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Vindicator Cleveland State University’s Arts and Culture Magazine

Complimentary MAR 2018

ni una menos

Latina women’s responses to sexual assault

+ the sorority experience Greek Life on CSU’s campus

ME TOO, TOO LATE The long-term effects of sexual assault


MAR 2 Want More? 3 Staff

5 Letter from the Editor 6 Calendar ARTS 7 A Marvelous New Standard 9 F  emale Lead Films of the 20th Century 11 Photo Series Captain’s Log CULTURE 13 L  ady Crews in CLE 15 The Power of the Woman FEATURE 17 N  i Una Menos 21 The Sorority Experience 25 Me Too, Too Late? 32 Q  uiz How Much Do You Know About Consent? BEAUTY + WELLNESS 33 Fluidity is Fashion Forward 35 The Arrival of Dark Skin Makeup 37 All About Drag! SOCIAL 39 The Search for Truth: Alternative Media 41 10 Badass Women in History 43 T  he Intersectionality & the Influence of the Women’s Vote POETRY 45 Home 46 Thanks Dad

25 Biting Back

How survivors are changing the narrative with their voices


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MARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 2


Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell

T

e heTam Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart

STAFF HEADS

Arbela Capas

Holly Bland

Andriana Akrap

Loren Shumaker

Michella Dilworth

Editor-in-Chief

Managing Editor

Art Director

Asst. Art Director

Online Content Editor

Evan Prunty

Alexis Rosen

Multimedia Manager

Features Editor

Brenda CastaĂąeda Yupanqui Culture Editor

Alana Whelan

Imani Stephens

Arts Editor

Beauty Editor

Dorothy Zhao Junior Editor

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

JUNIOR DESIGNERS

Joscelyn Ervin

Rachel Iacofano

Greg Elek

Imani Stephens

Michella Dilworth Alexia Carcelli

Anna Sintsirmas

Chau Tang

Alexis Rosen

Brenda CastaĂąeda Yupanqui

Tyisha Blade

Logan Hammond

Dorothy Zhao

Carissa Newsome

Arbela Capas

Taylor Hannah

Austin DiLorenzo Anna Oprisch

CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS Mikayla Colston

Paige Bowers

CONTRIBUTING POETS Indya Powell

Carissa Newsome

Disclaimer The content of the Vindicator does not necessarily represent the opinions of Cleveland State University, its students, faculty, or staff: nor does it represent the members of the Vindicator staff or our advisors unless otherwise stated. The editor reserves the right to comment on any issue that affects the student body in general as well as the multicultural community at large. Letters to the editors and other submissions are accepted, however they must have the authors name, address, major if applicable, and telephone number. All submissions become property of the Vindicator and the Vindicator reserves the right to edit submissions as deemed necessary. 2121 Euclid Ave, MC 471, Cleveland, OH 44115 216 687 2118 3 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018


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EDITOR’S LETTER

W

SPEAK TRUTH TO VULNERABILITY

hen I chose to work in

clearer perception for the severity of this

said, it could be misinterpreted under the

media for a living, I knew

issue. We are all trying to make sense of

guise of “because they wanted it.”

that my main goal was to

this — especially us working in the media.

share people’s stories and

Our job is to present and investigate the

issues that journalists are covering now

truth and show it, honestly.

more than ever due to the countless recent

make change. Through writing, through visual design, and through the bits and

My way of honesty, at least in this

Sexual assault and harassment are

incidents of women coming out and telling

pieces that put together a magazine, I

story, is showing vulnerability. Because

their stories. The #MeToo movement

wanted to make work and create things

vulnerability is something that can be

made me think about how I was going to

that will impact others and help see the

powerful, but also dangerous. It’s a type of

write this. I wanted to hear other people’s

truth.

vulnerability that can start a revolution,

stories, but I also knew I wanted to take

and wake people up. When talking about

a different angle on this. I wanted to talk

to this story, which many may think is

the issues of sexual assault, vulnerability

about the action of coming out about a

a risk. This month’s cover is different

can be something that is either noticed

story. The unfortunate bravery that it takes

because for the first time, it was written

and cherished, or abused and taken

to not only come forward to tell a story

in tandem with our colleagues at the

advantage of.

and have it in print, but also the bravery

I wanted to take a different approach

Cauldron Newspaper, who are also

I struggled when thinking about the

of simply surviving the experience in the

working on a feature in one of their March

ways in which to write this story because

issues about sexual assault. We teamed

I immediately thought of all the women

up with them to provide a spectrum of

that have been too scared to come out

figures — but unfortunately incidents

storytelling because the issue of sexual

and talk about their experiences. In their

like this can’t always be measured. All

assault has so many layers and angles.

head, they tripped over words of how to

we can hope is that the stories will come

properly explain what happened to them

through and speak truth to power, and to

— because usually no matter what they

vulnerability.

We hope that our cover story and their feature can go hand in hand, to create a

first place. We are living in a world of facts and

ARBELA CAPAS

EDITED BY HOLLY BLAND

5 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018


w h a t’s h a p p e n i n g i n

3.8

MARCH

Talk

Behind the Degree: The High Cost of Higher Education Join local university enrollment specialists, including Robert A. Spademan, Interim Vice President Enrollment at CSU, for a talk about the affordability of college in Northeast Ohio. FREE @ 7:30PM, 5801 DETROIT AVE

3.10 Understanding Structural Racism

Throughout this half-day workshop put on by the She Collective, various topics will be discussed relating to racial equity. Using interactive exercises, facilitated conversation and experimental components, attendees will aim to develop a higher understanding of structural racial equity and more. Lunch will be included. Online registration is required: shecollective.punchpass.com

3.16

Wine & Paint

$15 @ 9:30AM, 16511 HILLIARD RD

3.24

42nd CIFF: Get the Scoop

Cleveland Wine Glass Sip & Paint Become an artist for a night at the Little Birdie Wine Nest and learn how to paint the Cleveland skyline from teacher, Cory Allen Manley, while sipping on wine and munching snacks. All supplies, instruction and the tasting of three wines are included for the $35 fee. $35 @ 6PM, 6060 BROADVIEW RD

3.14

Concert

Get the scoop about the 42nd annual Cleveland International Film festival while also getting a scoop of ice cream on the second floor of Mitchell’s in Ohio City. At this casual event, program guides for the film festival and even coupons for free ice cream will be given out.

Head to Mahall’s to see four-piece indie rock band, Rogue Wave, celebrate the 10th anniversary of their album, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate.

FREE @ 5PM, 1867 W. 25TH ST

$20 @ 8:30PM, 13200 MADISON AVE

MARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 6


A MARVELOUS NEW STANDARD

FOR FEMALE IMAGE A new show uses comedy and unique narratives to address female empowerment. // Joscelyn Ervin

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains plot details from the Amazon show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

E

ncapsulating the strength and

power it takes to be a woman,

this Amazon original series are the fierce

However, instead of fighting against the

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a

women characters who aren’t afraid to say

grain and working to become an individu-

new Amazon Prime series, won

what they’re thinking and who constantly

al, Imogene attempts to guide Midge along

two Golden Globes at the end

work against the grain. Instead of center-

using typical societal stereotypes of how

of 2017 and has been captivating viewers

ing the show around a character that is

women should act.

while gaining popularity. Taking place in

already an outsider or rebel, — similar to

the late 1950s, the Amazon original depicts

the format of “Orange is the New Black,”

Midge and Imogene are shown working out

intense sexism and extreme social expecta-

— “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” highlights

in a group class, Imogene reminds Midge

tions. Set in New York City, “The Marvelous

the life of a societal insider, which enhances

of how high the stakes are if she chooses

Mrs. Maisel” focuses on themes of women

the theme, forces more overall character

to actually divorce Joel — social isolation.

empowerment and individuality with an

development, and normalizes the ideas that

While Susie pulls Midge closer to the edge,

underlying comedic tone. The main character, Miriam ‘Midge’

the writers are trying to enforce.

Imogene pulls her back. This tug of war lasts

Miriam Maisel is stylish, smart,

throughout the show, revealing the strug-

Maisel, is a “perfect American housewife”

beautiful and wealthy. She is very much

gles it takes to become a strong, powerful

with two young kids. Within the first epi-

the ideal American woman. On the other

women in the 1950s and even in the modern

sode, Midge finds out her husband of about

hand, her new manager, Susie Meyerson, is

day. Also participating in this tug of war are

four years, Joel Maisel, is leaving her for his

brash, coarse, and everything society thinks

Midge’s loving parents — who, on the side

secretary, Penny Pan. In response, Midge

a woman should not be. In other words,

of Imogene, remind her of her motherly

gets wasted and finds herself on stage at

Susie’s character is a superb juxtaposition

duties and the typical role she needs to play

the Gaslight Café, where Joel usually does

to Midge’s. By pairing up these two oppos-

as a good wife.

stand-up acts, and viewers discover the

ing characters, the writers highlight the

unexpected — Midge is a really talented

important traits of each and reveal the true

much Midge relies on her relationship with

stand-up comic. She is broken and weak, but

message to the audience through their in-

her husband and parents — because of the

she is also angry, confused and hilarious.

teractions. Along with the contrast between

separation, she finds herself feeling crip-

Throughout the series Midge struggles with

Midge and Susie, Midge has another close

pled, helpless and useless. She is soon forced

the separation from her husband, honing

friend, Imogene, seen at the very beginning

to move back in with them and they begin to

her comedy act without getting arrested for

of the series and a little throughout the rest.

treat her as if she is a teenager again because

nudity or profanity, and finding a new goal

Imogene, who is clearly very similar to the

of their disappointment in her situation with

and purpose in a world she wasn’t prepared

feminine ideals exemplified by Midge’s

her husband. Instead of pulling her away

for.

character at the start of the show, is also

from the ideals symbolized by Midge’s man-

7 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018

The most interesting components of

another kind of juxtaposition to Midge.

For example, during a scene in which

The beginning of the series shows how


ager, Susie, her parents end up pushing her

the “dark side,” in which she finds support in her new acquaintance, Susie. By discovering companionship in another powerful

It’s forcing women’s stereotypes to move over for the real deal.

young woman, Midge realizes that she really doesn’t need Joel anymore — which opens her up to new experiences and opportunities, like stand-up comedy.

further away. This leads Midge straight to

Along with the feminine strength and

power portrayed throughout each episode, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” puts a lot of emphasis on the importance of comedy and laughing through the hard times. Tough situations and circumstances are thrown at Midge when she is already down and out. On top of trying to cope with her separation from Joel and him cheating previously,

of isolating the audience, this highlights

the well-known comedian Joan Rivers. Joan

Midge has to navigate being an individual in

a connection and reminds each viewer

Rivers, however, unlike “The Marvelous

a society that looks down on single women.

of their own problems and weird stories.

Mrs. Maisel,” was more of an outsider than

To cope with everything that’s thrown her

Over and over again, Midge cracks jokes

the main character in this Amazon origi-

way, she makes sarcastic remarks, witty

in the middle of arguments and lightens

nal. She used her voice, her situation, and

jokes, and doesn’t fully take her situation

her struggles with humor to connect to the

comedy to change her life for the better and

seriously a hundred percent of the time.

audience and make the story more realistic.

to forge a new path for women in stand-up

Even though this style and tone usually

and show business.

makes the theme and story seem trivial,

many ways, pushes how women are por-

it makes the message much more real and

trayed in movies and TV shows; it’s forcing

American woman.” The writers chose to

relatable.

women stereotypes to move over for the

present their main character in this way so

real deal. Famous female comedians of

that the story did not isolate their audience.

the first episode, Midge is shown at her

the modern day, like Mindy Kaling, Amy

It shows that even the best of the best, the

wedding giving a speech and a toast, which

Poehler, or Kate McKinnon, are wonderful

women who follow the values set forth

shows how obvious it is that she is good at

examples of role models — and “The Mar-

by society, can crumble, fall, and become

making an audience laugh. In several other

velous Mrs. Maisel” stresses this idea. In

stronger because of their hardships. This

scenes, she tells stories about her troubles

fact, in an interview with the two creators

is the kind of creative decision that future

at several parties, and, of course, is shown

of the show, Amy Sherman-Palladino and

writers need to consider before giving in to

using these same troubles to her benefit on

Rachel Brosnahan, they claimed that the

the outdated feminine stereotypes of society.

the comedy stage multiple times. Instead

main character, Midge, is slightly based on

For instance, at the very beginning of

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” in so

Midge, on the other hand, is the “ideal

Other Shows with Strong Female Leads Parks and Recreation (2009) Broad City (2014) Jane the Virgin (2014)

PHOTOS FROM GOOGLE IMAGES

Jessica Jones (2015) The Crown (2016) Fuller House (2016) Victoria (2016) Orange is the New Black (2013)

MARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 8


FEMALE LEAD FILMS

OF THE 20TH CENTURY A look at female lead films that you should’ve watched years ago. // Greg Elek

A

dashingly handsome writer for this magazine has stated in several of his articles that movies often fall into the category of underseen or un-

HOUSE (1977) Grade: A+ “House” is a Japanese horror-comedy

derrated just because they’re old or foreign.

from the 1900’s (three out of four of them

This is a sentiment that’s sadly incredibly

being foreign language) featuring female

accurate. In honor of cinema being the

leads that you should check out.

highest form of art, as well as it being the month of March, here are selected films

Director: Nobuhiko Ôbayashi

movie has one of the best soundtracks of all

Ohba, and Ai Matsubara

time. The director of this film got his start

without actually going into details about

way it actually helps out the film. Get a

following a group of teenage girls that get

the film, here are some non-plot related

into a precarious situation when one of

reasons why you should watch this film as

them reaches out to a distant relative. This

soon as possible. This movie is insane in the

is the type of movie that you should watch

best possible way, and don’t just take my

knowing as little as possible prior to view-

word for it — celebrities such as Bill Hader

ing. In an attempt to get readers to watch

and PewDiePie have been very open about

9 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018

expressing their love for this film. This

Starring: Kimiko Ikegami, Miki Jinbo, Kumiko

in advertising, and in a strange twisted couple friends together, turn the lights off, make some popcorn, and watch this movie. There’s no question that this isn’t a movie for everyone, but it’s a movie that everyone should watch at least once.


