Why can’t girls go out alone? Why are we constantly on edge at night walking around our own campuses, a supposed safe space? As Margaret Atwood famously wrote: “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”
This is not the college experience I want my sister, or anyone for that matter, to have. We both grew up very sheltered, we weren’t allowed to party, we didn’t spend much alone time with boys, and we definitely weren’t prepped on sexual assault and party culture in college. We had only seen what was glorified in movies. This summer, I’ve made it my mission to teach her as much as possible so that she does not end up in the same situation as I did. Or as my best friend did.
WHAT I PLAN TO TEACH MY SISTER
I wish I didn’t have to go over this with her, but because I don’t trust universities to stop it, I have to take matters into my own hands. Here are some of the things I hope to teach her: Always be in control of your body and your mind when you are somewhere unknown. Always stay with a friend at the party, and do not let them leave you there. Always know what you are drinking, never accept an opened drink from a stranger.
These sound like no-brainers, but if she forgets just one, someone may have an opportunity to take advantage of her. I am disgusted and disappointed that this has to be my main priority for her this summer. I would much rather help her plan her class schedule, shop for dorm décor, and help her find clubs that she might want to join. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have been monumental in creating a broader conversation, however, we have a long long way to go. Especially on college campuses. I have another sister who is not far behind this one in her journey to college. Hopefully, by the time she enters college, more progress will be made legally and as a society. By then, hopefully, both myself and my middle sister won’t have to spend time educating our baby sister on what not to do at a party, and more about how to make the years memorable in a positive way. words by LIDIJA JUROVICH
Kahlo, Davis, Keller Their footprints shaped the world But the waves wash away their names Steamrolled over with monuments Communists With textbooks Traitors With unquestionable ‘facts’ Complainers Killjoys I flip through the pages
It's normal, they say
of my 'American Studies' textbook
You didn't exist back then
Do I exist now?`
Joy when I realize we were always there
At the gaping lack
Rage when I realize we were always there
Witches Bitches Sluts Nags Girls. Sucking, eviscerating Tubman, Grimke, Thatcher,
I slam the book of history propaganda shut
Bowser, Angelou, Beauvoir,
The one that validates and undermines
Men fighting men
Sanger, Paul, Steinem
Them: better, faster, stronger
Men writing of men
Kahlo, Davis, Keller
A hole where my sisters should be.
We fling our own words back But nothing sticks.
They are too high up They who were benevolent too—
Men making mistakes
Resting on the shoulders Men winning
They stare back at me with unwavering eyes
Giving us, out of kindness and morality,
Rights they held in their hands like breadcrumbs.
Hiding in the margins of my book
In the footnotes
Their image cast in rose gold
In the conclusions
Ours with scarlet letters
Of the men in the book Who could do no wrong.
I make the grade I pass the class Sold to me
In the readings that won't be on the exam I burn the book. Troublemakers
Forced down my throat For me to regurgitate
So no one reads them.
To make the grade
Tubman, Grimke, Thatcher,
To pass the class
Bowser, Angelou, Beauvoir,
To move forward
Sanger, Paul, Steinem
words by CAITLIN PANARELLA
EVERYTHING IN THIS ARTICLE IS SATIRE -
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN
EVERYTHING IN THIS ARTICLE IS SATIRE -
EVERYTHING IN THIS ARTICLE IS SATIRE -
RUN FOR OFFICE? a satire by SIENNA BRANCATO
Are you a go-getting, high-powered woman looking get your hands dirty in the twisted realm of politics? If so, there are a few things to consider before starting a campaign. I developed a game to help you figure it out. Let’s play “So You Think You Can Run For Office.” To start, I don’t believe women should ever run for political office again. If it’s so hard, why do it? Seems like the natural order of things is just unchallenged patriarchy. Sure, there have been studies showing women bring women’s rights issues to the table in government, but who needs equal rights when we could just have peace and quiet? Elected office is like a gender pyramid: some women at the bottom, growing less and less visible toward the top. So many
government photos look like “Where’s Waldo” games, with people to spot the woman in the crowd of middle-aged men in suits. If you’re gunning for that top spot, then you’re out of luck. No woman has ever been elected U.S. President. Huh, seems like you’re determined. I guess we might as well play.
So you’re playing as a woman
This shouldn’t come as a shock to you. Presumably you’ve been a woman your whole life. But let’s look at the harsh realities. So. Many. Patriarchies. All the boys’ clubs. All of them. It’s like a fraternity where you approach the door guarded by a beefy bro in a backwards cap and khakis, and he asks you, “who do you know here?” Except then, you’d just smile, bat your eyelashes, flash some cleavage, and you’re good to go. Politics doesn’t exactly work like that. More than 500 women have decided to run for seats in the House and Senate this year, while only 20% of Congresspeople are women. Many recall the similar 1992 “year of the woman.” So, the last time a full year was dedicated to women’s political successes was 1992? Cool. More women running for office may sound great, but wait! A recent study found that some voters explicitly prefer male candidates, even when the female candidate is more qualified. Hillary Clinton, one of the most ridiculously well-qualified candidates ever to run for president, was seriously compared to Donald Trump in terms of practical experience. You remember him, right? The man who said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes? Women were traditionally barred from professions like business and law, pipelines to political office. Since incumbency is a huge factor in determining elections, naturally women are less likely to win elections. Who wants a candidate you’ve never heard of before? Isn’t it much safer to check the first box on the ballot, barely reading the name, comfortable in ignorance? Even accounting for all the external factors, it seems like women just don’t really want to run for office. The political ambition gap is a real thing! Forget that women have rarely ever been recruited to run and therefore consistently rate themselves as less qualified than men do. All the structural and cultural barriers don’t matter. At our cores, we’re just less politically ambitious. If you’re a woman: Subtract 25 points. If you’re a man: Add 25 points and skip ahead to election day now.
Where do you live what’s your party ?
A traditionally red state? A traditionally blue state? Voters in traditionally blue states are more likely to support Democratic candidates, and vice versa for red states. After the 2016 election, women have been galvanized to run for office. 350 Democratic women and 118 Republican women are running for the House. So far, 105 Democratic women have won primaries, but only 25 Republican women have done the same. Currently, there are almost three times as many Democratic Congresswomen as their Republican counterparts. Republicans are super conservative and oppose identity politics, which has led to a lack of support for female GOP candidates. Also, there are fewer conservative-leaning women in the United States as compared to liberal women (might be all those anti-women policies?). GOP primary elections are kinda like mating grounds for conservative, crotchety, elderly white people, so you can see why many Republican women don’t even make it past that stage. If you’re running in a traditionally Democratic state: Add 25 points. If you’re running in a traditionally Republican state: Subtract 25 points
Are you a mom?
Constantly ripping your hair out having to juggle your kids lives along with your own? Ever have any time for yourself? Is your post-baby body just not what it used to be? (Obviously all things to consider when campaigning, as people are quickest to judge your physical appearance. Who will take care of the kids while you’re campaigning? You weren’t thinking of hiring a nanny, were you? Girl, the second you do that you’re viewed as a rich snob who doesn’t even have time to take care of her own children. Your husband was planning on assuming the domestic duties? What did you do, cut his balls off? Why doesn’t your husband work? You were going to try to do both? Take the kids on the trail with you? If you do that, you’re a bad mother—the road’s no place for children. In juggling both, you inherently de-prioritize constituents in favor of family, so how could the public trust you? You won’t possibly have the time or energy to run a campaign. The family man with the obliging wife to take care of the kids always wins in the end. Voters are drawn to strong, rational, competent candidates, and mothers are often seen as soft and sentimental. Of course, it’s not like it’s hard work to raise a child. It doesn’t require any rationality or competence or strength at all. Modern female candidates are embracing their motherhood, emphasizing policy positions that will protect children, like banning toxins in baby bottles. Some have even breastfed in campaign ads.
Honestly, I was surprised that the straight white men of the world could take their eyes off those exposed breasts long enough to protest the icky image of a mother feeding her child! If you have children: Subtract 25 points, ---Bonus--- Subtract an extra 5 points for every child If you don’t have children: Add 0 points (the benefits of playing up your motherly role are negated by the judgment and censure you may receive for not having kids in the first place) If you never plan on having children: Subtract 10 points (Get ready for your womanhood to be questioned on the public stage.)
What is your race or ethnicity?
Women of color are actually pretty trendy this election cycle! 28-yearold Puerto Rican woman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated middle-aged white guy Joe Crowley. Cool, huh? Of course, women of color aren’t used to being exotified or tokenized in their everyday lives, so it’s always fun to do that! Treat them like strange, mysterious treasures, examine every aspect of their lives, flay them on the public stage. Women of color remain invisible in many political studies which group them with all women, all people of color, or using the blanket term “women of color,” without differentiating between Black women, Latinas, Asian women, Native women, etc. I’ll also group them together because that’s most convenient. Women of color are used to white women generalizing, making assumptions, and not devoting the effort to actually pay attention, so why should I be any different?
gaining support from their communities when running against men of color in highly competitive races. White women suffer at the polls in districts with large black and Latin populations, while minorities succeed in such districts. If you are a white woman: Add 10 points If you are a woman of color: Subtract 10 points
is your 5. What economic status? Running a campaign is expensive. As of 2012, a U.S. Senate seat costs around $10.5 million, and a seat in the House of Reps comes at the bargain price of only $1.7 million. Interruptions in work like maternity leave or childcare hurt potential female politicians. And since local and state-level officials are often paid poorly, it’s difficult for people without financial means to consider running for office. Texas legislators earn $7,200/year plus $190 per diem for expenses. So, you know, not exactly a living wage, especially when the median net worth for single women ages 18-64 is already 49 percent of that of their male counterparts. Men also tend to raise more money than women do, which hurts the reputation of female candidates. Even though women often have help from organizations like Emily’s List, they just get by, while men raise eye-catching sums. If it’s so hard to get people to give women money, I’m not sure it’s worth trying. Clearly, if we were good investments, people would support us. If you are affluent: Add 25 points If you are poor or middle class: Subtract 25 points
Women of color are often positioned at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities. Even so, theyhave achieved puzzling electoral success. Their electoral gains at all levels of office have outpaced those of white women and men of color. But they have a harder time
What is your sexual orientation?
Candidates don’t often talk openly about their sexual orientations (you know, all the stereotypes, discrimination, violent hate crimes, and stuff). But 28% of survey respondents said they would oppose a lesbian congressional candidate. 17% of respondents felt gay and lesbian candidates were less moral, and 13% implied they’d be less strong than the typical candidate. Lesbian candidates navigate negative stereotypes about their sexual orientation as well as those against women’s political capability in general. But if you love the ladies, you may be
If you are straight: Add 25 points If you are not straight: Subtract 15 points
Women are stereotypically more caring, compassionate, and emotional than men. But even when women assume masculine traits, people still perceive them as being more feminine than men.
