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what’s in this issue? 3
Check Us Out Online
Letter from the Editor
Meet Our Contributors
RISE FOR TH E
BY RENEE BETTERSON
The Basis of Sex and RBG by JOSCELYN ERVIN
The Trans Woman as Shape Shifter by JESSICA LYNN NICHOLS
What Decade Are We Copying? by JILLIAN VANDYKE
I’m Not Your Fetish by NGUYET VO
Where Do We End Up After Death? by CHAU TANG
The Power of Woman in Judaism: From Purim to Now by NICOLE SHRIVER
Beauty + Wellness 31
Women in Fashion by IMANI STEPHENS
Eyes, Lips, Face: Affordable Makeup for All by DOROTHY ZHAO
BY GRACE ROBERSON
Makeup Perception by MEGAN BARANUK
by MIRIAM ALTUHAIMER
The Impact of Discrimination on Mental Health by RESHAE DAVENPORT
The Destruction Done by the Oblivious Tourist by DARLENE NICHOLE MOORMAN
Representation in Film and TV by BRIANA OLDHAM
It’s People Like You by TAIBA ALKHABAZ
Untitled by NAHOMY ORTIZ–GARCIA
THE HISTORY AND SHAPING OF ABORTION LAWS IN OHIO BY ALANA WHELAN
THEVINDI.COM | 2
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“On Thursday, February 14th, Cleveland–Marshall Dean, Lee Fisher presented Ohio’s two, newly–elected Supreme Court Justices with their own Cleveland chambers. Located on the second floor of the CM Law Library, the office will serve as a second headquarters for Justices Donnelly and Stewart when they are on business in the city.” — RENEE BETTERSON
The Day the Skies Opened. “Dreams are compilations of reproductions created from mental conceptions.” — TYISHA BLADE Language Actually is Important, So Let’s Start Bringing Home the Bagels. “...PETA—People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—came out with a graphic
#VindiAsks: How do you feel about makeup?
that depicted alternative idioms to use instead of popular, demeaning animal phrases.”— ALANA WHELAN
10% NOT NECESSARY
60% WEAR IT FOR YOU
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30% DEPENDS ON THE DAY Follow us on social media to participate in our next poll! @VINDI_CSU
w h a t’s h a p p e n i n g i n
M A R C H 3/5 Concert
The Beths + Bad Habits + The Village Bicycle The Beths are coming all the way from New Zealand to entertain audiences at the Beachland Ballroom with their indie-pop sound, and are joined by Minneapolis’s Bad Habits and Cleveland’s own harmonic and bubbly, The Village Bicycle.
3/9 The Office Charity Bar Crawl
“The Office” fans are invited to complete a charity bar crawl in Tremont (no, the charity is not to fight rabies), where they will crawl to more than six bars, receive a sweater with the color of the respective team they join and, if they make it to every bar, get a “World’s Best Boss” mug at the finish line. All proceeds will be donated to A Special Wish Foundation.
3/21 Think & Drink
12PM, PROFESSOR AVE, $25
7PM, 15711 WATERLOO RD, $15–$17
3/16 Hands on Seed Starting
Hosted by Seven Brothers Distilling Co., attendees can learn about history as they drink with the dinosaurs at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. 6PM, 1 WADE OVAL DR, $10 ADV/$12 DOOR/ FREE FOR MEMBERS
3/26 Film Screening
Rust Belt Riders is hosting an event for everyone who wants to have a green thumb. They will show attendees how to grow plants from seeds, and the whole process of growing plants thereafter. 1PM, 5401 HAMILTON AVE, $10
Mankiller: Film Screening and Director Q&A This historical film is about the nation’s first Cherokee Principal Chief, Wilma Mankiller, who was an active feminist and notable leader. 6PM, 11038 BELLFLOWER RD, FREE WITH RSVP TO SOCIALJUSTICE@CASE.EDU
THEVINDI.COM | 4
ON SERENDIPITY his is my fifth issue as editor–in–chief of the
Betterson. We also have an article on sometimes–toxic
Vindicator and something that I am always
makeup culture by contributing writer Megan Baranuk,
aware and proud of is the fact that we have an
and an article on the environmental burden of tourism
all–women editing and design staff. Whenever
by Darlene Nichole Moorman.
I think of this fact the word serendipity comes to
I recognize that this publication did not come about
mind—something lucky or valuable that happens
by chance—rather, it was a product of resistance and
completely by chance. Our being mostly women was
protest. I also recognize that the achievements of myself,
not at all purposeful; nevertheless, I am certain of the
the members of our staff, and many other women are
belief that this was incredibly serendipitous. Never
not the products of happenstance, but of real struggle
before have I felt so supported by and trusting of
and effort. However, I think that finding a place where
others in a working environment. Without meaning to,
so many like–minded women work together feels truly
apart from our multimedia manager and contributing
serendipitous. I feel very fortunate to work for the
photographers, this March issue, our Women’s History
Vindi, which has made me feel heard and empowered.
Month issue, has been written, illustrated and designed
My hope is that our readership and our contributors
by women—another very serendipitous occurrence.
feel the same.
In this issue of the Vindi, we are honored to include
We would also like to take the opportunity to clarify
some very powerful and moving articles. Returning
and correct parts of “Not–So Hidden Figures,” one of
writer, Jessica Lynn Nichols, shares her analysis on the
the features printed in our February issue. Mrs. Hinton
representation of trans women in literature; first–time
Hannah began her work at CSU at the TRIO/Student
writer, Nicole Shriver, shares the feminist influence
Success Services office and was later promoted to
behind the Jewish holiday, Purim. This issue’s features
director, not at the Counseling Center. We would also
include an in–depth look at Ohio’s abortion laws by Arts
like to note that we may have oversimplified the “equity
Section Editor Alana Whelan, an exploration of gender
gap” mentioned by Dr. Dunn in his interview. The equity
disparity in today’s publishing world by Copy Editor
gap in Black v. white student retention rates is a very
Grace Roberson, and an interview with the Honorable
complex issue, and the lack of Black faculty is just one
Justice Melody Stewart by Culture Section Editor Renee
of many factors that contribute to it.
BRENDA CASTAÑEDA YUPANQUI EDITOR–IN–CHIEF
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Faculty Advisor Julie Burrell Web Specialist Daniel Lenhart
CONTRIBUTORS STAFF HEADS Brenda Castañeda Yupanqui Editor–in–Chief
Tyisha Blade Managing Editor
Andriana Akrap Art Director
Alexia Carcelli Asst. Art Director
Greg Elek Multimedia Manager
Michella Dilworth Online Content Editor
Alana Whelan Arts Editor
Renee Betterson Culture Editor
Imani Stephens Beauty/Junior Editor
Dorothy Zhao Social/Junior Editor
Grace Roberson Copy Editor
Joscelyn Ervin Jessica Lynn Nichols Jillian VanDyke Nguyet Vo Chau Tang
Renee Betterson Imani Stephens Dorothy Zhao Megan Baranuk Reshae Davenport
Nicole Shriver Alana Whelan Grace Roberson
Darlene Nichole Moorman Briana Oldham
Michella Dilworth Gia Paulovich Anna Oprisch
Jillian VanDyke Kyra Wells
ARTISTS & PHOTOGRAPHERS Kyra Wells Max Torres
POETS Miriam Altuhaimer
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. Magazine and newspaper theft is a crime; limit one per person. 2121 Euclid Ave, MC 471, Cleveland, OH 44115 216–687–2118 THEVINDI.COM | 6
ON THE BASIS OF SEX
7 | VINDICATOR
“On the Basis of Sex” and “RBG” both tell the story of the legend and icon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It’s the same story but in two different genres, so obviously my first reaction was to compare them.
Joscelyn Ervin ILLUSTRATION BY
recent millennial and Gen Z obsession with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a fascinating Supreme Court Justice, has spurred inspiration in the movie industry. In light of the political atmosphere, and in order
to appeal to the younger generations, two contrasting
films came out in 2018—“RBG,” a documentary, and
“On the Basis of Sex,” a biopic. “RBG” is clearly better than “On the Basis of Sex.” It’s interesting to see the same story and subject being interpreted by two different directors and
agonizing crawl. I know this movie is about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose whole life focuses on law and court cases, but, dear god, I cannot take any more legal discussion after watching that movie. The dedication to remaking real–life events causes “On the Basis of Sex” to focus on lengthy pieces of “lawyer–speak” dialogue. Cases and the main points they were arguing throughout the movie were easy to understand but felt almost unbearable at times. I kept wondering when it would be over. To add to the agony of painful jump cuts and tedious legal speak, the writers and directors thought it would be a good idea to add an awkward sex scene at the beginning of the story. I still don’t know what the purpose of the sex scene was. This is a story about an 85–year–old Supreme Court Justice. If someone is going to see this movie, it’s not for the sex appeal.
writers. Since the subject has lived such an inspiring, “RBG,” unlike “On the Basis of Sex,” tells Ginsberg’s story in a much more logical and clear way, formatted long life, I understand the difficulty of capturing all the events and condensing them into only about two hours or less. This still doesn’t move my opinion about “On the Basis of Sex.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg made history in 1993 by becoming only the second woman appointed as a Supreme Court Justice. Both films follow the events of her life, mostly focusing on her major accomplishments,
like legal successes with gender discrimination and abortion, and becoming appointed to the Supreme Court. While I was equally excited about both of these movies, it became clear after watching both that
the documentary succeeds where the biopic doesn’t. As a biopic, the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
crumbles on the screen in “On the Basis of Sex.” When
after watching both that the documentary
I was ecstatic. I first heard about this movie release in November of last year and was excited about it ever since. What’s more exciting than seeing Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer pretend to be some really cool historically important people? It might sound boring to a lot of other people, but I was stoked. I
didn’t expect it would be such a trainwreck. The casting of the movie isn’t the problem, rather
I went to the theater to watch “On the Basis of Sex,”
it’s the basic storytelling and pace. “On the Basis of Sex” makes huge leaps from one year to the next a handful of times at the beginning of the film. It feels like whiplash. However, it isn’t the cuts from one year to the next, or from one year to ten years later, that are the issue. There are many movies that use them accurately and purposefully, guiding the viewer through the story, like a guide in a museum. That’s not the case for this story. Since the writers had to fit so much backstory and explanation into a short period of time, the time jumps feel rushed and forced. I found myself thinking, “Wait, what year is
like any basic documentary. There wasn’t anything
specific that stood out to me when I watched it for the first time. However, when I went back and rewatched it a second time, the intro of the movie really caught my attention. The beginning of the movie shows clips of Ginsburg exercising while an odd rap song plays as the main focus. Rap lyrics by Dessa fill the silence with the powerful words, “It’s been assumed I’m soft or irrelevant/‘Cause I refuse to down play my intelligence/But in a room of thugs and rap veterans/ Why am I the only one/Who’s acting like a gentleman.” Transitioning into the actual story, she’s verbally compared to a superhero as photoshopped pictures of her face on comic heroes, like Black Widow, flow across the screen. In a short news clip, the anchors say, “They call her Notorious RBG, that’s her rap name.” I did love this bit because of the tone it set for the rest of the film. As a documentary, this story works. It shows the audience exactly who this movie is about and why her life work is so important. “RBG” uses the same structure and the same details as “On the Basis of Sex,” but “RBG” does it better. Looking back and comparing the two films, I don’t see how Ginsberg’s story can succeed as a biopic to begin with. Since she’s lived such a long life, it has proven to be extremely difficult to showcase all of her background and accomplishments within the timespan of a two hour movie focused on actors and dialogue. As a documentary, on the other hand, the audience doesn’t need to have the full story explained to them. I still don’t understand why movie makers didn’t see this before production started. Either way, “RBG” did a much better job of detailing Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s life than “On the Basis of Sex.”
this?” throughout the entire first 30 or 40 minutes of the film. Then, after they’re done yanking the viewer’s attention around, the story slows to an THEVINDI.COM | 8
THE TRANS WOMAN AS
SHAPE SHIFTER WRITTEN BY
Jessica Lynn Nichols
Why readers should be critical of existing transgender representation in fantasy, sci–fi, and comics.
for her to have superpowers, one choice of ability seems more popular than any other: shapeshifting. Cisgender creators seem to think that the power to
arch is Women’s History Month, and
change one’s physical form is the ideal reflection of
March 31 st is the Transgender Day
trans experience—because most cisgender creators
of Visibility. With these significant
fundamentally misunderstand trans experience. In
occasions intersecting, there is no
the process of trying to empower their transfeminine
better time to be aware of ways
to increase visibility for transgender women and
9 | VINDICATOR
who is a transgender woman, and their genre calls
characters, these creators implicitly enforce some of the core tenets of transmisogyny.
transfeminine people. A central element of visibility
The “Runaways” comic books created by Brian K.
is representation. Representation can make the
Vaughan, the “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard”
members of a community feel seen, heard, and valued.
trilogy written by Rick Riordan, and the novel “Feeder”
Furthermore, many cisgender people, especially young
authored by Patrick Weekes all feature transfeminine
people, will see trans characters on a screen or in a
supporting characters. Vaughan’s Xavin is a Skrull
book before they ever meet trans person who is out.
who takes on male and female forms depending on
Positive representation in the media is a crucial tool
their mood and environment, and answers to all sets
for changing minds from ignorance and hatred to
of pronouns. In their debut, Xavin tells their fiancée
acceptance and allyship, but negative representation
Karolina Dean that for them, “changing gender is no
can perpetuate harmful attitudes, even when that
different than changing hair color.” Riordan’s Alex
negativity is subtle or accidental.
