Letter from the Editors Dear Reader,
Fall 2018 Volume 14 Issue 1 Editor-in-Chief Andrew Smith Executive Editor Maddie Baumgart Section Editors Beatrice Beirne Morgan Kelly Design Director Stella Jeong Designers Abby Kwon Camron Morrissey Event Coordinator Yesenia Sanchez
With great pleasure, we present to you the Fall 2018 issue of OneWorld Magazine. We hope this magazine finds you open to exploring the people, systems and locations around you. With that, we introduce to you our theme for this semester: location. Stated differently, we asked ourselves, “Where are we?” In this issue, we explore how location and social justice interact. We found that location can be similar to our identity. Like our identity, different aspects of our physical and emotional locations can be more salient than others. Elementary school is a place where we learn, create and grow, but it is the same place that can fail to tend to the mental health of students. Hospitals are where we go to get better, until they become the place where our loved ones cannot leave. Developed countries have enough food to feed everyone, but soon we realize that malnutrition grips many because healthy food is still out of reach. You, our reader, can delve into these topics and many more in this issue. OneWorld is not simply a magazine but a call to action. We hope that these stories transform you as much as they did us. We hope that they inspire you to question, research and get involved so that we can better recognize the worth in all of our neighbors, despite the injustices in society. “We yearn to remove the barriers of ignorance and injustice, because the most basic and unchanging truth that unites us is the infinite value of the human person.” With gratitude, The Editorial Board
Home, Sweet Hospital
The Misfortunes of Being a Wallflower: A World Catered Toward Extroverts
How Survivors See It: The Unspoken Impacts of the Kavanaugh Case
The Truth about Planned Parenthood
The Rising Face of Malnutrition
Are We a Priority?
Sexual Assualt Safety: SLU and Beyond
Condoms, Catholics & College Students
Understanding is Not the Answer: Why We Need Cultural Humility Over Cultural Competence
Unbury the Hatchets: A Reflection on My Miseducation
13 What It Means to Hate the Guy Youâ€™re Sleeping With (But Hate Yourself Even More) 15
Cultural Homelessness: The Struggle of TCKs
Kendra Mehl Freshman Undecided Trapped. Four cold walls conceal the reality that has seemed to disappear. Your internal clock violently ticks with each waking breath. Tucked into a firm mattress, fitted with a salmon blanket. Medicated. Misunderstood. Miserable. Welcome to the morning routine of a patient placed in a long-term health care facility. People respond to a loved one getting sick by seeking medical help for them. Whether they are diagnosed with a terminal illness, mental illness or even just old age, people strive to find the perfect place for treatment. Factors such as location, a comforting philosophy, a great staff and a spiritually sound environment all come into play. More often than not, these facilities lack that home feeling needed in times of desperation. Unsurprisingly, professional staff and medical equipment can be incredibly expensive. When unable to pay for every kind of care, medical professionals and families are forced to hone in on what is seemingly the main priority of a long-term health care facility: the physical treatment plan. Although this is a primary goal, the health of patients is not solely physiological. The main priority of care should be to better the overall well-being of the patient.
When this occurs, the very things that remind patients of what home feels like are taken right out of their hands, and the idea of an ordinary life along with it. Dr. Jason Eberl, Professor of Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University, engaged with the long-term health care system alongside his mother. Eberl’s mother was placed in a nursing home after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and occasionally losing part of her cognitive control due to seizures. He developed strong relationships with the palliative care nurses and the rest of the staff and felt lucky to have his mother placed in a comfortable facility. However, there were still some significant issues. “I would redesign the facilities to make them look less like hospitals,” he said, when asked what changes he wished to see. Too often, medical equipment diminishes comfort at long-term care facilities. An antiseptic aroma lacing each breath is not exactly the smell we think of when imagining home. Similarly, while abundant medical supplies in patient’s rooms can be very vital, they are not always strictly needed in the same place where the patients are trying to spend their moments of recovery. Patients are often times isolated amongst the medical supplies. The amount of care people need and receive in nursing homes varies greatly, but conceptions of nursing homes can default to those who need the most medical attention. The dissonance among the state of patients in these facilities does not offer a very homey environment to the ones who are there for minimal assistance. Along with this, patients may not feel at home due to the lack of psychological comfort that is needed during these hard times. Patients sometimes need additional support for non-physical suffering, such as the struggle with the end of life transition.
This support could take the form of meeting with professionals dedicated to improving mental health. Looking at nursing homes, one would fully expect psychological help to be consistently offered. However, it is not always as accessible as hoped for. Group therapy, nurses, and social workers can provide comfort, but these forms do not always substitute the attention of dedicated psychological staff. This is the same in other long-term care facilities. Many patients in hospice care rarely receive psychological support. Aside from the physiological ache that might burden them, cognitive distress can become unbearable. Without proper funding, these facilities are not able to satisfy that need. The lack of psychological care in these facilities hurts many nursing homes and hospice care, but it is far from the only problem. Long-term care facilities have a bad habit of stripping patients of their basic autonomy. Eberl described the internal conflict he faced as his mother’s caretakers did this exact thing. He was in charge of all medical decisions because she would occasionally slip out of lucidity. Her rights were taken away from her without doubt, even though she was primarily cognitively present. This loss of autonomy takes away the patient’s sense of choice in themselves and leaves them hanging onto their last bit of freedom until it dissipates. We can observe this struggle in mental health hospitals as well. Patients are rarely allowed the presence of something as simple as a toothbrush and have no more than a few minutes in the restroom before they are bombarded with countless questions on their whereabouts in that previous moment. When this occurs, the very things that remind patients of what home feels like are taken right out of their hands, and the idea of an ordinary life along with it. The more a person’s sense of choice is taken away, the further in reverse they will travel. They will be transported back into what would seem like an infantile state. Their dependency on other people will define their first steps on their own, making them believe that they are some form of impotent being. “The goal of rehabilitation [in mental hospitals] is to empower the person to be able to achieve that cognitive, emotive social stability to be able to function outside of the facility. The motive for taking that control away is expediency, the more you can control the environment, the easier it is to take care of people in that situation,” said Eberl. Although it is easier to claim authority over the variables surrounding that person’s condition, it is not always the best method of care when looking at the person as a whole being. Instead, we should focus on how to make their experience in long term healthcare more personal and comfortable. We need to enforce a political alliance between the two extremes and work to express the desires of the patient, not what is the most manageable. Also, we must bring about a restructure to the foundational blueprint we have seemed to permanently enforce. Bringing a home to people not able to live in their house is a challenging thought, but something we can provide with a redesign in the mindset of society. We are the controllers of the environment engulfing what we wish could be the long term care facilities our loved ones are entering each day. The facilities that most of us will one day step foot in.
Fiona Clair Senior Communication & International Studies
Would you rather a.) spend a night in with close friends or b.) be the life of the party? a.) spend the weekends relaxing at home or b.) have a full social calendar? a.) write an individual research project or b.) do a group project? If you answered mostly a’s, odds are you are an introvert! It is a silly quiz, but that is what introversion is reduced to in today’s society. Introverts are just shy; they are just anti-social. In reality, there is no “just” about it. The spectrum of introversion and extroversion—and yes, it is a spectrum—is complicated, and these stereotypes do nothing but further alienate what is seen as “strange” in today’s world. The terms introvert and extrovert do not speak to a person’s personality traits, but rather how they restore their energy. Extroverts energize by socializing with people. This could mean going to a big party or simply going on a walk with a friend. Introverts, on the other hand, get their energy by spending time alone. Now, it is clear where the stereotypes spring from, seeing as introverts are likely to spend more time on their own than more extroverted people. There’s nothing opposing about these personalities, yet society favors extroverted traits, and it is a big problem. Susan Cain sought to tackle this prejudice in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. In an interview with “The Guardian,” Cain tracks the origins of the modern ideas of introversion and extroversion to 20th century Hollywood. This period brought forth the idea that in order to be liked, people have to be charismatic and charming like all the characters in the movies. It is easy to create ideals when everyone is staring at the same screen. So “introverts bad, extroverts good” is the mentality 5 OneWorld
ruling this fine nation—or at least the stereotype holds a certain bias that is hard to escape from—but how does that affect people? Well, according to Psychology Today, a third to a half of the global population are introverts, and many school or work environments (at least in the U.S. and across most of Europe) are not catered to introverted needs. From group projects to group brainstorm sessions, introverts are forced to engage in high-stimulation interactions all day without much of a break. Cain describes this as western society favoring action over contemplation. And it is clearly true: School is a high-stimulation environment, and students are forced to endure it, without much of a break, for six hours every day for at least 16 years in the U.S. For extroverts that is great; they can replenish their energy all day long and bounce ideas of their peers. But for introverts, this means a constant drain of energy in an environment that makes it difficult to make their voice heard . In Cain’s Ted Talk, “The Power of Introverts,” she questions this idea of a “normal” educational environment. In order for introverted students to thrive in the classroom, they have to be stimulated in a way that supports their talents. For an introvert that is a low-energy stimulation that could be achieved by adding quiet time or solo work to the school day. Furthermore, solitude is a crucial ingredient for creativity. Just as introverted students can learn from working in teams, extroverted students can benefit from solitude. Members of groups naturally mirror the beliefs and opinions of the other members which, apart from leading to groupthink, can stifle the individual creative process. This is all fine and good in research, but is there actually a day-to-day bias in the classroom? Susan Everson, an Education professor at Saint Louis University, believes it is too simple to say that the classroom environment benefits extroverts over introverts. “In classroom practices, the issue isn’t whether group work or teamwork is part of it, but that different students need to regroup in different ways,” she said.