CLEO FROM 5 TO 7

Director: Agnès Varda

(1962) Grade: B

Bourseiller, and Michel Legrand

rectors we have a much smaller sample size,

Alice Guy-Blaché, and Dorothy Arzner come

and unfortunately this issue is still present

to mind, but Varda, and Riefenstahl are

today. For example, Leni Riefenstahl, the

undoubtedly the biggest names out of all of

mother of sports photography, might have

those. As for “Cleo From 5 to 7” itself, it’s

been a Nazi. She’s responsible for one of

one of the better films to come out of the

the most well known propaganda pieces

French New Wave. It drags at certain parts,

of all time, The Triumph of the Will (1935).

but it’s highs are much lower than its lows.

follows a pop singer who must question her

Thankfully, the French New Wave gave us

This film also has one of the best silent short films I’ve personally ever seen within

“Cleo From 5 to 7” is a French drama that mortality while awaiting her biopsy results.

Agnès Varda, so the history of early female

When examining the history of film, a lot

directors wasn’t completely muddled. This

it. This film is pretty funny despite its bleak

of the art form’s founding fathers were in-

isn’t to say that these two women are the

subject matter, and a very enjoyable watch.

credibly questionable people. When we look

only significant early female directors —

If you want to get into the French New

at some of the most influential female di-

names like Chantal Akerman, Esfir Shub,

Wave, I’d recommend starting here.

FUNNY GAMES (1997) Grade: B+

“Funny Games” is an Austrian psychological thriller that follows a family going through

Director: Michael Haneke Starring: Susanne Lothar, Arno Frisch, Ulrich Mühe, Stefan Clapczynski and Frank Giering

genre — more specifically the home inva-

both films are very close, but if you intend

sion subgenre. As one would come to expect

to watch both I’d recommend starting with

from director Michael Haneke this movie

the original simply because it was made

has breathtaking cinematography, and all

first. If you’re someone who doesn’t like

of the performances are top notch, even

watching dire situations that could happen

from the child actor. There’s great news

to you (regardless of how unlikely it is),

for those who are too ignorant to watch

or if you can’t handle violent images, you

a movie because it’s not in their native

should probably stay away from this one.

language. 10 years after the release of this

Besides that, I’d recommend this movie to

a nightmarish home invasion. This is a

film, director Michael Haneke decided to

pretty much anyone, especially those who

great film for fans of the horror genre. On

remake it in English because he felt it better

are fans of the horror genre — just under-

one hand it acts as a legitimately horrify-

fit his original image of the film. That film

stand that foreign films tend to be paced

ing look at a scenario most of us have only

is often referred to as “Funny Games U.S.,”

a bit slower than American films (even

thought of in our darkest nightmares, but

and it stars Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, and

though here the American version has the

it also acts as commentary on the horror

Brady Corbet. In my opinion the qualities of

same pacing of the Austrian one).

A MARRIED COUPLE

Director: Allan King

(1969) Grade: A

and Bogart Edwards

filmed people just being people, and cut his

ward spiral, and as awful as it sounds, that

“A Married Couple” is a Canadian “actuality drama” that follows a real life couple as PHOTO CREDITS: Film Stills

Starring: Corinne Marchand, Antoine

their marriage comes to its boiling point. This is perhaps the most intriguing film on this list. Filmmaker Allan King wanted to show life as it really is. Instead of making a traditional documentary with interviews, multiple perspectives and research, he

Starring: Antoinette Edwards, Billy Edwards,

footage together as if it were a slice of life

made this film much better. It’s abundant-

narrative film. The result of King’s ap-

ly clear that there was tension building

proach in “A Married Couple” is a gripping

up over the course of their relationship

character study, and the viewers also get

(which, based on the film, could definitely

a unique perspective of being a fly on the

be described as unhealthy). We get some

wall as the marriage falls apart. I genuinely

context of what’s ravaging their relation-

forgot what I was watching wasn’t scripted

ship through conversations, but because of

at times, and at other times when I was

this shooting style we actually get to see a

aware of the events being real I had physi-

lot of the problems first hand. It’s as if the

cal reactions to what I was seeing on screen.

cameras made them say things to each oth-

Obviously anyone who’s being filmed, and

er that they were letting boil inside of them

is aware of it, isn’t going to act exactly how

for years. This is a phenomenal film, but it

they would normally act, but after the film,

will make you incredibly uncomfortable at

the couple acknowledged this. They said the

times. I’d recommend it to everyone.

cameras played a large roll in their downMARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 10


CAPTAIN’S LOG A surrealist photo series. // Anna Sintsirmas INSTAGRAM: personal — @repotrash, photography — @apocalypticpen0r

I

really find it amazing how the mind is

that was prose, poetry, microfiction), then

looking at what is stopping it from being a

able to form a story automatically. The

composing my shot. For instance, I wrote

dream?

clarity of the story happens due to the

this line “body like a folding chair” and

power our senses take. For example: you

then from that I challenged myself to create

clothes and certain photoshop compo-

see a car accident on East 22nd. You smell

Elements such as body placement,

a photo from it and the process of the photo

nents helped further this series. Since I was

gasoline. Maybe even taste it? You hear

was trying to capture my model being con-

focusing heavily on just a visual reception

yelling. It may feel hot because the sun’s

torted (like a folded up chair) then long and

I meticulously highlighted certain areas

out. All these sensory receptions you are ac-

sprawled out (as if the folding chair was

of these photos (skin: try to show shine or

cumulating is allowing a story automatical-

opened). Once the photo was ready to be

sweat, spots in the background: to show

ly to form in your brain and we truly do not

viewed I had my version of the story and I

sunlight or night). I may have added grain

even realize this is happening. Maybe later

hoped to apply enough visual reception that

in some shots to challenge the aspect of

that day you’ll use that declarative memory

the viewers would be able to create theirs.

what time period the viewer could imagine

to explain the event to someone or write

It’s a dichotomy I only hope is occurring.

the shot they are looking at is taking place

about it. It is such an interesting phenome-

A very evident vision in my photo work

as well as altered colour tones.

non how innately creative a human being is.

is a take on surrealism. When I creative

This series, I know, is most definite-

This thought process is what triggered this

write, I capture the surreal aspects. I do

ly not complete. All the sensory receptors

specific series.

this because I truly admire the manipula-

that a human being has, I would like to

tion fiction takes hold of. Whether that is

challenge. See this series I focused a lot

between the summer of 2017 to winter of

manipulation of your emotion or thinking.

on the visual reception, but I know that I

2017 and I titled the series ‘Captains Log’.

I read this line by Jack Kerouac once that

eventually want to take these photos and

This work is meant to trigger the internal

went as follows “Memory and dream are

add a multimedia aspect to them. I’d like to

dialogue of the viewer and the photo itself.

intermixed in this mad universe.” Which I

create sound audios, add more texture to

They are meant to naturally express the

found dear to me because sometimes I try

the photos that those viewing can touch. I’d

ability of storytelling in a person. When I

to remember an event that happened in my

like to maybe even have a jar of scents pre-

began this collection of work I wanted to

life and start questioning if it is a dream.

sented with each photo. All of these aspects

take my creative writing and form photos

By adding a take on surrealism to these

challenges another sense which triggers the

from it all. So the process I went about con-

collection of photographs I feel as though

aspect of storytelling in a person.

sisted of me writing something (whether

if this photo is a memory that the viewer is

The set of photos featured I took

11 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018


s w e r C y d La in CLE

The founders of Cleveland’s newest organizations are all about creating community and supporting women in the city. // Alexis Rosen

C

leveland is a city that has always been fueled by tight-knit communities and hardworking locals. This combination is the foundation of Cleveland’s newest organizations: Your Local Girl Gang and Creative Babes. In their own ways, both support and connect women across this city. We sat down with the 20-something-year-old founders to find out what sparked the start of their communities and what is next for them and the city.

women. I started to do my own research to try

and collaborate. For Cleveland, I want it to

to find women-owned businesses, and I found

continue to grow and thrive. I’d like to get to

that there were hardly any resources to find

the point where we had an event each week,

these businesses. So, I started doing my own

to make it more accessible to all Cleveland

research and I discovered a ton of awesome

women. This year, I’d like to collaborate with

Cleveland businesses that I had no idea existed.

more businesses to see what kind of amazing

I couldn’t believe I had been to some of these

events we could put on and what we could

businesses. I decided to compile my own list

accomplish.

of businesses and make it available for anyone else who had the same shopping motivation.

Why do you believe Clevland needed this?

What has surprised/impacted you most by it?

Every city should have an outlet that promotes

I’ve been shocked by how much it has grown

ed this in Cleveland, I found that there was such

and how quickly. I wasn’t sure at first how Your

a strong community of women supporting each

Local Girl Gang would be received. In the first

other and their businesses on social media, but

week, 13 businesses submitted their informa-

I thought there should be more opportunities

tion, and I was ecstatic. Now, over 150 business-

to connect in person as well. That’s why we

What does your organization do?

es are listed on the website, and there are more

started hosting networking events with the help

Your Local Girl Gang is an online guide to wom-

businesses submitted daily.

of Aviatra Accelerators. So far, we’ve held three

// Maria LeFebre

en-owned businesses. The website features a categorized list of businesses for anything that you may need. There is also a Featured section where business owners have the opportunity to share the story behind their business. We have also recently started hosting events for women and women business owners once a month called City Series. These events allow women to connect, network, and build the community of women business owners in Cleveland.

When was it established? Your Local Girl Gang was established the summer of 2017. The website went live on August 20th, and has been going strong ever since.

What inspired you to create it? I was shopping online at the beginning of last summer and found a tee shirt that said “Support Your Local Girl Gang.” That was the first time I ever saw the phrase, and I fell in love with it. I bought the tee shirt immediately. I kept thinking about that saying. It made me feel like I needed to do more to support the women around me, and it seemed that the easiest way to do this was to shop at local businesses owned by 13 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018

Where do you see it going in the future? (Or hope for it to!) I would love to expand the Girl Gang to other major cities. I believe that every city and every group of women could benefit from more promotion of women-owned businesses and more opportunity to connect

local, women-owned businesses. When I start-

events that have been so fun and laid back that you forget you’re even at a networking event. It’s been fun to find ways to network that are different from the traditional, uncomfortable, almost stuffy way of networking. We’ve had two Sip & Shop events and a yoga and goal setting workshop. Business owners have been excited

to have an opportunity to network and collaborate in such a fun way.

As long as you are here to support women-owned businesses and to build connections, then you are in the Girl Gang.

Your Local Girl Gang CLE

- Maria


Can anyone be a part of it?

events to be a breath of fresh air. Somewhere

The Girl Gang List is currently including

that you can truly be yourself and be just okay

Why do you believe Cleveland needed this?

established businesses owned by women in

with where you’re at on your journey. We all

I think Cleveland needs this because, I don’t

the Cleveland area and surrounding suburbs.

have strengths and weaknesses. So why not

think there’s anything quite like it here. There’s

The business can be any size, but needs to be

celebrate our strengths, and work on our weak-

lots of other amazing organizations that are

based in Cleveland or the surrounding suburbs.

nesses – together?

benefitting women around the city. But, we

Anyone can be part of the Girl Gang! As long as you are here to support women-owned businesses and to build connections, then you are in the Girl Gang.

What is your favorite part about what you do? I love every part of the Girl Gang. I love getting to meet new ladies and hear about their businesses. I love writing their Feature interviews, to share their awesome stories with others. It’s just been so fun to start something that I wasn’t sure anyone would be into, and to see it grow so quickly. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Creative Babes was born in August 2014. In Cleveland, was established in January 2018.

I would describe it as collaborative, supportive and feminine.

// Gia Fantozzi

myself doing a lot exploring and soaking up

just add to that and create an even stronger

the city in the first few months. What I realized

community of women.

was that there was this super rad community of women business owners, creatives, makers and just plain badasses. I wanted to be able to have all of these amazing women in a room together, and just soak up their awesomeness. I think that we can all learn something from each other, kind of face-to-face interaction.

What has surprised/impacted you most by it? ceived! We’ve been casually telling people here and there about our plans, and so far people seem really stoked. I am crazy excited to get this beautiful thing going!

Can anyone be a part of it? Most of our gatherings and events will be catered towards those who identify as female, but we will eventually have co-ed events! Do you have to be a “creative” to come to one of our gatherings...heck no! First of all, we believe that everyone is creative! We would love to see women from all different types of fields and backgrounds at our events!

What is your favorite part about what you do? Since it just started in Cle, it’s definitely been seeing the sparks of sisterhood already flying around and women’s interest to be part of it. Also, the constant reminder of how generous people are and serendipitous life is in starting something new in the city.

also a mindset. We are creating a community

field, background or situation you’re in. I think supportive of one another. Creative Babes will

- Gia Creative Babes is definitely an experience. It’s

be respected and listened to no matter what

I moved to Cleveland in May 2017, and found

Why not celebrate our strengths, and work on our weaknesses – together?

What does your organization do?

can just come be who they are. Where you’ll

the women in Cleveland are already incredibly

The positive feedback that we’ve already re-

Creative Babes

really want to create a space where women

What inspired you to create it?

and there’s something so valuable about that

If you had to describe it in three words, what would they be?

PHOTO CREDITS: LEFT: Hilary Bovay Photography RIGHT: Alexis Rosen

When was it established?