If you are traditionally feminine and conventionally attractive: Republican: Subtract 25 points Democrat: Add 25 points If you are more masculine and less conventionally attractive: Republican: Add 25 points Democrat: Subtract 25 points
Are you traditionally feminine or conventionally attractive?
Big surprise, conservative voters evaluate candidates based on criteria like assertiveness, leadership, and self-confidence. (of course, self-confidence is an exclusively masculine trait) Also, more masculine women may fare better with conservatives than feminine women because conservative voters embrace traditional gender roles, preferring women to stay out of politics.
in luck. Overall, the American public prefers male behavioral characteristics in high office. So, more masculine lesbians can be viewed as more competent on military issues than effeminate gay men. (because short hair, “men’s” clothes, and muscles correspond to military expertise).
leads voters to believe that such candidates are less capable or serious, and therefore less likely to garner votes. When media comment on female candidates’ physical appearance and/ or use sexist rhetoric, it negatively affects candidates’ perceived likeability, trustworthiness, effectiveness, empathy, and qualification. As such, their favorability ratings drop and they garner fewer votes.
Plus, it’s a fact: voters prefer feminine facial features on women (especially voters on the right— Republican congresswomen have more stereotypically feminine faces than Democratic congresswomen). But for men, masculinity and/or femininity doesn’t impact electoral success. So you’re supposed to assume a more masculine persona while still retaining the physical appearance of a girly girl? Yep! Many studies have also shown that attractive candidates have an edge over unattractive ones. Objectification, which strips agency from female candidates,
So do you think you can run for office? Think you have what it takes, sweetie? Where do you stack up? What obstacles stand in your way? Do you get off on defying the odds? Let’s think about some of the most famous female politicians. How highly do they score?
1) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Puerto-Rican Democratic Socialist with no kids. She was a bartender like, two weeks ago. Let’s assume she’s straight (that’s the default setting), and we can all agree that she’s feminine and particularly attractive. Total Score: 15 2) Danica Roem: A Democratic trans woman and kinda-sorta mom to her boyfriend’s kid. Straight, white, and middle class-ish. Many may not consider her traditionally feminine, but she’s definitely attractive. Total Score: -20 3) Hillary Clinton: A Democrat and mom of adult daughter Chelsea. She’s white and affluent (the whole “my husband was president” thing). She’s reasonably attractive, if a little older than is normally socially acceptable for women to exist as in public life. She’s feminine in appearance, but her defiant attitude and insistence on pantsuits counteracts that. Total Score: +45 4) Sarah Palin: Republican from Alaska and mother of five. She’s a straight white woman who is definitely attractive and feminine, if not in all her attitudes toward woman. Total Score: -105 What have we learned? My point system, while well-researched, is essentially meaningless. Women with low scores still win elections. Palin had a score of -105 and is arguably one of the most well-known female politicians. So little girls, if you work hard, maybe one day you could be just like Sarah Palin. If that doesn’t scare you out of running for office, I don’t know what will.
PUSSY POWER I recently met up with my friend and had lunch at a popular cat cafe in Beijing, China. We talked a lot about the term pussy, somewhat unironically, and I found myself wondering more about the term, and about the phrase “Pussy Power” and how it has risen in popularity thanks to President Trump. words & photography by VIVAN YANG
The audio, which was recorded in 2005, featured now President Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault by saying that, because of his celebrity, he can grab (various? all?) women “by the pussy.” Women and feminists reacted to President Trump’s remark by reclaiming the word “Pussy.” Because many feminists and women around world refuses to allow such disrespectful talk or behavior, the term Pussy Power gained its popularity.
In this occasion, the word “Pussy” is used as an epithet. While it’s most commonly a word for a cat, it’s also derived from the derogatory connotation of “girly.” The word’s implication only got worse in the early 1900s when the word “pussy” referred to a cowardly man, as in a “wuss” or a “sissy.” However, after doing more research. I found that the term Pussy Power is actually meant to reflect an eternal Sacred Feminine energy in a positive way. Unknown to most, the word “pussy”likely formed from Ancient Egypt. However, it is relatively common knowledge that Egyptians revered and honored cats, and considered them divine. (It’s hard not to associate the Great Sphinx with Egypt - a monumental cat/tomb/ place of worship by ancient Egyptians.) Pussy originates from the the word Pasht, ancient Egypt’s cat goddess. Legend says that Pasht was Isis’ spirit guide. Isis was the Great Goddess of fertility, love, and sensuality. Therefore, it could be that Isis is not just a deity, but appears more as a symbol of the Divine Feminine energy that is meant to be awakened within every woman.
READ MORE: makemuse.online/content/read/pussy-power
In that case, pussy in a sense means, “Spirit guide of each woman.” So, be proud of being a PUSSY. #PUSSYPOWER 63
WHAT FEMINISM MEANS TO ME
Prom Night & The Importance of Civic Engagement
words by SERENA ZETS
A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a lecture by Symone Sanders, a revolutionary Democratic strategist and pundit. The poignancy and timeliness left my head spinning but one quote in particular stuck with me: Sanders said, “I don’t want any more allies, I want accomplices because accomplices are in it for the long run.” Through feminism, I’ve built a network of accomplices. I have found women who will follow me into battle, lead the fight for decades to come, and work to pick up the pieces when it’s over. We’re all in the fight for the long run. Decades from now, I’ll see my peers in charge of corporations and nonprofits, teaching the next generation of activists, serving as politicians, and effectively running the world. Before I found feminism, I was a confused girl who had a lot of rage about current events but didn’t have a platform or voice to harness my outrage. Upon discovering intersectional feminism and shaping my voice, I have lobbied for comprehensive sexual education in front of Pennsylvania State Senators, published opinionated editorials on social justice issues, interned on political campaigns, lead marches, spoken at rallies, discussed feminism with Angela Davis (that’s a long story that I’m proud to have experienced), ran a club called Feminist Student Union, and served as an ambassador for the United States Department of State. Tapping into feminist issue networks allowed me to turn my rage into not only eloquence, but action. I would never have been able to do that without the help of countless feminist accomplices in the form of peers and mentors.
I woke I awoke on an anticipated day to find my classmates bustling with excitement. Gathered in our breakout rooms, complaining: Why did we have to be in school today? We waited: Playing games. Laughing. Counting down the seconds until the clock struck 10:30 AM. Free to leave to prepare for our momentous night. Suddenly, the room grew quiet. We were told that Santa Fe High School was also counting 10. Silence hung heavy in the air. SilenceSilenSil-
To hark back to the words of Symone Sanders, my definition of feminism is serving as an accomplice to the women around you. To all of my fellow feminists: Thank you for not only changing my world, but the rest of the world beyond us. I’m not only proud to know you, I’m proud to be one of you.
STOP. When did numbers cease to become numbers instead replaced by people? They were so much more than a statistic. They were awaiting their momentous night. They were us. We waited: Awaiting any more news of this tragedy. Gathered in our breakout rooms, reflecting: We are so lucky to be in school today.
words by MELANIE RODRIGUEZ Author’s Note: On May 18th, 2018, I was greeted at school by the excited commotion of my senior class discussing their plans for prom that night. A few hours in we hear a sentence that has become too familiar: “There was another school shooting.” Ten people had lost their lives at Santa Fe High School. This poem is my response. Gun violence is an ever-growing issue plaguing our society. As a student-teacher for my school’s elementary speech and debate team, the week after the Parkland shooting, my students ages 7-9 wanted to discuss the issue of gun control– I have never felt so insignificant. How can I assure my students that they are safe when our laws do not protect us? We must urge our elected officials must do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to this violence. Change is always met with resistance, but those who use the Second Amendment to silence us seem to forget it ensures “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” not the right of the people to kill senselessly. This is why it is crucial to support regulation.
m s i v i t Ac 66
#MeToo: How Women of Color are Excluded From Their Own Movement
words by MELANIE RODRIGUEZ
How have some of the most affected been left out of a movement created for them? The past year has witnessed an exponential rise of female-led activist movements. However, the #MeToo movement–a movement against sexual harassment and assault– has garnered sweeping international attention. When Time Magazine released their Person of the Year issue in 2017, they chose to highlight the “Silence Breakers.” The Silence Breakers are several women who spoke out against sexual violence in conjunction with the #MeToo movement. The cover featured well-known celebrities such as Taylor Swift alongside the caption, “The Silence Breakers: The Voices That Launched A Movement.” One person missing on the cover? The movement’s founder,
Founded in 2006 by African-American civil rights activist Tarana Burke, 2 the ‘Me Too’ movement was created to end sexual violence and help survivors of sexual violence– predominately young women of color– obtain adequate resources and support for healing. Based on the idea of: “empowerment through empathy,” the movement conveys to survivors the message that they are not alone in their journey. Despite existing for over a decade, the movement began to make national headlines as a result of the viral #MeToo hashtag. On October 15th, 2017, American actress Alyssa Milano tweeted out:
With that, a movement was “sparked”– one that had been around for 11 years. This tweet went viral with 500,000 people replying within 24 hours of the initial tweet. Many began to credit Milano as the pioneer of the movement, failing to recognize that Burke had long been her predecessor. 69
Burke, who declares the movement’s mission as addressing the lack of resources for sexual violence survivors, building communities of advocates driven by survivors, and creating solutions, responded later that same day by remarking “It’s beyond a hashtag. It’s the start of a larger conversation and a movement for radical community healing. Join us. #MeToo.” Although Milano credited Burke upon learning of the existence of the movement, it raises an important question: why are white women lauded for examining the same issues that women of color have been dissecting for years? Tierra Johnson, author at The Seattle Globalist, emphasizes, “This is not about us screaming ‘what about us?’ This is about observing history in this country holistically so that we may correct a serious problem. Experience teaches us that if we don’t know our history we are destined to repeat it.” 3 The Importance of Credibility When allegations for sexual assault and harassment were brought against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, he remained silent, choosing to not address the allegations. However, when Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar-winning Kenyan-Mexican actress, wrote about her experience of harassment, Weinstein broke his silence to discredit her claims. Even though women of color are more likely to face harassment at higher rates than white women, they are less likely to be believed by the authorities and the general public. 4
makes it even more difficult for women of color to find the appropriate re sources to help themselves. Several women interviewed by the Huffington 5 Post on the fetisization and neglect faced by women of color recounted their experiences. Zahira Kelly-Cabrera, an artist from Massachusetts tells, “The people that have come to the forefront of the “Me Too” movement have been cis white women in Hollywood. It kind of ignores the fact that the people who are assaulted and harassed the most are women of color, and we have no recourse.” This further highlights the importance of believing women of color and providing them with the accurate resources on their journey as survivors. Revolutions Within A Larger Movement Both the Muslim and LGBTQIA+ communities are select examples of groups who believe the current #MeToo movement should aim to be more inclusive. In the Islamic community, women are encountering sexual harassment at the most sacred places. On her pilgrimage to Mecca at 15 years old, Mona Eltahawy 6 was groped at the Great Mosque during what was supposed to be the holiest moment of her life. Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American activist and journalist, writes, “People pay attention to what famous Hollywood actresses do. But #MeToo has to be available to all people — not those who are rich, famous and white.” That is why she started #MosqueMeToo, a hashtag meant to break the silence of sexual violence in sacred spaces. Even though many Muslim women keep to themselves for fear of escalating the Islamophobia encountered throughout the world and especially the United States, Eltahawy believes that conversations like #MosqueMeToo will give women a space to share stories from hajj and the Muslim community without fear of judgement from outsiders. Similarly, the LGBTQIA+ community believes the conversation surrounding the #MeToo movement is not as inclusive as it could be and wants to magnify the issues that transgender women face regarding sex7 ual violence. The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey revealed that more than one in three trans woman have been sexually assaulted. In a video interview, Jari Jones, a Black trans femme actress and photographer, proclaimed,
Writer at The Atlantic Megan Garber stresses, “Weinstein took the testimony of a woman of color, among all the other women coming forward, to paint as dishonest.” While victims of color are less likely to be believed, much of the harassment they may face involves fetishization and/or objectification based on race or ethnicity. Several factors such as cultural taboos, limited job opportunities, language barriers, or fear of deportation make women of color less likely to report instances of sexual violence. When reported, questioning their claims 70
This brings to light the disproportionate and alarming rate at which trans people are affected by sexual violence. Like other minority groups, trans people face numerous barriers when looking for support and are fighting for full recognition when they say “Me Too.” Beyond the Hashtag Even though the viral hashtag of #MeToo has fostered much needed international, open dialogue about sexual violence, there is still much left to accomplish when it comes to destigmatizing survivors, especially those of color. In addition to continuing public conversation, programs must continue advancing resources for prevention as well as for survivors by “providing leadership training and development, and guidance for the community around community action” as Tarana Burke explained. It’s clear that society is looking to take serious action against sexual violence, 72
and the time to act upon it is now. A poll conducted by 8 Ipsos and NPR revealed that 9 out of 10 Americans believe a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment is necessary in order to achieve effective and positive change, which reveals a shift in the previously toxic culture of ignoring and invalidating sexual assault accounts.