The hope, according to Everson, with this discussion of learning styles is that instructors will value these differences. Most research suggests that children will self-select their most effective learning style. The key is to understand this evidence-based practice, and not try to predict what will be best for every student. “The best thing any educator can do is provide a learning environment for the diversity of learning,” Everson said. Once school is over, the next hurdle introverts must jump is that of the workplace environment. Workplaces are increasingly shifting to open-plan offices with an emphasis on group brainstorming. Just like group projects can stifle the introverted student at school, open-plan offices are like poison for the energy of the introverted worker. But what is really concerning is that introverts are more often passed over for leadership positions. “Leader” has become synonymous with extrovert in a way that has come to mean the loudest person in the room will be the best leader. While that may oversimplify the definition of an extrovert, the fact of the matter is extroverted people are not drained by social situations in the same way introverted people are. As much as society pairs the qualities of an extrovert with success, the most talkative person in the room is not necessarily the expert or the leader. So how can society address this mistreatment of introverts? Well, it turns out that is actually harder than it seems for many reasons, but specifically because activism is catered toward extroverts as well. Social activist and feminist Sarah Corbett highlights this phenomenon, and also how introverts can help activism, in her Ted Talk “Activism Needs Introverts.” Although offline activism is an environment more
suited to extroverts, background work is often the basis behind any well-run operation. Running data and doing research may not be glamorous, but they are essential for activism campaigns. Yet, introverts need not hide themselves away if they want to play a bigger role. In fact, introverts have a lot to offer in the realm of strategic justice. A lot of activism today centers around quick responses under the mentality that “we have to act right now to make a change.” But anger is not enough: A good campaign requires strategy, and even kindness, to truly make a difference. Slowing things down helps promote critical thinking and mindfulness, which can actually help an operation out in the long run. Moreover, introverts exceed at intimate and intriguing activism. Intimate activism centers around open dialogue with the opposing party, building bridges (not walls) and avoiding conflict. Yes, much of activism in today’s society depicts powerful protests, but conflict is not always necessary. In fact, by listening, and being heard in return, without direct conflict between parties,it can be easier to find solutions. Likewise, intriguing activism takes a careful and creative eye to design provocative flyers and campaigns that cater directly toward the half of the population who are introverted. So, maybe saying the world is catered toward extroverts is a little blackand-white. In fact, it is much too simple to divide the population into two categories. However, it is also problematic that society’s ideals for leadership, authority and activism are rooted in charisma and sheer volume of speech. Recognizing that everyone socializes, learns, participates and communicates differently is a necessary step in creating a more just society.
Lily Adams Freshman Political Science Despite evoking a wide range of responses when brought up, research suggests that Planned Parenthood (PP) is necessary for ensuring that young people have as many opportunities to make choices about their future as possible. Specifically, women in communities with available PPs are less likely to drop out of school, possibly because they are more likely to receive the reproductive care they need. Increased accessibility to Planned Parenthood clinics can supplement the well-being of communities because it allows women to make decisions without being restrained by poverty and lack of education. According to the Planned Parenthood (PP) website, the organization’s goals are to “provide expert healthcare, inform and educate the community, lead the reproductive health and rights movement, and advance global healthcare.” In practice, they provide ultrasounds, pap smears, STI testing, family planning and contraceptives at low or no cost to anyone that comes in. The 2012 Annual Affiliate Service Census Executive Summary found that STI testing makes up 41% of what clinics provided, contraception was 34%, cancer screening and prevention was 10%. While abortion made up about 3%, the organization’s name usually is associated or used synonymously with “abortion.” Because of this stigma, certain state legis7 OneWorld
lators around the nation are systematically shutting down PPs. Between 2011 and 2013, the state of Texas defunded two-thirds of its family planning clinics, leading the clinics to shut down. . Out of the 82 clinics that were closed, 31 of them were PPs. Texas has one of the largest populations in the country that depends on PP, and when those services are taken away from communities, many people do not know where else to turn for necessary health services. Since PP intentionally services low-income communities, the closures disproportionality cause those who rely on it most to experience loss of health care.
The closures disproportionality cause those who rely on it most to experience loss of health care. When PP was defunded, Texas decided to create its own family planning clinic called Healthy Texas Women (HTW). HTW, in theory, is supposed to provide all of the same services as PP, excluding abortion. The difference between PP and HTW is that HTW does not have the same capacity to provide care; they didn’t have the resources, organization, validity or experienced leadership to run the complexities of family care and planning. One year after HTW was created, a peer-reviewed study by the National Abortion Rights Action League found that 66% of HTW “providers,” did not actually provide care through the clinic, leaving many people with nowhere to go for certain health issues. As much as they tried, Texas was unable to replace the care that PP provides. With PP and other family planning clinics closed, many people have to find replacement providers to get the contraceptives and other health services that they need, but it is not always that easy. These providers must have an available and timely appointment, be able to prescribe the patient’s desired contraceptives, have those products in stock and make sure that they are affordable. With so
many clinics gone, people end up travelling hundreds of miles to get the healthcare they need - that is, if they are able to travel that far. The lack of access to PP clinics in Texas caused claims on long-lasting reversible contraceptives to drop by 35.5% and claims on injectable contraceptives to drop by 31.1%. As a result, the rate of unexpected pregnancies went up in some areas that lost access to PP clinics. While some people stopped using birth control, others stopped going to necessary check ups to make sure their long term birth control was still working. When unmonitored, contraceptives can become ineffective and even dangerous to users - often without their knowledge. Losing access to contraceptives and other necessary healthcare resources are not the only detrimental effects of losing PP in a community. Dr. Jason Eberl, a professor at Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics, said that maternal and prenatal “care” doesn’t just mean checking if a woman is having healthy gestation and childbirth, but also asking “is she a college student that needs to finish school? Is she a single mother that needs to work to support this child or other children she may have? What are we doing as a society to help her do that?” Eberl said that reproductive care goes beyond just the birth of a baby; it is the care that families receive before and after birth. Communities without an accessible PP can experience increased dropout rates and poverty levels of women. A study done on women aged 16-22 years old using data from the 2012-2013 American Community Survey found that young women in communities with local access to a clinic had lower dropout rates than young women who’s community did not. The former had a 4.1% high school
dropout rate, whereas the latter had a 4.8% rate. The National Conference of State Legislatures found that 30% of all teenage girls that drop out of high school cite pregnancy or parenthood as their key reason for dropping out. According to the same source, of all teen mothers, only 40% will finish high school and fewer than 2% will complete college by the age of 30. The effects of dropping out of high school can be detrimental for young women who are mothers. Someone who dropped out of high school will more likely struggle to find steady, well-paying jobs because their lack of higher education makes them appear less competitive in the job market: The National Conference of State Legislatures found the two-thirds of families started by teens are poor, and one fourth will depend on welfare within three years of the child’s birth. By not providing PP healthcare to women, communities - like those in Texas - fail to support women’s education. After Texas closed down a majority of its family planning and PP clinics, tens of thousands of women could no longer access or afford the health services that they needed. Whether skeptics want to believe it or not - the state showed that communities need PP to decrease the unwanted pregnancies and STIs that prevent their young women from falling into avoidable cycles of poverty.