If you had to describe it in three words, what would they be? Magical, Inspiring, Experiential.

C

leveland better brace itself because this is just the beginning for the new lady crews in the city. Because

of Maria and Gia, more and more women are able to meet, collaborate, and simply start new sisterhood together — and the women of Cleveland couldn’t be more welcoming.

HOW YOU CAN CONNECT + JOIN IN:

Where do you see it going in the future? (Or hope for it to!)

Come to the next Girl Gang event and see

I am really hoping to see the same kind of

event is here: yourlocalgirlgang.com

what it’s all about! Find out when the next

for women to come together in a super positive,

success as the Columbus Babes. I’d like for

non-competitive space. Where we can support

Creative Babes to be something that women

each other, be vulnerable with each other and

Facebook, or hit up our website at creative-

all over the Cleveland area look forward to and

help one another grow. We want coming to our

babes.com. We will be posting about our

seek out to feel inspired and supported.

upcoming event very soon!

Follow Creative Babes on Instagram and

MARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 14


THE POWER OF

THE WOMAN Speaking to various women and the things that make them phenomenal. // Tyisha Blade

P

henomenal women exist in all

— into my eyes, my ears, my nose and my

across some significant women who have

different shapes, sizes, races

mouth.”

really pushed me to be better. I can only

and ethnicities. During Wom-

hope to be that example for the next young

en’s History Month, qualities are

the world, initially challenged by men as

woman growing in her career.” Oatman

attributed to these courageous,

undoable in 80 days. She was told that

graduated from Cleveland State in 2015

strong, beautiful women that continue to

because she was an unaccompanied woman

majoring in health sciences and minoring

fight not only for themselves, but also for

— did not have the company of a husband

in management and labor relations. Oatman

women worldwide that may be unknow-

— that she should reconsider. With these

believes that a phenomenal woman is one

ingly committed to a fight. These attributes

challenges and other discouragements,

that doesn’t define herself or her worth

should be incorporated daily, not just for

she went anyway. She had many obstacles

according to what others believe to be true.

provides illustration to an internal force. Personal stride and the ability to uplift others are unique characteristics that women exemplify in everyday life.

A phenom is “a person of phenomenal

ability or promise.” In the case of phenomenal women, their ability is their promise. Their promises procure their strengths. A woman of particular strength in history was Elizabeth “Nellie Bly” Cochran. Cochran was a famous historical journalist who went

during her trip such as delayed ships and

She continues,“Most of all though, I believe

Women’s History. To conquer such feats

Cochran also took a 72-day trip around

As phenomenal women, our ability is our promise.

as far as having herself admitted into the

sickness that would, otherwise, cause one

all women are phenomenal in one way or

Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s

to change their mind in their intentions. No,

another, and our challenge is to hone that

Island in New York in 1887. Cochran, a sane

not Cochran. She persevered and contin-

skill and channel it in a way that can benefit

woman undercover for the New York World

ued her mission. In 72 days she completed

others.”

newspaper, intended to expose the harsh

her goal. She was a major inspiration for

treatment of women admitted into the

women of that time and is still being taught

encourage each other. Too often wom-

Blackwell’s Island behavioral health insti-

about in history lectures.

en criticize other women, unnecessarily

tution. After being discharged 10 days later,

As inspirations to other women, uplift-

tearing one another down. Imani Stephens,

she went on to write an expose’ titled “Ten

ing each other is necessary. Coming togeth-

a current Cleveland State junior and section

Days in a Mad-House” about her duration in

er to build unified strength, and creating

editor for the Vindicator, aspires to be an

the institution. Cochran uncovered the truth

foundation for protection in vulnerabilities

editor for a fashion magazine.With Ste-

about treatment of inpatients there.

are pillar. “Other women inspire me,” said

phens’ determination and support from

Here is an excerpt from the expose:

Sarah Oatman, a Cleveland State Univer-

fellow writing staff, she suggested the Vin-

“My teeth chattered and my limbs were

sity alumna. “Watching a woman take a

dicator create a fashion section, a staple in

goose-fleshed and blue with cold. Suddenly

seat at the table, overcome adversity and

preparation for her future goals. She pitched

I got, one after the other, three buckets of

really challenge status quo is something to

her ideas and is now currently working on

water over my head — ice-cold water, too

witness. I have been fortunate in coming

the Vindicator’s new fashion section. “My

15 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018

In uplifting and inspiring, we must


whole thought process behind the new section is fashion, beauty and wellness. Fashion is an art within itself. In the section, I would like to talk about self care and the things we wear” said Stephens. “Instead of trying to fit the fashion related pieces into the culture section — it encompasses all those things. It’s such a movement in itself, I felt like it needed to be separate.”

Stephens is also co-founder of the

student organization Black Girl Magic, which meets on Mondays and where Black women meet to talk about different issues. Stephens is working on her blog Imanisteph.com. As junior editor for Spring 2018, she also encourages students to continue to read the Vindicator. “Phenomenal women have so much strength and can accomplish anything,” said Stephens.

For Cleveland State alumna India

Moore, a phenomenal woman is “one that does not quit, one that knows what she wants, one that is strong and knows who she is...she knows how to do multiple things. She can change a tire, she can fix a sink. She can be a jack of all trades and an inspiration to others.” Moore graduated from Cleveland State in 2011 majoring in social work and consistently exudes the confidence and structure of a phenomenal woman.

Recently engaged to William Harper,

Moore currently works as a licensed social worker at the Centers for Families and Children. During an annual event, “Turkey Takeover” for the Thanksgiving holiday, Moore and a team of colleagues distribute hundreds of turkeys to deserving communities of Cleveland in collaboration with the East Cleveland City, Cleveland Food Bank and several others. The event was created by Cleveland rapper, Ray Jr., and has been successful for the past four years. Moore is also involved with several other projects such as Donte’s Gift Express, The Autumn Show, and her event decorating service: Designs by India Ashley.

Women must also look to their men-

tors, ancestors, and elders as sources of inspirational energies. Inspirations fill their minds with positive influence and arouse feeling and thought. They motivate them. For Moore, her cousin, Rochelle Moore and grandmother Dorothy Moore, are women that have been instructional parts of her life and are guiding lights to her. According to Stephens, she looks up to women in marketing and young, Black female business

Phenomenal Woman

owners because she is a young, Black female. “There’s so many that I can’t pinpoint one.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.

Definitely Naomi Campbell, because, with

I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It’s the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.

alities are resiliency and self-efficacy. The

Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can’t touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them, They say they still can’t see. I say, It’s in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. Now you understand Just why my head’s not bowed. I don’t shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing, It ought to make you proud. I say, It’s in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need for my care. ’Cause I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.

Maya Angelou

her, you look at pictures of her and none of [others in her photos] look like her. There is no one of her skin color in her pictures and she is definitely still around today. She is just beautiful at being dark skinned” says Stephens.

According to current CSU senior, Starr

Hugley, “the deeds of phenomenal women are meant to inspire others to be phenomenal. To look within oneself and discover a greater purpose for living. So a new question arises, what do phenomenal women have in common? I believe these commonability to pull oneself up and know that you are capable. Because when we hit our lowest point, we become open to the greatest change. That, in turn, makes us phenomenal.”

Women’s History Month celebrates the

past, present, and future of women and the power they possess. It is important and inspiring to recognize the phenomenal women that surround you, in whatever capacity they exist. Fight for yourself and your fellow phenomenal woman. Happy Women’s History Month.

For support on campus, the Mareyjoyce Green Women’s Center offers community help with an emphasis on women, student parents, and returning learners. Assistance is available in services such as the Mother’s Room for nursing students, information and support for victims of abuse and sexual assault and areas for students to study. For more information, visit: www.csuohio.edu/womenscenter

UPCOMING EVENTS Femme Film Fridays She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry March 9th – 11:30am @ MC 142 Hot Chocolate Monday March 19th @ MC 142 Women's Health Series Nutrition & Fitness March 27th ­– 11:30am @ MC 142


#NiUnaMenos and other international women’s movements in social media. // Brenda Castañeda Yupanaqui

18 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2017


I

f there’s one powerful, positive thing the

just a simple extension of the misogynistic,

Not only have these movements

rise of social media has created, it is the

male-dominated Latinx culture, filled with

influenced the Latin American public, but

genuine connections we now share with

normalized microaggressions and assaults.

other feminist efforts as well. In a call to

people around the world. Through these

Feminicide is a phenomenon of hate-based

arms written in The Guardian, the leaders

connections, we are able to gain new

killings of women simply for being women.

of the Women’s March on Washington cited

perspectives and derive strength from our

Ni Una Menos (#NiUnaMenos), which

the Ni Una Menos movement as inspira-

collective voices, and this is vital now more

translates to “not one [woman] less,”

tion for their push to create “feminism

than ever. For instance: in a time where

began in 2015. It is a feminist movement of

for the 99%,” feminism for those who do

survivors of sexual assault are finally lis-

Argentinean origin in response to the many

not always have the means or power to

tened to instead of shunned, activist efforts

murders and crimes committed against

advocate for others. In this simple action,

like #MeToo and #TimesUp have made it as

women and girls as young as 14 years old

it is clear to see how immense the effects

far as red carpets and major award cere-

in the country. A determined and hopeful

of social media and globalization are for

monies and have trended on every popular

statement, Ni Una Menos has spread all

an all-encompassing issue like women’s

social media site. Our current global society

across Latin America, uniting and provid-

rights. These hashtags and movements are

demands these new forms of outreach

ing a powerful rallying cry of resistance to

powerful and provide an accessible form of

and protest, and hashtag activism is one

Latinx women everywhere.

activism for all, even those who are not in

to raise awareness and create dialogue, hashtags have become a powerful force. A collective and global response like this has never been possible before. The United States has made strides to encourage the conversation surrounding issues previously taboo, especially when it comes to the topic of feminism and violence against women. However, our country is not alone in these efforts. It is important to be aware of the struggles of women in other countries. Not only is it our privilege to be able to do so in our connected world, but it is our duty. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves and shine a light on what has been shrouded in darkness for so long. In today’s technology-driven world, there is no excuse for ignorance and blindness to international women’s issues. With the rise

The Latin American movement defines

these places.

It is important to be aware of the struggles of women in other countries

of them. Used on social media platforms

of feminism in popular culture, it is vital to avoid silencing other women and their fights and concerns. Because of the international influence of the United States, it is easy to forget to look outward. This, on its own, is not bad—but our tendency to dominate the conversation and prioritize our concerns is.

Ni Una Menos In 2016 alone, there have 2,156 homicides of women killed by gender violence in Latin ILLUSTRATION CREDIT: Loren Shumaker

America, as reported by the Gender Equality Observatory of the United Nations. As a Latina woman, living in a world dominated by machismo is an unfortunate reality, period. However, in countries like mine, these negative attitudes towards women have taken a gruesomely violent turn, to the point where we are experiencing what is known as feminicide or femicide. It is not

Other Movements

violence against women as multifaceted, encompassing not only physical violence,

While #MeToo and #TimesUp are certain-

but systematic violence as well. Ni Una

ly important and compelling, there are

Menos addresses discriminatory public

countless other movements that deserve the

policy, institutional obstacles, and crimi-

attention of the general public. Many forms

nalization of freedoms as manifestations of

of hashtag activism have their origins in the

violence. It has spread all over social media,

United States, but others began in different

and has had success in physical demon-

countries.

strations as well. In Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, El

In Russia, the murder of Tatiana Stra-

Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru and

khova inspired #этонеповодубить (“there

Spain, there have been marches and pro-

is no reason to kill.”) The 19 year old was

tests that using the hashtags #NiUnaMenos

killed by an ex-boyfriend earlier this year,

and #VivasNosQueremos (“we want us

who claimed that he was provoked by her

[women] alive”) to centralize their efforts.

pictures on social media. This hashtag is attached to pictures by women who are MARCH 2017 | VINDICATOR 19


protesting the hypersexualization of their

#AmINext and #MMIW are both

society in which we live. There are count-

bodies by the male gaze. Russian women

activist movements addressing indigenous

less of movements that have tried to call

are using this platform to denounce the

women’s issues at large. #AmINext has

attention to worthy causes and that have

violent and pervasive culture that allowed

Canadian roots and aims to call to attention

either been forgotten or ignored. Many crit-

this murder.

to the high rates of violence against indige-

ics of hashtag activism call to attention the

nous women in Canada. #MMIW stands for

short-lived nature of this form of activism

known, but just as important, is #Girls-

“Missing and Murdered Indigenous Wom-

as one of its faults. If long-lasting change is

LikeUs. A Twitter campaign launched by

en” and is used globally to document and

the goal, how can something as fleeting and

trans activist Janet Mock in 2012, #Girls-

disseminate the devastating reality that this

brief as a “trending” hashtag really be the

LikeUs “is for ALL trans women, regardless

group of women face. Indigenous women

way to achieve it?

of color, but all who lend their voice to

worldwide have historically been some of

A US-based hashtag that is not so well-

that intersectionality matters.” It aims to include the significant and powerful trans population in the feminist movement, which cannot and should not be ignored. Although this hashtag is more than five years old now and may seem irrelevant, trans exclusion is still present in feminist circles worldwide and it is important to recognize the

shortcomings in the movement. Another notable and lamentably less than popular hashtag is #SayHerName. Created in 2015 by the African American Policy Forum, its

According to critics, another failure of hashtag activism is their originators. While all the hashtag movements mentioned in this article were created by

It is crucial that this awareness and these good intentions translate and transcend to real and definitive action outside our virtual world

goals are to create awareness that “Black women are all too often unseen in the national conversation about racial profiling, police

amplify ours knows

members of the marginalized group for which they advocate, that is not the case for all movements. Many times, hashtags are created by more privileged people who have taken notice of an injustice in the world around them. While this state of awareness is necessary from such allies, these people may not always understand that their voices should not be prioritized. A distinct example to remember is #Kony2012, whose American creators used sensationalist strategies to create a brief moment of awareness for child slavery in Uganda. However, this cam-

brutality, and lethal force.” This hashtag

the most marginalized and oppressed, and

paign had no real strategies in place and

became increasingly influential following

these hashtags are shedding light on those

was intentionally and insensitively vague

the murders of Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd

who might be most often forgotten.

with its calls to action. To make matters worse, it also had a strong aspect of pity for

and other Black women who were killed by or after an encounter with law enforce-

The Pitfalls of Hashtag Activism

those it claimed to help attached to it. If it is not an outsider that creates

ment. However, after the initial outrage

Hashtag activism has been denounced as

subsided, these women and this movement

simple “slacktivism” by many who do not

the hashtag, it is often times an outsid-

faded to the back of our collective minds.

see much promise in simple awareness.

er co-opting it in order to bring attention

It is imperative that this phenomenon be

And, objectively, this is true. Awareness

to themselves or their own cause. Here

recognized as an ongoing struggle, not one

and good intentions only go so far, and this

is where we get distasteful derivations

easily forgotten.

is especially resonant in the fast-paced

of movements, like #BlueLivesMatter,

18 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2016


#WhiteOut or meninism. Not only does this

have a form of entry into the national and

show a lack of creativity, but utter disregard

international forum before. Now, with every

for those oppressed and creates unneces-

trending hashtag, no matter how fleet-

sary dissonance within these social media

ing, comes the possibility of a headline or

sites. While the intentions of #BlackLives-

some form recognition from a major media

Matter, #BlackOut and feminism are to

presence or news source. This is much more

create awareness and dialogue, much of the

than was even imaginable in the days before

discussions surrounding them get stuck at

social media.

their validity.