Fierro is a demigod child of Loki, the shapeshifting
There are many tropes in fiction that play into
Norse god of mischief, who is more direct about her
transmisogyny, the intersection of transphobia
identity. “I’m gender fluid and transgender, idiot,” she
and misogyny, but they’re not all as obvious as the
informs the title character, when he seems confused
tactless “man in dress” bit featured on TV comedies.
by Alex’s instructions to use she/her pronouns “unless
These tropes can even seem positive on the surface.
and until I tell you otherwise.” Finally, Weekes’ Maya
Such is the case for one recent trend in fantasy,
Finch is a trans girl in a group of teenagers who all
science fiction, and comic books. When cisgender
have genetic mutations related to ocean life. Maya’s
creators have an opportunity to write a character
mutation gives her the camouflaging ability of an
experience is the same, while allowing cissexists to
octopus, an ability which she uses for changing up her
remain secure in their false belief that a change in
hairstyle as well as saving her friends from monsters.
would expect there to have been improvements in the accuracy and positivity of representation over that 13–year span. The characters in “Magnus Chase” certainly use more accurate and respectful vocabulary as relates to the trans community than some of the original Runaways did, and the kids in “Feeder” are far more supportive of Maya when she comes out to them than Riordan’s ensemble of demigods were in their initial reception of Alex. But this gradual change is not enough to make good representation. Despite all of the authors’ apparent intention of helping trans women and transfeminine people, all of these narratives are, in their execution, problematic. The first, most glaring issue with the recent association of “trans superhero = shapeshifter” is the preexisting association of “shapeshifter = liar.” This issue is underscored because Xavin is a Skrull, a historically villainous race of shapeshifters in the Marvel universe, and Alex inherited her powers from her mother, Loki, a literal god of deception. It could be argued that Vaughan and Riordan are trying to subvert that association by portraying shapeshifters in a more positive light, and it is true that both characters are heroes. But the reality is that trans people are already accused of deceiving those around them. Trans women especially have been victims of deadly violence at the hands of sexual partners who think that they have been somehow “tricked.” It is sobering to realize that media aimed at teens and young adults can be a reminder of the attitudes that play into such tragedies, and the problems do not end there.
Even if shapeshifting was a valid metaphor for transition—which it usually isn’t—the trans shapeshifter narrative is still invalid because it reduces trans characters to their identities. A character’s
superpowers are meant to reflect their personality and life experience. If a trans woman’s powers are a metaphor for her gender, that implies that the only thing of significance in her biography is the fact that
she is trans. Once unpacked, this trope amounts to
tokenism. All of these are detrimental to representation.
nothing more than transmisogyny, cissexism, and
The detriment is exacerbated when the shapeshifter
for Xavin, Alex, and Maya.
fantasy, sci–fi and comic creators to stop writing stories
is the only trans person in their series, as is the case The response to this criticism should not be for with trans characters in them. On the contrary: they
should write more trans characters, while making
abilities. One author who makes this choice is Rachel
the conscious choice to write them with more diverse
Hartman. In “Shadow Scale,” the second novel in her
trans woman named Camba. Camba’s psychic power is
the nexus of all her struggles. That alone is a welcome
Since Xavin’s first “Runaways” appearance was in 2005, and “Feeder” was published in 2018, readers
gender must be accompanied by a change in sex.
high fantasy duology “Seraphina,” she introduces a within her mind, not her body, and her identity is not departure from the typical offerings of transfeminine characters and LGBTQ+ representation as a whole. There is certainly even more trans–positive media which avoids the transfeminine shapeshifter trope, and readers should make a point of seeking it out. Trans writers especially should be given a platform to create content that reflects their own experiences.
The subtler microaggression at the heart of this
There may even be some trans writers who succeed
trope is the needless, dehumanizing focus on trans
in reclaiming and subverting the trope. But in the
bodies. Many cis people, and even some trans people,
meantime, it is important that the most visible
believe that a medical transition through hormones
authors, those who already have a platform and
and surgery is the full extent of trans experience.
whose content is heavily marketed to consumers, be
That simply isn’t true. Some trans people aren’t able
held accountable. Allies must remain critically aware
to transition medically for financial or safety reasons,
and call out even well–intentioned authors on their
some trans people choose only some methods of
subtextual transmisogyny. Trans women deserve a
medical transition, and some trans people don’t want
to transition medically at all. Yet the belief persists as a product of cissexism: the assumption that female bodies always look one way, male bodies always look another way, and there is no psychological or biological in–between. When cis authors create trans characters who can change their bodies at will, as though to “match” their gender, they might believe that they are accurately representing the many trans people who experience physical gender dysphoria. But more than they are representing anyone, they are reinforcing the harmful misconception that every trans person’s
THEVINDI.COM | 10
Jillian VanDyke ILLUSTRATIONS BY
Anna Oprisch Younger generations are loving to play old vinyls and reproduce styles from the 70’s and 80’s, and with this, the use of film and vinyl is on the rise.
side from the technological advances
Generations often bring back trends from years before.
in the arts, people in this day and age
The aesthetic of the 70’s and 80’s is being incorporated
still turn to brands such as Polaroid and
in today’s world more than may be noticed. Not only
Crosley. Trends that were popular in the
are old technologies being used, but old materials
70s and 80s have made their way into the
and designs are as well. These trends of both fashion
digital era. Using instant cameras along with record
and design are being incorporated into styles today.
players gets people away from their cellphones and
Vintage shopping has become a hit, along with people
other technology. Fashion and other influences from
editing photographs so that they look vintage. Women’s
earlier periods take part in today’s world as well. It
clothing that’s being worn today includes tube tops
almost seems as though we are copying eras—however,
and Birkenstocks. Although men today aren’t always
we are just wanting to appreciate items that weren’t
rocking the bell bottom jeans, they are wearing flannels
made during our time. Appreciation arises from these
and baseball jersey t–shirts,
items have a style that make people feel like they’re
which is reminiscent of
Something about the art being handheld has a sense
what was worn by men in the 80’s.
of comfort. Despite web players that allow people to
Vintage filtering is
stream music, they still love record shopping. The
being used on photos for
sound of a needle touching a vinyl is much more of
Instagram. These filters
an experience than pressing a play button on your
include an app called Huji,
cellular device. Being able to hold the music you love
which adds light leaks and
in your hand is polar opposite to seeing it displayed on
dates on the bottom of
a screen. My personal favorite part of having a record
photographs. Other things
player is being able to display my music taste in my
being added include grain
room instead of just creating playlists or downloading
and dust to make it appear
albums. A lot of this may be because of a want to revolt
less quality and more film–
from the stereotypes this generation holds and instead
like. Again, aside from the
to be more complex. However, I really just enjoy the
interior of record stores because of the old–time music
even in cell phones, users
they often play and the comforting feeling they give
are wanting to appear like
off. Growing a collection that holds used records and
they’re in a different time
freshly opened casing gives me a sense of being able
to express my musical taste physically.
Overall it seems like in
Not only is music being listened to on an older form
this day and age we aren’t
of technology that has been since modified to still work
content with the advances
properly, music itself created years ago is still being
in technology and the arts
listened to today by a wide range of people. Vinyls by
and to an extent, we want
artists such as Michael Jackson, Elvis, and The Rolling
to stick to the basics. You
Overall it seems like in this day and age we aren’t content with the advances in technology and the arts and we, to an extent, want to stick
in a different era.
to the basics.
Stones are seen at most every record store I’ve been
can stream music with a
in. Through the progression in technology there is a
tap on your glass screen, yet needles are still being
large difference in the specific styles and artistry being
dropped on vinyl. This music is often original vinyls,
played on the radio. The evolution of music will always
but there are new ones being made today due to the
continue as new singers are added to the industry,
rise in popularity. Cameras now have heavy equipment
however; people may listen to the old and the new.
that does wonders, but people still want to learn how
Instant film is popular because it’s in between film
to develop film in a darkroom. The fashion industry
photography and digital. The photos are immediately
continues to host many designers at New York Fashion
printed, take only minutes to fully develop and each
Week, however, the younger generation wants to look
photo taken is a unique hardcopy. Having a Polaroid (or
like they grew up in “That 70’s Show.” Cellular phones
another instant film camera) resolves the inconvenience
have such crisp quality and we’re still pretending to
of having to order prints from your local drug store and
take photos on low quality cameras with filters. Most
having to overpay for cheap paper. Polaroid prints are
people don’t adapt to change well so may stick to their
much more sturdy than a print on paper, and they are
first known art forms. Even people born in the 90’s are
more likely to be kept and stored for long–time use. I
in love with decades before their time. This may occur
hold film closer to my heart because I was able to see
to further generations due to the admiration for what
it during my childhood, rather than a repetition of 4x6
isn’t exactly popular.
digital prints in a usually unorganized box.
THEVINDI.COM | 12
I’M NOT YOUR
FETISH WRITTEN BY
13 | VINDICATOR
Asian fetishism has a long history of being brushed off as a compliment or just nothing to be worried about, but the reality is that it’s a harmful mindset that only hurts Asian women.
othing says love like racial fetishism. Why
According to a feature by Sian Jones on Peace News,
have a personality when people will just see
around 300,000 South Vietnamese women were work-
you as an exotic and subservient jade prin-
ing as prostitutes by the end of the Vietnam War, and
cess? As comedian Amy Schumer joked, “It
between 300,000 to 600,000 Filipina women and girls
doesn’t matter what you do, ladies, every guy is going
engaged in prostitution at the height of U.S. presence
to leave you for an Asian woman… And how do they
in the Philippines. This is where colonization comes
bring it on home for the win? Oh, the smallest vaginas
in. The military wanted to regulate the lives of pros-
in the game.” And nothing says flattery like being told
titutes and other women in the sex industry around
I have a “sideways vagina.”
military bases. This regulation created prostitution as
In all seriousness, “Yellow Fever” is a huge problem
a militarized industry. The American man with their
that many East Asian women face not only in America,
power and privileges, colonizes the Asian female in a
but all over the world. Yellow fever is a disease, and
place of poverty and strife.