Antron Reid Freshman Political Science & International Studies
Today more than ever, our generation suffers from intense pressure - causing college students to be strained to care for their mental health. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines “mental health” as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community.” A person with strong mental health is able to completely take charge of their life and deal with stress in a healthy manner. For college students, maintaining strong mental health can be difficult feat to achieve. While diagnoses of mental illnesses are becoming more and more common, mental health care seems to be becoming less and less attainable; When someone says healthcare, you think hospitals, but what do you think of when someone says mental healthcare? The environment that a person inhabits influences their well-being; college students are a prime example of this. It is first important to note that mental health affects different age groups in different ways: According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), “approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year,” and “approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life.” NAMI found that just over half of children with mental illness aged 8-15 “received mental health services in the previous year.” One may ask, “why are these stats so high, and what’s causing these numbers to rise?” The answer might very well lie in the children’s location. At elementary, middle and high schools, the precedent for lack of mental health care begins. Despite the American School Counselor Association finding that “numerous studies demonstrate the value of school counseling for students in the domains of academic development, college and career readiness and social/ emotional development,” not all students receive care. Only 40% percent students receive mental healthcare, according to The National Association for School Psychologists, and this is because of “stigma and lack of access to services.” Only two-thirds of that those students get care from their schools. How does this affect students in the long run, particularly when the go to college and are on their own? When students enter college, the change in environment can cause them to face a great deal of stress. The possibilities are endless: This is the stage of our lives where adults told us we were going to miss the most, where we were going to figure out our purpose in life and when we were going to have the most fun. However, there still seems to be a struggle during this time of our life. The five most common mental health challenges for college students according to NAMI are depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction and suicide. In the B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, co-author
Daniel Eisenberg (University of Minnesota) states that “approximately two thirds of high school graduates attend college, but fewer than 50 percent of college enrollees graduate.” So why is this the case? According to a study done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there was a “positive influence on the academic performance” of students who had better accessibility to counseling services. When students receive active support in working out their [personal difficulties], they tend to perform better academically. But, between financial strains, homework and grades, mental health is not always accessible to all students. Active Minds, Saint Louis University’s only mental health organization, seeks to change that. President and senior Stephanie Tom says that their mission is to “change the way college students approach the idea of mental health.” The main goal of this organization is to “remove the stigma that surrounds mental illness and create an environment that allows for open conversation on mental health issues.” While the SLU Counseling Center has experienced counseling professionals who are readily available to provide care to their students, not everyone feels this is enough. “Many individuals have emerging mental illness between the ages of 18-22, and having these resources better publicized and more transparent can help these individuals get the help they need,” according to Tom. Throughout my life, I’ve encountered many obstacles and hardships, just as many others have. I am diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and some days it is difficult to accomplish tasks that come to me naturally. It becomes a chore even to get out of bed some days. One of the biggest reliefs, however, is knowing that I am not alone in this battle, and that there are organizations such as Active Minds who dedicate themselves to ensuring we are valid, and that we are also getting the treatment we need. As diagnoses of mental illnesses are becoming more recognized, it’s important for colleges to be educated on how students are affected and what schools can do for them. Many students are stressed out during the fall, especially due to midterms week and with finals week right around the corner. Students can seek assistance among their peers, whether it may be in their study groups, with their learning assistants for certain classes, their roommates or friends, however that is not enough. Colleges must fund mental health care and listen to student feedback; they must show students that health is important and valuable. By putting students’ health first, colleges put students first. Colleges must prioritize their students and their student’s mental health above academics.
Dhvanii Raval Freshman Neuroscience
Going away to college is full of lifestyle changes for many students: living on their own for the first time, making new friends and balancing challenging classes. However, coming to Saint Louis University (SLU) requires a different type of lifestyle change: a change in sexual habits. Because SLU is a Catholic institution, students don’t have access to condoms or birth control (prescribed for sex) on campus. Students who are sexually active need to adjust an arguably integral part of their lives in exchange for a quality college education. This is due to SLU’s Jesuit principles. As Father Chris Collins, Assistant to the President for Mission and Identity, explains, “From a Catholic perspective, sexuality is a gift that’s unitive and has the capacity to be procreative. To introduce artificial contraception undercuts both of these facets.” Therefore, he asserts that giving students access to contraceptives violates the university’s “institutional conscious.” Accordingly, SLU’s doctrine seems to expect students to abstain and follow the institution’s Catholic principle; however, that is not the case for the majority of students. Healthy Is Hot, an independent student group that promotes reproductive justice, co-Founder and co-President Amanda Buechele conducted a survey of 540 students on campus in 2016 which found that 71 percent of students had been sexually active in the last 6 months. An even more harrowing statistic was 36 percent of these students were having unprotected sex at least 50 percent of the time. They are risking unwanted pregnancy and contracting a sexually-transmitted infection (STI) because of a lack of access to safe sex materials. It’s clear that whether or not students want to believe it, students are having sex on campus, and because of SLU’s anti-contraceptive stance, people are putting themselves at risk when engaging in sexual activity. 11 OneWorld
SLU, in this regard, is quite different from other Missouri universities that recognize the large population of students having sex on campus. The University of Missouri-Saint Louis (UMSL) has a sexual health page on their website where students can schedule appointments to get birth control, receive free STI testing and find condoms. The University of Missouri (Mizzou) has even installed vending machines that dispense condoms in their residence hall, according to the Columbia Missourian Newspaper. In contrast, SLU leaves students with three options: abstinence, seeking out resources outside of student health (which could be unaffordable for many) or unsafe sex. Because of this, SLU Student Health is not allowed to provide condoms, put in any birth control implants or prescribe oral contraceptives for the purpose of preventing pregnancy. Director of SLU Student Health Center Renee Jonas also added that STI testing “can be quite expensive if a student does not want [their] insurance billed.” Jonas stated that students can be referred to other healthcare providers that can give them the contraceptives they need, but Student Health
cannot provide those services as
an affiliate of SLU. Chelsea Wysocki, ‘22, thinks SLU’s policy has a strain on students. “Completely blocking access to contraceptives is not the answer. It forces SLU students to travel off campus and add a hefty expense onto their medical bills for something SLU could very easily allow access to,” Wysocki said. In addition to Student Health’s policies being shaped by SLU’s mission, Housing and Residence Life has policies that forbid Resident Advisors (RAs) from distributing contraceptives to students or engaging in conversations regarding contraception. Leadership for Social Change Learning Community (LSC) RA Ro Sandoval said, “People don’t want to go to their RAs about contraceptives both because of their roles as RAs and how SLU has this policy of not being able to talk about sex. It makes the conversation about sex taboo.” During this exploratory period in students’ lives, they are unable to reach out to
their supposed mentors to receive education about sex or healthy protection. Jada Peten, another LSC RA, added that, “Many of the students at SLU come from Catholic schools and may not have received any sex ed before. Now, they’re not getting it in college either.” SLU’s stance not only disallows access to contraceptives but also closes off an open conversation about sex and safe methods for it. Keana Ho, ‘22, thinks that SLU could easily open the conversation about safe sex even if they’re unwilling to provide contraception. She said, “Open dialogue about safe sex and contraceptives should be allowed at events and programs on campus. We can’t just talk about consent and have that be the end of safe sex conversations at welcome week.” Keana brings up a important point: institutional conversations about consent and intimacy—attendance of the “Can I Kiss You?” talk is a requirement for most University 101 classes and Haven sexual assault prevention is mandatory for all students—prove SLU knows students are sexually active, yet they refuse to protect students from other risks. SLU acknowledges the importance of consent, why can’t they at least open up a conversation about safe sex? Even though SLU is exercising their religious liberty through their stance, Buechele believes SLU needs to honor students’ rights and provide reproductive justice. She said, “Just because students attend a Catholic institution doesn’t mean they’ve signed away their sexual rights. I’m not expecting a condom bowl in the residence hall, but students should be able to get some access to contraceptives.” SLU seems to walk the line of declaring itself a social justice institution and denying reproductive justice to the sexually active. Buechele started HIH for this reason. Since then, HIH has strived to provide three fundamental reproductive resources: condoms, free STI testing once a semester and sex education classes. Their mission is to create a safer sex campus with inclusive information, low-cost resources and a positive community. Every month, they have a different theme, which they center their efforts around. For example, September was “Guide to your Gynecologist,” where they focused on women’s health specifically. Through their grassroots education initiative, HIH provides students with many of the resources in a user-friendly manner that students would otherwise not be able to access. As a result of SLU not directly providing contraceptives on campus, students need to go through roundabout ways to get contraceptives- often looking toward HIH’s counsel. These organizations get push-back from administration, such as one instance Buechele mentioned where an unnamed professor and clergy member told students taking free condoms from HIH members that they’ll “go to hell.” Since HIH and other such organizations need to self-sustain financially and socially, it’s tough for SLU students to practice sexual safety. However they go about it, it seems clear that SLU has students who need and want access to contraceptives. Because SLU indirectly perpetuates unsafe practices by turning a blind eye to students’ lifestyles, the institution fails to protect the students that call SLU home. With social justice being a tenet of SLU’s mission, students should be given reproductive rights instead of being restricted by a lack of resources. It’s time SLU makes the adjustment to college life more about a change in living space and less about the restriction of sexual freedom. Fall 2018