Conclussion

Nevertheless, hashtag movements are a reality of our new activist culture and not

In the age of social media and hashtag

one to be underestimated. For every mis-

activism it is easier than ever to know what

appropriated and ill-formed hashtag, there

goes on around the globe. It is necessary

is an authentic movement in the works by

that those who are privileged enough to do

those who experience any mistreatment.

so take action. Manifestations should not be

And while mere awareness is not enough, it

considered any less meaningful just because

is definitively the first step to real change.

they are found online. But it is crucial that

Recognizing the existence of a problem is a

this awareness and these good intentions

significant struggle on its own. The power

translate and transcend to real and defini-

and force behind a collective front, no

tive action outside our virtual world. Being

matter how virtual and internet-based, is

a woman and a feminist in today’s society

strong.

is more than just an identity. To quote Do-

While it is important to note that social

natella Versace in a recent Vogue interview,

media still continues to favor and priori-

“it means to be aware of what happens in

tize privileged voices, it undoubtedly gives

the world. And [to] do something about it.”

a unique and accessible platform to those

Ours is not the only struggle that exists, and

who did not have one before. It is crucial to

it is certainly not the only one that should

note that these marginalized voices did not

matter.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S MOVEMENT HASHTAGS Latin America and Spain #NiUnaMenos — “Not one [woman] less” #VivasNosQueremos — “We want us [women] alive” Russia #этонеповодубить — “There is no reason to kill” Canada #AmINext — Drawing attention to violence against indigenous women International #MMIW — “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” United States #MeToo #TimesUp #GirlsLikeUs — Support for Trans Women #SayHerName — Visibility of black women

MARCH 2016 | VINDICATOR 19


the SORORITY EXPERIENCE After being in a sorority for a year and seeing what it has to offer, I’ve changed my perspective on what your typical sorority girl really is. // Dorothy Zhao

21 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018


to join Greek life. I was on an alternative

I majored in the male-dominated field of

break trip with Viking Expeditions and a

computer science. However, a year later, I

complete group of strangers, but everyone

have gained more than I ever anticipated

on the trip were so open about what their

— the precious friendship and unwavering

experience of being in a sorority was like. I

support of my sisters.

was more intrigued than ever and ultimately decided to go through informal recruit-

History of Sororities

ment. Once I received my bid for Delta Zeta,

In 1776, Phi Beta Kappa was the first social

it was a whirlwind of activities from there.

fraternity established at the College of

At first, I was hesitant about my

William and Mary. Alpha Delta Phi, the first

decision — had I made the right choice?

women’s sorority was founded at Wesley-

From the start, I questioned my own

an College in 1851. In the beginning of the

rationale. Who was I, an Asian American,

twentieth century, according to Joanna

to join a social sorority that had only one

Hunter of Radford University and Matthew

other Asian student in it? I felt guilty, as

Hughey of the University of Connecticut,

if someone had accused me of pretending

interfraternity councils began to only admit

to be white or being a person I wasn’t just

“White Christian fraternities and sororities”

to fit in. But, no one had disagreed with

with the use of “explicit discriminatory

my decision; my parents even paid my

entrance requirements.” Subsequently, Af-

sorority dues for the first semester. No one

college; I had made plenty of friends the semester before joining. Then, after getting a Big, Greek Week, a summer sisterhood retreat that involved raccoons, formal recruitment, getting a Little, and so much more, I answered my self-doubt by running for positions and getting more involved in my second semester of being in Delta Zeta. Now, I am currently Academics Chair of Delta Zeta and the Vice President of Finance in the National Panhellenic Council, otherwise known as Panhellenic Association. For those unfamiliar, this council, or association, is an umbrella organization for the sororities on campus, providing support or assistance. Although being in a sorority initially seemed incredibly time-consum-

rican Americans founded the “Divine Nine,”

From the start I questioned my own rationale.

accused me of “paying for friendship” in

ing, it taught me the essential skill of time management. Learning to balance academics, a social life with friends and family,

F

work, other extracurriculars, and my own rom “Animal House” to viral recruitment videos to social media parodies, sororities have not always had the best or well understood reputation. As a

freshman last year, I was almost entirely in

the dark about what sororities stood for and

consisted of — I missed formal recruitment entirely. I had no interest at all in joining a sorority, but that completely changed

on a foggy early January day before spring semester. While breaking down a fence in Rancho Cordova, California with five of the kindest, funniest, and happiest sorority women I had ever met, I realized I wanted

nine Black Greek letter organizations that

health is still a challenge to this day, but I

make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council

know now it is not insurmountable. Being

(NPHC). Additionally, Rho Psi was the first

in a sorority made me so much more outgo-

Asian fraternity in 1916, at Cornell Univer-

ing and social. It is an understatement that

sity; Phi Iota Alpha was the first Hispanic

I now have a more positive outlook on life

fraternity founded in 1931, at Rensselaer

than I had before. Choosing to see the best

Polytechnic Institute. Beyond these cultural

in everyone I met and making the conscious

interest ethnic fraternities and sororities,

choice to be kind and open-minded has

there was also the first Multicultural Greek

made me the best version of myself.

letter organization, Beta Tau Sigma, found-

Being in a sorority isn’t about the letters, the hand symbols, or the picturesque

ed in 1948 at nearby University of Toledo. In 1981, the first national multicultural

photoshoots. I chose to join a sorority not

sorority, Mu Sigma Upsilon, originated at

because it would just look good on a resume,

Rutgers University.

I joined with the intent of being around determined, driven college women while

On Cleveland State University’s campus, there are four social sorori-

MARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 22


Mu, and Theta Phi Alpha. Each with its own standards, values, and principles, the four sororities are different than the ones seen across traditional American college campuses. As a commuter campus, we have no sorority houses, and as a result, there is almost a lessened emphasis on Greek life in general at CSU. Although we have have significantly fewer sororities and smaller chapters than other universities, a student interested in joining a sorority can still explore her choices. During our fall formal recruitment, the Panhellenic Association arranges each sorority in a room on the third floor of the student center. Over the course of three nights and culminating in Bid Day — in which one gets a bid — the prospective members and the sororities narrow down their choices and preferences for each woman. Informal recruitment, as mentioned in the name, is not as intense as the formal recruiting in my experience of being recruited during spring and doing the recruiting during fall.

Dispelling the Myths Looking towards the stereotypes of Greek life and sororities specifically, there is the immense challenge of proving them wrong with the high standards espoused

18 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2017

by the organizations while prominent new stories display the perpetuation of a range

Without a doubt, I would not be as successful, content, or inspired if I had not joined a sorority.

ties — Alpha Sigma Alpha, Delta Zeta, Phi

of inappropriate behaviors. The accusations of hazing, toxic partying culture, and poor academic performance may easily be proven true with statistics and information from universities across the country. Take the tragedies of Timothy Piazza at Penn State or Michael Deng at Baruch College — both fatal hazing cases of a young college student while he underwent recruitment for a fraternity. Alumni and members defended the fraternity’s actions or lack thereof in Timothy Piazza’s case, but the facts are laid bare. The social fraternity Beta Theta Pi and the Asian American fraternity Pi Delta Psi failed Piazza and Deng, respectively. Another aspect of negative portrayal that proves all too true are the statistics of sexual assault; a 2016 research study showed “college students in social Greek organizations are at greater risk of sexual assault than other college students.” More specifically, sorority women are the ones more likely to be victims of sexual assault than non-Greek women, and it can be difficult for those assaulted to speak up and prevent others from suffering the same fate. The same study found that just residing in a sorority house alone “significantly increases the likelihood of experiencing sexual


assault while intoxicated...provid[ing] a lack of a ‘safe space,’ even in their own homes.” Although it was mentioned previously that Cleveland State does not have any sorority houses, it is still relevant for sorority women to understand what needs to be done to resolve this issue. Recently, our university has indeed taken steps to work on awareness with the CSU Sexual Assault Prevention Committee. The committee is working on Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) programming in April through Empowered Bystander trainings. Greek life has partnered with student leaders, Athletics, Residence Life, and campus police to become “Empowered Bystander Trainers [to lead] Empowered Bystander sessions in April.” Trainer workshops were scheduled in February to prepare for a training and programming schedule in April, all for the “Embrace Your Voice” initiative. As a way to get involved on campus and give back to the community, sorority women will set an example by being Empowered Bystanders. We, as CSU students and sorority sisters, are learning how to intervene when an unsafe situation arises that may include alcohol, anxiety, sexual misconduct, and related topics.

The Choice Is Yours From February 8 to 11, I attended the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values (AFLV) central conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. I went as the Panhellenic Vice President of Finance with fourteen ALL IMAGES PROVIDED BY DOROTHY ZHAO

other CSU representatives of various Greek organizations and advisors. This leadership conference brought together over three thousand participants, making it the largest gathering of undergraduate fraternity and sorority leaders from all over the country. With educational sessions, workshops, presentations, and even a keynote about preventing sexual assault on college cam-

puses by former Vice President Joe Biden

Panhellenic Vice President of Recruitment

himself, I loved every moment of attending

Lindsey Higgins has already begun recruit-

the conference. I gained knowledge about

ment planning. Working with Fraternity

sisterhood and scholarship, networked

and Sorority Life Graduate Assistant Mollie

and befriended, and left this opportunity

Ballew, Higgins and the Panhellenic exec-

incredibly grateful. With such inclusive pro-

utive board is looking forward to making

gramming and collaboration with national

recruitment engaging and fun for every-

organizations outside Greek life, AFLV Cen-

one involved – because friendship is truly

tral proved itself to be a catalyst for change

facilitated in recruitment. As one of the

in the Greek community. As a representa-

many speakers I listened to at the confer-

tive, I have brought back helpful skills and

ence said, “sorority is designed to make us

resources to benefit Cleveland State and its

women better, by bringing amazing women

Greek organizations.

into our lives.” Joining a sorority, if you are

Chavilah Witt, Assistant Director for

intrigued, means that you are not alone. We

the Center of Student Involvement, also

sisters love without judgment, know that

attended this event, and notes the two

we matter to one another, and gain the

challenges heard most from the CSU Greek

potential to become better.

community – the “lack of unity between the organizations and [the fact] that not

If I were to go back in time to the start of the second semester of my freshman

many people know CSU has a Greek com-

year, I know I would make the same deci-

munity.” Before and after the conference

sion to join Delta Zeta. Although there were

that allowed us to connect with Greek com-

times I questioned my decision because the

munities across the nation, develop leader-

obligations and requirements felt like an

ship skills, and bring fresh, new ideas back

annoyance, I’ve always had to ask myself

to CSU, an effort to resolve the issues is

why I joined in the first place. I wanted

evident; a creation of a Greek Council allows

the encouragement and support of college

for “representatives from each organization

women from all different backgrounds, the

[to] share upcoming events and challeng-

positive mental attitude and kindness of

es they’ve noticed within their chapter or

every sorority sister I met, and the leader-

within the community...allow[ing] for more

ship, service, and empowerment resulting

communication, collaboration, and cohesive

from my organization. Without a doubt, I

problem solving.”

would not be as successful, content, or

For those interested in formal recruit-

inspired if I had not joined a sorority.

ment in the fall of this year, know that MARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 24


When a survivor comes forward about their story, it's only the beginning. // Arbela Capas 25 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018


Trigger Warning: This piece includes sensitive material about sexual assault and harassment.