I’m not talking about the one transmitted by infected
I have experienced moments in my life where some-
mosquitoes. I’m talking about the hyper–sexualiza-
one has told me I could make a living in porn because
tion and fetishization of Asian women. Yellow fever
there are entire sections of “Asian” and “Hentai” on
is about objectifying and reducing an entire group
pornography sites. I knew people who only dated
of people down to stereotypes. It dehumanizes Asian
Asian women, people who put “Asian Women Only”
is the wet dream of Western males. I am not “lucky” when my identity as an Asian woman is imagined as sexy and erotic. It is not a compliment. I cannot be self–empowered by a concept that is so misogynistic. Now, there may be some people who say, “it’s only a preference!” But it’s not just a preference when harassment and abuse are involved. Stereotypes of Asian women can be harmful. According to a study done by the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender–Based Violence, up to 61 percent of Asian women experience physical and/or sexual domestic abuse. In pop culture, they’re shown as people who won’t speak up when wronged and will follow orders without protest. Their bodies are perceived as available for sex without resistance because of it. Asian women have been viewed with the double stereotypes of “Lotus Blossom” and “Dragon Lady,” sexual servant or sexual adventure. But where exactly did yellow fever originate? What led to the commodification of Asian women? There are many movies about east meeting west, about the Western colonization. Europe has a long history of their fascination and
on their dating profiles. I was friends with a white boy in middle school who had crushes on my sister and cousins because “Asian girls are so hot.” These behaviors and the stereotypes of hypersexual and
erotic Asian women have always been portrayed in
and anime have largely promoted the fetishization of
the media. The rapid increase of video games, manga, Asian culture, with women with breasts that seem to
defy the law of gravity and ditzy school girls.
& reducing an
Li,” which has been accused of cultural appropriation
clothing. It even inspired the #ChunLiChallenge on
Another example is Nicki Minaj’s single “Chun– for adopting an Asian persona in hypersexual Asian Instagram, with users taking photos of themselves in chopsticks and other racist Asian garb. Some may say that it’s all just harmless fun and games, but this obsession that pop culture has for Asian culture has
only perpetuated “yellow fever” for Asian women and
women and normalizes sexual violence against them. No, I shouldn’t be flattered that my race and gender
“rice queens” for queer men who fetishize Asian men. There have been many strides against Asian fetishism and stereotypes in the past few years. In the 2017 Women’s March in Los Angeles, actress Constance Wu encouraged women to fight fetishization and open up about their experiences with men.
terror of the unknown “Other.” Now, imagine a man
“I march today for Asian–American women who have
in the Victorian time period, in his stuffy and modest
been ignored, or judged or fetishized or expected to be
clothing and society reflected onto him. Imagine him
a certain way to fulfill a certain idea of what a sweet
seeing an image of a Japanese geisha, who are artists
girl should be,” Wu said in her speech. “To that, I say
and entertainers. They are hostesses who entertain with
you can be anyone you want to be.” And Constance
conversation, dance, and song. But to him and many
Wu has been breaking stereotypes in the media left
others in Europe, the geisha were a highly sexualized
and right. She starred in an incredibly big box office
entity. With their heavy makeup and adorning cloth-
hit called “Crazy Rich Asians” in August. With a full
ing, they were unlike anything the Western man had
Asian cast and no Hollywood stereotypes of Asian
ever seen before. But there is an even larger factor to
women of meekness and submission, the movie is a
the spread of the sexualized Asian female. When the U.S. military were in Asia from World
movement against Western media and a colossal step in the right direction.
War II to the Korean and Vietnam Wars, U.S. soldiers
I would like to see the day where Asian women are
would go to brothels and “juicy bars.” American men
seen as intellectual humans, and not a product of the
who were drafted may not have had any preconceived
history of exotification and objectification. A day where
ideas of Asian women. However, they were soon faced
we aren’t judged based on sexual prowess and a need
with the local women working in the sex industry.
for a man’s control. THEVINDI.COM | 14
WHERE WILL WE END UP
AFTER DEATH? WRITTEN BY
No matter how morbid the topic gets, it can put your mind at ease just talking about it.
brought up memories of friends and loved ones who eath is a morbid subject to even think
have passed. We spoke about how their lives and their
about. It almost seems like if we talk
legacies live on even though they are no longer with us.
about it, then we’ll die the next day in
After returning from Vietnam, I have so many questions
our sleep. What happens when we die—
about my own death and its aftermath. I don’t have
where do our souls go? The answers to
many relatives who live in Ohio, so how would my
this question really depends on your religious and
relatives find out? If I die, where would my soul go?
personal beliefs. I never thought about the topic until
Will I even remember anyone? Will I remember the
recently. I questioned everything about death, from
articles I’ve written, the people I’ve met, and the
where our families would go to whether or not we
emotions I’ve felt? Can I meet the deceased after I
would see our friends from different religions.
die? What about my relatives? If they died, would they
This past winter break I went to Vietnam. While there, I visited my relatives and I really enjoyed their 15 | VINDICATOR
company, especially since I only get to see them once every couple of years. During my time there, we
remember me, and the lives they have lived? Since I am only 22, I hadn’t really thought of death
and what happens afterwards. When death arose in
that should not be off–limits. Alkhabaz believes that
conversation, I tried my best to avoid it—even the
death is simply a part of life. Her family, however,
thought of dying scared me. I never knew what to
doesn’t like to talk about it because they are not fond
believe, since I never researched it, especially from
of the topic. Even though her family avoids discussing
the perspectives of various religions. Now, I want to
this part of life, it was important for them that she
understand how people’s belief systems explain death.
learn about their religious beliefs surrounding death.
We all come from different different backgrounds,
However, Alkhabaz will have conversations about
and it’s eye–opening to learn from others and find
it and she would be interested to learn about other
comfort in the conversation.
Living, breathing, dying, and rebirth are all part of
Her religion is Islam, so she believes in the Holy
a life cycle. It is called the “samsara” in Buddhism,
Qur’an, which is the Holy Book for Islam. There is a
according to BBC.com. Buddhists believe in karma, a
verse that says, “Every soul shall taste death,” from
concept which has been normalized and popularized
Qur’an 29:57. “Islam thinks of death as the “next step
in our society. The difference is that through good
to one another in life,” according to BBC. “It portrays
actions, such as acting ethically, Buddhists attempt
this life like a test so the next life is what you deserve
called the Eightfold Path and it includes right speech, right livelihood and right concentration. These good actions will lead to a better rebirth, while the bad actions can result in a different rebirth. According to Buddhism, being reborn as a human is rare, but possible depending on the actions. Additionally, if you are born again as a human, it’s an opportunity to work towards breaking the cycle of samsara. People can be reborn not only as a human but as an animal, demi–god, god, or even a ghost. In order to escape samsara, enlightenment or “Nirvana” should be achieved. When a person physically dies and Nirvana is achieved, then they will no longer be reborn. Buddha taught that when Nirvana is achieved, Buddhists can see the world in its true form. “Nirvana means realizing and accepting the Four Noble Truths [the truth of suffering, the origin of suffering, truth of cessation of suffering, and the truth of path to the cessation of suffering] and being awake to reality,” reports BBC. When individuals are enlightened, they can choose to be reborn after they help others become enlightened. Once Nirvana is achieved, the never– ending cycle of suffering and further existence for that person ends. There are two reasons why Buddhists do not believe in souls or an eternal god. Firstly, they believe nothing is forever, so eternal concepts or beings, like souls or gods, cannot exist. Secondly, they believe we do not have a permanent self, hence
for the work you have done.” said Alkhabaz. Similar
to Christianity, Islam also believes in heaven and hell, with the same basic logic behind these concepts. Heaven is called “Jannah,” paradise, and is described as, “a
When a person
is referred to as “Jannaham” and it is where physical Muslims believe that when you die, you can go to
physically dies and Nirvana is achieved then they
Allah and ask for forgiveness for another human. Alkhabaz wasn’t always close to her religion but she has gotten to know and understand it even more since she graduated high school. Before she was religious, Alkhabaz was afraid of death but now that she’s close to her religion, she no longer fears it. Her motto in regards to death is, “Think of death as your friend and not as an enemy that’s going to snatch your soul away from you” Alkhabaz said. “Islam thinks of the soul as the creation of God, so it will go back to where it belongs [when you die],” she adds.
We don’t like thinking about death but it happens
longer be reborn.
garden of everlasting bliss,” or a “home of peace.” Hell and spiritual suffering happens. According to BBC,
to gain a better future for themselves. This lifestyle is
everyday. Who knows where the souls have gone? Perhaps they went into heaven, hell, or their souls are surrounding you. No matter your beliefs, these conversations shouldn’t be avoided.
the topic of rebirth rather than souls. While Buddhists believe in reincarnation, Muslims believe in a heaven and hell. “Akhirah” is what Islam teaches Muslims about life after death. In Islam, Allah gets to decide when a person dies and they believe they will stay in their graves until “Yawm al–din,” which is Judgement Day, according to BBC. On that day, they will be judged by Allah on how they lived their life. This is known as the resurrection of the body. In addition to other sources, I wanted to get a more personal perspective since death is such a deeply personal issue. Tibah Alkhabaz, freshman Biology major at Cleveland State University, was thrilled to speak about death because she considers it a topic THEVINDI.COM | 16
THE POWER OF WOMEN IN JUDAISM PURIM TO NOW
Nicole Shiver ILLUSTRATION BY
17 | VINDICATOR
Vashti, Esther, and their early feminist influence.
dds are, if you aren’t Jewish, you haven’t
that allowed the Persian Jews to have more rights.
heard of the story of Purim: the celebration
Needless to say, Jews have been praising Esther for
of Persian Empress Esther’s triumph over
a long time now as she risked her life for what she
Haman, Persia’s prime minister, and his
knew was right; Esther’s bravery saved thousands of
plan to annihilate the Jewish people. Esther, who hails
people, and many generations to come. Standing up to
from a Jewish family, is encouraged by her cousin,
any man, let alone a king in biblical times was a big
Mordechai, to pursue the king after he exiles his
no–no. Esther was chosen as a new wife after Vashti
first wife, Vashti, for not submitting to him as a sex
due to her known subservience, so the king would
object. Once Haman’s plot is formulated, Mordechai
probably never have to deal with a stubborn woman
begs Esther to reveal her Jewish heritage to the king,
again. While we can celebrate Esther as a female hero,
and hopefully convince him to prevent the genocide.
it is also important to give credit to Vashti for being
Luckily, Esther overcame her fears and not only had
quite the hero herself. Vashti paved the way for Esther
Haman killed, but also had her husband issue a law
and other women to overcome their battle with the
actions, Vashti proves to women that there is more to life than being a sex slave to a man. As a woman it is important to not lose your sense of self and strength for the pleasure of a man, no matter how powerful he is. Vashti embodies this kind of self–respect and shuts down the early formations of feminine mystique. In most religious contexts, men tend to have authority over women, and are commanded to have a closer relationship with God due to the covenant between Abraham and God that was to be passed down through his sons. In Judaism, this applies, with some exceptions in which men must provide for their wives and children. In Biblical times, Jewish women were able to inherit land from their fathers in the case that there were no sons. Later, women were often thought to have a stronger faith and better senses of judgement which their husbands would often consult when in need of some advice. While this may not seem like much to us now, this is revolutionary considering the typical restrictions women faced during this time. While women seem to be awe–worthy beings, in worship settings, women were—and still are in more conservative synagogues—segregated from men during services via a wall called a mechitza as they may tempt men to have impure thoughts during prayer.
subjected to a much smaller wall space than the men. In true feminist fashion, a protest organization was formed in 1988 called The Women of the Wall. This group, like Vashti, refuses to lie low
As a woman it
and take orders from male authority. Lead by Anat
is important to
they lead prayer services, including the conduct-
not lose sense
slurs at them to disrupt their prayer and inflict
of self and
and punished, but their mission remains alive and
this organization, the prime minister approved the
two genders could pray as one community. While
of a man, no
serves as proof that strong women can do anything
Hoffman, the Women of the Wall are relentless as ing of bat mitzvot, as men hurl objects and scream harm. Many of these women have been arrested well regardless of the threats they face. Because of
matter how powerful he is.
patriarchy, and even though she was punished for her
creation of an egalitarian prayer space where the this space is miniscule and needs improvement, it they set their minds to. So as Purim comes again this March, think about Vashti and Esther’s influence on feminism, no matter how subtle, as you dress up in your favorite costumes, eat hamentashen, and ward off Haman’s evil spirit. When it comes to your own life, think about how you can single-handedly destroy the patriarchal empire like the two Persian empresses. Be a Vashti and take a stand for your womanhood
During different periods of time, women were only
and self–righteousness or be an Esther and mold
educated on the basic religious practices they needed
the patriarchy to bend in favor of what is equita-
to follow to have a successful Jewish life, but were
ble and fair.