Beatrice Beirne Sophomore Political Science & American Studies
Whatever you’re thinking is true. But it’s not right. Earlier this year, I broke things off with late-night-hating, Jordan Peterson-worshipping, “Mike Pence is a moderate” Republican. Our political differences had initially instigated attraction—don’t tell Elizabeth Warren I’m seeing someone who believes in trickle down economics! For months we had jokingly hyperbolized that he must “hate women” because of his party’s beliefs, and that I am a “snowflake” because I don’t want children getting separated from their parents at the border—millennial humor, I didn’t invent it. But, even in the honeymoon stage, we knew something was more deeply contemptuous between us: Policy was where rubber hitting the road created friction, and it seemed almost impossible to avoid. Conversations about books would expose our disagreements over family ideals and toxic masculinity; reviewing movies would draw divisions between “economic anxiety;” even picking a place to eat would rocket me off into a well-rehearsed speech about redlining. The only time he saw me cry was when, after hours of debate, he couldn’t comprehend why I felt it necessary to refer to transgender people by their prefered pronouns. We had spent hours analytically and rhetorically attacking each other over a single resolution: “If transgender people are more likely to commit suicide than cis people, then using preferred pronouns should be stopped—for the sake of trans people’s safety.” I argued the negative: that the toxicity of a society that rejects trans people created high suicide rates and that the culture should be changed. My Republican opponent took the positive, and felt preventing trans people from living their preferred life was the only way to reduce suicide rates. His perspectives were completely normal to him—despite how revolting and aggravating they were to me. Then, I asked him about the fact that, according to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is the second cause of death for men ages ten to thirty-four in America. Should being male be banned? And that is how I convinced a man in a Dick Cheney t-shirt that trans people have rights. The moral of the story isn’t that I’m a heartbreaker or I spend my free-time memorizing facts about suicide, rather that what became evident, despite our partisanship, was that we both didn’t like the climbing suicide rates of our trans brothers and sisters (my Kumbaya jargon was another reason why things didn’t work out). We had different backgrounds, paths and contexts that forged separate understandings of the issue’s origin and thus had different perspectives for how it should be handled: My Republican paramore understood my trans advocacy only when I framed 13 OneWorld
their struggles as similar to his as a cis man. What we had were different frames—different socio-economic, geo-political, partisan-driven perspectives on a single issue—that made us think we had competing ideologies, but our shared, underlying objective argued that we were in fact on the same team. America’s seemingly increasing political division is a social construction in the sense that it doesn’t naturally exist yet we allow it to dictate our lives and opinions of others. This is dire: A NPR poll from 2017 found approximately sixty percent of people from both major political parties said they’d be upset if their child married someone from the other party. I don’t mean this is dire for America, I mean this is dire for my dating life. The problem with using our myopic frames as an unfettered heuristic for our political ideology and perceptions of others’ ideologies is that it can perpetuate division: The infrastructure of our political discourse is plagued when we allow these frames to simply and solely inform our existence, ideologies and perceptions. Essentially, there are two kinds of frames: The ones you are given and the ones you create. The ones you are given can be from friends, family, communities, religious organizations and your political affiliations, as detailed by political elites, interest groups and parties. This is the frame that makes you say “if I’m a Democrat, then I support a woman’s right to choose,” or “I identify as Republican, so I support Republican politicians.” The other kind of frame is our individualized, experienced-based epistemologies: it’s how we see the world based on what we’ve endured, what we’re taught, who taught it to us and how they did it. These frames, when applied to a policy, account for the distances in our interpretations of the world: While both parties understand the horror of a school shooting, people who call themselves Democrats read it as a call for gun control, whereas Republican voters fear a threat to Second Amendment rights. The Parkland activists’ advocacy for gun control is rooted in their experiential knowledge—their personal frame—and, combined with their given frames from news outlets, their parents and education, forms a single frame that is then applied to gun policy. This is why you love the #MarchforOurLives movement or, alternatively, why you despise it; it affirms your frame or wildly opposes it. Research proves these political ideologies are somewhat biological. While ASAPScience found research that shows conservatives prefer steak, potatoes, rhyming poetry and purebred dogs and liberals like trying new foods, mixed breed dogs and free verse, they also found more substantive indications. Particularly, a reason for division between liberals and conservatives is their differing ways of processing the same events. Conservatives, with larger right amygdalas in their brains than liberals, literally understand fear differently: Increased intimidation can cause people to think more conservatively. A school shooting can spur fears of a lack of law, order and protection and cause a conservative perspective on gun control. Studies examining the partisan processing of pain, however, found that liberals are people who treat empathy as personal pain; they want gun control because they identify with the shooting victims and feel their suffering. The processing of information—based on the
fear and pain it presents—shows how, biologically, ideologies are formed because of how people perceive the same things differently. While fear and pain can motivate frames, so can other emotions. You might have seen the viral video wherein Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke muses that athletes who kneel during the national anthem reflect the peaceful protestors of the Civil Rights Movement because “freedoms were not just purchased by those in uniform… but also those who took their lives into their hands, riding those Greyhound buses,” and that he can “think of nothing more American than to … take a knee for your rights.” He creates a frame that kneeling is patriotic because it is a form of protest by American people, countering the largely held frame that kneeling is anti-American. O’Rourke uses this frame to push voters to question how deeply their assessment of events is partisanly informed. Patriotic framing doesn’t stop there: At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, pundits were stuck on one thing with the Democrats’ tone: their patriotism. Between Vice President Joe Biden declaring that America “[owns] the finish line,” First Lady Michelle Obama calling it the “greatest country on Earth” and the multitude of “America is already great” lines in between, Democrats employed the feeling of patriotism to define their tone, rally voters and illustrate their platform. New York Times columnist David Brooks even went as far as to say that “if you were a martian and looked at [the Democratic and Republican National Conventions] and someone asked you which of the two parties is the most overtly patriotic, you would say the Democratic party,” implying that the Democrats’ patriotic tone was completely foreign to the current American body politic. Republicans are supposed to be the patriots, right? But, how can Democrats, who prioritize investing in American public goods and services, be classified as anti-patriots? How can Republicans—who have been condemned, since their contemporary creation, for seeking to reduce voting rights of the same people O’Rourke praised for building the nation—even be considered patriots? How parties choose to narrate patri-
otism is a frame. Politicized frames can do more than invent narratives; they can destroy them as well. Frames can be manipulated, weaponized and pruned to destruct or construct certain beliefs, as Western Michigan University Communications professor Dr. Mark Orbe exemplifies in his work on competing hashtag rhetoric. “Changing Black Lives Matter to All Lives Matter is a demonstration of how we don’t actually understand structural racism in this county,” according to Orbe. When the the phrase “lives matter” is re-framed to be an uncontextualized, blanket statement, its political and historical circumstances are abandoned and the message it carries becomes disrupted. #AllLivesMatter becomes a frame that is used to destruct the #BlackLivesMatter narrative. This is a major implication of frames; they treat perceptions as reality and, as social constructions, can intensify political division. Other implications aren’t hard to calculate: Inability to comprehend each others’ perspectives leads to an inability to attain common goals. In 1990, the Benetton clothes company released an ad capturing the final moments of AIDS patient David Kirby, surrounded by his visabally distressed family, to promote their brand. The creative director of Benetton described this as a mission to introduce consumers to “meaning and issues that advertisers don’t normally want to deal with.” The photographer supported this, and even Kirby’s family liked the way their story was utilized to encourage conversation. Many AIDS advocates, however, felt this was an inappropriate, objectifying use of Kirby’s life and the epidemic. Benetton framed the ad as a tool for dialogue; opposers framed it as an exploitation of AIDS patients. Both sides wanted a conversation and cure for the pain Kirby felt, but their different frames hindered this. But frames don’t simply have to cause culture wars, pander to our tribalism and reflect our myopias: They can alter the precedent of our national discourse and typecasts. In his op-ed “Where Do Christians Fit in the Two Party System? They Don’t,” Redeemer Presbyterian Church founder Timothy Keller belabors his title and explores how the partisan frames surround-