The Fear That We Carry/ The Fear That We Inherit

S

he was walking home when it happened. He jumped out of nowhere and started choking her, and she knew what he was going to try and do. For a

moment she went numb and wasn’t sure

what to do. Every time she told me that

story she reflected, “At first I didn’t want to scream. I was worried I’d wake the neighbors. I didn’t want to be rude.” But in that moment she also thought to herself; “No. This is not how I’m going to die. What a stupid way to die” and then screamed as loud as she could and broke her tooth as she bit his hand. My mother chose to tell me that story as soon as I started walking home alone, because she simply knew that I would have to know. I love hearing that she was strong enough and brave enough to survive that, brave enough to draw blood from the man attacking her, but I don’t love the fact that she had to. My whole life, fear has defined a part of who I am, how I interact with others and how I deal with paranoia. I feel this is the same for many other women. I’ve been

PHOTOS BY Evan Prunty + Andriana Akrap CONTRIBUTIONS BY Alexis Rosen MARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 26


thinking a lot about that story my moth-

vision and almost feeling like everyone is

such as poverty, racism and race and gen-

er told me. At the age of 20 years old, she

watching me, staring at me, following me.

der discrimination,” says Mickens-English.

came so close to losing it all. How she was

I became hyper-aware of all the possible

“Due to cultural and family issues, lack of

so close to being ruined forever, or even

threats coming at me. It was my first panic

health insurance, mistrust of the health-

dead. She was so close to becoming another

attack.

care system, stigma and lack of knowledge,

victim, another example. She was only

African American women are also less like-

walking home, barefoot, in the rain to her

Long-Term Trauma

apartment in her hometown of Lithua-

According to Andrea Peterson at the Wall

tural factors are often overlooked and not

nia. She was young and relaxed. “I was a

Street Journal, “Women are about twice

even addressed, because there is so much

romantic at the time, you know. I was just

as likely as men to develop [an anxiety

effort put into simply convincing people that

enjoying a walk home,” she said.

disorder], and women’s illnesses gener-

women’s trauma is real.

The culture we live in has taught girls

ly to seek treatment.” These various cul-

ally last longer, have more severe symp-

to be cautious and women that when they

toms, and are more disabling.” In a recent

become mothers they need to explain to

interview with The Cut, Peterson explains

their daughters how terrible the world

the reasons why anxiety is more of a risk

schoolyard, years went by and my fear

can be towards them. It’s interesting how

for women than men, and how women deal

started to die down. As I reflected on it as

my mother right away knew what to do in

with it differently. Along with socialization

an adult, I figured I had overreacted. “I

that situation. It seems like after years of

factors and how we raise girls from a young

don’t have to be that scared,” I told myself.

oppression, women have acquired an in-

age, there are also other factors when it

I did this because I had to, I had to sur-

stinct against situations just like these. Our

comes to women’s environments. “Re-

vive this world without looking over my

bodies and our souls have accepted the fact

search has shown that men generally have

shoulder constantly. In turn, maybe I let

that this is going to happen. You should be

more traumatic experiences in their lives

my guard down because even though what

ready for it. The fear that women carry is

— things like serious accidents, experienc-

happened to my mother was a nightmare,

not just constant throughout their individ-

ing or witnessing violence — but women

I figured the chances of it happening to me

ual lives, but it passes through generation-

are much more likely to be victims of sexu-

would be slim.

al barriers. It is an inheritance.

al assault and abuse,” Peterson said. Due to personal experiences, horror

After the incident happened in the

Then, something happened. However, it was different. I was 19 — fully confident

Anxiety Hits

stories we hear from other women and

and unafraid of things like sex and men.

I remember when I felt truly scared for the

sexual assault statistics, it’s no wonder we

Maybe I was a romantic, like my mother

are always afraid in public, day or night. It

was — too trusting of things around me.

is not surprising, that for women this con-

Nonetheless, something happened — but it

tributes to our mental anguish and inner

wasn’t the way we expect. It was cloaked

turmoil.

by the niceties of a guy I trusted and looked

first time — I was around 9 years old. I was at a playground with my friend. My mother was never too worried for my safety there because it was right across the street from our apartment. At that point my mother had told me the horrific story of her being attacked when she was younger. She told me this to keep my guard up, which I did. That’s why when the older man started calling for my friend and I from across the fence — I went into full panic. I was already an anxious child and it was hard for me to be home alone, I worried a lot and tended to get scare easily. I never thought it meant anything, neither did my parents. But when the man at the playground starting calling for us, something in me just kicked in. I didn’t even let him say more than “come here, let me show you something.” Instead, I grabbed my friend's arm and told her we needed to run, far away. My head started spinning; I distinctly remembered the earth being uneven as I stared ahead to figure out where I was. I also remember hearing my friend tell me to calm down — I guess I was screaming in the middle of the street telling her he was going to find us. I remember having tunnel

27 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018

“Past traumas from sexual assault can

up to. It was masked over by a seemingly

certainly play a role in the development of

comfortable situation and feeling young

anxiety in women,” says Dr. Paula Mick-

and alive and stupid — not uncomfortable.

ens-English, a Psychologist and Practicum

It wasn’t a guy in an alleyway — it was on

Coordinator in the Counseling Center and

a warm couch in front of a TV with a man

adjunct faculty in Black Studies. “The loss

from a community I trusted. It was differ-

of body autonomy and the fear of being

ent, but it was bad. And unfortunately, in

victimized again can cause chronic anxi-

some people’s minds, it wasn’t bad enough.

ety,” she adds.

And that’s why I didn’t realize what it real-

This kind of fear builds up over time,

ly was until many years later.

and especially for young women, can manifest over a long period of time. It’s important to understand the differences in how women experience and process these type of traumas — it can give an insight on how we go about fixing the problems. In the past, sexual assault wasn’t even considered a crime because women were barely considered human, only property. Now, we’re learning the intersection of mental health, disability as well as race and class when it comes to sexual assault. “African American women are at greater risk of developing depression and anxiety due to risk factors

From No Means No to Yes Means Yes One of the big debates happening right now is the nature of consent, and how best to teach men and women. The views of consent have always been skewed when it comes to sexual advances and intercourse. The patriarchal standard that our society has been fed is that the woman needs to submit, they need to give themselves for the pleasure of the man. This is not an opinion; this is a fact that is portrayed through media, through real life cases and


We still have our voices, and our teeth.


through the entertainment we consume.

TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF

important conversation to have. Before we

Since we live in a culture surrounded

how we’re just teaching and defining sex to

Yes,” coined by writer Jessica Valenti in

by victim-blaming, survivors of sexual

men and women from a young age. Because

2008, this brought a whole new realization

assault need to be able to take the steps

the reality is, a man’s sexual awakening is

of sexual assault. This shift in language

in taking care of themselves. We spoke

far different from a woman’s, and this is

and attitudes is what woke up a genera-

to CSU’s care manager Emily Grady and

tion into realizing that the grey areas of

Dr. Paula Mickens-English from the

sexual abuse aren’t grey at all — they’ve

Counseling Center about some reminders

The dialogue surrounding consent has been ever-evolving. Especially during the switch from “No Means No” to “Yes Means

always been harmful, but never completely

for self-care and treating trauma.

realized.

start to really try to enforce the ideals of consent, we need to take into consideration

where the problems begin. Because of this, most women don’t have a sexual awakening at all, because sex has always been taught to them in the context of what the man’s role is in sexual

The reality is, the factor of women’s

activity. And for a lot of young women,

pleasure was never something prioritized

due to lack of comprehensive education or

in the act of sex. This is where warped

media misrepresentations, they are taught

perceptions of consent came into play.

a certain version of sex that is supposed to

Through the media, TV shows, movies and porn, the idea of how a woman is viewed in the act of sex was never as something that was for her, it was always for the man. In an article published in The Week, Lili Loofbourow writes, “The Aziz Ansari case hit a nerve because, as I've long feared, we're only comfortable with movements like #MeToo so long as the men in question are absolute monsters we can easily separate from the pack.” This is a crucial point she

Your reaction is normal. Sexual assault, harassment or domestic abuse is not normal and should not be treated as such — but the reaction most survivors had needs to be validated. “Remember in these moments that you are reacting in a very normal way for dealing with a set of circumstances that aren't normal,” says Grady.

be like. This is where the timelines come in. Women are coming forward with assault allegations five or ten years later, and people are wondering why they didn’t do it earlier. This is one of the main reasons: young women are literally taught what a sexual experience is supposed to be like through the media and through popular culture. And often, it is only when women have a comfortable, happy and good sexual

makes and absolutely ties in with mental

relationship with a partner do they realize,

health. When a woman has a bad sexual

that thing that happened five years ago —

experience, it’s assumed that the guy was

that wasn’t right, and that wasn’t sex.

a jerk, and leave it at that. However, the

This is an awakening that many wom-

best way to know that what happened was wrong, was to start pay attention to women’s emotional reactions to the event. Loofbourow goes on to talk about the very un-sexy but necessary conversation that is vaginal pain during sex, and how that ties in with sexual assault allegations. We are living in a society where women are taught to internalize certain myths and ideas about sex — such as it “has” to hurt at first or you “will bleed” the first time.

en had. When #MeToo flooded social media

Everyone heals differently. There are many resources to consider when dealing with post-traumatic struggles, no one way is the correct way. “There is no "right" way to heal, and there is no "one size fits all" approach to coping with trauma,” Grady emphasizes. It’s important to find the right way to care for yourself.

feeds, women started to reflect. On past experiences, with men they thought they loved and partners they thought they knew. They took a minute to really reflect on what they felt during the sexual act. Now, some of them are speaking out, and not always believed, because it is still a shock to some of us when we realize how oppressive our culture is towards women. Even though the only thing speaking out does for them

Many of these are based on false assump-

is reliving their trauma. The only thing it

tions, and not only cause anxiety for wom-

does is forcing them to go back to that mo-

en having their first sexual experiences,

ment of pain again, and re-experiencing it.

it makes them think that when sex hurts, it’s normal. Loofbourow also cites research from Professor Sara McClelland who is studying the dynamics of pain during sex, who found that, “While women imagined the low end to include the potential for extremely negative feelings and the potential for pain, men imagined the low end to represent the potential for less satisfying sexual outcomes, but they never imagined harmful or damaging outcomes for themselves.” This all is very telling, and is an

29 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018

You're not alone. It can be helpful to find a community of support. Speaking out online, through creative means or asking for advice from people with similar experiences can create solidarity. “For those who are feeling re-traumatized, they should certainly seek out help and support to deal with their feelings,” says Mickens-English.

Now I’m 22. I still carry a fear within me because of what happened. I don’t think some people can fully comprehend or understand the absolute fear and paranoia that women carry with themselves whenever they step out of their front door. I might not feel sheer panic every time a guy on the street yells at me, but there’s another feeling I now have: constantly be-


ing on guard. Nearly every day, every night,

light how much work we have left to do.

down onto our perceived notions of men,

women are trapped between the two sides

After stories of beloved celebrities doing

celebrities and consent.

of our brains: screaming at me every time

dark things, it started new dialogue about

I get scared walking alone at night. And

the new standard of consent, and more

land State student about her own expe-

then the last three words repeat itself as I

importantly, the right to take back consent

rience with sexual assault. It was with

pick up my pace and keep my eyes towards

years later. The hashtags started a digital

someone she trusted, a significant other,

my car; Nothing will happen. Nothing will

revolution, but unfortunately it brought in

no less. At the time, she told me she went

happen. Nothing will happen. Nothing will

more voices of people doubting women’s

to the school because he began to stalk her.

happen.

stories.

She explained how it caused her long-term

Women’s bodily autonomy is some-

Too Late The impact of the #MeToo movement and the #TimesUp campaign brought awareness and visibility. Ultimately, it’s the thing that made me realize my own experience for what it was, and having the boldness to share it here, online and in print. It brought a lot of women’s voices to the surface, after being muffled for too long. That didn’t make it any easier, however. For most women, it was reliving nightmares that they’ve experienced and inevitably dealing with the backlash. It brough solidarity and hope, but also brought to

About a year ago, I spoke to a Cleve-

issues relating ot PTSD and anxiety and

thing that has always been questioned, and

how hard it was to come forward. “Women

we are now seeing it in a new form. As the

feel like they need to apologize for these

#MeToo movement and #TimesUp move-

things,” she told me.

ment arose, the dialogue about consent

She especially struggled with the

started, but not all of it was positive. Many

fact her abuser was still on campus, still

made the case that this was all just a way

in arms reach of her. She still carries this

to “put men away” and that listening to

pain and fear to this day, in many ways.

women’s stories years after their assault

She says, “He has continued to stalk me

somehow doesn't make it as valid.

intentionally for over four years and I feel

The biggest impact is that it brought

that the school outright dismissed how

a lot of women out of the shadows, due to

traumatizing that was for me, and went so

the strength of other women being able

far as to label it ‘an overreaction’.” She is

to share their stories. The breaking of the

one of millions of women who have stories

Harvey Weinstein story caused an ava-

like this. Looking back at her story now, I

lanche of testimonies to come tumbling

realize how little has changed.

MARCH 2017 | VINDICATOR 19


Bite Me The issues of sexual assault are more than problems involved in the criminal justice sphere. It also involves mental health and trauma. It involves the way we teach not only consent but also sex. Women are developing anxiety faster, and their every day lives are suffering. We, as women have to walk around every day looking behind our shoulders and clutching mace in our pocket. We, as survivors need to live every day we checking to see that no one is following us or gawking at us. We are still living in a society where men think that women owe something to them while walking down the street.

The reality is that we don’t owe

them our bodies, our touch, our conversation and not even our attention. The worst part of all of this is that if we don’t give the attention they desire, the retaliation might be much more violent than the advance. So men should understand: if a woman flinches if you come up unexpectedly or asks you to move when you’re getting too close to her on the bus, please understand that it’s because we carry a very real fear with us every day of being harassed or assaulted. And in that same token, if a woman is changing her mind during a sexual advance or encounter, you should be able to pick up on it. This is an issue of safety and nothing more. This is sadly, a defense tactic that women have evolved over the years, and have passed down to their daughters, and their friends and their friends daughters. This is a defense mechanism that takes a toll on our sanity and our sense of well being. My mother's story made me realize what it means to be a woman. It means passing down wisdom, and keeping each other strong from generation to generation. We are in the epicenter of a large generational shift today when it comes to addressing sexual assault and harassment. Now it involves texts and dating apps, as well as women’s stories spreading like wildfire through the press — and making real change. In the midst of all terrible things, it shows that now more than ever, we should all be mothers to each other. There will always be guns and knives pointed at womanhood, but we still have power. We still have our voices, and our teeth.