not encouraged to study the Torah as the men were. It has been argued that Jewish feminism emerges from the exclusion from religious practices such as the congregational service, the minyan or male group which leads the prayer service, and the 613 mitzvot requirements as commanded by God. Much to the dismay of the men oppressing them, women formed their own study groups, and led their own services in order to practice Judaism for themselves. As of the 20th century, girls were able to be called to the Torah for their bat mitzvot, or coming– of–age ceremony traditionally reserved for the young boys of the congregation. In more reform sects of Judaism, men and women are seen as equals and receive the same treatment in regards to the prayer service and religious education. As time goes on, we see more and more female rabbis and cantors taking leadership roles in the congregation and community, at least in America. In Israel, Judaism is the religion of the land, and the Orthodox sect takes precedence. Because the Orthodox Jews have the most power in the country, they are able to enforce their views of religion on Israel, including their beliefs that men and women should not pray together at one of the holiest Jewish sites: the Western Wall. Like in conservative congrega-
Hamentashen are a tasty snack eaten by many Jewish people during the Purim celebration.
tions, men and women are separated by a mechitza, and women are forbidden from wearing traditional prayer shawls and possessing a Torah, all while being THEVINDI.COM | 18
THE HISTORY & SHAPING
ABORTION LAWS IN OHIO WRITTEN BY
Alana Whelan ILLUSTRATION BY
How Ohio’s abortion laws have changed and safe and legal abortions have become more difficult for women to obtain since the 1970’s.
efore Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, the Republican Party generally treated abortion as a private matter. According to a Gallup poll the summer before Roe was decided, 68 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of Democrats believed abortion should be a decision made between a woman and her doctor.
Clearly, things have changed.
After Roe v. Wade affirmed that it is a woman’s constitutional right to get an
abortion if she chooses, Republican legislators recognized that they could sway evangelical voters by inflating the immensely sensitive issue of abortion. Immediately after Roe was passed, anti–choice members of Congress and state legislatures began working to reverse the decision and to restrict abortion care access. In 1976, the Hyde amendment—named for congressman Henry Hyde—was a national measure passed by the House of Representatives, which targeted 27 19 | VINDICATOR
low–income women by blocking them from having
Gabriel Mann. “While we still do have these nine
access to abortion care funding through Medicaid.
facilities, when John Kasich took office, Ohio had 16.
Then, when Ronald Reagan ran for president in 1980,
That’s a significant loss in the number of facilities
he made his anti–abortion agenda very apparent,
and that represents a loss of the tens of thousands
which brought abortion even further into the political
of women who relied on those facilities.”
atmosphere, thus causing it to become an increasingly
The number of facilities that offer abortions
divisive issue among both Democrats and Republicans.
throughout the U.S., and therefore the access that
While Roe v. Wade did legalize abortion, the actual
women have, has declined relatively quickly in the
details were left up to the states to decide, like time
last few years due to a variety of reasons, but probably
limits and ease of access to medical care. Some states, to limit abortion access over the past 40 years, and others, such as New York, have tried to make it easier for women to receive safe and legal abortions. Ohio is one of those states that has put more laws in place which hinder women from receiving the proper attention and care they seek when in need of an abortion. “We’ve seen many restrictions over the past 40 years that have really amplified during the past eight years,” said Gabriel Mann, Communications Manager at NARAL Pro–Choice Ohio. “John Kasich signed 21 attacks on abortion rights and reproductive healthcare, including defunding Planned Parenthood on two separate occasions, and a series of incremental abortion bans that have stripped away Ohioans access to abortion care in later terms of pregnancy.” The reg ulations that John Kasich has put in place have been detrimental to women seek ing abortions throughout Ohio. According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute in 2013, 89 percent of abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, which is well before viability (When Roe v. Wade was decided, the court ruled that states cannot put bans on abortions that take place before viability, which is when the fetus is able to survive outside of the mother’s womb). Although most women receive abortions early on in the pregnancy, sometimes women are faced with situations where they need to get an abortion later on, such as when the woman’s life is in danger. “[Ohio] just passed a law that bans the procedure
the most critical is the Trump administration’s
attempts to enforce a pro–life agenda. President Trump has appointed two anti–choice members to the Supreme Court during his tenure so
Ohio is one of
far (out of nine justices total on the Supreme Court), including Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, which as Gabriel Mann said, has been incredibly damaging.
While many measures under Kasich in Ohio have
that has put
in the past, now Ohio cannot count on the courts to
more laws in
been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court execute these actions reasonably. “We can’t rely on the courts anymore, and now we’ve got a governor who has said that he would
sign abortion bans, even ones that are known to
on the courts, we can’t rely on the governor—that
be unconstitutional,” said Mann. “So we can’t rely means that the decision on whether Ohio is going to have abortion access preserved really relies on the individual members of the state legislature now.”
As laws surrounding abortion access have changed
throughout Ohio, women who need abortions are facing threatening situations, but, as Mann said, it is clear that the majority of people agree that women
care they seek
should have safe and legal access to abortion care.
when in need
support access to abortion, either to keep it completely
such as Indiana and Texas, have done all they can
of an abortion.
“Nationally we know that seven in 10 Americans legal or mostly legal and accessible—that support for abortion rights has been very solid over the past decade,” said Mann. “People want women to be able to get to clinics if they need it. What has changed is more and more people have opened their eyes and understood exactly what sort of a threat exists that could block abortion access.”
normally used after 14 weeks, so it’s essentially eliminating abortion after 14 weeks without the law actually specifically saying that,” said Carissa Newsome, Political Science and Women’s Studies double major at Cleveland State University. The law, which becomes effective March 21, 2019, bans the abortion method of dilation and evacuation (D&E) in situations when the mother’s life is not at risk. D&E is usually performed 14 to 16 weeks after conception, so as Newsome said, the law is virtually banning abortions after 14 weeks. Other restrictions have led to bleak outcomes for Ohio abortion clinics, making it even more difficult and dangerous for women to obtain abortions. “[Ohio] has seven surgical abortion facilities and two offices that provide medication abortions,” said THEVINDI.COM | 28 20
Examining gender disparity within an ever-changing industry
hen I say that I want to work
a variety of topics in the publishing world, from writer/editor relationships, the steps in publishing a book, and the socioeconomic aspects of the industry, including diversity or lack thereof.
in publishing with my English
In this class I was introduced to the VIDA Count,
d e g r e e, I’m m e t w i t h t h e
an annual assessment of gender disparity in literary
frustrating reply “Huh, that’s
journals and book reviews, which is put out by the
different,” as if I’m bravely
feminist nonprofit organization VIDA: Women in
attempting to go where no one has gone before. While
Literary Arts. Noted on their website, VIDA’s mission
yes, publishing is changing at an alarming rate, I
is “creating transparency around the lack of gender
know that the industry is always going to be around
parity in the literary landscape and to amplifying
in one form or another—there’s going to be a need for
historically–marginalized voices, including people
manuscripts and stories to be read and edited, handled
of color; writers with disabilities; and queer, trans,
with care. I want to work in publishing because I believe
and gender nonconforming individuals.”
in the preservation, and representation of voices.
The main VIDA Count of 2017 looked at 15 major
What’s most remarkable to me, though, is the fact
publications, and the numbers don’t lie. While VIDA
that the current Vindicator staff is mostly women,
states that the numbers do change every year, but not
some of whom are women of color. I didn’t realize
in a radical way (the numbers for one publication can
the significance of this revelation until last semester,
rise while the numbers for another can fall), the work
when I was enrolled in ENG 497/597, a seminar about
they have been doing with the Count since 2009 has
literary editing and publishing (the first of its kind
been making a difference in terms of raising awareness
at CSU) taught by Professor Hilary Plum. The class
for underrepresentation and oppression.
was eye–opening to me in the sense that it covered
Caroline Knecht | EIC of Whiskey Island Magazine staff, I wanted to get outside perspectives from ot her wome n w ho have more e x p er ie nce w it h publishing. Luckily, I didn’t have to go very far—I was able to engage in meaningful conversations with Caroline Knecht, a NEOMFA (Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts) student at CSU and the current editor–in–chief of Whiskey Island Magazine, and Professor Hilary Plum, the Associate Director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. Here
is what they had to say: Wh a t m a d e yo u wa nt to g o i nto p u b l is h i n g and editing?
CK: I wanted to go into publishing because I wanted to just bring stuff I really liked into the world—so a
purely selfish reason. I had this idealistic idea that I
– Caroline Knecht
would be working with all of these great artists and
While I’m a part of a primarily female editorial
bringing new voices, and finding new voices. That
hasn’t really changed but I’ve worked in publishing for I guess about six or seven years now. When did you start? CK: My first job in publishing was... well technically I guess I started right after my first Master’s degree, so 2009. So I guess it’s going on ten years now!
And you went to Ohio University for undergrad?
Tell me more about New York, and publishing there, and what you experienced there.
CK: I found a profit–driven industr y. That ’s not surprising that it was more about making money
and what sold, and what had sold in the best, and less about finding new voices or focusing on representation. It was really about sales records,
CK: I did, and then I went to Portland, and got a Master’s
profit margins, platforms (author platforms)—how
I worked in a student–run press there, took all kinds
they sell their own book. It was commercial–driven.
then moved back home and then to New York.
Have you noticed any gender bias in your past
in writing and publishing from Portland State University.
of classes, worked at a graphic novel publisher, and
popular were they on social media, how well could
or present experiences in publishing?
CK: I don’t think I’ve necessarily noticed gender
bias. Generally people who get into publishing are pretty liberal people and pretty socially aware,
and are concerned about representation, and giving a voice to people who haven’t had a voice
in the past. But what I have found is that at the
top of ever y publishing pyramid, there is a white guy getting rich. Ever y job I’ve ever had, this one aside because this is more universit y–based ,
it ’s a lit tle dif ferent here , but ever y single job I’ve ever had was... well my purpose there was to make some guy money. At the top of the pyramid there was always a white guy. There might have been women and people of color working under
him and you know, many of my employers were
good about hiring different kinds of people with
different backgrounds and different perspectives,
but at the end of the day, it was all about profit PHOTO BY MAX TORRES
for one person in particular.
THEVINDI.COM | 22
D o yo u t h i n k t h e r e’s a g r o w i n g i n t e r e s t i n publishing coming from women?
CK: Yeah , I do, because I think that the age of
Where do you think publishing is headed in terms
of female writers and editors, like leadership positions and things like that?
‘white man contemplating literature’ is over, like we
CK: I think that small press publishing will give us
M o re a n d m o re o f t h e s e b e s t– s e l l i n g b o o ks ,
top of those pyramids, because it seems to me
from different backgrounds who have different
[Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan
think it’s been more of a push—people are more,
Schuster] and into more smaller, localized sets of
people are like ‘ What can I do? ’ And publishing,
kind of goal about what they want to publish .
aren’t really interested in those stories anymore.
a lot more opportunities to have women at the
and the most popular books, are about people
like the industry is moving away from The Big Five
perspectives and different life experiences. And I
Publishers , Penguin Random House, Simon &
especially in our current social and political state,
people who have a specific idea, and a specific
on some level, is about that.
And I think that the more little outposts we can
create, the greater the representation will be across the board.