In addition to any possible policy changes, we must each hold ourselves accountable in order to see real changes to how our society views sexual violence. What can you do to make a difference? 9
“...”...some of them [femmes and black trans women] are screaming ‘Me Too’ from the ground that they’ve just been beaten up on. Some of them are screaming ‘Me Too’ from the hospital that they’re laying in. And some of them can’t scream because they’re dead.”
Understand the problem: Understanding how this issue affects our society is the first step in creating effective change. Recognize the hardships others have faced. Do not discredit the victims. Equal consideration is key. Be accountable: Make yourself available to everyone affected by sexual violence. Let victims know that you support them and can offer help. Do not simply be a bystander; call out misbehavior and exhibit a zero tolerance policy towards sexual violence. Use your voice: Use your platform to speak out on the issue. Speak to friends, family, classmates, co-workers about what changes can be made. Whether you have twenty followers of thousands, inform others why there needs to be a solution to this problem. Make sure you are inclusive. Create change: Organize or participate in local marches. Write for a publication. Create art. Whichever way you choose to express yourself, do so in a way that gets your point across. Use you skills and talents to fight for those that others try to silence. Those who are privileged must advocate alongside and for those who are not given the same platform. This movement was created by Tarana Burke for those who are struggling to find their place in it because of society’s actions. We must ask ourselves: “How have of some of the most affected been left out of a movement created for them?” and strive to find the solution. When it comes to #MeToo, it is crucial that we create a community where every single person affected by sexual violence and harassment, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic level, can fully respond and identify with the movement.
1. Alix Langone, “What Is the Time’s Up Movement and the #MeToo Movement?,” Time, Time Inc, http://time.com/5189945/whats-thedifference-between-the-metoo-and-times-up-movements/ 2. me too., me too movement, https://metoomvmt.org/ 3. Tierra Johnson, “When #MeToo Excludes Me: Current Movement Mutes Black Women’s Voices,” The Seattle Globalist, The Seattle Globalist, http://www.seattleglobalist.com/2017/12/20/metoo-black-women-leadership/71020. 4. Gillian B. White, “The Glaring Blind Spot of the ‘Me Too’ Movement,” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, https://www.theatlantic. com/entertainment/archive/2017/11/the-glaring-blind-spot-of-the-me-too-movement/546458/ 5. Jessica Prois and Carolina Moreno. “The #MeToo Movement Looks Different For Women Of Color. Here Are 10 Stories.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/women-of-color-me-too_us_5a442d73e4b0b0e5a7a4992c. 6. Malaka Gharib. “#MosqueMeToo Gives Muslim Women A Voice About Sexual Misconduct At Mecca,” NPR, NPR, https://www.npr. org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/02/26/588855132/-mosquemetoo-gives-muslim-women-a-voice-about-sexual-misconductat-mecca. 7. Gabriel Arkles, “Making Space for Trans People in the #MeToo Movement,” ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union, https://www.aclu. org/blog/womens-rights/violence-against-women/making-space-trans-people-metoo-movement. 8. Ipsos Poll on Behalf of NPR, “American Attitudes on Sexual Harassment,” Ipsos, Ipsos, https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/ npr-sexual-harassment-2017-12-14. 9. Claire Zillman, “From #MeToo to Now What? 7 Actions That Could Actually Help Stop Sexual Harassment,” Fortune, Time Inc, http:// fortune.com/2017/10/20/me-too-stopping-sexual-harassment.
imagery by MARY SUTTON
Gloria Jean Watkins/Bell Hooks, author and social activist
Feminist Icons for your Fancy 75
Kathleen Hanna, musician, pioneer of the riot grrrl movement
Gloria Steinem, journalist and activist
O E N U G H: Robbed of Innocence
Nice ass! Baby, smile more! words by MELANIE RODRIGUEZ
I’m tired of being told that feeling unsafe should be a compliment. Walking down the street is a battle, and I am an unarmed soldier. Since I was a child, I was told to be careful. But when my skirt was pulled and I felt uncomfortable, you told me– “boys will be boys”. I’m walking home alone, and his car pulls up. Which will win? The keys in his car or the ones in my hand? Is this what you meant when you said “boys will be boys?” I look over my shoulder. He’s still following me.
Don’t tell me you make me run down the street because I’m the prettiest face you’ve ever seen.
Have you ever played an Icebreaker game? A little exercise that your classmates or coworkers are forced to engage in so that you can all get to know each other a bit better? Maybe you’ve had to come up with your favorite flavor of ice cream and three unique facts about yourself to share with the group, and as you’re thinking about what makes you special and different from everyone else, you realize that you actually have no idea what you’re going to say. How can you possibly deconstruct who you are into three facts? Who are you? What are the parts in the sum of the whole that is you? To me, feminism is like the act of putting together pieces of the puzzle that define a feminist agenda. There are so many ways to build your feminism: volunteering at a woman’s shelter, or attending the Women’s March every year. Subscribing to every feminist content provider you can get your hands on, or maybe perhaps providing the content. Each activity becomes a part of your feminism. And there are even more ways to build upon it, and more things to add.
I’m tired of your bullshit excuses. I’m tired of living in fear. I am not an object in need of your approval. And neither are the other 3 and a half billion women in this world.
And also underage.
Should I run?
words by KELLY FRIDAY
One of the best ways to be a feminist activist is simply using your voice. Have conversations with like-minded people. Even better, have conversations with people who disagree with you. Educate yourself, and educate others. Being informed is one of the most powerful tools if you want to advocate for, and achieve true change.
Picking Your Battles
“Pick your battles.” My mom says this to me all the time, and she’s been right every time. Not every conflict warrants swift action. Sometimes you have to let things go and push them aside for the bigger picture, the end game. Sometimes you have to focus your efforts on the more substantial issue at hand, rather than the small sexist comment someone might have made, no matter how frustrating it can be. Sometimes you have to save your energy. Every now and then, it might be better to beef up your arsenal as much as you can before starting the war. Gather information, educate yourself and others. Build up an unstoppable force of feminist power. Afterall, you do want to show the world how powerful a feminist can be. A united educated front can strike harder when properly equipped.
I’m tired of feeling defenseless.
You’re so beautiful, babe.
I pull out my phone and dial 911, ready to call.
A How to Guide on Building Your Feminism |
Author’s Note: 0.2 miles. 2 blocks. 5 minutes. That is all it took for my friends and I to be catcalled three times on the walk from school to the local bookshop. One man walked past us. One rolled down his car window. One was on his bike. We were just 15 years old; still carrying our school bags. Usually, we would brush it off as something “to get used to” in the Downtown Miami area, but that day something took over us. We were furious. That day, we were robbed of our innocence. This slam poem was our emotional response.
You don’t need to be in the middle of all the action to be an advocate for change. There are endless ways to be an activist for equality, especially in the age of social media. One of the best ways you can use social media for activism is to raise awareness for your cause, and you don’t need to be part of a larger organization to have your voice heard. Volunteering is another way to be a feminist activist and it takes many forms- from devoting time to an internship with a feminist website to lending your time to raise funds for a women’s shelter or crisis center. You can even challenge offensive and discriminatory marketing and advertising campaigns all from the comfort of your home, and all through the use of your social media platforms.
Living Your Truth Being a feminist can be hard. Constructing your feminism from the bottom up can be even harder. Sometimes it’s messy and you make mistakes. Maybe you came to feminism a little bit later than others, and that’s just fine. One of the most beautiful things about feminism is that your feminist experience can be based on so many different things. It is unique to you and who you want to be. The important thing to remember is that your feminism is a part of you, and however you choose to live, it will always stay with you.
RO JACKSON: revolutionizing media coverage of female athletes words by MELANIE RODRIGUEZ
Balancing a day job as a freelance designer while running a creative platform dedicated to covering all aspects of women’s sports seems impossible until it’s done… by Ro Jackson. About five years ago, after finding it difficult to engage with women’s sports as it is poorly covered by the mainstream media, unlike the extensive coverage men’s sports receive, Ro had the idea to create a platform for women’s sports coverage. From this, Slowe was born. Named after Lucy Diggs Slowe, the first black woman to win a major sports title in the U.S. in 1917 and the first black woman to serve as Dean of Women at any American University, Slowe embodies the determined female spirit. An unsung hero, Lucy Diggs Slowe represents the unlikely reality that many female athletes still encounter today: working a job while also pursuing sports professionally. Because of this, Ro decided “Slowe” was the perfect name for a site revolutionizing the coverage of women’s sports. Slowe began as a newsletter in 2017 and later expanded into a site. In addition to the weekly newsletter to which anyone can subscribe to through email, Slowe’s site contains interviews, lifestyle, news, and more. Slowe is also an open platform that encourages submissions from creatives. In the
near future, ready for publication towards the end of this year, Slowe will release a mini print publication that encapsulates the spirit of Slowe and why it exists. I spoke with Ro over the phone to further discuss societal views of women athletes and how Slowe is working to shift the narrative.