A

You cannot give consent to sex while intoxicated.

B

You can’t get sexually assaulted by someone you know.

C

MARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 32

If you have an orgasm, it’s not considered sexual assault.

Which of these are true?

C C

Please do this, what are you a prude? I don't know.

Consent can only be given verbally.

T

F

3

Consent can be assumed from a person if you’ve had sex or sexual relations with them before.

T

F

4

If someone is kissing you, it automatically means they will want to have sex.

T

F

True or False 1. True: Saying no, verbally or nonverbally, at any point in sexual advance is still valid. A person may change their mind based on their comfort level.

You have to do this if you love me. Maybe.

2

2. False: Consent can and usually is portrayed through body language and physical responses. If a person is going numb, not making movements, or tensing up, there may be a chance they’re not feeling comfortable or their body is having a reaction before their brain is.

B B

F

3. False: Just because someone had relations with you in the past, doesn’t mean it’s an automatic yes, even if the second attempt at sex is happening a day or hours later.

We can take things slow. Yes, I do.

T

False. Whether it’s kissing, touching or any kind of non-intercourse activity is not an invitation for sex immediately — a person is allowed to go as far as they want.

A

Which of the following is NOT an example of coercion?

A

Do you want to do this?

WHAT DOES POSITIVE CONSENT LOOK LIKE?

1

During a sexual encounter, you can change your mind at any time on whether you want to give consent to sexual activity.

Multiple Choice A. When it comes to verbal consent, make sure the person you are asking consent form is fully confident in their answer. If they reply with answers B or C, they might be unsure so it would be good to check in and ask “are you sure?” or “are you okay?” and to slow down sexual advances. A. Asking someone to take things slow is a good way to make sure your partner is comfortable. Making bargains or bribing statements that involve “you have to do this or” are very toxic and reflect clear coercion A. According to the rules of consent; if someone is severely intoxicated, they can’t give consent to sex. It’s always good to wait until both partners are sobered up before sex takes place.

Information based off of RAINN.com

ANSWERS

IS IT... TRUE OR FALSE?

KNOW ABOUT CONSENT?

HOW WELL DO YOU


FLUIDITY IS FASHION FORWARD The fashion world seeks to make a statement by challenging gender roles and embracing androgynous styles. // Rachel Iacofano

T

he fashion industry is changing.

Atlanta-born rapper Young Thug appeared

In the past 3 years, we have wit-

on the cover of his album “Jeffery” in a

nessed a great shift in conver-

long, ruffled purple gown. Both instances

sation due to political division

of androgynous clothing have generated

in the United States. Many art

significant amounts of conversation about

forms have ditched pure aesthetic in favor

the direction of fashion and gender. Neither

of pursuing social justice. The 2017 and

have passed without controversy.

2018 Super Bowl commercials have proven

Vogue made a public apology for the

such with their political statements and

way they handled Hadid and Malik’s an-

messages of inspiration and love in reac-

drogyny piece because they alluded to the

tion to a divisive phase in American society.

celebrities being leaders of the gender-fluid

Clothing may be a more subtle way to send

community, despite that they both identify

a message than commercials with millions

with their biological sex. Though Vogue’s

of viewers, but the designers behind several

portrayal of androgyny was tone-deaf in

labels seem to feel it is an effective one.

this instance, the reaction has served to ed-

Many high-fashion brands have refused to

ucate the fashion community about the way

dress First Lady Melania Trump due to their

gender should and should not be handled in

dedication to inclusion and their distaste for

the future.

the President’s policies. Additionally, many

Discussing gender in relation to fashion

fashion labels have ushered unisex styles

is not a new topic. We have seen androgyny

back into the public eye. Sometimes regard-

play a bigger role than ever before recently,

ed as a statement of feminism or LGBTQ+

but to truly understand the topic one must

rights, androgynous fashion has returned to

have a basic understanding of the history.

favor. Androgyny is having characteristics

Coco Chanel is credited with forging 20th

of masculinity and femininity, or embrac-

century androgyny with the creation of

ing characteristics of sex or gender identity

pants for women. She did so during the time

opposite of their own.

of feminism’s first wave, the Women’s Suf-

Fashion magazines and designers alike

frage movement. Chanel was not outspoken

have chosen to showcase clothing with

about her feminism at the time. By giving

no gender affiliation and to dress models

women the permission to make menswear

and tastemakers in styles that are social-

their own, she made a statement about

ly expected from the opposite gender. In

the patriarchal expectation of women’s

2017, Vogue magazine debuted a story title,

dress. The late 1960s were host to the first

1968 is the year that the women’s liberation

“Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik are Part of a

major androgynous movement in fash-

movement truly began to take shape.

New Generation Who Don’t See Fashion as

ion, according to reporting from Kimberly

Two of the 20th century’s biggest

Gendered.” The influencer pair graced the

Chrisman-Campbell from the Atlantic. She

steps towards androgyny occurred along-

cover of Vogue in outfits that included ele-

reports on the simple silhouettes and uni-

side significant social change. We see this

ments one could call “gender-bending.” To

sex fashion made available in department

mirrored in the 21st century. As the political

gender-bend is to challenge gender roles in

stores briefly in 1968. It is not a coincidence

atmosphere grows more tense, so does the

society by way of expression, therefore per-

that the social topics of the late 1960s in-

art world’s role in it. This is not only appli-

forming a form of social activism. In 2016,

cluded LGBTQ+ and women’s rights. In fact,

cable to high fashion outlets like Vogue and

33 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018


Trincone as the fashion industry operates in a sort of trickle-down effect. Smaller and more affordable unisex and androgynous brands are popping up to serve a larger market and make this social fashion statement more accessible. Additionally, it is important to serve the LGBTQ+ community with non-binary clothing so that fashion does not restrict gender expression to two distinct groups as it has in the past. Hundreds of articles and websites illustrate the growing prominence of androgynous clothing labels of all pricepoints. Wildfang is one of the most talked about brands that has embraced androgyny, though they consider themselves a women’s outfitter. Founded by two former

gender and that they use models of a variety

Discussing gender in relation to fashion is not a new topic.

Nike employees, Wildfang has received the necessary publicity to push other brands

Young Thug’s dress designer Alessandro

to accept that women’s clothing does not

NotEqual. However, they seem to be set at

have to be “girly” or “proper.” They are

a higher price-point with less variety than

a self-proclaimed brand for tomboys but

sites like Wildfang. 69 Denim’s website has

they have been embraced by much of the

less than 30 items available for purchase,

LGBTQ+ community for their inclusive de-

many of which are sold out. Items range

signs. Naysayers of the brand argue that the

from $150-$400 instead of the under $50

women behind Wildfang are profiting off

options of Wildfang and similar brands. For

of transgender individuals and their plight

a conversation about androgynous fashion

in today’s America. Others argue that one

to be successful and complete, this clothing

should not have to wear clothes that blur

must be accessible to all.

the lines of gender to express their sexu-

sions to promote inclusion. Perhaps one of the most vital things to note is how affordable FLAVT’s garments are. They provide a reasonable means for all people interested in androgynous clothing and making social commentary by way of fashion. Fashion reflects the society in which it exists and the fashion community is making strides to address a social issue by embracing androgyny, but it certainly has a long way to go. It is important to remember that when society moves towards inclusion and against oppression, people’s self-expression reflects it. Androgynous clothing may not be what you are used to and it may not yet be the social norm, but the movement toward accepting genderless clothing may help our society move towards accepting all sexual and gender identities or expressions.

A brand that seems to understand the

ality. The social statement being made by

mission of non-binary clothing is Aus-

brands like Wildfang have opposition from

tin-based FLAVT. They are a small team of

both sides of the political spectrum.

individuals working to serve the trans com-

Though the fashion community

of sexual and gender identities and expres-

munity by creating clothing that express-

is heading in the right direction where

es pride for the LGBTQ+ movement and

androgynous and non-binary clothing is

donates back to the community by giving

concerned, it seems they still have several

15% of sales profits to help pay for gender

issues to address. Despite embracing many

affirming surgeries. By doing this, the brand

aspects of men's fashion as unisex, there

avoids being labeled the way that Wildfang

seems to be an imbalance in the number of

has. They are not profiting from the trans

women's fashion elements that are equally

pride movement without doing their part to

as integrated. There are brands that work

contribute. Additionally, it is important to

towards this goal such as 69 Denim and

note that one of the Co-Owners is trans-

CELEBRITIES WHO HAVE EMBRACED ANDROGYNY Kristen Stewart

Milla Jovovich

Tilda Swinton

Cara Delevingne

Young Thug

Rooney Mara

Andrej Pejic

Jaden Smith

MARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 34


THE ARRIVAL OF

DARK SKIN MAKEUP A game changer in the beauty industry. // Imani Stephens

R

ecently, there has been an

it’s the very first makeup product I fell in

emergence in darker shades of

love with.” The need for companies to try

foundation flooding the makeup

and release dark shades in their founda-

industry compared to years of

tions now shows how it was never evident

missing the mark when it came

before. If Rihanna would not have dropped

to shade variation. The sudden surge of

her beauty line with all different people in

inclusive shades can be credited to Rihan-

mind, it would have been a long time until

na’s new makeup line Fenty Beauty, which

large and popular beauty companies would

thrived off the inclusion and wide range of

have incorporated darker colors.

darker shades. For years, shades for darker skinned folks have been far and few between. Now,

wore makeup shades that were too light

there are colors that have more red and

for their skin. In older pictures you can

yellow undertones to compliment darker

see the comparison between their darker

complexions and fit the faces of people with

body and face painted with light founda-

darker tones.

tion. They tend to look pale or ghostly in

Companies have attempted to replicate

their photos because the foundation does

this beauty launch to satisfy the needs of

not match their true skin color or under-

their dark skinned consumers. Tarte recent-

tones. The mistaken color of foundation is

ly launched new foundation shades and sent

alarming because society has traditionally

them to beauty bloggers for feedback. The

brainwashed women to think lighter skin

recent release sparked an upheaval because

is better. Not to mention the idea of fitting

of the lack of diversity in these shades.

in. In many photographs, Naomi Campbell,

Tarte only released three foundations to

who is categorized as one of the world’s

match the skin of those who have darker

first supermodels in the 90’s, is pictured

colored skin compared to Fenty Beauty —

with foundation that does not blend into

who released 21.

her chocolate skin color in most of her

Fenty Beauty’s slogan is “The New

photos. I don’t know if I am more shocked

Generation of Beauty.” Shown through

how many did not come to the realization of

women and femmes who are the face of

this in her photos — especially makeup and

the brand alongside Rihanna, the web-

beauty companies. It took over two decades

site showcases women of diverse shades and backgrounds with combinations of lip colors. The line was dedicated to every woman who wants to wear makeup and be beautiful. In an interview with InStyle Magazine, Rihanna spoke with Kahlana Barfield Brown, an Instagram-famous Instyle Fashion Editor, about the launching of her beauty brand. Brown said, “As a woman of color, I’m most impressed by the range of foundation shades. So often, makeup brands leave us brown girls hanging.” Rihanna responded, “That was very important to me. I wanted everyone to feel included. We actually started with foundation because 35 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018

What concerns me the most is that for many years, many dark skinned women


darker women, who make up a large portion of their consumer base. On Fenty Beauty’s landing page, there is a quote from Rihanna saying, “Fenty Beauty was created for everyone: For women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races. I wanted everyone to feel included. That’s the real reason I made this line.” Inclusion seemed to be the driving force behind the brand pushing it into the arms of its diverse consumers. In the day and age of “the selfie,” every woman just wants to get it right. They want makeup that matches their skin color, they want to be included, and most of all, they want to be sure that make up industries have their best interests at heart. ColourPop is another company thrown into the controversial category since late 2016. Their brand has tried to reach the dark skin community as well with their darker concealer colors. The marketing of the new launch was highly offensive with names such as “Dume” and “Yikes.” Women who were loyal customers of ColourPop were extremely offended. Whether the

...most of all, they want to be sure that make up industries have their best interests at heart.

for them to finally start making shades for

naming of the products should be perceived as offensive was debated, because “they are just names.” However, companies are

PR boxes out the door — the realization could have come in sooner. It’s horrible for

of customers buying their products — they

companies to advertise to people but not

should aim to be more careful when naming

supporting Tarte’s brand. Cosmetic companies such as Tarte and

include those people’s shade range on their

and marketing their merchandise. It seems

ColourPop have been around for years. De-

as though higher up corporations release

spite their businesses experience, makeup

Fenty Beauty’s makeup launch seems

products and think people will buy it just

artists and stars are using their platforms

to have a more genuine purpose behind its

because of who the brand is. However,

to inform them of the grave mistakes these

launch and it shows. Other makeup brands

consumers actually pay attention to the

businesses are making in not implement-

only follow the same pattern to get more

products they are buying, and how much

ing more shades and diversity with each

money or to try to quiet their consumers.

they are appreciated by the companies for

new launch. It is amazing that social media

It shines bright, because of their lack of

doing such.

platforms are giving people the chance to

research and the rush of the products. Com-

Companies could lose out on mil-

ILLUSTRATIONS BY MIKAYLA COLSTON

not making enough shade variations and in

aware of the wide variety and often millions turn deleted her previous videos she made

foundation list.