Hilary Plum | Associate Director of the CSU Poetry Center W h a t s p a r ke d yo u r i n t e r e s t i n e d i t i n g a n d publishing? HP: I sta r te d wo r k i n g i n p u b l i s h i n g r i g ht a f te r graduating from college. I studied English, and there was a publishing company that was local. And I just sent them an email and started working
there. So I just discovered that I may have kind of
a facility with that kind of copy-editing attention, fussy attention to details, and was very interested in it. At the time I started, as a lot of people do who star t out in publishing, just by being a general
assistant. So I was like the assistant of everyone in the office and I got a glimpse of how that whole place worked, and sales, stuff with Amazon and
filing around the office. From there I moved up f u r th e r i nto th e e d i to r i a l s i d e b e ca u se th a t 's
what I was par ticularly passionate about and essentially what I was better suited for. What publications have you worked for and what was it like working for them? HP: Fo r a b o u t 1 1 ye a r s I wo r ke d fo r th a t s a m e company, called Interlink Publishing. And while I was there I founded an imprint with another
editor called Clockroot Books, which existed for
some number of years, five or six. We published international literature in that imprint, so we were
just continuing to do something that the press already did but we made an extra space for it, to give it a little bit more of an identity, just at the
press and getting it into the shape of a particular
project. So I worked there for about 11 years doing editing and literature translation, international
literature, political nonfiction , and sometimes PHOTO BY JILLIAN VANDYKE 23 | VINDICATOR
travel and cookbooks. I also worked for The Kenyon
VIDA COUNT 2017
– Hilary Plum
Granta 53.5% female writers
Poetry Magazine 50% female writers
Tin House 49.7% female writers
4. The New York Times Book Review 45.9% female writers 5. The Paris Review 42.7% female writers
Review for about five years, where I learned a lot
Wh a t i n s p i r e d yo u t o t e a c h a c o u r s e a b o u t
sometimes reading a lot of fiction submissions
HP: I think it's something that a lot of people are
of things, mainly being a book review editor but
and doing some translation, somewhat informal translation editing—sending them translation
submissions and helping with that . They get a ton of submissions so there are people reading
for them in different ways. So I was doing that for a while and then I worked for a scholarly journal
at University of Pennsylvania called The Journal
of the Histor y of Ideas. I was a managing editor
there, and I was there for about two years. And now I’m here at Cleveland State University Poetry Center, and half of my job is there. We publish
three to five books a year at that press . I also
publishing at Cleveland State?
interested in and I like making publishing feel like
something that everybody is participating in and
there and it published just one book a year, and
our fifth book just came out, so that’s a little bit of an editorial side project.
What was the sta f f like at the places you've
worked for? Were they mostly female or were there a lot of male staff members, or a balance? HP: A lot of things are decentralized , you don' t really see ever ybody. I would say that my own
experience kind of reflects the trend that I was l oose l y ta l k i n g th ro u g h , w hich is th a t a l ot of women work ing at a place , b ut the people in
charge tend to be men. A lot of editors are women, but the publishers are men, or the top editor is a
man, so you have that kind of disparity. That's not true at the CSU Poetr y Center but the scholarly
journal that I worked for is ver y male, and there are a few female editors at The Kenyon Review.
The New Republic 42.2% female writers
Harper’s 42.1% female writers
can do. I think there's an idea that it belongs to, like it's a fortress in New York that we all have to
knock at the door of and wait for them to answer, rather than thinking about all of the kinds of work
that are happening right now, kinds of work that
you are doing and other students are doing is all publishing, all contributing to the making of books
and culture. That's something that I wanted to
8. The New Yorker 39.7% female writers 9.
Boston Review 37.8% female writers
look at and have a space.
10. The Atlantic 36.5% female writers
Working as an editor and writing for The Vindicator
11. The Nation 36.5% female writers
work at a small press called Rescue Press with my par tner, Zach Savich . We do a prose series
has allowed me to combine my literary flair as well as cater to my own passion for representing different voices. There’s more to my title than marking up a page with red ink or moving the cursor in a word document to make corrections—as an editor it’s
12. The Times Literary Supplement 35.9% female writers
also my job to cultivate positive creative energy and encourage narratives of all kinds to keep growing. And at this point in time, women are only going to continue to get louder.
13. The Threepenny Review 32.7% female writers 14. London Review of Books 26.9% female writers 15. The New York Review of Books 23.3% female writers statistics sourced from vidaweb.org
ISE FOR T R H LL
Justice Stewart WRITTEN BY
Greg Elek & Najada Davis
A conversation with Ohio Supreme Court Justice and Cleveland State Alumna Melody J. Stewart.
ast November, in the midterm election, Judge Melody Stewart made history as the first Black woman elected to Ohio Supreme Court. Justice Stewart, a Cleveland–Marshall alumna, returned to her Alma Mater last month where she and fellow Cleveland–Marshall alumnus, Justice Michael Donnelly, were presented with a special gift from the University. On Thursday, February 14th, Cleveland–Marshall Dean Lee Fisher presented Ohio’s two, newly–elected Supreme Court Justices with their own Cleveland chambers. Located on the second floor of the CM Law Library, the office will serve as a second headquarters for Justices Donnelly and Stewart when they are on business in the city. “We soon will dedicate space in our law school for the Cleveland Chambers of Justices Stewart and Donnelly which will provide a unique opportunity for our students to interact with the important work of the Ohio Supreme Court,” said Dean Fisher. We had the opportunity to sit down with Justice Stewart after her meeting with the Dean, to discuss her journey to the bench, and her hopes for the future. These are some edited parts of that conversation.
Justice Stewart, Congratulations on your election. Lebron James congratulated you on Twitter. He said, “AMAZING!!! Congrats Judge Melody Stewart. #ChangeWillCome.” What sorts of changes are you hoping to effect from your new seat on the bench? MJS Yes! People brought that to my attention. I have nieces and nephews for whom my election was sort of, “Ah sure, big deal. Aunt Mel on the Supreme Court.” But when LeBron tweeted about it, one of my nieces said, “Look! LeBron tweeted about Aunt Mel.” So then my race suddenly became significant to her. [Changes] One change has already happened in the composition of the courtroom. The court, prior to my election was comprised of justices who belonged to the same political party and were of the same race. So now, with the election of Mike Donnelly and me, the court is more diverse, at least by way of political party affiliation. I believe that diversity is important, and I don’t just mean ethnic diversity. I believe in background diversity and intellectual diversity as well. The Supreme Court is the court of last resort for the State, and the Court gets to decide which cases come in. I just don’t believe there can be confidence in an all one party Supreme Court. I feel that way whether it’s the Republican Party, Democratic Party, Green Party—the court’s views have to represent the views of everyone across the state, and we are a very diverse state, ethnically, culturally. We’re Blue collar, white collar, no collar. We’re agricultural, industrial, and education—blue collar, white collar, no collar. So I think the broader the perspective of the individuals who make up the Supreme Court, the better justice will be served for all.
The Vindicator Culture Editor, Renee Betterson (left) and Justice Stewart (right) behind the bench in the Moot Court Room on CSU’s campus.
You are a role model to so many people, for a variety of reasons. Who is your role model, and why? MJS My first, absolute role model, is my mother. My mother was not formally educated, but she was self– taught. She taught me how to play Scrabble when I was eight years old. She always wanted to take piano lessons, so I, in turn, took piano lessons. I grew up in the Hough neighborhood of Cleveland and then we moved to East Cleveland. So although we had Motown and Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles playing in our household, we also had Chopin, and Bach, and Beethoven playing in our household. So maybe that spawned my interest in music. But the lessons my mother taught me transcend everything: to treat people with respect, be the best that you can, always leave a place better off than it was when you got there. My mother and I always lived in apartments, but she instilled in me that, even though we didn’t own it, it was our home. So you still treat it with respect. And so those were the sorts of lessons I took with me in my life. My mother used to spend time helping people out at the church and
The court’s views have to represent the views of everyone across the state. And we are a very diverse state, ethnically, culturally. — JUSTICE STEWART
visiting the elderly. She would take me with her, and I’d say, “Why are visiting this lady? She’s not related to us; we don’t know her.” And she explained, “Because we should.” You know, “She has no family or she’s an elder in the church,” and so those are the things I did we I got older as well. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in becoming Justice Melody Stewart? MJS Getting enough people to vote for me. Running statewide, I met people who I probably would’ve never gotten the opportunity to meet. And some of them, I have connected with in ways that are amazing to me at times. You get to see the goodness of people who
believe in your candidacy, your cause, and who come out to help you, even though they just met you, or heard you for the first time. I met a lady in one county in southwestern Ohio who, after she heard my speech said, “You know, I’ve been in politics all my life, and I’m eighty–something years old. I have never heard a candidate as qualified for a job as you are.” That lady— she was on a fixed income—sent me five dollars a month, every month until election time. Those are the sorts of things that led me to believe that I was doing the right thing, I was in the journey, and the outcome was going to be whatever it was going to be. Part of what makes your story so fascinating for students, is that you’re an alum. You received your Juris Doctorate from Cleveland–Marshall in 1988. When you think back to your time here, what advice would you give to yourself? MJS I don’t know that I would give myself advice, because no one gave me any advice about the judiciary or the Supreme Court, or practicing law. There are some students at Cleveland–Marshall [College of Law] who already have being a judge on their minds. I know that; I colleagues with the same mindset. And there are some students here who have members of their families: parents, or siblings, or aunt or uncles, who have been judges. I didn’t grow up in that sort of environment. Although my older sister was a lawyer, she was out of the house and on her own when she went to law school. I don’t know that I really knew that much about what a lawyer does as a child. So I didn’t have a group of professionals around me during my childhood. But now, I think law students are more sophisticated, there are opportunities that students of color have now that we didn’t have back in my day—there’s greater exposure. So I just say be mindful. Take advantage of every opportunity you have to talk to people, to visit the courts. All the courts are open to the public. Come down to the Supreme Court. Find out what the issues are and make a difference. It might be serving on a committee of the Supreme Court, it might be doing something in your local community. You don’t have to have a title and a robe to make a difference. So, do that, and you might find yourself in a place one day where someone asks you to run for office. Justice Stewart, you have enjoyed an incredible career thus far as a civil litigator, a judge, and now a Supreme Court justice. Is there anything in your career that you would do differently? MJS Nothing. And I say that not just with hindsight, but you know with age comes wisdom. There are times that I had disappointments throughout my career. I ran for the court of appeals for the first time in 2000, and I lost that race in the primary. But in retrospect, had I won that race in 2000, I would have had to run for reelection in 2006, then in 2012, then in 2018. So if I had to run for reelection to the court of appeals
last year, I would not have been able to run for the Supreme Court. So timing is everything. Sometimes you can be disappointed in a loss, yet I have to always be cognizant of the fact that sometimes groundwork is being laid for something else that I may not be able to see immediately. I just have to trust in whatever trajectory happens; that door closed, but another one opened later down the road. So in retrospect, no, I wouldn’t have done anything differently.
CSU President Sands (left), Justice Stewart (center), and Cleveland–Marshall Dean Fisher (right) meeting with law school faculty.