Melanie Rodriguez: Your home page describes Slowe as:
“A creative platform for women’s sports coverage. Because women’s sports is just sports.” On your site, it reports “just 4% of online sports coverage is for women’s sports.” How are you looking for Slowe to revolutionize this? Ro Jackson: I think the whole industry of women’s sports is a massive “chicken and egg” cycle basically. Everyone kind of points the finger to another part of the industry as to why people don’t engage with women’s sport more. So it’s like: “If there was more money in it then people would engage more. If more fans turned up to watch it. If broadcasters put it on TV.” I think all of those things are definitely factors, but I can only challenge one of those, and I felt that the biggest problem is that people can’t see women’s sports. So if we can’t see it, how are we supposed to support it? I really just wanted a place where people could go and engage with women’s sports. I just felt like there wasn’t a home for that coverage, and if I made it I really felt like people would come and they are coming. I think it takes a bit of time to get people to understand it because people still think of women’s sports as really niche, yet mens 81
sports are so huge. That disparity is going to take a long time to change; it’s going to take a while for people to change their minds about that and how worthy women’s sports are. There are already a huge number of women’s sport fans that really just watch it for the pure love of it, and I’m hoping that through content that isn’t just stats and updates, but also really in depth interviews with athletes and shoots with female athletes that you haven’t really seen before because it’s not just about the quantity of the coverage but it is also about the quality of the coverage. If we are asking female athletes questions of them as mothers or them as women rather than athletes then people are going to be turned off. If we shoot them only without their clothes on people are going to be turned off, so my focus is really making sure that the coverage that goes on Slowe is really high and really creatively engaging 82
because I think people want to have to look at it, and you have to frame it in a way where people think oh actually this is incredible I hadn’t seen women sports like this before. I think the visual aspect is a really key part of that and yeah kind of just making it a lot more accessible really.
Melanie: What are some of the greatest challenges faced by female athletes in 2018? Ro: Social media. There’s so much good work out there. People doing some really tireless work for women’s sport and female athletes are doing really well, but sometimes the feedback they can get on social media is so disheartening and really heartbreaking to read, and I am still constantly shocked. I don’t think I’ll ever not be shocked by some of the stuff
I read in response to female athletes doing well. There’s some really great encouraging people, but there’s just some people, a huge majority men, who sexualize them and all they’re talking about is their achievement, but I think for me
that’s a massive problem in how people see female athletes and how far we have to go as a society. You
don’t even have to be interested in women’s sports but you have to treat these people with respect, and I think there is a huge lack of respect out there for female athletes at the moment and I think that is really what’s challenging because you can put more money and you can make it more available, but if people just don’t respect people on a person to person level then that’s really challenging.
Melanie: There is definitely a lot of negativity to overcome. How do you think more conversation can be created to highlight the importance of women athletes and their accomplishments? Ro: I think partly just consistency. It can be really hard work, so I think people find it’s really easy to give up when you’re doing work like this because it’s really hard: when you feel like people don’t want to hear it, but you feel like there’s a big place for it. I think just being consistent and really believing that it is worth doing, and I think also men play a huge role in male sports and often men will have a team like there’s the England men’s football team and then there’s the women’s football team in England, and I think the men supporting the women in those channels really giving as much weight to the female athletes as they do the men is a really good way for the public to see that they are on an equal footing. Just people showing up like one of the biggest things people who do feel that way can contribute is by going to games and matches and then taking that back to their communities and saying “I went to this game and it was amazing.” Just in such an organic way that things can change really positively. Anyone that feels like they do want to watch women’s sports should go ahead and do it because I think that’s such a key way. Also, you get so much more value for your money! Women’s sports is super cheap to watch. You get the best seats. It’s great for families. It’s just such a good day out. There’s
really no reason for us not to go and turn up to our local women’s teams more if we feel strongly about it. So, show up I would say is a big one.
for celebrities just people that you respect in a certain position. It makes a lot of sense to use those tools that we have that people understand and have accepted already and kind of spin it into the women’s sports sphere. Melanie: According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, “Girls have 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than boys have. This, paired with social stigma, often causes for young girls to not pursue sports. Personally, lack of access, as my local Boys and Girls Club did not have basketball for girls, and being told it was “just for boys” by my peers were the reasons I did not continue with athletics. What advice do you have for girls who may get discouraged to continue in the world of sports?
Melanie: Looking through the site, In The Kit Bag stood out to me. I appreciate how you took a concept of “what’s in my bag?” and made it relatable for female athletes. Do you think opening these kinds of conversations is an essential step towards a mainstream support of female athletes? Ro: What is really beautiful about women’s sports is that it’s not really decided yet. There aren’t ways that you have to do things like when you watch a men’s football game there are ways that people do that. You go and get your burger and you go and get your beer and you go with your dad and you go to the pub and it’s all very fixed in the ways that we accept men’s sports, but women’s sports doesn’t really have that. What’s really interesting is we have a really great opportunity to shape it how we want and for me women’s sports is different, and that’s something to be celebrated. It’s not better or worse. It’s just women do play a different game often, and I think in the same way women are often interested in different types of media- I mean this is obviously a huge generalization- but I think in general taking those things and applying them to women’s sports is a no-brainer really because that is the kind of content that I would read. That is the kind of content that I want to see. So actually it’s just as interesting when you put a female athlete into it rather than anyone else because a lot of those things have become popular not even
Ro: Yeah, it’s hard. I think it’s a lot better than when I was at school, but it’s still really rubbish actually at school and the way that we gender-sport is pretty rubbish. I think that if those young girls are interested and keen then that’s great that they’re acknowledging that already because it’s something that you often look back on and think “Oh, I wish I had carried on with that”, so I think even acknowledging that spark is really important and then finding and seeking out those people that can help you. Nothing happens on your own, so you have to find if its your parents or a really good teacher that can help you find the right places to play, and it might mean that you have to travel a bit further, but I think really trying to find the people around you that can support you in what you want to do because people don’t make it easy for you, and you’ll regret not going out of your way to make that happen. Melanie: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers? Ro: If anyone feels like they’re not engaged with sports: I think it’s really hard as an adult female if you feel like you’re not engaged with sport or you’ve just never had that opportunity, and I would just say it’s not too late. There are so many creative things coming out at the moment for people who are either watching or playing sports, and if you want to get involved go for it! This is one of the best times to make that happen, and yes it’s just not “too late”. If you feel like you’re not a sporty person I totally get why, but I think there are ways that you can engage with sports in your own way, so I really want to see more women
who think that sport isn’t for them engage with it in a way that means something to them”.
alk lT Gir
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imagery by MARY SUTTON
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EYELASHES THE ONE THING YOU CAN GET INTO SHAPE WITHOUT EXERCISING
I’m a “B
A D feminist
words by ALEXANDRA GEIST
I’m a feminist.And if you’re reading this, you probably are too. I’m a feminist. I believe that equality of the sexes is a goal everyone should be working towards, regardless of how we identify, because it affects every single one of us. But there’s the thing – I also like conforming to these norms sometimes. Scratch that – I like doing the things that are aligned with these norms. Though Feminism is my friend, we sometimes don’t look alike. For instance, I really like make-up. Maybe it’s the theatre artist in me, but I love the feeling of being able to transform your appearance in just a few minutes. I no longer use makeup to hide from my insecurities; rather, I used it because it makes me feel powerful! It’s become a huge part of my self-care routine, as have my morning and nightly skincare routines. I like wearing makeup. I also like wearing dresses, and finding a really cute bag on sale. I like looking “cute”. I like dressing up in a sundress and sitting in a park, laughing with my friends. I like crushing on someone. I like flirting, and even though it makes me SO anxious 88
(more on that later) I like it when someone thinks that I look pretty. I love baking and cooking, and I actually do enjoy doing laundry. So where does that leave me and my pal, Feminism? Does this, as I thought for so many years, make me a bad feminist? I used to think that wanting to wear makeup was agreeing with sexist ideals. I used to think that wanting to wear a dress instead of pants, or having really nurturing instincts, being soft-spoken around new people, and all of these things, was like me slamming the door in Feminism’s face. So I decided to stop doing them. It would be like a little social experiment. When I was at my worst with my anxiety disorder and body dysmorphia – before I was even diagnosed and sought help for my struggles – I tried to fit into this “perfect” image of what I thought I “should” be. Part of what this looked like was conforming to what I thought a “perfect” feminist should be. This meant rejecting anything that was too “girly”. After a while, I realized that I wasn’t letting myself do things that made me happy, because I didn’t want to come across
as too feminine. I was afraid of what others would think about me then. As I worked with different mental health professionals, and started to learn the importance of self-care and positive coping strategies, I realized that some of the things I had declared “anti-feminist” were actually the very things that could help me heal. As I started to recover from my mental health challenges, and I started to really discover who I am and how to care for myself, I realized… feminism means respecting women’s choices no matter what they choose. Shocking, I know. But this is something I hadn’t really thought about before getting more involved with the feminist movement, and starting my internship at Ethereal and Co, a feminist start-up that combats taboos surrounding feminism, sexual health, mental health, and everything in between. It sounds obvious, but I think that a lot of people have the misconception that women who like traditionally “feminine” things are just waiting for you to liberate them and teach them not to. This just isn’t the case. We can’t assume that someone who loves to show her partner that she loves them by making a gourmet meal, someone who absolutely loves “girly” dresses and sparkly makeup, is being “antifeminist”. I’ve been on both sides of this. I’ve been the person who, unfortunately, thinks “that’s reinforcing gender norms”, when in reality I like a lot of the things that don’t immediately seem to agree with my self-imposed “feminist” label. Long story short, we can’t have feminism without respecting everyone’s choices. I can love the new highlighter I got at Sephora and also rally with the best of them at a women’s rights march. Because how people choose to live their lives, and how they choose to engage in self-care, doesn’t define their identity as a feminist. Their beliefs and values do.
The Rules of the Nighttime Treaty Eager only to hear
I live a million lives between each street sign,
The sound of my heartbeat
Imagine a million ways to make a hasty retreat.
And the pad of my steps.
Because now they own the streets.
I see one of my own.
We smile, we nod, we pass each other.
I touch base and breathe, Breathe Breathe.
The smile a reassurance,
My cheeks turning pink
My nails digging into my palm
The nod a gesture,
As one with a beard
Confirming the salvific clause.
Says hey, calls me girl.