ing Christians are created. Keller explains that Christians—a community united by ideology—can’t possibly fit into one of two frames, as political elites suggest, because of the dynamics of their ideology. The Christian value of “personal responsibility” could just as easily be applied to the responsibility to help others as well as helping oneself; charity is more Democrat while tradition is more Republican. Yet this marriage between Christians and the political right is almost exclusively because of single issue voters. That single issue? Abortion. In the 1970s, Republican elites used abortion as a single issue to swing largely inactive Christians citizens into voting for the right. Before this, Christians were widely discouraged from participating in politics by their Churches and religious leaders, who often called politicians “dirty” and “corrupt.” By Republicans framing one issue in a way that convinced Christians to vote Republican, the right secured not only an enormous vote on all other Republican issues but, arguably more importantly, the typecasted frame that all Christians are conservative. While framing can be carefully choosing words to garner support, it’s more than opting for a “pro-life” frame over an “anti-choice” one: Framing educates people on their own values and uses partisanship as a tool to mobilize voters. And while politicizing frames can force the division between parties—and the religious and secular—to widen, aligning those frames can do just the opposite. Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is, get this, an Evangelical atmospheric scientist who believes in climate change. Not only is her dual identification unexpected, it revolutionarily provides her with the opportunity to incorporate both to serve one goal: “save God’s earth.” Hayhoe alters the frame that God alone will save the earth and the frame that an earth without a god is being destroyed, and instead makes her own—informed by her religious beliefs and professional knowledge—that asserts “God made humans responsible for saving the Earth.” Through the framing of morals, Hayhoe creates unity between religion and policy, not for the purpose of party, but for the safety of the environment. Hayhoe’s argument for why climate change exists is dependent on Evangelicals’ reasons for why it doesn’t; she frames in a way that fits the opposition. Partisanship aside, there’s something bigger and more malicious than framing between political parties, because our frames aren’t just personal; they’re exceptionally Americanist. An Americanist frame does more than construct barriers for political unity, it can perpetuate an anglo-oriented global perspective that isolates us from the rest of the world. This kind of frame can cause national groupthink and public complicity when it exclusively controls informing us of who we are and what we’re against. If left unchecked, this frame can dictate to us what is and isn’t “American.” Think about how race, gender, religion and mental health accessibility play into how we tend to define terrorism. Now think about how location does. An Americanist frame can inform our understanding of the world based on where things happen; it enables us to neglect what isn’t “American.” This can make us shamefully unable to sufficiently answer questions like, “Why do we drench ourselves in news about porn star scandals, but only care about Yemeni refugees when it impacts our tax dollars? Why is it terrorism if it happens to us but retaliatory if we do it to others?” But, sometimes, the location of anti-Americanism can be America. The frame that anti-Americanism is locational—only existing in foreign countries and acts of terror—and not ideologi15 OneWorld
cal comes when we do not interrupt our Americanist frames. This frame holds an aire of infallibility in our politics; it keeps us from seeing faults in our own domestic policies, even when they contradict long-held American ideals. Why can we rightfully call the horrendous actions of the Orlando shooter anti-American but not the overt and fiscally-propelled governmental negligence in Flint, Michigan? Because of the influence of the Americanist frame. Institutional anti-Americanism is redlining and gerrymandering; it’s taking away voting rights and covering up collusion and corruption. It’s banning the use of
“science-based” and “evidence-based” at the government agency aimed at calculating scientific evidence and opting for the NRA, Wall Street, Big Pharma and Super Pacs over the voice of the middle class; it’s saying money is equal to free speech when we all know not everyone has equal access to one. It’s chipping away at checks and balances, self-evident truths, the pursuit of happiness and other buzzwords synonymous with America. Maintaining an Americanist frame means enabling policymakers to seize the course of the nation and manipulate us into believing public policy is solely a practice of the elites. They can designate us as subjects and themselves as authority when it is normalized that citizens have to call in and plead for healthcare, net neutrality and the protection of our declared interests. When our Americanist frame means unalienable rights are underscored by the illusion that they were gifted to American citizens by their government officials, then the frame controls us—not the other way around. Divisive framing—whether between parties or elites and their constituents—is scary and can become dangerous, but it’s not unstoppable. But how can politicized framing rooted in staunch partisanship be overcome or, at least, used appropriately:
to check ideologies can be curbed when we use frames to force ourselves closer but also pull ourselves apart. Forcing ourselves together is easier said than done. My grandmother—who abandoned her “centrist” vote for Bernie in favor of the math behind Hillary—hates Stephen Colbert. My conservative boy toy’s dad—a real “Hillary for Prison” type—hates Stephen Colbert. They both despise his “moderate cowardice,” and feel that he spends too much time mocking and not enough time reporting. While my grandma didn’t like how red Stephen was, his dad didn’t like how blue he seemed: Neither of them like Colbert’s distance from their political ideology or his lack of journalistic integrity. On the outside: two different complaints. On the inside: they shared a frustration for political immobility and lack of seriousness. Their unity was drawn not from presentative love—from a half-hearted call to “get along”—but from earnest critique. Love can be a wonderful thing to share with someone, but sometimes contempt can more aptly and passionately unite the moderate ends of two parties yearning to breathe free. The opposite of unifying—conscious and purposeful division—can be pivotal in healing the political divide, because when we can disagree on an ideological and moral basis—not simply because of political operatives and affiliations—we can see our ideologies for what they are and begin to understand the mechanics of others’. In order to be Constitutional citizens, we must divide morally and based on the frames we construct, not just the ones we are given. Here’s another story about a Republican—one that I did not like, but still made me cry. On November 9th, 2016, I sat in a room sticky with silence, awaiting the day’s lesson in AP American Government. A smug Trump-supporter we’ll call “Randall” stared down a sniffling, low-income woman of color who had spent the morning piecing together words to describe the fear and frustration she so deeply endured in the past nine hours. Randall had burned books, used slurs and physically harassed me just the day before, and I despised him. He didn’t agree with me that women should have control of their own bodies or that amnesty should be granted to undocumented children. I didn’t think that the foreign aid fund should be collapsed and redirected to defense funding, and disagreed with him on the Citizens United ruling. We fought endlessly in class but, on November 9th, something changed. The way he, despite being across the room, seemed to coil around my friend and make her feel threatened simply by his ideology and the way I, steaming with anger, was flippant and invalidating about everything he said, personified the political divide in a powerful way: It made me hate his hate, but did nothing to heal either of us. It took me a long time to realize that Randall’s values were militancy and Ayn Rand-level personal responsibility; values rooted in discipline and “America first”—and mine weren’t. My values were humanity and humility; cosmopolitanism and acceptance—and I knew this when I had Randall to juxtapose myself against. Because, even though I’m biased toward my ideologies, that doesn’t mean that his values aren’t valid—or that his perspectives don’t exist. Knowing what we oppose—morally and based on our values—is beneficial because it tells us what our frames are, while giving us context for what constructs the frames of others’. Division provides insight and clarification into our policy and moral perspectives, and unity divorces our politics from our humanity. We need to divide to learn about ourselves; we need to unify in order to learn about others. Winston Churchill said it best: “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” He’s right; our ideological diversity means we are constantly balancing between fascism and total
anarchy. But we also have the present opportunity and ability to hone our division: We can vote, we can campaign, we can protest, lead and debate, but most importantly—and most effectively—we can try to understand. The Greek root of “politics”—“politiko”—means “living in a city” and “of the citizens.” We all have to figure out how to live in a city together because no one is an island if we all speak a language, and we do: We all speak the American experience. No matter your background or documentation: You are citizen of American discourse. Sure, there are outliers in whose frames we can try to understand. It’s tone-deaf and ignorant to task kidnapped children with practicing empathy towards the officers that took them from their parents; trans people should not exist around the parameters of the cis population; women shouldn’t have to swallow the sexism they endure. For people who build their perspectives upon supremacist and exclusive hate, it’s more about calculating their thought processes rather than empathizing with their experiences or being content with “differing perspectives.” That being said, isn’t it worthwhile to try finding friends among all this division? See who’s been spinning their wheels in the same way that we have? Discover who might have a different frame than us, but still one that’s without intolerance? I have never quite been able to benevolently finish a conversation with someone who thought Trump was a good choice, much less call them a significant other. But the last time I talked to the conservative who I went on dates with, we sat looking at our toes and hiding our feelings outside our local voting station. He was admittedly tired about explaining how not all Republicans were Trump supporters, and my words “bitter electorate” were starting to lose meaning. Electorate, e-lect-or-ate, e-lec-t-o-r-a-te. What made our last moments bittersweet was that there was no contestation of values - just a debate on how to get things done. I knew I hadn’t altered his fiscal conservatism and he could always be assured that my bleeding heart remained fully pumping and intact, but we did know there was an opportunity to weigh policy between people who did not practice hate in their politics. This isn’t a love letter to the Republican that got away—@ SusanCollins—it’s a love letter to the liberals and conservative I’ve abandoned for years. The ones who I’ve let my pettiness neglect and my conspiracy of hate isolate. We share this: frames that differ, but ones we can still seek to comprehend. Fellow Democrats: don’t insult a Republican and, Republicans: don’t beat us up. Instead, ethnographically dive into opposing paradigms and work to understand worlds different from your own. Our frames must be dynamic and cognizant of alternative ideologies; they should be stable and well-founded, but not immune to the existence of others. They must not only coexist, but collaborate for coexistence. So maybe “frames” isn’t the most poetic metaphor. Here’s another one: moccasins. There’s an Americanized Sioux proverb that you’ve probably heard; “You don’t know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins.” It’s not just standing in them; you must walk. You have to travel around and read the world as they do; feel their worn-down soles and soak in the warmth of what once was. You must articulate virtues that aren’t your own and learn the world the way another does, not just see the sights. If love in fact trumps hate, the true test will not be if we can all agree with each other, rather if we can begin to understand the frames by which all of us live and learn.