have a voice, because so many were afraid

panies should try actually learning about

lions of dollars if they continue to neglect

to speak up before. No one should buy

people with darker skin and how to cater to

that they are forgetting certain audiences

products from companies who do not even

their needs before saying you’re making a

when producing makeup. A helping hand

think about them in the boardroom when

product just for them? This is needed before

in making some of those millions are the

deciding on shades to make. Sending those

numerous companies start throwing darker

many beauty bloggers, influencers and

light shades to beauty bloggers, influenc-

makeup on their product lines and expect-

creators on the internet. Getting on You-

ers and creators who are darker skinned is

ing their buyers to just accept what is given

tube and introducing your favorite brands

also highly offensive. It’s as if no one did

to them.

to thousands of followers help companies

the research needed to actually get true

grow and sell the makeup they create. If the opinions on these darker color variations. lack of inclusion in the makeup decisions

These missteps on the companies’ be-

that are being put on the market continue

half showcase their true intentions when

to launch, there would be very few people

making these darker shades. To silence

recommending these products, even if they

those who have been complaining about

are high quality. NikkieTutorials, a famous

not being represented by their favorite

FAMOUS DARK SKINNED BEAUTY BLOGGERS @Jackieaina @thepatriciabright Cheryl Christine

influencer who has over one million follow- brands, to think about all the measures that

Fabcoco Berry

ers on Twitter, complained about ColourPop could have been taken before sending those

Faces by Stacye MARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 36


ALL ABOUT DRAG! Drag beyond fashion as a form of expression. // Chau Tang

F

ashion is a form of expression.

who perform and dress with the opposite

conceptions people tend to have regarding

You can wear it to be comfort-

sex’s clothing, and it’s more of a perso-

people who participate in drag. One of the

able, to look fabulous or to make

na than their identity. You are showing a

myths were, “all drag queens are gay.” Drag

a statement. Drag is a form of

certain side of you that others might not

queens can have any sexual or gender iden-

fashion and expression that does

see as often. RuPaul, a famous American

tity and expression. There is also a common

all three. According to the National Cen-

drag queen and television personality, said,

misconception that drag queens aspire to

ter for Trans Equality, “drag is a type of

“Drag is really making fun of identity. We

be women or they only participate in drag

entertainment where people dress up and

are shape shifters. We’re like okay, today

shows for the money they may receive while

perform, often in highly stylized ways. The

I’m a cowboy, now I’m this.”

performing. However, this is not true; drag

term originated as British theater slang in

Often, people confuse trans identities

can be an expensive lifestyle, though some

the 19th century and was used to describe

and performing in drag because they can

may enjoy drag for the financial perks and

women’s clothing worn by men.”

both wear feminine clothing be female-pre-

can be a career, most drag queens also have

senting. It is important to note that drag

full time jobs, and drag is a hobby for them.

Men who present themselves in exaggerated feminine ways as part of their

is a persona, and not a gender identity. In

One local drag queen, H. Gardner,

performance are referred to as drag queens

reality, it depends on the person for why

born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, has

but live and identify as men outside of their

they want to be a drag king or queen. One of

done drag for 18 years. Gardner used to

‘drag personae.’ Women who present them-

the reasons people do drag is simply for the

be a stripper and was one day encouraged

selves in exaggerated masculine style and

joy of becoming someone else, at least for a

by a drag queen that he would make an

performance are referred to as drag kings;

little while.

excellent one. He said jokingly, “The only

people of any gender identity and expression can be drag queens or drag kings. The term drag is used to describe those 37 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018

According to a Huffington Post ar-

way I would do it is if I get to wear all your

ticle titled, “10 Myths about Drag,” Tom

clothes.” The drag queen who saw Gardner

Bartolomei explained some of the mis-

agreed. Gardner said he still wasn’t going


to do drag but when there was a pageant

washing, curling, setting and styling hair,

but you really start to transform and it’s so

at a bar while he was living in Sandusky,

she commented on how precise he was and

weird because people ask me all the time

he wanted to show support for the pageant

asked if he would consider having a career

‘why are you a little different in drag?’ It’s

by becoming a contestant. He went to the

in hair or hair styling. That was the first

a feeling that comes over you. So, I guess

same drag queen for help who ended up

time he felt validated by her and it meant a

the persona is the funniest part for me,”

lot to him.

he states. When it comes to drag, he enjoys

because he was dressed to get advice. Lots of people really enjoyed the one number and because of that, he became addicted to the applause. He said, “I wasn’t given time to be nervous.” Some of the misconceptions he said people may have are, “We all want to be women. None of us are masculine. We are all bottoms. We do it as a kink or fetish. We are all ‘bitches.” To contradict those statements, he said he is pleased with the body he was born with. He grew up with a mother and 2 of his sisters so he knows about “ladies trouble.” He is glad he doesn’t have to go through them. He also states, “I may wear a dress but I still punch like a dude.” When he told his family or friends about him doing drag, he stated his friends didn’t mind it. His family didn’t mind as well but his mom thought it was a passing

personality is his own, he doesn’t put on a

Drag is a gender expression, it’s a whole revolution of gender.

character but he starts to transform when he is all glammed up for drag. He didn’t tell his friends he was doing drag until he was comfortable enough to keep pursuing it. Eventually he did tell his friends and they were supportive. Since his parents were more conservative, it took him longer to tell them, but in the end they were supportive as well. “Drag is a gender expression, it’s a whole revolution of gender.” He describes drag as revolutionary, bold and beautiful. One of the people he looks up in the drag community is RuPaul because he gave him a start to explore drag. Looking at the insight of drag queens gives you a sense of their experience as one. Although many people might not under-

phase but is not one of his biggest fans. For

A CSU student created a drag character

those who are interested in doing drag, his

named Peach Fuzz when he came to Cleve-

sides to understand each other’s thought

advice was, “Keep your job ‘cause it’s ex-

land. “I started drag as, really, a way to

process.

pensive. Be prepared to work and be the life

connect my boy life to gay culture,” Peach

of the party.” He described drag as being

Fuzz states. He’s been Peach Fuzz since

the best job ever.

last February and has played in makeup for

Taylor Hartman is another drag queen

four years. He started playing with makeup

and as a queen goes by Anhedonia Delight.

and developed an understanding of what

He was born and raised in Youngstown,

queer culture was. It led him to have a fluid

Ohio and is currently living in Cleve-

gender expression, which led him to drag.

land Heights. He has been sharpening his

For him it was a trip of self-discovery. “I

technique and style for 3 years but started

really like getting to play someone else,

performing 2 years ago, in August of 2016.

it’s fun! I’m pretty much myself in drag

He states, “A lot of my close friends knew I was going to eventually start performing. I started by collecting wigs, makeup, and even costumes and hand me down negligees. Every Halloween since I was in college, I became more and more confident and accepting of my own character and identity as a drag queen.” His friends even wanted him to become apart of RuPaul’s Drag Race. When it came to family, his mother and step-father knew he dabbled in drag and would frequently go to local drag shows so they were supportive. However, his mother was hesitant and didn’t PHOTOS BY EVAN PRUNTY

playing someone else even though his

throwing him in the show the same night

know how to acknowledge it publicly and amongst family. He thinks she wasn’t aware of whether drag was a hobby, a career, or a new way of coming out as transgender. When he showed his mom the process of

stand drag, it’s a chance to speak from both

FOLLOW CLEVELAND DRAG QUEEN’S ON INSTAGRAM H. Gardner: @hershaechocolatae Taylor Hartman: @AnhedoniaDelight Peach Fuzz: @peach_fuzz_xoxo


THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH

ALTERNATIVE MEDIA There are many people who search for alternative media in hopes of finding the truth // Logan Hammond

A

lternative media can be hard

Tonight,” which takes on corrupt Ameri-

an excellent and unbiased look at America

to define, but for simplicity’s

can businesses and government. All of this

and Europe. Both of these channels also do

sake, it can be defined as media

would be well and good if it wasn’t bla-

good work when reporting on the Middle

that isn’t often discussed in the

tantly hypocritical, as RT is a propaganda

East, as both France 24 and DW do their

mainstream. It can be media that is small

channel of the Russian government that

best to be honest and factual and present an

in scope or that presents a view that is dif-

illegally invaded Crimea, denied it with the

unbiased look into the complexities of

ferent from most media. People are drawn

aid of RT, and supports the brutal dictator

the area.

to alternative media for many reasons —

of Syria Bashar Al Assad. RT likes to attack

either because they don’t feel their views

American media as biased while seemingly

are on TV regularly. C-Span, a cable and

are represented well in mainstream media

ignoring the fact that it’s owned by Russia

satellite broadcaster that provides video for

or they believe mainstream corporate media

and never speaks ill of Russia – almost like

sessions of Congress, committee meet-

they’re biased.

ings, presidential speeches and audio of

attract people who are farther left or right on the political spectrum or those who are conspiratorial about mainstream and government sources. Foreign Alternatives One place news viewers can turn to is foreign based news outlets. A popular is Al Jazeera, the international broadcast channel of the government of Qatar. Al Jazeera is a very popular source for people on the left, because while the channel and website are very factual most of the time, they do show a bias on the debate between Palestine and Israel. They often do their best to show Palestinians in a good light. They also will never do anything to criticize Qatar’s government as it’s usually unwise to anger the people who own and fund your station. You could argue that this hurts Al Jazeera in terms of credibility because for all their work shining light on corruption and oppression in places like Saudi Arabia they brush past the Qatari government corruption and the station avoids Qatar’s exploitation of foreign migrant workers

the Supreme Court, is a channel designed to provide an unbiased look at government. It presents the words of politicians

In our current media climate anybody with a website can pretend to be a news source

are too biased. This kind of media can

Other than RT, none of these sources

If you’re looking for quality unbiased

with no political spin added, and they also occasionally run an hour or two of France 24 usually late in the evening or at night. While RT is TV broadcasted and often talked about, it does act as an alternative as it appeals to the socialist/communist left and people who want to hear Larry King talk about US politics. American Online and TV News One rising star of alternative media is the news station One America News, or OAN, a station that sells itself as the new Fox news and markets very openly to a conservative audience. One America News will go out of their way to defend Trump during the opinion talk show and will often choose stories for a conservative audience to essentially reinforce their world view. Their news sections are generally high quality and accurate, though their opinion sections aren’t the most reliable. OAN has used its audience to convince various TV providers to add

whose employers take their passports and

journalism from a foreign perspective, one

their channel with massive call ins to pro-

keep them trapping workers in Qatar.

fantastic source is France 24, an interna-

viders but, unlike Fox news, is still largely a

tional broadcaster for France. France 24 is a

niche source for conservative viewers.

Another popular alternative foreign news station is RT, formerly known as

good place to get news about International

Russia Today. RT actively markets itself

news; though they do occasionally report on

alternative alternative source — Infowars,

towards the left with shows like “Watch-

American issues, they focus on Europe and

the Youtube webshow and website of Alex

ing the Hawks,” which attempts to expose

Africa. The German international broad-

Jones. Infowars is probably one of the worst

American imperialism and “Redacted

caster Deutsche Welle, or DW, also presents

sources of news as a majority of their sto-

39 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018

There is also everyone’s favorite


ries are completely false; Jones has claimed

the claim that hundreds of Muslim mi-

ism or socialism. Alternet is a questionable

that the government puts chemicals in the

grants assaulted German police and burned

source and tends to use loaded headlines, so

water to make frogs gay, though he never

down Germany’s oldest church in Dort-

it isn’t great with reliable sourcing. Think-

gave a reason for this. He has also claimed

mund, Germany on New Years Eve, but the

progress and Alternet, if used as sources,

that the government is growing lizard

church wasn’t Germany’s oldest. It wasn’t

should be paired with other less biased

-human hybrids, that Hillary Clinton is

burned down — at worst, a stray firework

sources.

possessed by a demon, and that Obama is

burned some scaffolding. This shows us

the Antichrist. Jones’s show isn’t all crazy

that Breitbart is willing to lie about easi-

during his four hour show, where he also

ly disproved claims, so how can you trust

In our current media climate, anybody with

advertises various products such as supple-

them on stories you can’t verify easily? You

a website can pretend to be a news source.

ment pills of dubious benefit or apocalypse

can’t — though many on the alt-right use

It’s more important now to think critical-

survival kits and a more. Infowars for all its

their stories to justify their paranoid fear

ly when viewing news, and one easy way

bizarre and nonsensical “reports,” it is still

and hatred of people from the Middle East,

to prevent yourself from falling for false

considered a trusted source for conspiracy

since the only way Breitbart can identify a

stories is to use multiple sources. When

theorists and the alt-right.