That says one will call for angels
As the overhead evening sky,
The horizon eating away the sun
Is it scarier
If demons get the other.
As my legs electrify the ground.
That one will call the papers
To be a girl?
If the otherâ€™s name appears tomorrow.
But as the horizon licks its lips
New rules are in play.
And why we ever signed On the dotted line.
words by CAITLIN PANARELLA
These thoughts as familiar
And the sun and day are gone, My smile slips.
And I wonder how many times I escaped today.
Under this nightly contract
As the streets I run,
Is there even a difference?
As though thinking them is a means of protection,
Naivete visible on the backs of others, younger.
The nighttime treaty- unspoken, unwritten,
I do not feel safer
Known by all women.
The closer I get to home.
The streets are no longer ours.
Danger, fear, what and if
They belong to the dayâ€™s shadows,
Are my running companions
Who hide behind jobs and groceries and grins of imperfect teeth.
And remain with me
They are the warnings that keep me inside on darker days.
So long as I dare defy the treaty.
Are they myths? Or terrorists?
But as I bound down the hill,
Momentum pulls me toward safety like a lifeline.
I hold my breath as dark-tinted cars go by,
As the nightmares of my mind burn too close to the edge of reality.
I am the only one pulling.
Female Relationships and the Feminist Gaze
“You know I only hang out with you because you’re hot, right?”
words by CAITLIN PANARELLA
My girlfriends and I have a running joke where we compliment each other— “Hot,” we’ll say, jokingly making eyes at each other. I’ll be running around, my hair in a halfbun, trying to get ready and get out the door, and my roommate will still say, “Bye beautiful!” And of course, I’ll do the same for her. Everyone laughs and whoever recieved the compliment says, “You’re the only one allowed to objectify me.” When I thought more about it, I realized that these simple, humorous exchanges are more than just an inside joke— they dismantle the male gaze through the bonds of female relationships.
“How are you pretty lady?” 94
My friends and I give each other these compliments whether we’re in our pajamas or in our evening dresses, about to go out dancing or out for a run. By saying the exact things we are taught to believe make us worthy under the male gaze, freely and unconditionally, we subvert this sexist framework and strip it of its power. We halt self-objectification in its tracks. Best friends offer some of the most important relationships we will ever have; the love we have for them runs deep and endures. Not only that, our female friends give us a sense of community by forming a strong support network. The bonds between best friends challenge the need for the approval of the male gaze, a traditional (read: sexist) place women usually look to derive their worth. Rather than reinforce it, our friendships with other women and girls create a path to subverting the male gaze.
What exactly is the Male Gaze? The male gaze is the way in which media portrays the world and women from the heterosexual, masculine perspective, essentially making women the objects of male pleasure. With any gaze, there is always a power dynamic at play. Who is doing the looking, as opposed to who is being looked at? Who has the power? The omnipresent male gaze automatically positions the male as subject— the one who looks— and the woman as object— the one who is looked at. Eventually, the man does not even need to be physically present for the male gaze to assert itself in the woman’s daily experience. She selfobjectifies,looking at herself through the lens of male desire and approval, or the lack of such desire and approval.
“...men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object -- and most particularly an object of vision: a sight.” John Berger, Ways of Seeing
So now that we see the problem, we can begin to think of solutions. Though the ultimate goal should be to de-gender the gaze, and thus strip it of its hierarchical power dynamic, a significant counter-move to the male gaze is the female gaze.
What these relationships demonstrate, just by existing, is that we do not need to change or feel insecure to be worthy of love. Essentially, through the strength of these relationships, we can come to realize the artifice of the male gaze and its fraudulent power.
Self-objectification is the internalizing of the male gaze. Replacing it with an accepting female gaze— the unconditional love of female friendship— burns away the objectified version of ourselves to replace it with one where we see ourselves as subjects. If we are worthy in any form, as our friends tell us, why would we give the male gaze the time of day?
Here’s how the male gaze permeates society When I think about the male gaze, I find it in all aspects of society. It appears in virtually every phase of female life, from girlhood to womanhood. Essentially, any use or “display” of the woman’s body not fitting with the male gaze is either made to fall under the gaze or deemed “inappropriate.” For example, within schools, dress codes deem girls’ bodies “inappropriate,” assuming a man is looking at them. School is not a place where society conventionally allows the direct sexualization of girls, but the male gaze still compels girls to readjust their bodies in order to engage in their education. 96
Breastfeeding in public is similarly labeled “inappropriate,” assuming that breasts are inherently sexual due to the male gaze. Breastfeeding demonstrates that women’s bodies have a purpose other than a sexual one, so it is stigmatized and again deemed “lewd,” “disgusting,” and “inappropriate” to be seen in public. Put nearly bare breasts on a Victoria’s Secret ad, though, and all of a sudden it is socially acceptable. Why? Because the male gaze is able to hold that display under its purview. These body parts— ankles, shoulders, breasts— are not inherently inappropriate, but the male gaze is. Perhaps we should look to our relationships, communities and support networks for a new gaze, one that can meet the male gaze eye to eye.
A feminist eye can battle a sexist one
“How are yo pretty lady?” Even though we can always look to our own strong, kickass girlfriends for inspiration, one of the ways we can see this phenomenon clear as day is in movies. It can become painfully obvious whose gaze the film or photo was taken with depending on the types of images that emerge.
The theory of the male gaze actually originated with a female film director, Laura Mulvey. She identified how films cater to the male viewer at the expense of women. Here’s a quote where she explains her theory:
“Woman, then, stands in patriarchal culture as a signifier for the male other, bound by a symbolic order in which man can live out his fantasies and obsessions through linguistic command by imposing them on the silent image of a woman still tied to her place as the bearer of meaning, not maker of meaning.” attained through relationships, through —Laura Mulvey networks, through communities new and old. Under the male gaze, Mulvey explains, women exist as vessels for male fantasy and do not have stories independent of men. Female relationships and the feminist gaze, however, have the power to change that. Though the theory of male gaze originated in film, many different kinds of media are capable of perpetuating the male gaze. At the same time, these media can be used to defy it. Let’s look at a few case studies. In the realm of podcasts, “Call Your Girlfriend” demonstrates the simple potency of women talking to each other, and taking back control of the narrative surrounding them. And this power can be 98
Films directed by women showcase how women telling women’s stories can be a vehicle for empowerment. For example, the 2017 film Wonder Woman initially set the story in an all-female utopia. The community supported women in a variety of roles, from mothers to warriors. A woman, Patty Jenkins, directed the film.When I think about the male gaze, I find it in all aspects of society. It appears in virtually every phase of female life, from girlhood to womanhood. Essentially, any use or “display” of the woman’s body not fitting with the male gaze is either made to fall under the gaze or deemed “inappropriate.” For example, within schools, dress codes deem girls’ bodies “inappropriate,”
assuming a man is looking at them. School is not a place where society conventionally allows the direct sexualization of girls, but the male gaze still compels girls to readjust their bodies in order to engage in their education. Another blockbuster, Lady Bird, showcased a mother-daughter relationship and female friendship in a way that rendered romance secondary. Lady Bird, a high school student, and her mother argue often but learn to see and appreciate each other as Lady Bird comes of age and approaches graduation. A woman, Greta Gerwig, directed the film.
“The love story is between her and her mother,” Gerwig said about Lady Bird at the New York Film Festival. As an actress, Gerwig has been known for her groundbreaking roles playing empowered women as well— Frances Ha and Mistress America are just a couple of examples. She then created a film that showcases a girl’s coming of age— one that explores the depth of female relationships.
Queen Hippolyta: Be careful in the world of men, Diana. They do not deserve you. You have been my greatest love. Today, you are my greatest sorrow. first to each other, and their significant others know it. Whether they’re dancing it out, ranting over tequila, or saving lives together, they are always there for each other. “Derek’s the love of my life, but you’re my soulmate.” Meredith to Cristina Although these shows have been directed by many different people— and in the case of Grey’s Anatomy, that includes its titular star, Meredith Grey— both were created by the powerhouse Shonda Rhimes. A feminist gaze pervades these shows, making sexual autonomysexual autonomy.
Grey’s Anatomy also showcases one of the most iconic friendships on televisionCristina Yang and Meredith Grey. Or, as they come to be known, the “twisted sisters.” Cristina and Meredith always come 99
Where do we go from here?
So what are some ways you can shatter the male gaze for the illusion it is? First of all, recognizing it’s there, and recognizing your power over it. Also, we must recognize the ways it has insidiously made its way into different aspects of our lives— from the way we feel insecure about ourselves, to the way we’re pressured to hide and display ourselves at the same time. Another way to break the gaze is to create your own through the relationships and communities you form and join. There are so many feminist collectives and women-run networks out there:
Ones centered on activism, like the National Organization for Women. Ones centered on photography, like Girl Gaze. Ones centered on writing, like Feministing and Feminist Frequency. Ones centered on self care, like Girls Night In.
A Personal Letter to my Abuela words by AMY MORALES
Honduras has always been my second home. I can vividly recall the first time I stepped foot on the airport and felt a wave of ease come over me. It was also the first time I’d be meeting grandmother. How the asylum-seeking system currently works stalls my grandmother from getting the chance to visit therefore my family’s trips abroad to Honduras served one sole purpose: operation visit grandma. Her name was Angelina Reyes Posada, and she was everything you would expect a Hispanic abuela to be like. She knew no boundary when it came to personal space and would offer way too much food. Baleadas were my entry dish to Honduran cuisine. Angelina made sure everyone- beyond family- had a roof over their head and food in their belly. I hadn’t known the cultural depths of her cooking only after this past visit. Survivability isn’t always equated to cooking but with the dichotomy of a Honduran women’s identity being directly tied with their ability to cook a mean plate of frijoles and tajadas, insensitivity aside, sexism isn’t that robust- my grandma’s livelihood existed in a complicated paradigm that took its doctrine from the patriarchy. Up until her husband’s passing, my grandfather, Angelina followed and lived by her husband’s rules. Her autonomy diminishing each time he set a new mandate and she abided by it.
The existence of these collectives makes the message clear: we women will not hate each other. We will not be subsumed by our stereotypes. We will resist a gaze that pins us down, putting us under a constant scrutiny. We will deconstruct what has been forced upon us, while creating something positive in its place. When my best friends say, “Hey cutie” to me, it’s more than just a compliment edged in irony. It reminds me that men don’t have the final say in my worth, and nor does a society that only places value on women who are desired by men. Repositioning the gaze, so that it comes from my female friends who love me unconditionally, is the first step toward recognizing that we can finally see ourselves as subjects, not objects.