You received your undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Music, at the University of Cincinnati. Did you know at that time you wanted to practice law? MJS No. I studied music for one reason only: because that was the only thing I was interested in studying when I came out of high school. I went to an all–girls college prep school here in Cleveland. So I knew I was going to college, and if you go to college I guess you have to pick a major eventually. So music was the only thing I wanted to study. Now, I did not make the connection then between education and employment, because I didn’t necessarily feel like the two went hand in hand. So I studied what I wanted to study and got good grades there. Then I promptly took that Music degree and got a job in the healthcare industry—because that’s where I got hired. So that correlation didn’t quite make sense to me. Now, my older sister is an attorney. So she was in law school when I was in high school. She went to law school here, at Cleveland–Marshall. I thought she should be spending time bonding with me, but she was always studying; she was always working. So law school
was the furthest thing from my mind. As a matter of fact, I recall saying, “I will never do that,” because she just studied all the time. So when I was working, the vice president of the company was in law school. He’d set his books down, [and] I’d peruse through them. After a year of being in the workforce, I just got intellectually bored. So I applied to law school on a whim and I got in on a whim. And I spent my first two years in law school saying, “Do I really want to go to law school? Do I really want to be a lawyer?” I remember walking across the stage, getting my degree saying, “Do I really want to be a lawyer?” I have an older brother who, at 10 years old, knew he wanted to be a dentist, and guess what he is? A dentist. But I never had career aspirations. So, to answer the question, I never really had judicial aspirations until I did. Until someone mentioned to me about running for the appellate court, and I thought it was a good idea, in that I liked the work of the appellate court; I liked the analysis of the law with particular facts of the case. I like researching and writing, and that’s why I was better suited, I thought, to run for the appellate court as opposed to a trial court. I say often to people like you, college students or people who are in high school, It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do or what you want to be in life. But whatever you do, do it well. Because those things start to build a foundation and building blocks. So stay attuned, stay aware because you don’t even know what you don’t know yet. So I think I was well–suited for the appellate court, I think I did a good job there. I think I’m well– suited for the Supreme Court and I plan to do a good
THEVINDI.COM | 28
Has your time on the Eighth District Court of Appeals shaped your approach to the bench? MJS Yes. Being on the appellate court for the largest appellate district in the State of Ohio prepared me well for the Supreme Court. We heard all sorts of cases. It’s a court where you get a lot of diversity, and your erudition has to increase exponentially. The better informed you are about the subject matter of the case before you, I think, the better legal decisions you’ll make. So that was a great training ground for the Supreme Court. Likewise, I think my practice experience in civil defense litigation and my time at the law schools helped me to fine–tune my analysis and make me a better judge. Finally, even doing my Doctoral work; having a Social Science degree helps me ask the right questions when I’m talking with litigants about a case. It also helps me to look a little prospectively at some unintended consequences of some laws. You recently became the first Black woman elected to the Ohio Supreme Court. How does that feel? MJS I imagine it would feel the same if I were the tenth, or twentieth, or one hundredth elected. But the historical significance of being the first isn’t lost on me. I think it means more to others than it does for me. I ran for the court, obviously, based on my credentials and believing I was the right person for the job, but it’s a privilege to be elected and an honor to be the first Black woman elected to the seat. In a speech last year to OhioNOW, you said,“My run for the Supreme Court is really not about me. It’s about making our government better.” Can you talk more about what that looks like? What should we expect to see moving forward? MJS First of all, I can do nothing by myself. I’m on the court with six other justices; I can do nothing alone. So I think, with the will of the court, my colleagues, the help of the Bar across the State, I hope we can improve our justice system, make it more efficient and more effective. We need to do some reforms in criminal justice; we need to do some rule changes, such that cases don’t linger in the courts unnecessarily for too long. We need to, I think, be more responsive to the people we serve: that might be having more court hours in the evenings so people won’t lose their jobs. We are looking at bail bond reform again so that there aren’t disparities in who has to sit in jail before they have a trial on a case. So I hope that when my time is up, as an officer of the court, that someone—particularly on the Supreme Court—will look back and say, “Our judicial system did get better when she was there.” And if that’s said, then my job will be done.
29 | VINDICATOR
Justice Stewart’s election to the Ohio Supreme Court is incredibly significant for so many people for countless reasons, but it holds a special significance for Cleveland–Marshall. “We could not be more proud of the historic election of two of our most distinguished alumni, Melody Stewart ‘88 and Michael Donnelly ‘92 to the Ohio Supreme Court. They join current Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor ‘80 on the Court. With three judges, Cleveland–Marshall has the most judges on the Ohio Supreme Court of any law school,” said Dean Fisher. Thank you, Justice Stewart, for sharing your remarkable journey. From all of us at Cleveland State; congratulations, Justice Stewart, and best of luck to you on the bench. Be sure to check out the video interview on our website at thevindi.com!
But the historical significance of being the first isn’t lost on me. I think it means more to others than it does for me... but it’s a privilege to be elected and an honor to be the first Black woman elected to the seat. — JUSTICE STEWART
job there. And then when my time on that court is done and if I don’t feel like retiring, I’ll be on to the next great thing; wherever I can make a difference.
Cleveland–Marshall Dean Fisher (left) and Justice Stewart (right) sit in Justice Donnelly and Stewart’s new, shared office on the second f loor of the Law Librar y at CSU.
BEAUTY & WELLNESS
WOMEN IN FASHION
31 | VINDICATOR
MARCH 2019 WRITTEN BY
Imani Stephens ILLUSTRATION BY
Today women are dominating the fashion industry with the support of one another.
c came. I saw. I conquered. Today, female entrepreneurship is growing in the fashion industry at an exceptional pace. It’s hard to go on Instagram without seeing the hashtag
“women in fashion” or, one of my favorites, “girl
boss.” These hashtags were created with an overall
goal of spreading female unity and the awareness of individualized brands. In this field, mostly filled with male designers and where not many women have thrived, some have luckily snuck up, stole, the show and have grown in number. Along with changing the game by growing its number of female designers, women are changing the body image in fashion and what it sounds and acts like. Today, the world is heavily dominated by social media, which means if a brand has a larger following and active engagement, the more likely it is to succeed.
Very often these brands are started by regular women with a creative spark, an Instagram account, and determination. The ability to create something and market it to a wide range of people via the Internet has changed the game in who has a voice in fashion
trends. When you look up you see women of every shade, height, and weight. For years the fashion industry revolved around set limitations of the same beauty standards. Most models were all slim, long legged,
and tall. Now, when you look on the runway, beauty
is explored in every size.
have a say
uniting women. The encouragement post, investing
The Internet has also propelled a movement of in one anothers brands, and reposting content is the main driving source to the rapidly growing female
designer industry. Women today now have a say in what they like to wear and whose body they would
like to put it on. Chicago–based designer, Sheila Rashad (better
known as “Sheila The Designer”) is quickly gaining
popularity and attracting attention from many in the fashion industry. Entertainers such as Chance the
Rapper, award–winning rapper and Chicago native,
at media events to help launch Sheila’s success. The
to put it on.
originality and versatility. Currently, she is working
began wearing her clothes during photoshoots and unisex clothing line gained a fan base because of its on her new collection. She has used a popular model, Mia Gho Gho, who is also a designer trying to work her way into the industry. The cycle of women helping each other launch their dreams is more of what we’re seeing when it comes to female empowerment in 2019. Even men are taking the time to share and show they genuinely support the shift. Hanifa Official is a line where chic meets alluring.
Changing the narrative of what a business woman should look like, the owner Anifa Mvuemba constructed her vision around what she didn’t see in fashion. In an interview with Elle, Mvuemba questions the industry asking, “When am I going to see my skin color? When am I going to see my body type?” Not waiting around for an answer since 2012, she has been dedicated to changing the face of what it means to be a Black curvy woman in fashion. Ciara, popular R&B singer and new mother, was one of the first major celebrities to post the brand. Also recently worn by the popular sports journalist Taylor Rooks to a Super Bowl party, Hanifa is quickly growing in size and acclaim. The support of other women with a platform is the sure way of showing true appreciation for a brand. The voice of women in fashion has come and is here to stay. This is the path that women are presenting in this movement of female bosses and business owners. The owner of House of CB, Conna Walker, shared her story of pushing through to get to the top. Recently, she tweeted how her journey began with her moving to Los Angeles, California with only $400 to her name. With a passion for fashion and a few dresses she handmade, she turned her work into revenue. This, in turn, transitioned into a million–dollar business after years of hard work. Now, the House of CB is being worn by at parties and on the red carpet by high profiled celebrities that include the Kardashians, and the queen herself, Beyonce. These stories are being commonly shared on social media. The power of being honest allows people to connect and want to invest in each other’s brand. Mainly, the everyday woman is being targeted in the industry. Instead of everyone wanting to spend their hard earned money on high–end brands that do not cater to their body, more dollars are being invested into brands that are affordable, high quality, and catered specifically to them. Female fashion is moving toward the future and rapidly evolving . From unisex clothing to chic business wear to sultry party dresses, woman have been dominating the designer industry and social media. In this revolution the old idea of having male designers make the clothes that belong on women’s bodies has now transitioned to women catering to the desires of self. Now the ability to choose what we like to see in terms of fashion helps a large number of women feel more confident in their own skin and believe they, too, are beautiful. Additionally, the accessibility to see an array of females leading million–dollar fashion companies empowers other women to continue in this same pursuit. Every race, size, or background of women matters. Thus, more than anything, it is important for female fashion designers to keep growing so everyone be seen and heard for generations to come.
Specifically catering to everyday hard–working women, Hanifa is an example of a particular brand that is aimed towards empowering the female boss through clothing. THEVINDI.COM | 32
BEAUTY & WELLNESS
EYES, LIPS, FACE
AFFORDABLE MAKEUP FOR ALL WRITTEN BY
e.l.f. is a makeup brand challenging industry standards of expensive cosmetics by providing high–quality products at an inexpensive price.
ince 2004, e.l.f. Cosmetics makeup has created a brand that is accessible in price, quality, and popularity. By not testing on animals, offering a majority of their products under
twenty dollars, and selling in drug stores, makeup
stores, and online, e.l.f. is without a doubt an ethical major player in the international beauty industry. To the surprise of many YouTube creators, makeup artists, and Instagram beauty gurus, e.l.f. is far from low quality. Their products come at a dependable and inexpensive sense of ease in comparison to other companies’ brands. E.l.f. Cosmetics markets over three hundred products ranging from skincare, makeup tools such as brushes, to foundations, mascara, eyeliners, lipsticks, and much more. I would recommend using e.l.f.’s online Skin Care Finder to start your search. I personally use a variety of e.l.f. products in my skin care routine and adventure further into makeup. My product list includes Blemish Control Primer $6, Flawless Finish Foundation $6 in Shade Sand, Volumizing Mascara $2, Instant Lift Brow Pencil $2 in Neutral Brown, Essential Lipstick $1 in Classy, Moonlight Pearls Baked Highlighter $4,
eyeshadow palettes. Every time I’ve shopped at e.l.f.’s
and Intense Ink Eyeliner $4. These fun and afford-
online website, elfcosmetics.com, I’ve spent less than
able products are part of my everyday routine. I’ve
thirty dollars. Of course, even though small purchases
bought e.l.f. gift sets for my friends as cute Christmas
add up, it still is a fantastic deal for the average college
gifts, and they’ve loved them. I’ve started to use the
student on a budget.
e.l.f. Daily Cleanser $4, Mattifying French Clay Mask
The ethical nature of beauty companies in the
$8, and Exfoliating Scrub $5 for additional skincare
industry is necessary in today’s environment for a
steps, as a result of my oily and combination skin. As
multitude of reasons. The ever–growing popularity
of the beginning of this year, e.l.f. is aiming to promote
of beauty standards perpetuated by Instagram influ-
their newest products such as their Hello Hydration!
encers and industry professionals require a social and
face cream, elf+ beauty products collection for one’s
environmental responsibility on part of the makeup
mattifying or hydrating needs, unique face masks and
and beauty companies. Improving and creating envi-
33 | VINDICATOR
BLEMISH CONTROL FACE PRIMER $4 FLAWLESS FINISH FOUNDATION $4 BAKED HIGHLIGHTER MOONLIGHT PEARLS $4
ronmentally–friendly makeup, going zero waste, and combating the disposable and planned obsolescence
DAILY FACE CLEANSER with Purified Water $4
nature of the current industry should be prioritized
MATIFYING MASK with French Green Clay $4
as goals for large and small beauty businesses alike. Cosmetics testing on animals is becoming more
EXFOLIATING SCRUB with Purified Water & Vitamin E $4
commonly regarded as cruel and unnecessary, and consumers are seeking healthier options not just for their food but for their face as well. With e.l.f. prominently providing vegan–friendly products, other larger companies, such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, Too Faced, Milk Makeup, and Urban Decay, have followed suit. As a result, it is essential for makeup companies to be aware of the general consensus if and when it changes. Take, for example, demanding more shades of foundation and appealing to a wider audience that has proven successful in brands like Fenty Beauty. E.l.f. users have noticed that while the shade range provided for foundations and concealers is not as impressive, there is a Mix and Match Foundation Shade Adjuster product for just $4. This shade adjuster contains highly pigmented drops to match one’s unique shade by “lightening, bronzing, or deepening.” Overall, I look forward to my favorite brand developing more of a range for greater accessibility. If veterans or amateurs in the makeup field are still not quite convinced to dip a toe into e.l.f. cosmetics, let us examine the facts: e.l.f. primers were ranked number one in 2018 according to Nielsen U.S., a global measurement and data analytics company. One primer is sold every six seconds and e.l.f. brushes were also ranked similarly last year, with one brush being sold every two seconds. Creators and founders Joseph Shamah and Scott Vincent Borba were inspired to create the company when they saw women with “expensive tastes buying bargain–price cosmetics” at drug stores. They aimed to create a “line of cosmetics to cater to higher–income shoppers, approaching the dollar market, offering them higher quality and innovation, all at a low price.” Their philosophy since their inception is to combine the inner beauty with the outer beauty, making their products effective and inexpensive. I first looked into this brand because of what Borba emphasized in a CNN article—that their makeup and skin care products are specifically designed to alleviate or hide skin issues. By utilizing their products over time, I have without a doubt felt more confident.
e.l.f. released a 16 hour camo concealer for five dollars,
“The consumer feels better inside...with the melding of
and it comes in eighteen different shades. The vice
the two” inner and outer beauties according to Borba.
president of innovation, Ellie Off, has described e.l.f.