Muslim is if they see a brown person.

the story confirms your own ideas, always

Breitbart, the brainchild of Andrew

The American left can look to web-

Fighting “Fake News”

check multiple mainstream and alterna-

sites such as Thinkprogress, a website that

tive sources. Always check the source to

starting the site due to a fatal heart attack,

views news through a progressive political

determine if what you’re viewing is a blog

was left to Steve Bannon, the man who

lens by their own admission and is hit and

or an actual news source with journalists.

would help lead Donald Trump to the pres-

miss with factual reporting. Alternet is also

Always approach a story with skepticism if

idency. Breitbart is a source that Steve Ban-

an online progressive news magazine that

an article contains links to other sources —

non himself said was the platform of the

tends to lean close to being social democra-

check those links to see if the evidence they

alt-right and as such tends to be racist in

cy, meaning a system of heavily regulated

cite is legitimate.

its story choice. Take, for example, making

capitalism rather than free market capital-

ILLUSTRATION BY: AUTSIN DILORENZO

Breitbart who had little involvement after

MARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 40


10 WOMEN IN HISTORY BADASS

The grandmothers, mothers, and daughters of Feminism // Carissa Newsome

T

Mary McLeod Bethune 1934-1992

who seek to be equal with men

Nawal El Saadawi 1931-Present

lack ambition.” The 10 women

Nawal El Saadawi is an Egyptian feminist writer,

Mary McLeod Bethune once said, “Invest in the

highlighted in this article helped

activist, physician, and psychiatrist. She has

human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond

achieve equality by going above and beyond

written many books on the subject of women in

in the rough.” Bethune founded private schools

for the rights of humanity — specifically

Islam and more about female mutilation, which

for African American girls and then it later

women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+

she is a survivor of. She is the founder and

merged with an all boys school and became

community. Women from every race, class,

president of the Arab Women’s Solidarity Asso-

the Bethune-Cookman school where she was

religion, and ethnicity have made an impact

ciation and co-founder of the Arab Association

one of the few women in the world to serve as

and left their mark on history and deserve

for Human Rights. In 1981, she was imprisoned

a president of a college at the time. She was a

to be celebrated. In honor of International

for helping publish a feminist magazine. Later

founding member of the National Association

Women’s Month, here are 10 badass wom-

that year she was released. In 1988, she was

of Colored Women and created the National

en in history.

forced to flee Egypt because her life was being

Council of Negro Women. She went on to serve

threatened by Islamists and political persecu-

as a national advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt in

tion. In a 2014 interview Saadawi said that, “The

what he called his “Black Cabinet.” Columnist

root of oppression of women lies in the global

Louis E. Martin said, “She gave out faith and

post-modern capitalist system, which is sup-

hope as if they were pills and she some sort

ported by religious fundamentalism.”

of doctor.”

imothy Leary once said, “Women

Graciela Olivarez 1928-1987 Graciela Olivarez was the first woman and Latina to graduate from Notre Dame Law School. She fought for Mexican-American rights and worked to decrease poverty. In 1952, she dropped out of high school and worked as the women’s program director of KIFN, a spanish language radio station. She then moved on to serve as the director of the Arizona branch of the Federal Office of Economics in 1970. Later, she went on to work for Jimmy Carter where she was appointed as the director of the Community Services Administration — designed to find ways to decrease poverty.

Sandra Day O’Connor 1930-Present Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman to

Tammy Duckworth is a retired United States

serve on the United States Supreme Court. Prior

Army Lieutenant Colonel and has been the ju-

to her service, she was an elected official and

nior senator for Illinois since 2017. She served

judge in the Arizona State Senate. O’Connor

in Iraq where she lost both of her legs and dam-

was a strong voice in the court for 24 years. She

aged her right arm. She made history by being

identified as a Republican but took a liberal

the first disabled woman elected to Congress,

stance on issues like abortion, often making her

the first member of Congress born in Thailand,

a swing vote. Today, she has continued to serve

and the second Asian-American woman to

by launching iCivics, an online education tool

serve in the senate.

aimed to teach middle school students about the justice system.

41 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018

Tammy Duckworth 1968-Present


Lucy Parsons 1853-1942

Andrea Jenkins 1961-Present

Qiu Jin 1875-1907

Andrea is an American policy aide, politician,

Lucy Parsons was an African, Native, and Mexi-

Qiu Jin was a Chinese revolutionary, writer and

writer, performance artist, poet, and transgen-

can American. She was an anarchist communist,

feminist, and advocated for educational rights

der activist. She is the first African American,

radical socialist, and labor activist who fought

and the elimination of foot binding. She became

openly transgender woman to be elected to

against poverty, racism, capitalism, and the

involved with the Triads who were planning a

public office. She took office at the Minneapolis’

State. She married a former confederate soldier

rebellion against the Qing Dynasty to put the

8th ward on the city council on January 6, 2018.

named Albert and they had to move from Texas

Han Chinese back into power. She was known for

to Chicago due to their interracial marriage.

wearing western male clothing and become a

They both became deeply involved labor

symbol of women’s independence in China. She

activists which led to her husband’s execution

later became involved with a Chinese revolution-

after he was charged for involvement with the

ary group to form Tongmenghui, which was an

Haymarket Affair. She continued as a laborer

Gloria Steinem is an American feminist,

underground resistance movement and wrote

activist and was referred to by police as “more

journalist, and social political activist. She was

for a journal about her view of bound feet and

dangerous than a thousand rioters.”

oppressive marriages — which she personally

one of the founding mothers of the second wave feminist movement. Steinem was the co-founder of “Ms. Magazine” and co-founder of Women’s Media Center, an organization that works to make women visible and powerful in the media. One of her most famous essays is, “If Men Could Menstruate,” about how periods would be viewed as sacred if men had them, rather than a disgusting experience for women. Gloria is still active in the feminist movement today, giving speeches at universities, speaking at marches and rallies and continuing her work with Ms. Mag.

Dorothy Pitman Hughes 1938-Present Dorothy Pitman Hughes is the co-founder of “Ms. Magazine” and a leader of the women’s movement. She is a feminist, child-welfare activist, public speaker, and author. She organized the first shelter for battered women in New York City and co-founded the New York City agency for Child Development. She’s a pioneering African American small business owner of many

suffered from. In 1907, she was arrested and tortured but refused to admit her involvement with Tongmenghui. She later had been executed after they had found documents linking her to

Wellbehaved women seldom make history.

Gloria Steinem 1934-Present

the uprising to overthrow the Qing Dynasty.

T

hese are just a few of many women in history who have shaped the world and activism for the best. Each of these women come from

different backgrounds, races, educations, and walks of life. Yet, all of them have done amazing work contributing as feminists and activists These women depict what intersectionality is truly about, showing that women are capable of anything they set their mind on. A huge thank you is in order to all of these beautiful badass women. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said it best, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.”

different places. Her work in activism expanded beyond the women’s movement as she also worked to raise awareness and bail funds for

PHOTO CREDITS: GOOGLE IMAGES

civil rights protesters.

MARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 42


T

he right to vote is arguably one of the most important rights granted to citizens of the United States, but a considerable number of Americans do not

exercise it. The past few elections have seen some of the lowest voter turnout since the sixties. Even so, women voters have largely been outvoting men. During the election of 1968 (the first presidential election where people of all gender and race were legally allowed to vote), the female voters turnout surpassed that of men, and the gender gap in voting has only widened since. xxx The 2016 election had one of the biggest voting gender gaps in history, with nearly 10 million more women voters reported than men. The female voting bloc is substantial to elections now and will hold great importance in the future, but the underlying assumptions in placing all women in one voter group have become an issue and have diminished the intricacies of womanhood in America. xxx Women were involved in politics long before they had the right to vote. In 1870, Victoria Woodhull declared she was running for president of the United States. Woodhull’s campaign not only broke glass ceilings, but as she gathered female support, it became the first time in history when women were put together as a voting demographic. At the time they were only hypothetical voters, but people began to assume that if women could vote, they would probably vote the same way, making them a powerful force in politics. xxx The suffrage movement was gaining momentum, and since nearly all women were calling for equality, surely they would support a female candidate. The New York Herald noted that Woodhull could have “rolled up the heaviest majority ever polled in this or any other nation,” be-

THE INTERSECTIONALITY AND INFLUENCE OF

THE WOMEN’S VOTE How placing women voters into a single voter block becomes problematic. // Taylor Hannah

cause, “women always take the part of each other.” With Woodhull’s large suffragist support, it was clear that if women won the right to vote, they would have a drastic effect on elections. Unfortunately, Woodhull eventually lost a majority of her followers when stories of scandal hit her campaign — thus the theory that women would always support each other and potentially vote the same way was turned on its head. xxx Long after Woodhull’s campaign, the claim that women would vote together still persisted. Ronald Reagan was widely condemned by women during the 1984 election,

43 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2018


and people were sure that his opponent,

women who are similar to them socially and

Walter Mondale, would win the female vote,

economically. These divides cause very dif-

especially because his running mate was a

ferent ideas of what it means to be a woman,

woman. To their dismay, Reagan won the

and they are most clearly seen on the ballot.

re-elect with 55 percent of the women’s

Politically speaking, women voters span

vote. Not long after, John McCain and Sarah

from the most liberal to the most conserva-

Palin hoped to rally women’s support and

tive.

win the election by promising strides in

xxx Similarly, issues concerning women

women’s rights, but 57 percent of women

stretch beyond reproductive rights and

voted for Barack Obama and Joe Biden that

abortion. While they are some of the most

year.

prominent issues pertaining to women, is-

xxx One of the most shocking losses of the

sues like healthcare and taxes are where the

female vote was in the 2016 presidential

influence of female votes can really be seen.

election. Initially, it seemed like women

Men and women don’t vote very different-

would stick together to back Hillary Clinton,

ly on abortion, but they do on healthcare

and that she would win most of women vote.

and taxes. Different life experiences cause

It was evident in her campaign slogan “I’m

women to have varying beliefs and concerns,

with her,” — a mantra that empowered and

so assuming that they support the same

connected her constituencies. Even with her

things and vote the same way has continu-

impressive resume, dedication to women’s

ously proven false and doesn’t leave room to

rights and welfare, and the diversity of her

celebrate intersectionality.

PHOTO BY EVAN PRUNTY

Issues concerning women stretch beyond reproductive rights and abortion.

base, Clinton didn’t triumph with a large

xxx It’s true that candidates need to win the

number of women votes. Election results

votes of women in today’s elections. Women

showed that only 54 percent of women voted

vote in much higher numbers than men, and

for her.

the way they vote can have drastic effects on

xxx The media, political operatives, and

elections. There is no harm in trying to win

other influencers love to put voters in

female votes, but it is vital for both candi-

categories — especially women. Almost 150

dates and non-candidates to be aware of

years after Woodhull’s election, there is still

the complexities of womanhood — not only

hope that women will vote the same way

because of the heavy influence women have

because of their shared demographic and

on elections, but because their complexity is

desire for increased female representation

a beautiful thing and will help us better care

in politics. Approaching women voters as

for one another. Being aware of our inter-

one, uniform group has proven unhelpful in

sectionality unites us, strengthens com-

utilizing the full potential of the women vote

munity, and helps us make progress on the

and has diminished the complexities of what

issues we care about. 2018 is an important

it means to be a woman in America.

year for elections. There are a record number

xxx The fundamental problem with pre-

of women running for office, and together

dicting that a candidate will win the women

we can get them elected! Let’s continue to

vote, or using “the women vote” as a blan-

listen to each other’s stories, advocate for

ket term, is that it assumes all women view

change, and head into midterms being aware

the world through the same lens. Unlike

of the layers of the women vote so that we

other voter divides like geographical loca-

can use its influence to bring us closer to

tions, religion, or class, women across the

liberty and justice for all.

US typically spend most of their time with

WOMEN RUNNING So far, 390 women are planning to run for the House of Representatives and 49 for the senate. Here is a list of some of the great women to keep a look out for as we journey into the midterm election season: 1. MAI KAHN TRAN A pediatrician and two-time cancer survivor running for a house seat in California.

2. MIKIE SHERRILL A former Navy Pilot and federal prosecutor running for a house seat in New Jersey.

3. LEAH PHIFER A former FBI analyst running for a house seat in Minnesota.

4. SAMEENA MUSTAFA The founder of the comedy troupe Simmer Brown running for a house seat in Illinois.

5. ANTOINETTE SEDILLO LOPEZ A former law professor who now works at a non-profit that helps victims of domestic abuse, running for a house seat in New Mexico.

6. STACEY ABRAMS A former minority leader in the Georgia General Assembly, tax lawyer, and romance novelist running for governor of Georgia.

7. GINA ORTIZ JONES An air force veteran running for a house seat in Texas.

8. FAYROUZ SAAD A member of the Department of Homeland Security under the Obama Administration and the Director of Detroit’s Department of Immigrant Affairs running for a house seat in Michigan.

9. ELISSA SLOTKIN A former pentagon official and CIA Middle East expert running for a house seat in Michigan.

10. WENDY GOODITIS A real estate agent and advocate for ending gerrymandering, running for a house seat in Virginia. MARCH 2018 | VINDICATOR 44


Home By Indya Powell

Wanting to be comfortable in your skin not once did it hit I had my own to tend A vision with white picket fence and all Just like the perfectly scripted sitcoms where everyone got along All issues resolved before the curtain closed Where daddy always came home and momma was tree that kept family strong Never oblivious simply praying the good outweighed the wrong I thought I built us a home No matter what the inside entailed I knew to keep the outside landscaped, manicured, trendy who would’ve known the foundation was sinking? It was as if the house was built on stilts No cement No trace of bricks

Truthfully speaking Home is a state of mind Free space It’s up to all parties involved to upkeep such a sanctioned place Property value slowly decreased Lesson learned You can’t create a home out of a human being.

18 VINDICATOR | MARCH 2017

ILLUSTRATION BY PAIGE BOWERS

I tried to build a home out of you Hoping we both could be comfy Together, we’d be solid foundation water the flowers plant a prosperous garden with a drive way as long as our dreams would allow But it takes two for certain dreams to come true That’s why many were planted but never enough light, water or food to bloom


Thanks Dad

Carissa Newsome

Question.

Why does society put so much of an emphasis on father-daughter relationships?

Is it because a father is supposed to teach you how a man is to treat you?

What love really is?

I guess that was questions. Well dad, you did all those things while doing none of them at the same time.

You taught me that a man puts his hands on a woman,

you taught me that it’s okay to come in and out of your child’s life giving them just enough love to hang themselves,

you taught me love is letting others talk shit about me and you say nothing,

you taught me that I shouldn’t expect gifts on my birthday or Christmas,

you taught me that I am a stepchild in your new family,

you taught me that I am not worthy of a bed or a chair at the dinner table.

You showed me how a man shouldn’t treat a woman.

You showed me what love wasn’t.

I had to learn on my own that you were not the norm, my mother had to show me and tell me that I am loved and I more than my relationship with you.

PHOTO BY BEV ANNE ON FLICKR

So, when I say thanks dad I really mean thanks mom for being the dad I thought I needed.


The Vindicator - March 2018  
The Vindicator - March 2018  
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