With all this in mind, I run down the sidewalk to meet up with my best friend. I see her, and she’s walking toward me. She’s just come from a workout, and her hair is in a sweaty ponytail. “Hey gorgeous!” I say. Right as we meet up, she looks at me and smiles. 100
My grandmother grew impatient of her husband’s towering role on her daily affairs, so she took it upon herself to live by her own agenda. My grandmother’s act of defiance carried the weight of millions of women before her who sat idly while their husbands chipped away at their independence. The Latino culture favors the macho (the men) versus the Mujeres, there is no sugar coating that or denying it. This isn’t a case of generalization but rather confronting the sexist culture that prevails in Honduras- one that accounts for 65% of femicide murders between 2010 and 2013; encouraging the implementation of a special unit in the Honduran government 2016 budget for femicide investigation. My grandmother was an impeccable woman who taught me my first lesson in feminism. She defied the submissiveness and countered societal norms. She was unapologetically herself and owned it in every sense of the word. She made herself up everyday to impress the girl staring back at the mirror. She took walks to the park and beach, and had everyone for dinner. My grandma, my abue, Angelina Reyes Posada passed away three months ago on March 19th. I will forever live according to her rulebook, one full of badassery and self-love. Rest in power, abue. 101
TWO BEDROOM APARTMENT
Did you know you were an icon?
“You’re just like Sally”
If you did
I hear this now
You probably wouldn't have called yourself
Feminist, A dirty word. Though you knew you were fearless You knew stubbornness Wacky humor Generosity Did you know we were connected When we met through my mom, you’re “pretty girl” Did you know you were an icon? If you did
as she carried me in her womb?
Dear Aunt Sal
A dirty word.
Who I would grow to be? Stubborn
Generous Though you knew you were fearless You knew stubbornness photography by SARAH BEIDATSCH
and while I’m not as brave not as fearless I hope to have your kindness and your Heart Did you know when you wore your earrings made out of condoms That you were building your feminism? Did you know you were an icon?
I hear this now
That you were taking something “dirty” If you did
and showing it off to the world? You probably wouldn't have called you
That every choice you made when I do something particularly Feminist, Rebellious and while I’m not as brave not as fearless
was a feminist act?
A dirty word.
Even if you couldn’t say it Though you knew you were fearless Couldn’t recognize it
You knew stubbornness
Did the world know the power you held? I hope to have your kindness and your Wacky humor Did you know I would feel connected I don’t think it did Heart Generosity Generosity to you? But I do. Our family says: Did you know when you wore Did you know we were connected Did you know we were connected Wacky humor
Dear Aunt Sal
Mothers and your earrings made out of condoms
When we met through my mom,
Daughters and That you were building your feminism?
you’re “pretty girl”
Did you wonder if I’d be like as she carried me in her womb?
Aunts and That you were taking something “dirty”
as she carried me in her womb?
You? Did you know when you placed your hands on her belly If 4 months after you were gone
Grandmothers and and showing it off to the world?
Did you know when you placed your h
“When God takes one away, When we met through my mom, you’re “pretty girl”
Who I would grow to be? Stubborn Generous
“You’re just like Sally”
Did you know when you placed your hands on her belly and again You probably wouldn't have called yourself Feminist,
when I do something particularly
He gives one back.”
I would arrive? If I would be strong like you?
That every choice you made was a feminist act?
Even if you couldn’t say it Couldn’t recognize it
words and image by KELLY FRIDAY Did you know when you wore
Family of all sorts That is the power The bond
Who I would grow to be? Stubborn Gentle
I will make sure the world knows about
You Should Really Love Yourself More words by MARY SUTTON
Every morning I wake up to the same scene: myself, which is little more than a blur of blonde hair and body parts without my glasses. In the bathroom it’s impossible to ignore my face, reflected back at me from two different mirrors. Even without the help of my glasses or contacts, I can start to pick out my features: two round eyes, a small nose, and a pair of thick, dark eyebrows. My horrific eyesight filters out the details of my skin which is nice; it’s hard to hate something you can’t even see. I don’t remember when I became so self-conscious. The version of myself from ten years ago spent nearly every night in dance rehearsals looking at herself in the studio’s mirrored walls and yet she was blissfully unaware of her desperate need for braces and a haircut. However, at seventeen, after years of braces, expensive skin care, and salon visits, I’ve never been more critical of myself. Researchers have noted a correlation between a decrease in self-esteem levels and puberty, which seems painfully obvious. The caricature of teenagers being hormonal and insecure has been around for ages. But the problem isn’t purely biological. I could blame my own insecurities on any number of sources: the issues of Seventeen I binged at the library after school, every adult who reminded me of new ways in which I wasn’t good enough, or how cruel my classmates could be about my pale skin. By the time I turned thirteen, I had lost my eyebrows to a misguided attempt to shake off the “Hairy Mary” nickname I’d acquired, and gained a binge eating disorder, severe depression, and a slew of anxiety issues. I wanted people to like me, and I thought that if I was pretty all of my problems would go away. I resented other girls for how pretty I thought they were, and I resented myself even more for not being able to make myself look like them. 106
Before puberty, I used to think I was really pretty, actually. I didn’t spend time scrutinizing my face because I liked how I looked. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see everybody else’s critique, I just saw myself. I think somewhere along the line, girls lose ownership of their own self-image. By the time we’re old enough to be insecure, our faces are no longer what we think they are, but rather what other people have imposed on them. That’s not to say that other people’s opinions are not entirely valid; there are plenty of ego studies that have determined human beings to overestimate their own attractiveness and (in most cases) there is value in a second opinion. It’s when those opinions begin to shape how we see ourselves that we lose ownership of something that should have never been possible to lose. Overcoming insecurity starts with recognizing your own beauty and yet, building confidence through complimenting yourself is a social taboo. Even as I typed the words “I used to think I was really pretty, actually,” I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed and awkward. Self-depreciation seems more socially acceptable than admitting you find yourself attractive. There’s an awkwardness to self-confidence, as though “pretty” is some kind of dirty word. Compliments are only valid when they’re
coming from somebody else (especially if that somebody else is a man). Growing up with technology has made it a big part of my life, social media especially. Facebook was cool when I was a tween, but nothing has compared to Instagram. It’s a platform designed specifically for you to post pictures of your life, but there are limits to how much of yourself you are allowed to post. Infamously, Kim Kardashian posted a full-frontal nude to her Instagram captioned, “When you’re like I have nothing to wear LOL,” and everyone lost their collective minds. Why? It would take a decent amount of time to discuss the Kardashian family, their antics, and why people care so much about them, but the answer can be summed up to this: because she was naked, she liked it, and even worse – she was a mother, and mothers cannot be sexy. Beauty, and sexual appeal in particular, are things we have learned we cannot attribute to ourselves. We’ve conditioned ourselves to internalize this rule that’s been allowed to continue for generations: women who like themselves are narcissistic bitches. Women should be sweet and accommodating. A “lady” never relishes compliments but blushes and insists the other person is making it all up. It’s not okay to teach young girls that it’s better to deflect compliments and remain passive instead of building her confidence up.
words by MAURA SHEEDY Hannah Bogenreuther, of Portland, Oregon, is a Social Media Manager by day and the creator of Girl Power Illustrations by night. A creative artist by nature, she enjoys graphic design, story telling, videography, photography and brand strategy to keep her “creative juices flowing” in both of her roles. With a purchase of a Wacom drawing pad in January and a search on her computer for an old edition of Adobe Illustrator, Girl Power Illustrations was born. Hannah has been teaching herself Illustrator as she goes along, admitting that this has been something she has “always wanted to try.” Now, Girl Power Illustrations has grown into an Instagram account and online shop and blog for those who have something to say all headed by Hannah with a friend contributing content.
Hypocrisy surrounding this in the media abounds. The same publications that praise body-inclusive campaigns also publish articles calling out a “selfie-obsessed” generation. We are supposed to love ourselves, but only ever privately. I’m not sure how to change a long-held taboo but I suspect the change would have to start small. Alexander McQueen single-handedly revolutionized the fashion world when he introduced scandalously low-rise pants at his 1994 fashion show, “Nihilism.” From then on, lowrise pants and jeans became the standard of late 90s and early 2000’s fashion. The most influential changes begin at the individual level, when someone interacts with a concept that later becomes accepted across a larger group. Instead of focusing on things that could be changed, focus on what you love already. If one person can make low-rise jeans a staple, can’t we make self-confidence just as commonplace?
At its core, Girl Power Illustrations is committed to creating an active relationship online. Through her role as a social media manager (which she says definitely has its pros and cons), Hannah was troubled by the fact that brands often use their customers and followers’ interest in them to get more engagement on a post when they posed a question while brands rarely show an interest back to their followers. People would honor their request by flocking to answer their question in the comments, giving them a follow, and so forth while the brand did not expect to owe them anything. On GIrl Power Illustrations, however, Hannah became committed to being a place where the questions being asked by a brand or account are genuine and become the building blocks of a genuine, long-lasting relationship. Girl Power Illustrations does this by posing a question to their social media and website. The responses received become the illustrations that she creates. She says, “When someone answers a Girl Power Illustration question they will receive a genuine and robust response, followed up with more questions and a custom illustration of themselves that celebrates self-compassion and who they are as women. “We will also check-in just to say ‘Hi! Have a great day!’ sometimes. We have also just started to interview the women who have answered the question so that their voices and stories have a platform.”
Hannah believes that more accounts and brands are starting to become more authentic on social media, but we need to do more. Hannah revealed that one of the other passions besides promoting girl power is advocating for people with invisible illnesses. Hannah suffers from chronic migraines and things like even getting through a normal work week can be difficult. Trying to bring her illness up at work- without appearing needy- is even more difficult.
I’ve always had this acute sense that I wanted to change the world.
words by OLIVIA JIMINEZ
As she promotes girl power through her mission, account, and shop, Hannah has given much thought in the term. She says girl power is personal and powerful. She says, “It is about embracing who you are and having compassion for yourself. Instead of judging yourself for any shortcomings, find the power within yourself to be kind understanding and sympathetic to yourself.”
5: I wanted to be a ballerina. Tiny me, covered in baby fat, tiptoed around cabins with my arms outstretched, jumping over alligator ponds, as graceful as any baby-fat-riddled five-year-old could be. “I’ll be the ballewina pwincess and you.. you can be the nutcwacko” And I waltzed onto the top of the couch in order to get more attention than my sister, who was walking around the cabin as a nutcracker going “Ahm.. ahm.. ahm…” and yet, for some reason, my dad decided to follow her with his camera I quit because my friends did. I quit because it must have been boring.
She recalls being 13 years old and owning a shirt that said in varsity font “Girl Power.” She remembers feeling strong and powerful in the shirt that inspired her to keep up with the boys she raced against on the soccer field at the time. That shirt was a way for her to see and feel her power and have self-compassion for her capabilities. Girl Power Illustrates also hopes to be visual, like the shirt, and remind people, “How rad and badass they are when they forget how amazing they are”.