Achelle Dunaway, e.l.f.’s global artistic director, notes
as making “luxurious beauty accessible” and allowing
that the company engages with their consumers by
consumers to have fun and experiment. Whether or not
paying attention to what is said online, listening to
their fast products are hit or miss, e.l.f. has consistently
product requests and suggestions.
come out with new and innovative makeup options to
Countless YouTubers, aspiring and successful makeup artists, and beauty product reviewers have put out on
VOLUMIZING MASCARA $6 GEL EYELINER $4 BROW PENCIL $4
impress casual wearers of makeup and professional artists all the same.
the internet their opinions of the fast–fashion brand. The success of e.l.f. is evident; sales between 2014 and 2017 were over 270 million dollars. In 2017, e.l.f. released over one hundred new items. Just this year, THEVINDI.COM | 34
BEAUTY & WELLNESS
THE PROBLEMS WITH
& PERCEPTION WRITTEN BY
Megan Baranuk PHOTOS & ILLUSTRATIONS BY
Recently, it has become time to examine the obligations women have in wearing makeup in order to be perceived as competent.
n today’s society, wearing makeup is almost synonymous to being perceived as powerful, put together, and putting forth best effort. These perceptions cause women to feel obligated to buy expensive products, and layer on makeup that
can cause skin and health issues. Blush, mascara, eye shadow, foundation, concealer...the list of products and accompanying pressures are endless. Makeup products are constantly used to “fix” women’s faces, implying that there is an impenetrable standard of beauty. Therefore, the beauty industry manipulates women into thinking that to be beautiful and confident, their skin must be clear, complexion even, and lashes long. The intolerance
35 | VINDICATOR
for a completely different appearance. Not long after,
body hair was deemed unsightly. Natural occurrences such as cellulite became taboo and something that must be fixed immediately. Psychologically, this causes many insecurities for women who are told that they are not enough, that they’re almost perfect, but not quite. It seems that women are always chasing after the “not quite” that the beauty industry imposes. The beauty industry is a many–headed monster, in the sense that once one “problem” (such as the need for longer lashes) is
FOR A SINGLE TUBE OF FOUNDATION
solved, another sprouts in its place. Every time a product is purchased to solve a wrongly conceived “problem,” the need for a new product immediately arises. The standard of beauty always seems to be centimeters from
for any deviation from their norm in the slightest seems
grasp, always out of reach by the tiniest hair.
to be the wrong way to be. Millions of women willingly
These products do not come without a cost. Not only
subscribe to the beauty industry’s standard of beauty
are makeup products extremely expensive, ranging
apparent in the way others are treated when wearing makeup compared to wearing a bare face. Perceptions of women wearing makeup spans across both genders, leading to wrongly held assumptions. In studies discussed by Psychology Today, both men and women perceive women wearing makeup as more willing to engage in casual sex than women without it. In a particular study, women and men were shown images of women with varying amounts of makeup. Both men and women displayed a positive correlation of attractive women with makeup being more willing to have casual sex, men especially. The more the men found the faces attractive, the more likely they were to assume the women would be more willing to have sex. The women who were photographed were interviewed about how much makeup they wore, how long they took to apply it, and whether they were interested and comfortable in engaging in casual sex. The results indicated that there was no correlation between makeup usage, application time, and a woman’s interest in casual sex, showing that there is assumptions constantly being made about women and their makeup usage, whether it be positive or negative.
from $25 to $80 for a singular tube of foundation, but it also can be harmful to women's health. Risks vary, the most prevalent including migraines, acne, reproductive
issues, premature aging, and an increased risk for
of chemicals used constantly by cosmetic companies are
cancer. Parabens, formaldehyde, and various cocktails to blame. The skin absorbs many of these chemicals,
incorporating it into the body, and causing serious
health issues. Alarmingly, cosmetic companies have
concerning their products to the FDA. To regulate makeup,
no obligations to report legitimate health complaints all cases of health issues must be self reported, leading to unknowably large cases of underreporting. The fact
that women must place themselves in the position
makeup usage is unreasonable. However, the health
to acquire health problems due to the perception of risks seem necessary for women to secure a beneficial
and perfection, even if it’s subconsciously. This is
salary, position, or even basic necessities when speaking to authoritative figures. From what I’ve seen there is a drastic difference in the way I am treated, correlating directly with my choice in wearing makeup, or going barefaced. When choosing to wear makeup, it seems that those around me pay more attention to me, and ensure that my needs are met.
Even in the workplace, wearing makeup will affect
When barefaced, others will often not accommodate my
the way a woman is perceived, according to a study
needs, or treat me as an inconvenience. Experiencing
done by Perception. Women perceive makeup–wearing women as dominant and promiscuous, and can become jealous. Men perceive makeup–wearing women as
LAYERING ON MAKEUP
this phenomenon multiple times, it is upsetting and tedious that I must do this in order to be taken seriously. I constantly must expose myself to health risks, and
more prestigious than a woman foregoing makeup.
spend periods of time applying makeup, which could
In the realms of employment, this means that women
have been used in a more productive manner. Makeup
wearing makeup have a higher chance of being employed,
has always had a prominent pedestal in society, and
securing promotions, and receiving more benefits than
likely will not disappear. There are steps to take to
those who go without it. In pursuing employment, the
minimize usage and be more cognizant of the brands
bitter truth is that women usually must wear makeup
one can endorse, as well as making healthier choices
for others to form positive perceptions of them as
regarding makeup usage. Realizing that perceptions
held based on makeup usage are not always correct is
In terms of the beauty industry, companies have sought to convince women that they are imperfect through every age. One of the first successfully marketed cosmetic
CAN CAUSE HEALTH ISSUES
important, as each woman has unique values, skills, and personality regardless of her choice in makeup products and application.
products was hair dye. This product offered the chance THEVINDI.COM | 36
THE IMPACT OF DISCRIMINATION ON MENTAL HEALTH
Reshae Davenport ILLUSTRATION BY
An exploration of a rarely discussed topic affecting our society.
onversations have arisen about disparities
York University Steinhardt. “We know much more
between various groups in the United States
about the psychological processes of white individuals
resulting from systematic oppression
who hold varying levels of racial bias than about the
and conscious and/or unconscious biases
psychological processes of non–white individuals
of others. Over the course of Barack
who are directly or indirectly affected by racism,”
Obama’s terms as president, and the election and
she writes. Understanding both sides provides a more
current presidency of Donald Trump, analysts have
well rounded picture, and sheds light on how having
noted an increase in division and extremity in politics.
minority versus majority status in America can lead
Sensitivity regarding racism, discrimination, political
to drastically different experiences of American life.
correctness, and multiculturalism have
For example, videos of white police officers shooting
become increasingly prevalent across
unarmed Black people caused a stir during the Obama
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presidency and continued since Trump’s election.
According to Professor David R.
Many Black people who had first and second hand
Williams of Harvard University,
experiences with criminal injustice, or who found
Barack Obama’s election lead
reports of police violence and racial biases to be
to the rise of the Tea Party
consistent with the historical struggles of their people,
movement and its racist
were deeply affected. According to Williams, “at the
rhetoric, as well as the belief
population level, police killings of unarmed Black
among some whites that
Americans resulted in 55 million poor mental health
racism had been eliminated.
days annually in the Black American community.”
However, he explained that those same killings “had
states that during “the
no effects on whites.” Understanding how the mental
wake of Trump’s election,
health of minority individuals is affected in cases where
there was a spike in hate
these biases play out can give credence to their self–
crimes and harassment.”
reported harmful experiences with discrimination.
Consequently, the current
Additionally, a scientific understanding of all of the
political climate has further
ways that discrimination affects minorities means
elevated the need to explore
that better informed decisions can be made regarding
negative mental health effects
how to best serve and support their communities.
of discrimination against minority
The first pathway that leads to negative impacts
groups. Unfortunately, research on
on minorities’ mental health is internalized racism.
this subject is limited, according to
Internalized racism is defined as, “a gradual process
Sumie Okazaki, a professor at New
by which individuals of a stigmatized racial/ethnic
group consciously or subconsciously come to assume
suffering, and injustice for wrong doings against
the wider society’s negative stereotypes about their
their communities contributes to poor mental
group.” Internalized racism lowers the self–worth
health outcomes in minority populations. Mass
of minorities, limiting their beliefs in their abilities.
incarceration, aggressive policing, and racist policies
Williams noted that internalized racism is very pervasive,
have lead to decades of unfavorable relations between
with one third of Blacks experiencing high degrees of
police officers and the Black community. Williams
internalized racism. Dwane M. Mouzon and Jamila S.
cited a study of young Black men in New York
McLean analyzed data from a survey taken by nationally
City that showed that repeated interactions with
representative samples of African Americans and
law enforcement, paired with perceived injustice,
Afro–Caribbeans and found that internalized racism
triggered symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder
was positively associated with depressive symptoms
(PTSD) in Black youth. African–American women
and psychological distress. However, foreign–born
experiencing the effects of repeat encounters with
Afro–Caribbeans harbored less internalized racism
discrimination even had low birth weight rates of
than those born in the United States. Due to growing up
in a predominately Black culture, where Black people
All in all, discrimination has significant and far–
held various positions of power, the Afro–Caribbean
reaching psychological effects on minorities. More
people had normalized the idea of Black empowerment.
work needs to be done to explore this connection.
The results of this experiment help to explain why
When oppressed groups speak about the need for
so many Black Americans celebrated having the first
trigger warnings and safe spaces, their reasons
Black president when Barack Obama was elected, or
should be understood, and not written off as overly
why they flooded theaters to watch “Black Panther.”
sensitive behavior. As more knowledge is generated
Representation has real mental health consequences
and spread throughout the public, society can
for minority group members.
become more capable of ensuring the health and
The second pathway is institutional and structural
safety of all of its citizens.
racism, defined by American medical researcher Brian D. Smedley as “racism [that] results from a system of social structures that produces cumulative, durable, equal white and Black housing applicants are not treated fairly in the housing market. Smedley explained that White applicants are consistently favored over Black applicants, allowing whites to have better access to quality housing. According to Williams, a long history of housing discrimination and segregation has lead to many blacks living in neighborhoods that are unhealthy. Williams further explains that the unsafe living conditions that result from institutional racism lowers life expectancies of African Americans. A consequence of these lower life expectancies is that “Black children are three times as likely to lose a mother by age ten, and Black adults are more than twice as likely to lose a child by age 30 and a spouse by age 60.” Williams cites research that asserts that “this elevated rate of bereavement and loss of social ties is a unique stressor that adversely affects mental (and physical health) over the life course.” The final pathway is encounters with racism and discrimination. The effects of discrimination are similar to the effects of other forms of social stress such as bullying and emotional abuse. Kamaldeep Bhui, Senior Lecturer in Social and Epidemiological Psychiatry at St Bartholomew’s and Royal London School of Dentistry, explains that “discrimination and prejudice perhaps have a negative impact through the exercise of power relationships, and unfair infliction of personally insulting or derogatory acts.” Constant feelings of victimization by the larger part of society, exclusion, repeated examples of indifference to their
Black children are three times as likely to lose a mother by age ten, and Black adults are more than twice as likely to lose a child by age 30 and a spouse by age 60.
race–based inequalities.” Research has shown that
THEVINDI.COM | 38
THE DESTRUCTION DONE BY THE OBLIVIOUS TOURIST W
hat you might not realize walking down
those pristine beaches of Florida, is that that very sand may have had its origins
in a very different location. With natural erosion and
exacerbated by rising sea levels, sand replenishments
Darlene Nichole Moorman
The coral reefs are dying, trees are being cut down, and residential rents rising… all in name of providing a happy holiday for the oblivious tourist.
have become more and more needed and costly for tourist hotspots across the country. Since 1944, as mentioned in Reuters’ “Factbox: Sifting through U.S. beach sand numbers,” Florida has spent around 1.3 billion dollars (not accounting for inflation) to cover over 200 miles. Also, Florida is not alone with six other states in 2017 having supported sand–refilling efforts. Why has so much effort and money gone to sending truckloads of increasingly expensive sand to beaches just to inevitably be washed away? Tourism.