Brian Barlay Senior International Studies & Sociology
In retrospect, as a young man growing up in Sierra Leone, I never questioned my identity and where home was. I knew that home was where I got fed and people took care of me: home, back then, was just a physical space. Upon immigrating to America, I tried, like any other immigrant, to assimilate into American society , but I did so by mainly immersing myself within the African communities and learning from the ways in which they had assimilated. As years went by, I made efforts to expand my circle and comfort zone by doing things that were not normalized in my community; I slowly morphed into this globalized citizen. I decided to study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa after acquiring my US citizenship. I was excited to study in the motherland and be around my counterparts. However, I was in the middle of crossroads not knowing where and how to move forward in multiple situations. In the South African culture, a boy is considered an adult when he goes through several processes to achieve his manhood. Given that, I felt like I didn’t acquire mine in Sierra Leone because I left at the age of 15. I was displaced and I tried to find refuge. I felt like I was not African enough and I was not American enough either. I asked myself, “How should I navigate these dichotomies? Should I embrace one and ignore the other? How can I love them equally if they contradict one and other?” Is it either my civilization would ruin my culture, or my culture would threaten my civilization? Can one be a traditionalist and a global citizen? If so, what is at stake? People often think of homelessness as persons without a place to sleep in, but in fact homelessness could also be culturally related. For example, even well-to-do people who have resettled in a different environment may 17 OneWorld
have lost their sense of belonging. Home can merely mean a place where your heart is or where your roots are. For some people, the definition of home is simple to articulate, while for others it can be a cause for an existential crisis. According to Webster dictionary, a TCK (Third Culture Kid) is someone who grew up in a culture that is different from his or her parents’. Similarly, someone who identifies as 1.5 generation, individuals who were brought to United States at a very young age, they are also known as the bridge-builders and cultural interpreters. For most TCKs and 1.5 generation immigrants around the world, once profoundly thought about their identities with correlation to their homes; and the thought of belonging and displacement are constantly on their minds. Despite years of acculturation and assimilation, outside their cultural or ethnic paradigms others view them as their ethnic identities; however within their own cultural paradigms they are viewed as outsiders “too cultural to be American and too American to be cultural.” A friend of mine once posed a question concerning why are TCKs obsessed with the concept of “home” and why they could not simply pick a place and call their homes. Home to TCKs is more than a place, more than ties, more than various encounters with consequential strangers; home is something intricate that intertwines with multiple layers of their enshrined and collective identities. Home is the beginning of a trajectory that provides TCKs with the steps needed to move forward. When people ask me where I am from, internally I am like, “what would you like to know...” My nightlife buddy is embarrassed to hang out with Africans because she feels that she is “not African enough;” my homeboy,
“When I came to SLU, I was desperate to find a community where I belong. I tried different things and I just couldn’t fit in” "Is hard for me to truly understand what liberation is because I didn't grow up in Mexico and I don't know the truly values of the Mexican culture, I am often scared that I know the Americanized version of the Latin X culture" “I can’t trace my ancestral root, liberation for my people I want to help but I can’t go back because that was never my home. I think people that were conceived at their ancestral root have a privilege being born,
“When people ask me where I am from internally I am like, “what would you like to know” “I am a Latina despite if I was born in the US or anywhere in the world. My parents are from Colombia and people telling me that I am not a Latina because I was born and raised in the US also contribute to cultural homelessness”
an American-born Bolivian is always hesitant about going to Bolivia because his family and friends refer to him as a “gringo” meaning Americanized; my fellow Pan-Africanist, Sam, is Ghanaian and spent almost a decade studying in Russia. He struggles to define what home is in America because he is deemed as “too African,” even among his African counterparts. One of my favorite TCKs, who grew up in Japan, is half Japanese and half Nigerian, says the idea of home brings her anxiety. She fits in everywhere but cannot fit in anywhere. In Japan people called her a foreigner, even though she was born and grew up there, and in America people question her blackness. My fellow cultural enthusiast is a white American who spent most of her life in Mali and Germany: Declaring where she is from and pronouncing her name varies by who she is talking to. These interesting stories about identities, home and roots beg the question; “How do people become culturally displaced or have the internal contestation of identities?”
Home can merely mean a place where your heart is or where your roots are. There are various ways in which people could potentially lose their sense of belonging and the ability to be part of their own community: perhaps, through the rigorous processes of assimilation and acculturation, they forgot to retain their previous cultures; some people were not privileged to grow up steeped in their ancestral roots; some face disconnect with family and subsequently cultural preservation slowly decay; socio-economic and political climates make it problematic to embrace their identities; and lastly, some lose their culture due to the competitiveness of the capitalistic societies. For years they surround themselves with people from different background and never have the opportunity to embrace their culture. As my mentor, Dr. Kuramovic who is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at SLU famously says, “Cultural homelessness is invisible.” You can see race and sometimes ethnicity but you can never tell who is cultural homeless. I’ve been frequently told that I’m a good “connector”--I introduce people to one another, I spend a lot of effort getting people involved and I make an honored commitment to those around me. More importantly, there are also several perks of being a TCK: bilingualism, having an in-depth understanding of multiculturalism and also being competent in navigating several cultural paradigms. Perhaps that’s the way I’m wired, but more likely it is my own way to make us all at home.
Lexi Kayser Freshman English & Global and social Justice This piece mentions personal experiences of sexual assault. My eyes pled with my country, my leaders, my ability to hold myself in one coherent part as they scanned the headlines on October 6, 2018. I saw the words, “Kavanaugh Confirmed as Supreme Court Justice.” And. I. Fell. Apart. Hands of hellfire snaked their way down the aorta of my heart; I felt them grip and squeeze, trembled as the blood ran cold, ice in my veins, freezes in the fissures of my brain. This is not a feeling that is unfamiliar, but it never gets less uncomfortable. PTSD never, ever gets less uncomfortable. I was diagnosed in the spring of my senior year of high school, after spending four and a half months being violently raped for hours on the daily by my boyfriend at the time. There was just no way to escape my situation safe19 OneWorld
ly; when I tried, he would threaten to destroy my social life as well as my physical well being, sometimes even pulling weapons to keep me feeling stuck and scared. I didn’t tell anyone for a plethora of reasons, my fear of his reign over me being just one drop in the ocean. I was terrified that people would think this was my fault. I was suffering from major Stockholm Syndrome and holding so tightly onto the good months we had shared that my fingers were aching, bleeding, breaking. I didn’t want to upset my family. I was fighting memory blackouts (a common symptom of trauma response), but at the time, I didn’t know that my body was trying to protect itself; I thought that I was insane because I couldn’t remember every detail when I went to write things down. I had given my hand to someone who was holding it for ransom, and I was so ashamed of that. Eventually, the dam that I had been carefully constructing for months to keep my misery a secret, just as I had been instructed to do, could no longer contain the floodwaters. I broke up with him, and he broke skin with a knife. I still have the scar: a small price to pay for “freedom”, but a price nonetheless. It’s a price that reminds me, every second of every day, that I used to belong to someone other than myself. Still, it took my therapist witnessing a flashback in her office in order for me to tell her what had happened to
me. It took even longer for her to convince me to tell my family, my friends, and, eventually, the audience on my blog. I spent months working up the courage to use my story as a platform rather than a grave. I was finally, finally getting comfortable standing in my shoes as a survivor when Kavanaugh’s name began to corrode the news. The case seemed to me to be pretty black and white from the start. Christine Blasey Ford, a well respected professor and psychologist, told her therapist in 2012 that she was sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump’s nomination for the Supreme Court Justice, when the two were in high school. He, she said, was drunk. She chose to keep the information private at the time instead of pressing charges; however, when she heard of his nomination, she reported him, believing that she had a duty to her country. They should have the truth when making their decision, she felt. She asked to be kept anonymous. But her name was leaked, and soon she was standing on the tip of every American tongue. There was not a trial, but a televised hearing, in which both sides got to give their testimonies. Ford was composed, calm, and collected. Her alleged assailant, however, was anything but, and visibly expressed his anger. Kavanaugh dodged many questions instead of answering them, and consistently confirmed Ford’s statement that he was a heavy drinker in high school. There was a brief FBI investigation. He was pushed through and was confirmed; the vote came in at 48-50. It seems as if every square inch of this case was covered by the media, except what no one seems to be talking about is how it feels to be a woman who sees herself and her own story in Christine Blasey Ford’s. They asked her why she didn’t report and, God, I have a million reasons why I didn’t. She trusted solely her therapist and I, too, trusted solely mine. She remembers, above all, the way that he laughed, and that’s the sound that haunts my nightmares. She doesn’t remember exact dates, but neither do I. She doesn’t remember every person at the party, and I don’t remember every person at the parties that he dragged me from. There are these startling parallels, and when I get on Twitter and see people calling her a bitch or a whore or a liar or a fraud, indirectly, that’s what they’re calling me. What people say about Ford is what people are saying about all victims of sexual assault; her case is the mirror in which society’s preconceived notions about survivors are being reflected. I’m lucky that I spoke my truth when I did, because after this, I would never have the courage to come forward. When your whole country is practically screaming that they do not believe about nor have regard for the emotions or validity of our stories, hell, how could we ever be expected to report? How could we ever put ourselves into such a state of immense, intense vulnerability if before we have even tried,
we have been met with backlash? It is a pain that cannot be described to lose your right to your body and then to lose your right to your words, and that is what is happening to so many women in America right now. My heart breaks for them. My heart aches for us. He always told me that no one would believe me if I said anything. And on October 6th, there I was, watching my senators prove to me that he was right. As I lived in spite of and because of the Kavanaugh case, I was thrashing around in the eyewall of a hurricane, more statistics and names and words and slanders being thrown at me than any human being can be expected to tolerate. Yet inside of me, still, I found this strange, beautiful peace.
We refuse to be silenced. It’s a peace that comes from knowing that my voice is trembling and yet, I am transposing my truth with every ounce of strength in my soul. And they can not take that from me. It’s a peace that comes from knowing that there are survivors out there, survivors like me, who jumped on the #WhyIDidn’tReport hashtag and resurrected #MeToo, just to prove to the world that our stories by the thousands are forces to be reckoned with. And they can not take that from us. It’s a peace that comes from knowing that there’s a heartbeat in my chest, a breath in my lungs, the same carbon that fuels forest fires dancing beneath the catacombs of my ribs. And my abuser could not, Kavanaugh could not, no person of the government or ally of the wrong could ever, ever, take that vitality from me. How do we move forward from this? We take that peace and we lap up the ink from inside of it and we use it to weave words that immortalize our anger. We vote out the ones who wouldn’t vote for us. We refuse to be silenced. I am Christine Blasey Ford and I am every survivor and she is I and they are me. We are taking back our lives and we are taking back the dignity that the past month tried so desperately to smash. Welcome to a movement sustained by stories and tainted by truth; welcome to our revolution.