7: I wanted to be a writer. My second-grade teacher had written a book and introduced me to words. I wrote stories about dragons and sarcastic princesses. I wanted to be recognized, to be different, to be talented, to be original. But Monica was the best writer, and she always won the award for the smartest kid in the class, just like my sister.
Having self-compassion and self-love for yourself can be difficult in a society that imposes so many standards and expectations, especially for females. Hannah admits that society’s pressure for women to always look top-notch is most pressing in her own life.
I’ve always had this acute sense that I wanted to change the world.
She claims, “Average sized women (like myself) are seen as “overweight” or unhealthy. I don’t get it and I never will. I could go on and on, but we all know that needs to be shattered. Also, this week I am bummed because I realized my male co-workers all wear Vans, but I think if I wore my Van’s high-tops to work it would be considered unprofessional. I am going to try it, I think! I feel so ‘me’ in my high-tops… and I can still be professional!” Her muse to keep creating is all of the women who answer her DMs and her commitment to create a two-way social media relationship. She says, “No two women have answered the same question the same way... which is SO cool.” Get involved with Girl Power illustrations by following the on Instagram, shopping their products, or reading their blog.
10: I wanted to be a baker, because that’s what my sister said she wanted to be. 11: I wanted to be a scientist. I know, right? Me? But it was really more about wanting to be an explorer. I wanted to trek farther than roads would take me, lower than the oceans even go. I’ve always had this acute sense that I wanted to change the world. 13: I wanted to be an actress on Broadway. 14: I wanted to be a mathematician, but only if that acting thing didn’t work out. 15: I wanted to make some friends. 16: I wanted to do anything to make my sister stay home. I also wanted to be a psychologist.
when I realized that I would be far too stuck analyzing ghostly apple trees on green hills and the Earth’s asthmatic, lonely breath because all I wanted to do was drive my eyes down concrete phrases, previously unexplored and hold my breath and dive deeper into Kate’s “seductive” seas teeming with hermit crabs with Tennessee’s claws(es) and sharks with Sylvia’s “full set of teeth,” teeming with Allen’s jellyfish of poetry and Eliot’s O-mouthed sucker fish gobbling their Shakespearian rags and words and writers and scraps of age old thoughts sparkling under the heat of the sun. I wanted to stop believing the implications when my cousins and uncles and aunts asked me, “Is there even anything you can do with an English degree?” or “Why don’t you study computer science like your sister?” or “Do you think you’ll go anywhere with that?”
words by OLIVIA JIMINEZ
Last week, Hannah emailed questions to some of the women she has drawn, seeking to gain more information about their experiences, struggles, and triumphs. She hopes to start posting those interviews soon, detailing all the good and bad females go through.
FOR THOSE WITH DREAMS OF NUTCRACKERS AND BALLERINA PRINCESSES
Today, I crack my knuckles to remember my Nutcracker dream. I cling onto poetry to remind myself that I can find cradles in the loops of the alphabet. I question everything I see. I travel and explore, I trek the Himalayas and dive into the Atlantic. I read plays to remind myself of that time I welcomed the stage. I count and count and count, I make sequences and series to find patterns in my life. I integrate and derive memories to remember my sister’s dreams and my mother’s dreams and my father’s dreams. And I love every dream I come across that is not my own, I love that my sister can change the world and that my classmates can change the world and that my parents have changed the world. But I had stopped allowing myself to waltz on couches and write stories about dragons and sarcastic princesses because I figure that someone will win that award while I’m sitting there with the award for “Nice Try! But not quite good enough.” Yet somehow, I still find myself having the acute sense that I want to change the world. So, … I am a ballerina princess. Writer. Dragon slayer. Explorer. Capable of changing the world.
I’ve always had this acute sense that I wanted to change the world. 17: I wanted to shrink when I realized that I couldn’t,
photography by LUCIE BLISSETT
Global cinema is fundamental in connecting cultures, and anyone who has the capacity to use the medium to storytell for the better should be given a voice. Like the recent calls for equality coming from women in Hollywood, female filmmakers across national boundaries face similar struggles in gender disparity and discrimination. While researching for this piece, it became increasingly apparent that it would be difficult to find information on the many women directors across the world. I found sites that claimed to give a comprehensive list of the best foreign films of all time, but did not include a single woman director. And yet, women filmmakers across the globe are continuously adding new life to the screen. Their ideas and stories, characters and settings, motifs and symbols, while overlooked, are splashing the screen and culture with essential color—vibrant, deep, delicate, fiery, loud, and mellow. This piece will provide a list of female filmmakers on each continent, each with one spotlighted filmmaker. Unfortunately, not every country will be represented in this piece due to space, lack of available information, or, in some cases, the absence of a film industry in the country altogether.
to the SCREEN words by OLIVIA JIMENEZ
HISTORY Since the birth of motion pictures in France, film has cemented itself as an essential medium of artistic expression across the globe. However, women passionate about the craft have fought an uphill battle to feel welcome in male-dominated cinematic spaces. While women have had a long history in film and have been represented on-screen (often problematically), women behind the screen have struggled amidst their easily recognizable male counterparts. However, despite the disparity in visibility, women have always been there. Until now, they simply haven’t received the credit that they deserve. It’s difficult to conjure up names of women filmmakers throughout history on the spot, but knowing who they are and what they accomplished is essential for us to understand that the issue is not incapability or unwillingness, but rather skewed funding and media recognition. The Academy Awards are an interesting tool for gauging how the United States has considered foreign film over the years. While the first Academy Awards took place in 1929, the first time a foreign film was celebrated with a “Special Award” came post-World War II, and there was still no set category for foreign film until 1956. The lack of women represented in this category is almost shocking. Only 22 of the 305 filmmakers nominated since 1956 were women, which puts the statistic at around 7.2%. Below is a comprehensive list of every woman nominated in the foreign language film category (which, sadly, I am able to fit in this limited space). 117
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM -FEMALE OSCAR NOMINEES Astrid Henning-Jensen (Denmark, 1959, Paw) Lina Wertmuller (Italy, 1976, Seven Beauties) Diane Kurys (France, 1983, Entre Nous) Maria Luisa Bemberg (Argentina, 1984, Camila) Agnieszka Holland (West Germany, 1985, Angry Harvest) Coline Serreau (France, 1985, Three Men and a Cradle) Mira Nair (India, 1988, Salaam Bombay!) Nana Dzhordzhadze (Georgia, 1996, A Chef in Love) Berit Nesheim (Norway, 1996, The Other Side of Sunday) Caroline Link (Germany, 1997, Beyond Silence) Agnes Jaoui (France, 2000, The Taste of Others) Caroline Link (Germany, 2002, Nowhere in Africa) WINNER Paula van der Oest (Netherlands, 2002, Zus & Zo) Cristina Comencini (Italy, 2005, Don’t Tell) Susanne Bier (Denmark, 2006, After the Wedding) Deepa Mehta (Canada, 2006, Water) Claudia Llosa (Peru, 2009, The Milk of Sorrow) Susanne Bier (Denmark, 2010, In a Better World) WINNER Agnieszka Holland (Poland, 2011, In Darkness) Deniz Gamze Erguven (France, 2015, Mustang) Maren Ade (Germany, 2016, Toni Erdmann) Ildiko Enyedi (Hungary, 2017, On Body and Soul)
While this list does not include foreign documentary or short filmmakers, it gives an idea of the lack of attention given to international women filmmakers by the United States, and to some extent, across the globe, as countries submit their own films for consideration.
Spotlight: KENYA - Wanuri Kahiu
Wanuri Kahiu is a critically acclaimed filmmaker from Nairobi, Kenya, whose film Rafiki (2018) was the first film from Kenya represented at Cannes. Kahiu has been making feature films since 2008, but has been a filmmaker since the age of 16. Kahiu hopes to shatter the idea that Africa is inherently serious or linked to tragedy through her media company, AFROBUBBLEGUM. The company supports frivolous, joyful, and playful art made for creating’s sake, citing the fact that Africa deserves its Warhols and Dr. Seusses, too. Kahiu’s films range in genre and theme; however, she is interested in joyous human connection, particularly love. Rafiki, a story about two young women who fall in love, was banned in Kenya for its depiction of homosexuality, which is an illegal offense in the nation.
While the film was created to celebrate joy and hope in their own right, Kahiu’s courage in the face of the ban also demonstrates the resilience of the human spirit. Rather than sacrifice her creative vision, Kahiu left her film unedited and called for artistic solidarity in countries where the film was accessible, saying, “It’s not about banning a single film. It’s about repressing ideas and stories, and I feel like that in itself goes against the human spirit. Because humans are stories.”
Spotlight: AFGHANISTAN - Roya Sadat
Roya Sadat is the first female filmmaker in Afghanistan’s post-Taliban era, bringing female narratives to the screen and inspiring both Afghan women and women across the world. Sadat was influenced by her father, who helped her understand that women and girls have the capacity and the talent to tell stories and engage in culture. She portrays female stories which allow the Afghan woman to be portrayed onscreen in ways that challenge both the patriarchy and the misguided Western notion of implicit victimhood for women in the Middle East. Her feats as filmmaker in Afghanistan, however, transcend her womanhood. For her latest and most critically acclaimed film, A Lettesr to the President, she struggled to find producers, sets, and actors with the nation’s lack of film studios, and had increasing security concerns. She and her husband produced the film themselves after selling wedding jewelry, cars, and an apartment. Sadat’s courage in the face of oppression during the Taliban era has allowed her to engage her passions and talent in monumental ways today, continuously evoking change for women across the world and for the Afghan nation itself. Sadat’s A Letter to the President was released in 2017. Her other works include Three Dots (2003) and Playing the Taar (2008).