39 | VINDICATOR
Beaches are not the only perishing tourist attraction.
Anti–tourism trends have been seen across Europe
“Half Of The Great Barrier Reef Has Died Since 2016” reports one Forbes article authored by Trevor Nace in 2018,
where residents have protested increasing rents
commenting on how the once colorful ecosystems have
and other consequences of tourism. Almost twenty
bleaching has been attributed to rising temperatures and pollution but also to the actions of irresponsible tourists and profiteers of the massive tourism industry (through cruise ship anchoring and other marine disturbances, sewage pollution, breaking off of coral to sell, et cetera). By 2050, scientists have predicted 90 percent of coral reefs will be dead, negatively impacting marine wildlife with devastating consequences and disappointing over two million annual visitors to the reef. The UN declared 2017 as the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.” Two years later, however, and the glaring problems with tourism have persisted and are in many places as stark as ever. According to World Travel and Tourism Council’s 2018 Economic Impact report, 10.4 percent of the world’s GDP and almost 10 percent of jobs are from tourism. This is only increasing, with global tourism growing faster and faster. This means, unfortunately growing concerns of gentrification and rapid urbanization, which can threaten native residents and certain ecological features. Mass modern tourism, often excessive and under regulated, has led to an array of ramifications to the communities they latch onto. Those communities make notice. In analysing patterns and trends of tourism, the question of sustainability has been a reoccuring theme
facing the city (Ortiz). Also in Spain, as described in 2018 article “Valencia joins the fight against holiday rentals” by Ignacio Zafra, Valencia’s local government
From nature to culture, tourism places
has been introducing itself into a greater role in tourism regulation. In Palma de Mallorca, apartments are not even allowed to be rented to tourists. Outside of Europe, similar reactions have manifested. As discussed in Tashi Lundup’s 2013 “Contemporary Ladakh: Culture, Commodification and Tourism,”
since opening to outside visitors in the 70’s, Ladakh, a
to “protect its identity.” Tourism has meant a diverging
the more modern and materialistic, as a result of tourism)
mountainous region of India, has since developed a need identity (tourist–favored traditional side in contrast to and has reinvented culture and arguably constructed less–authentic “pseudocommunities” distorting to tourists’ preferences, according to Lundup.
Tourist activities affect natural wildlife and
environments. The abnormal presence of people has affected populations and caused stress to animals, even noted to have affected birth rates as a result. Five percent of carbon dioxide emissions, as noted by the UN World Tourism Organization, are released as a result of the operations behind tourism.
in academic work. The Tourism Area Life Cycle, or Butler
From 1990 to 2016, over 500,000 square miles of
Model, outlined in R.W. Butler’s 1980 “The Concept
trees were chopped down as stated by Christina Nunez
of a Tourist Area Cycle of Evolution: Implications for
of National Geographic. According to “Tourism and
Management of Resources,” describes a graphed curve
Deforestation in the Mt Everest Region of Nepal” by Stan
by which tourism will either lead to “rejuvenation”
Stevens in 2003, tourism’s demand for firewood and
or “decline” as a response to limited resources and
timber has caused considerable mass deforestation and
intensifying concentrated and abundant tourist
left an “environmental mess.” Local forest regulations
occupation. In addition to physical limits to tourism,
and conservation efforts were ignored in interest of
Doxey’s Irritation Index Model, for example, touched on
profitable tourism in the 80’s. As a response, Nepal
in Esther Ortiz’s “When Mass Tourism Drives Inequality”
eventually established the Sagarmatha National Park
paper on Inequality.org, considers a “social carrying
which, as Stevens points out, brings a new issue as
capacity” in which increasing numbers of tourists may
native people are displaced as a result.
come with native backlash. At least in part, resistance to tourism can be described
PHOTO CREDIT GOOGLE IMAGES
percent answering to a 2017 Barcelona City Council survey answered “tourism” as the biggest problem
turned into a sad beige gravesite. The majority of coral
From nature to culture, tourism places overwhelming and crushing pressure on communities. This is not
as a response to globalization. However, as certain
to say tourism is necessarily evil and irresponsible.
communities and locations are institutionalized into a
Nonetheless, when done as it is currently on a large
well–oiled machine for earning short-term profits, it is
scale—highly concentrated, commodifying of culture,
no surprise that the lives of the ordinary person and local
and over–exhausting of resources—it not only negligently
culture can suffer. Native culture can be exploited and
ignores the insecurity of the tourist industry and the
inaccurately represented through the selling of cheap
employment of its workers, but also leaves the very
gift–shop trinkets and presentation of entertaining,
communities and nature it ironically values enough to pay to visit and enjoy, worse off.
THEVINDI.COM | 40
BETWEEN US WRITTEN BY
Briana Oldham Pioneer women behind the camera making a splash and influencing the next generation.
ow we see ourselves is important. It is instilled in us from a young age that how others view us is just as significant. There are examples of this thinking all around us—whether it’s a little girl playing dress
up in a lab coat with a stethoscope, or a little boy making
siren noises every time he’s in a car. Images we take in help shape us and in turn make us who we are. Some of the most notable, influential, and inspirational work we’ve witnessed comes in film and television. There is a beautiful world of fiction and true stories that keep young girls and boys everywhere dreaming big.
As March is Women’s History Month, female talents whose careers are larger than life on the big and small
representation of what complex and not so complex
screen deserve to be noted. In no particular order, we
relationships, love and family look like.
will look at their lives and the gripping stories they’ve been responsible for bringing to life. Ava Duvernay wears many hats—writer, producer,
What makes a woman wonderful? This next lady of “la la land” is Patty Jenkins, and she would be able to tell you exactly what makes a Wonder Woman, as she
and director, just to name a few. She is a woman
was the director behind the biggest grossing movie of
who, in the last few years, has broken barriers for
the summer of 2017. In the box office, the superhero
women behind the camera in Hollywood. The list of
blockbuster raked in $819 million worldwide, making
accomplishments is long for someone who once stated,
Jenkins the first female director to record these
“Film school was a privilege I could not afford.” From
kinds of numbers. While she is no stranger to the big
being the first African–American woman who won
screen, it is her work on the project for Netflix, “The
Best Director Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival
Killing,” that put her name in the conversation about
for “Middle of Nowhere” to winning an Emmy for her
successful television show directors. She has blazed a
documentary “13th” in 2017 to becoming the highest
trail highlighting women as strong dynamic characters.
grossing Black filmmaker in America for Disney’s “A
Another popular favorite was the gritty movie “Monster,”
Wrinkle in Time” in 2018, the list speaks volumes about
based on the true story serial killer of Aileen Wuornos.
the kind of person Duvernay is and the types of work
While the movie was largely praised for the extreme
she produced. She has vowed to tell stories through a
transition of Wuornos’ character played by actress
lens that shed light on the atrocities of today and at the
Charlize Theron, it was the magnificently brilliant
same time gives hope for a better tomorrow. Duvernay’s
way the story was told that helped catapult the film
list of credits includes television show “Queen Sugar,”
to major success. Jenkins is currently working on a
chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King’s life Selma and a
limited series for cable station TNT, “I Am the Night,”
current project detailing the injustice five young men
which chronicles the Black Dahlia Murder through a
suffered when wrongfully accused of a heinous crime
connection in young adult Fauna Hodel. Though only
titled “Central Park Five.” She is sure to be around for
having aired a couple episodes, it is already receiving
years to come and seeks to tell stories that are a true
41 | VINDICATOR
Ask anyone what their favorite night of television is, and most would say Thursdays. Coined “T.G.I.T.,” this evening on ABC belongs to Shonda Rhimes. She has been at the helm of nighttime favorites like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” and, most recently, “For the People.” Rhimes has also mastered the art of a successful spin–off with two shows from “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice,” and new creation “Station 19.” Her claim to fame came when “Grey’s Anatomy,” on air since 2005, first appeared on television screens everywhere. Set in a hospital in Seattle, it is the most successful and longest running medical drama since NBC’s “ER.” The notable characters are what make the show a fan favorite, from the eye candy in Drs. McDreamy and McSteamy to the ultimate fixer Olivia Pope and the salacious killer of a lawyer Annalise Keating. Rhimes is known for telling some of the most beautiful stories in the most creative way. “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” are two examples of dynamic and controversial characters of color. She has been a champion of change and brought many firsts to evening television. From telling stories about LGBTQ+ relationships to having characters with
unseen. It is their success, triumph and storytelling
disabilities, Rhimes has a connection with her viewers that is reflected in the depth of the conversations her work provokes. Representation matters. Seeing these women from various walks of life with ranging backgrounds influences the future filmmakers of tomorrow. These Hollywood hard workers give a face to a job that typically goes
that have amplified them and made young girls want to become visionaries as well. Marsai Martin, who plays
Diane on “black–ish,” will be the youngest executive producer of a major Hollywood movie when her film “Little” comes out this spring. Martin has expressed that
There is a
her idea wasn’t taken seriously by higher ups, and after doors being closed on the project, one finally opened. In
light of wanting to pursue other films, she has signed a first–look deal with Universal Pictures, slowing her
the ability to develop scripted projects. Martin was
featured as TIME magazine’s Most Influential Teens of 2018. She expressed in the interview that when
you believe in something, you will stand up for it and
that seeing women in a male–dominated industry and
push for it to become a reality. I can’t help but think knowing there have been women before her who’ve made great strides and continue to do so, makes her
want to not just reach the ceiling, but go through the
truly the limit.
roof. For women behind the camera or pen, the sky is
PHOTO CREDIT GOOGLE IMAGES
THEVINDI.COM | 42
43 | VINDICATOR
WRITER’S BLOCK WRITTEN BY
Blank pages scare me
The emptiness stares back tauntingly
I want to fill up the page so badly that I’ll write just about anything down so I can get the ball rolling
But when I come back later I’m angry at myself for not just waiting until something more meaningful came
Why am I so afraid of the empty page
Logically I know that I’ll eventually fill it up
If I wait the words will mean something to me
I’ll see myself shining in each sentence
But I don’t
I rush through my writing as I do my life
Then I’m left to erase my work
And I end up right where I began
Staring at the page that’s a metaphor for my self destructive actions THEVINDI.COM | 44
It’s people like you who make me want to kill myself (sometimes) Predator, who gave you permission to transform me into a victim? Attacked, a victim A victim doesn’t sound like me That doesn’t sound like me at all You see, I never thought a person could be so full of violence You see, I could see it When you were pressuring my body to the ground Until you broke my back You see, I could see it It was dripping When you were trying to aggressively snatch a piece of me Violence was dripping It was dripping on my lips, so thick and hard to swallow When I think of violence I picture you I picture your face, your words They didn’t make sense Pardon me, you predator Your words simply didn’t make sense to me I still go back, go back to the time after you ran off It was an out of body experience, Me laying there, on the ground If only that same ground would slightly crack And swallow me Swallow me whole But even the ground managed to fail me. That night I lost a piece of my faith, crumble Everything started to crumble after you After that night It felt like you already took what you wanted to take And it wasn’t a piece of cloth on my head It wasn’t something you could measure Not a matter of existence More Much much more Than you or anyone else could ever endure
45 | VINDICATOR
UNTITLED WRITTEN BY
The moment I met you I became psychic all of my senses were no longer the same I could see the future and in it there was you.
THEVINDI.COM | 46
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