Katelyn Gasperlin Freshman Nutrition and Dietetics
Protruding bellies, rib cages, tired eyes and helpless children. This is the image of malnutrition. Or at least it used to be. When most people in the United States hear the word malnutrition, their mind conjures up an image ingrained since seeing videos of young children from developing countries eating mud cakes, enticing donations of five cents a day to feed a child for a year. Of course, global hunger represents a massive malnutrition problem in our world, but it is not the only one. Malnutrition is a lack of proper nutrition caused by either not having enough to eat, not eating the right nutrients or not being able to use all the food that one eats. This encompasses undernutrition, micronutrient deficiency and overnutrition. “We have an expectation of what malnutrition looks like and it’s not that overweight or obese person. Even though we know in our profession clinically that that person is malnourished, to the layperson, the person outside of our field, they are looking at this and they are just thinking if they have enough food to be overweight or obese then they can’t be starving, they can’t be malnourished, it doesn’t connect to them that malnourishment can result in obesity,” Dr. Lori Jones from the Saint Louis University Nutrition and Dietetics Department said. While global hunger has decreased over the past few decades, overnutrition and obesity have risen exponentially and continue to rise. This trend is alarming because no affected country has successfully stopped the increase, while the resulting problems continue to pile up. In fact, overnutrition is overtaking undernutrition as the major source of malnutrition worldwide. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Fact Sheet on World Obesity, worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. Today, there are more people who are obese than underweight in the world. Malnutrition, as with many issues in the world, is closely tied to income and poverty. The space people live in, their socioeconomic status and their nutrition education affect their access to healthy food. Food insecurity occurs when people’s consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources. This leads to people who are struggling with food insecurity buying the cheapest food available to them so they can stretch their money as far as possible. These cheap foods are often high fat high, sugar and altogether not healthy. There are
also food deserts, which are areas in where it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food. In addition to our environments overflowing with high fat, high sugar food and not having access to healthy food, the public are constantly being bombarded with marketing for these low nutritional significant foods. In a world with all these factors pushing at the nutrition environment, it is no wonder global obesity numbers are rising dangerously, especially in populations of lower socioeconomic status. Obesity is especially familiar to those living in the United States. However, it is not a problem found solely in developed countries. “Once considered a high-income country problem, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings. In Africa, the number of overweight children under 5 has increased by nearly 50 percent since 2000. Nearly half of the children under 5 who were overweight or obese in 2016 lived in Asia.” the WHO said. “People can die a lot faster from starvation, but it can have serious consequences being overweight or obese for chronic disease which can also shorten life drastically. You may not die right away from being overweight or obese but you will probably have a poor quality of life and your life will probably be shortened,” Dr. Jones said. People react to obesity and hunger differently, but both are global health crises. The public’s emotional draw to help someone struggling with obesity is far from the draw people feel to help those who are hungry. People struggling with overweight and obesity might be told that they need to eat healthier or go to the gym more, whereas another person struggling with undernutrition will not be told to find food or that they are being lazy. Both issues are serious malnutrition problems that lead to even more serious health issues and premature death. This nutrition issue, once thought of as solely individual, has grown and morphed into a global public health crisis. Many scholars who researched this phenomenon determined the cause is a change in diet. The shift has been towards highly processed foods, away-from-home meals, and consumption of edible oils and highly sweetened beverages. But many people struggling with obesity cannot always be blamed for their weight, health or lack of nutrition. “Individual responsibility can only have its full effect where people have access to a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, at the societal level it is important to support individuals … through sustained implementation of evidence based and population based policies that make regular physical activity and healthier dietary choices available, affordable and easily accessible to everyone, particularly to the poorest individuals,” the WHO said. The malnutrition of overweight and obesity can no longer be ignored. We cannot blame those who are overweight or obese if they grew up or live in unhealthy environments. While we fight to end hunger, we must also fight to halt the rise of obesity.
Karan Modi Freshman Public Health 23 OneWorld
Lexi Guffey Freshman Public Health In today’s rapidly evolving society, multiculturalism has increased exponentially in prevalence. Instead of defining culture solely by groups, it is becoming an increasingly personal concept, as individuals interpret and practice their own culture or cultures in different ways and to varying degrees. While the movement to understand and support a diverse array of cultures is becoming more widespread and accepted, there is still a high level of inaccuracy as the foundation for interpretation can easily be based on fallacious beliefs. As an individual attempts to understand a culture that is not their own, they tend to gravitate toward one of two perspectives: cultural competence or cultural humility. This seemingly nuanced clash instead brings to light a deeper cultural bias within the United States. The fact that this discrepancy has to be enumerated highlights the root cause for debate: cultural oversights are so commonplace in the U.S., it is more out of the ordinary to question their occurrence than it is to commit them. If cultural competence is promoted as a progressive form of awareness, are we encouraging people to overlook cultural aspects they may not understand? If a lapse in cultural respect doesn’t affect my life, should I turn the other way? While cultural competence is rooted in passivity, cultural humility calls for accountability. It is the shift that recognizes potential indiscretions in understanding culture 25 OneWorld
and highlights a perspective of self-awareness instead of seeking to hold an understanding that someone outside a specific way of life cannot fully obtain. Cultural competence is the idea that one is able to hold effective interaction with an ethnic group aside from their own. In spaces ranging from schools to popular media, cultural competence is encouraged as a progressive measure toward acceptance, encouraging individuals to attempt to understand the cultures of their peers. However, when someone enters a situation with the viewpoint that they hold the ability to fully understand a lifestyle they were not raised or immersed in, they are bound to trivialize aspects of culture that an outsider cannot and should not understand, resulting in an idea that verges on cultural appropriation. Despite today’s society that largely considers itself to be gradually becoming more aware and resistant to prejudice, there is still a predominant European bias in the United States - even in areas that are not, by the numbers, primarily Caucasian. Society tends to see white culture as the most prevalent—and the default—regardless of how ubiquitous it actually is. While not intended to discount certain cultures, the typical viewpoint toward other cultures in the United States verges on ethnocentrism—whether it be in common demographic perspectives or in the morning news. For example, the recent Brazilian presidential election littered the front pages of American news sources, comparing their new president, Jair Bolsonaro, to Donald Trump with headlines reading “Meet the Brazil’s Donald Trump”. While this angle was likely not intended to discount another country or culture, it was indicative of the tendency of Americans to view other cultures within the framework of their own.
As news sources likened a completely unique individual to a counterpart within the United States, little regard was given to the distinction that should be made between the two entities. Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident, as it is standard for cultures outside the U.S. to be seen as facets that should fit into a base Caucasian perspective. Even with more commonplace efforts to reduce cultural bias, cultural competence is inherently ethnocentric. In contrast, cultural humility operates on the fundamental understanding that one outside of a given culture does not have the capacity to fully understand it. The viewpoint of cultural humility emphasizes self-awareness, encouraging individuals to see their role as one of constant learning and re-evaluation. At Saint Louis University, the oath of inclusion ostensibly aims to increase cultural humility through its goal to “embrace people for the diversity of their identities,” although with the recent removal and reinstatement of the oath, the efficacy of the statement in sponsoring campus-wide cultural humility is called to question. This discrepancy is particularly noticeable in the experience of international students at SLU, as the sudden immersion in American culture tends to place unspoken and even inadvertent pressure to assimilate. While blatant discrimination is perhaps more infrequent, more inconspicuous cultural oversights are commonplace --from the absence of cultural diversity in the dining halls to generalization of cultural holidays and practices. In a continuously diversifying society, it is the normalized cultural failures that propagate cultural appropriation and forced assimilation, and reinforce the need for cultural humility both on and off campus. While some cultural oversights might seem inconsequential, when they are applied on a grander scale their effects are far more detrimental. From epidemics including Zika and Ebola to the depletion of resources leading to widespread malnourishment and health disparities in parts of Southern Africa, certain international crises have become prevalent concerns for globally-minded American citizens and politicians. In order to provide aid to affected populations, federal departments centered around public health and foreign relations provide services, although it is typical of the United States government to approach foreign aid with little cultural sensitivity. Take the case of the Washington Consensus, a set of economic policies supporting institutions such as The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund designed to provide financial aid to developing countries or areas in financial crisis. The programs that supposedly acted as a lifeline to those in need featured a litany of harsh requirements for countries to meet that were insensitive to regional and cultural norms. These initiatives and many others that were designed to be positive entities
ultimately resulted in instability and a low quality of service in countries they attempted to aid, showcasing the necessity of cultural humility in foreign relations. In practice, implementing cultural humility is no small feat, as allocating for cultural differences requires continuous analysis. When individuals involved in handson foreign relations enter the lives of those with different cultures who are suffering, acknowledging and showing respect for cultural spaces can be a daunting task. “Providing desperately-needed aid for people in situations that are often their personal rockbottom is, in my opinion, so much more challenging than most realize. Going into these scenarios, you have to realize that this is not in any way about yourself and approach people with complete and total humility. You have to accept that you don’t know their story and respect their personal culture, because it’s usually the only thing they have left,” said Katie Hager, a Lieutenant Commander for the United States Public Health Service and former Navajo Nation emergency department nurse. Cultural humility extends its reach into every part of human interaction and provides a base for acceptance and understanding, both in emergency services and in everyday interaction. It requires a conscious effort to view culture as an extremely personal and uninterpretable entity instead of a concept that can be fully understood, but it is an approach that will allow the peaceful coexistence society desperately needs.