Spotlight: ARGENTINA - Lucrecia Martel Lucrecia Martel is considered one of South America’s leading filmmakers. Born in Salta, Argentina, Martel has been making films since the 1990s and has given a unique style to the screen. Her work often considers the characters’ psychological states, which her cinematographic style reflects. She is considered to be a part of the New Argentine Cinema movement which looks at the 1990s to present day, particularly important for its contribution to the resurgence of culture and film after Jorge Videla’s dictatorship. Martel’s latest film Zama (2017) centers around a colonial Argentina. In general, her films delve into widespread topics like family, class, race, and gender, and usually hold some political fire behind them, too. Martel is also known for The Headless Woman (2008) and La Ciénaga (2001), among others. Also look at: Julia Solomonoff
EUROPE Spotlight: FRANCE - Agnès Varda
Celebrated filmmaker Agnès Varda is known as the “Grandmother of the French New Wave,” as her work preceded even that of the celebrated Jean-Luc Godard (a close friend of hers) and Jacques Demy (her late husband). Born in 1928, Varda has a longestablished career in the film industry despite her lack of technical training in motion picture arts. She made her first film at the age of twenty-seven in 1955 and has continuously worked with an imaginative spirit to create a broad range of cinema which does not stick to one genre or theme. However, her interest in portraying characters, particularly female, often on the edges of society has remained consistent throughout her body of work (Variety). Varda coined her own phrase to describe her work—cinécriture, a mixture of filmmaking (cinéma) and writing (écriture). Varda’s latest film, Faces Places (2017), was nominated for an Academy Award under Best Documentary. Other well-known works include Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), Vagabond (1985), and One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (1977). Also look at: Claire Denis, Agnes Jaoui, Gamze Erguyen, Mia Hansen-Løve, Mélanie Laurent
OCEANIA Spotlight: NEW ZEALAND - Jane Campion Jane Campion is one of the most notable filmmakers of the 21st century. She was the first and only woman to win the Palme d’ors at Cannes in 1993 for her film The Piano. The Palme d’ors is the highest honor for a filmmaker at the Cannes Film Festival. Campion has a wide and extensive filmography to show for her celebrated career. Her first feature film was made in 1989, although Campion created short films which received critical acclaim prior. While Campion has shifted her attention to television, her directorial work in its entirety has become an essential landmark for women in film and aspiring female directors. Campion’s last film, Bright Star, was released in 2009 and her latest work is television series Top of the Lake (2013) starring Elisabeth Moss. Also look at: Julia Solomonoff
ARMENIA CHINA GEORGIA INDIA INDONESIA IRAN ISRAEL JAPAN LAOS LEBANON PALESTINE SAUDI ARABIA SINGAPORE SOUTH KOREA THAILAND
Anahit Abad Emily Tang, Yang Lina Ana Urushadze Payal Kapadia, Alankrita Shrivastava Kamila Andini, Nia Dinata Samira Makhmalbaf, Narges Abyar, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh Iris Zaki Yuki Tanada, Yang Yong-hi, Atsuko Hirayanagi, Sayo Yamamoto Mattie Do Nadine Labaki Annemarie Jacir Haifaa al-Mansour Kirsten Tan, Tan Pin Pin Lee Kyoung Anocha Suwichakornpong, Hnin Ei Hlaing
I wanna play airplane. A young Alison soars over her father Bruce: They are both searching for balance, but cannot seem to find equilibrium.
They both develop their lives through words:
Alison combines them with illustrations. Bruce combines them with anger and frustration. Words lacking in communication.
They have each grown distant from their true selves: A father who cannot make sense of his past. A daughter who is coming to terms with her future.
Exploring their identities reflected in each other.
AUSTRIA BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA BULGARIA CROATIA DENMARK ENGLAND GERMANY GREECE HUNGARY ITALY LUXEMBOURG POLAND SCOTLAND SERBIA SLOVENIA SPAIN SWEDEN SWITZERLAND
Barbara Eder Ines Tanovic Kristina Grozeva Hana Jušić Susanne Bier, Frederikke Aspöck Ana Lily Amirpour Maren Ade, Nicolette Krebitz Athina Rachel Tsangari Ildiko Enyedi Cristina Comencini Laura Schreder Agnieszka Holland, Agnieszka Smoczyńska Malgorzata Szumowska Ester Gould, Lynne Ramsay Mirjana Karanović Hanna Slak Carla Simon Sara Jordeno Petra Volpe
BOLIVIA BRAZIL CANADA CHILE COLOMBIA COSTA RICA CUBA DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ECUADOR EL SALVADOR HAITI PARAGUAY PERU MEXICO VENEZUEL
Violeta Ayala Sabrina Fidalgo, Yasmin Thayna, Anna Muylaert Stella Meghie, Isabelle Coixet Marialy Rivas, Marcel Said, Maite Alberdi Cristina Gallego Paz Fábrega Marilyn Soraya, Gloria Rolando Yanillys Perez, Laura Amelia Guzmán Tania Hermida Marcela Zamora, Tatiana Huezo Guetty Felin Tana Schembori, Renate Costa Claudia Llosa Natalia Almada, Mariana Chenillo, Betzabé García, Patricia Riggen Mariana Rondón, Elia Schneider, Fina Torres
Ruth Borgobello, Gillian Armstrong
They find out information about each other kept in hushed whispers: A daughter, gay - proud. A father, gay - ashamed. So alike yet so different.
Alison makes these differences tangible: Unfolding her life’s narrative as she struggles to find identity. She chooses to create, to illustrate, to write.
Just two people wanting to soar: one tangled, caught in the wires. Just two people: who want to play airplane.
words by MELANIE RODRIGUEZ
Sofia Djama, Yamina Bachir Fanta Regina Nacro Ariana Astrid Atodji Jihan El-Tahri Hermon Hailay Juliet Asante, Shirley Frimpong-Manso Narjiss Nejjar, Laila Marrakchi, Leila Kilani Bridget Pickering Peace Anyiam-Fiberesima, Omoni Oboli, Kemi Adetiba Marie-Clémentine Dusabejambo Dyana Gaye Khetiwe Ngcobo, Sara Blecher, Omelga Mthiyane Leyla Bouzid, Moufida Tlatli Agnes Kamya, Nana Kagga Tsitsi Dangarembga
n the Verge of Difference
ALGERIA BURKINA FASO CAMEROON EGYPT ETHIOPIA GHANA MOROCCO NAMIBIA NIGERIA RWANDA SENEGAL SOUTH AFRICA TUNISIA UGANDA ZIMBABWE
stillness Brittany O’Brien is a tour photographer based in Oakland, CA who has worked with up and coming indie bands to huge alternative acts such as Grouplove, Fitz and the Tantrums, and One Republic. On a break between tours with Hippo Campus and K. Flay, I spoke with Brittany over the phone about building relationships on the road and the surprisingly stealth art of tour photography.
MOVE words and questions by KATHRYN HORNYAK
Q: First of all, how did you get into photography and at what point did you realize that you wanted to do it professionally? A: I started doing photography when I was in high school. I did yearbook and I was the head photographer. I had always been the documentarian of my friend group and I really loved doing that, so I dropped out of college and moved away from my hometown of San Francisco and would just kind of frequent concerts where I started to bring my camera along with me, just taking photos of shows. I have a strong will to get what I want professionally, so when I started realizing that I really loved capturing these on-stage moments, I started to think to myself, “How can I make a job out of this? Or how can I make money doing this?” So I kind of developed the desire to go professional with it right away. It definitely took years to figure out how. But in 2012, when I started shooting concerts, it was instantaneous. I realized this is what I wanted to do. Q: Your entire ethos is capturing super intimate, personality-revealing moments on the road. In order to get those kinds of shots, you have to build up a relationship with the artist or band you’re working with. How naturally does that come for you? Does it? Has there ever been a situation where it didn’t? A: Usually it comes pretty naturally. I really like people, so when I get to know an artist, I try not to ever force myself upon them or force my personality on people. I like to kind of just sit back and observe people’s behaviors and see what they like and what they don’t like. Just watch so I can kind of figure out how to fit in with that band and not be a nuisance, but be a friend. First, I try to just fit in, going along with their personality types. Then I slowly kind of meld my real self in with their group or their band and it’s usually great. So, it always comes naturally but it’s a development. Q: Going on tour and eventually getting close with these people has to be such a bonding experience. Do you ever stay close with the acts you photograph, or is there a line between the personal and the professional relationship for you?
A: It varies. I usually stay in touch and stay friends with the bands I’ve worked with, but on an acquaintance level. But depending on how well our personalities mix, I’ve made some of my best friends on tour. Some of my favorite people in the world I’ve worked with and I still get to work with.
Q: The world of live music tends to be male-dominated. That’s definitely changing, but what has your experience been working in and around this industry as a woman on tour? A: For me personally, it’s been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve really been lucky to work with people who are so inviting and open to having females in their crew. I’ve never felt discriminated or looked down upon by anyone I’ve worked with. I have seen it, and I’ve experienced it from outsiders. Like, I’ll be working at a venue and some of the people that work there will be kind of weary about taking direction from me in certain parts of the country. But I’ve always felt on the same level and respected by the people I work with. Especially with the artist K. Flay. She hand selects her team. It’s really cool to know that there are artists out there working to include women, men, people of color, anyone in their team that deserves to have a chance to be a part of this industry and not just let it be the same dudes over and over again. Q: You once wrote, “My goal as a photographer is to capture a single killer image as representation of an entire experience.” What factors play into building an image that encapsulates so much? A: There’s a lot that goes into it. Like I said, I really spend a lot of time observing people. It’s not by chance, it’s time and patience and getting to know them. Maybe I’ve observed the show a couple times, where I know that a certain member of the band is gonna do something really meaningful and I wanna capture it in a certain way, so I’ll kind of hang out in the photo pit from weird angles just trying to capture that special look on their face in that moment of the song or just something I know that they’re gonna do that maybe they don’t even know they’re gonna do, that I think really shows off their personality. So a lot of my process is waiting and watching until I know these moments are gonna arise. Patience and observation is how I really do it. Q: When you were answering that question was there a specific image you were thinking of that exemplifies that process? A: I was thinking about a photo I took of Hippo Campus on this last tour we were on. The singer Jake and the trumpet player DeCarlo were standing in a doorway. They’re really close, and I saw DeCarlo lay his head on the singer’s shoulder, and I was laying on the couch playing a game with the bass player, and I kind of just sat up and was like, wait—this is one of the moments I’ve been waiting for, the intimacy between these two as friends. I need to capture this! So I reached down and grabbed my camera and took the photo behind the [laptop] screen so they wouldn’t see, because I didn’t want them to move at all. I wanted that raw moment. That was one of my favorite moments I’ve captured in a while. Q: Are there any other photographers or specific photographs that you’ve encountered that you’ve been inspired by? A: Oh yes! My favorite photographer is Andy Baron. He was Foster the People’s photographer when I was just starting to get into photography, and [his work] was super inspiring to me. And there is a specific image by another photographer, Brad Heaton, Twenty One Pilots’ photographer, where he shot Tyler and Josh directly from above while they were laying on the ground on stage and it looked like a boxing ring. It inspired me to think about how you can create new angles and make live shows look like art every night if you find the right way to do it.
Wrap It Up
Murder Take Him Out (to the Ballgame)
Four in Five Are Afraid
photography and words by SARAH SIX
Girls are raised with the idea that they are always more fragile than and inferior to men. In January 2017 I was assaulted. My experience transformed my work to address violence against women, capturing myself as a spectacle, as an injured woman. Murder Club was a response to that work and a response to the violence. I researched ways women killed their male partners in self-defense.
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Inside: *Self-Love Start Kit *10 LIngerie Brands for the Body & Soul *Are You There Mentors? It's Me, A Struggiling Young Adult *A Teacher...
Published on Mar 4, 2019
Inside: *Self-Love Start Kit *10 LIngerie Brands for the Body & Soul *Are You There Mentors? It's Me, A Struggiling Young Adult *A Teacher...