Maddie Baumgart Senior International Studies & Sociology On November 14th, America’s Roman Catholic Bishops concluded their final general assembly meeting in Baltimore, amidst the fallout of the latest onslaught of accusations of clergy abuse and cover-ups. Riddled with contention--to the point of fiercely battling over whether to include the singular word “soon” in their request for the Vatican to release the McCarrick documents—the meeting unsurprisingly failed to outline a tangible next step. This immobility birthed a storm of op-eds and articles, both defending and condemning the Church’s response to credible allegations. This is not one of those articles. Even if the Vatican chose to defrock all involved clergy on the spot, the Catholic Church would still remain complicit in fostering an environment that enables abuse through inadvertently degrading and
devaluing survivors. While structural issues in the Church abound, this problem is much more insidious. It’s embedded in the narratives we feed our youth. Say, for instance, you’re a survivor of sexual abuse, you’re young, in high school. You don’t know who to talk to; you’re not old enough to seek counseling without parental permission. As a teen, you naturally turn to the Internet. As a devout-practicing teen, you seek role models from within your faith, which defines your entire worldview. Perhaps this is pre-#MeToo era, so the first result--thanks Familylife.com!-- is an religious article that equates having a spouse who has endured sexual abuse to having a friend with astonishingly bad breath. The second is a list of the patron saints of sexual assault. You come across twelve-year-old Agnes, who was sentenced to death after refusing countless marriage proposals in order to keep her virginity intact, claiming she was the spouse of Jesus. Her CatholicOnline biography reads, “Agnes made a promise to God never to stain her purity. Her love for the Lord was great and she hated sin even more than death... ‘I would offend my Spouse,” she said, ‘If I were to try to please
you.’” According to legend, one of Agnes’ primary virtues was her ability to resist assault, as “all the men who attempted to rape the beautiful virgin were immediately struck blind.” She is the patron saint of young girls, of chastity, and of rape victims. And her story follows a well-established pattern for the patron saints of victims of sexual violence. Blessed Antonia Mesina died at 16 after refusing to submit to a man that tried to rape her as she was gathering firewood for her family. Blessed Pierina Morosini was beaten to death after explaining to her attempted rapist how she wanted to remain a virgin for God. St. Solange leapt from a galloping horse to avoid violation; Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa jumped from a thirteen-story window to escape rape at the hands of her employers. And then there’s St. Maria Goretti, who declared she would rather die than submit, crying out, “It is a sin! God doesn’t want it.” Nevermind what she did or did not want. Nevermind that the weight of the sin was not hers to bear. Even if her attacker had succeeded, she would remain blameless. Many churchgoers cite Maria’s story as one of awe-inspiring forgiveness, and indeed it is. Still, the Church has framed her continued virginity, rather than her unfailing forgiveness, as her central virtue: at her canonization on June 24, 1950, Pope Pius XII asked the 500,000 youth present, “Young people, are you determined to resist any attack on your chastity with the help and grace of God?” Aside from the fact that such stories place the impetus to stop a sexual assault squarely on the back of the victim, the glaring problem with these narratives lies in considering these young girls martyrs—individuals who chose to die rather than reject their faith. Here, though, the “rejection of faith” is not about denying Jesus: it’s about losing one’s virginity, “submitting” to sexual assault. If these venerated figures retained their virtue by choosing to die over suffering assault, this implies the rape would have taken away that virtue. We’re equating one’s virginity to one’s holiness, purity and worth. Our Catholic educational system broadcasts this message on every frequency. When preparing to write this article, I wanted to register the thoughts of my peers, so I reached out to a few friends from my Catholic school graduating class with the following question: “What do you remember high school Catholicism teaching you about sex and your value?” Almost immediately, pages and pages of responses flooded my inbox. Several alums recalled our senior Theology instructor claiming that men will always go as far as women will let them, imploring the teenage girls in the class, “I mean, how hard is it to keep your legs closed?” Others remembered learning that any sexual contact before marriage—no distinction having been made between consensual and forced
contact—constituted a mortal sin, severing one’s relationship to God. At fourteen, another Theology teacher told us that as a virgin, a woman is the most holy she’ll ever be; that is why Mary simply would not have had other children after Jesus, to retain this holy status. He said that in marriage, sex could be a beautiful thing, but a woman could never regain the purity she possessed before. One of the most universally-remembered lessons, however, involved a piece of tape. During a school-wide assembly, an abstinence-only speaker called a set of volunteers to the front and asked them to pass along a piece of tape, sticking it to one another’s shirt. By the end, when the tape sought to stay with one person permanently, it had lost its stickiness. Each time it had stuck to another, it had lost value, and now found itself worthless. Stripped of its stickiness, it would never be able to sustain a lasting relationship. Perhaps the most unsettling part is that I found none of this unsettling. I lapped up every word. For however unruly and rebellious I seemed, at my core I wanted so badly to be pleasing. Framing virginity as the central tenet of morality and propagating the idea that people can become “used-up” proves dangerous for everyone. Through trying to relay to young Catholics—especially to young girls—that we were more than sexual objects, Church educators turned us into just that: hymens with an unstable sense of self-value. While threatening to all, these teachings prove particularly detrimental to those that have experienced sexual assault. Because, you see, what if your tape has already lost its stickiness by the time you reach high school, or even middle school? As common knowledge informs us, one in four girls and one in six boys will endure sexually abuse before maturing to 18. If that number sounds like an unreasonable estimate to you, I can sadly attest to your naiveté. As a teen, I witnessed the embodied reality of this statistic. I held their hands on cold bathroom floors. I also witnessed the violence these Church teachings enact on the psyche of all sorts of survivors. Anyone who “submitted to their attacker” failed to follow the examples of the saints. Survivors—especially girls—who could no longer consider themselves virgins were covered in shame, already too “used-up” for future relationships. Boys who had been assaulted by women felt categorically discredited: men always want sex. Boys who had been abused by men struggled with the shame of not only engaging in a sexual act, but engaging in a sexual act that was even further demonized. (People with different gender identities or no gender identity did not even exist in the eyes of the Church, rendering their pain altogether invisible.) I am certain that the Catholic Church—and my little slice of it—had no intention of contributing to the agony of survivors of sexual assault. But they also did nothing to acknowledge or alleviate it. In all the times I discussed morality in the context of sex—fairly constantly, starting in 6th Fall 2018
grade—we never discussed consent. In fact, the first time I even heard the word “consent” was at SLU’s Welcome Week. I had no idea that if a person was incapacitated due to alcohol or drug use, and someone engaged sexually with them, this was considered assault. In my eighth grade class, I recall a long debate in about whether rape was rape if the victim eventually experienced arousal; I don’t believe a consensus was reached. This was our backdrop for exploring healthy relationships and defining assualt. Of course, I have since shed these understandings. Sex does not rob anyone of their worth. Virginity—which, I think it crucial to note, has a fluctuating definition, even amongst Catholic scholars—does not add to one’s value. Sexual assault is never the fault of the victim. I can say this now—I do say this now—with unwavering confidence. But these narratives, they’re pervasive. Even when you strain to consciously reject them, they leave residual feelings of shame, guilt and self-loathing. And therein lies another problem with the narratives about sexual assault the Catholic Church propogrates: they’re not ours. The heft of the #MeToo movement lies in its ability to allow survivors to reclaim their narratives. We are not cautionary tales, nor are we admirable stories of sacrifice. We are no one else’s turning point. These aren’t coming-ofage stories or mere tales of resilience; this did not happen to teach anyone a lesson. We are not “broken.” We don’t need anyone to gather up our shattered pieces and arrange us into a stained-glass mosaic; we have use for our sharpness. We are not incapable or unworthy of sustaining healthy, loving relationships. What survivors need is control of the narrative, especially within Church teachings. We need visibility in Catholic institutions. And we need to circulate new stories. It is time we give young survivors new role models. For years, I wanted to be pleasing, I equated strength to uncomplaining silence. But I am older now. I’ve spent a year crafting my lungs into blacksmith bellows, speaking my rage into being. These days, the hands I hold on bathroom floors seem smaller and softer than mine, more and more like my little sister’s. I will not ask these girls and women to be good. I will not offer to them a story of a woman who played a sacrificial lamb, nor will I be one. So I ask, where are the patron saints of those who kept living? That woke up the next morning, and went to Schnucks to buy eggs. The ones who make sure their siblings know, no matter who tries to carve away at them, they are whole. Where is my patron for those who grow up and raise children with strong backs and kind hands and wide-open eyes? Where are the saints that accost Senators in elevators and priests in pulpits? Catholics, where are our warriors? I knew a warrior once: a dear friend whom we eventually lost to the lasting impacts of a Church leader’s 29 OneWorld
abuse. I remember tucking his head under my chin and telling him it wasn’t his fault, none of it was his fault. Over and over, like a mantra, saying I believed him, even when he wrestled with doubt himself. That he was in no way impure or broken or wasted. But my voice was one, in the midst of a relentless tide of whisperings suggesting just the contrary. He laid to rest with this secret clutched to his chest like a rose; I plucked it up and decided to peel away all the petals. Feed them to the wind. Maybe the whisperings will catch the scent. Religion should be a refuge in which survivors find solace, not shame.
“The writer opperates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meets. His problem is to find that location.” — Flannery O’Connor