How Your Body Language Impacts Your Success

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by Jenna McDaniel

Success – in whatever form it might take, and however we define it – is what many of us strive for in life. Education is often the starting point, but it seems like we’re always working towards achieving some degree of success in something. Many of us hope that the success we earn early in life will carry over into our future careers. Doing your best and working hard seem to be ongoing expectations, and yet not everyone is able to translate these efforts into tangible successes. In the workforce, for example, work ethic, presentation, expertise, teamwork, and surprisingly, body language, are all factors that play heavily into our path to success. Continue reading

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Afraid of Me

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By Jessy Forsmo-Shadid

Can I finally rest? And say that
the test, for now, has ended?
That I can breathe, reflect, be at ease.
Now every tease can cease to exist
in the mist of my today, tomorrow, and hopefully,
hopefully the next day.
“
Please, I pray, I promise to pay attention to
me and not he. I’ll give myself what I need
and sow the seed to grow a better me.”
But broken mirrors, a bent heart, a body
built for no one, beats the brave,
the beautiful, the bottom of who I am.
Me! God, please let me free and give me
courage to see what I have been so blind to notice.
Remind me that my skin is not inferior,
that no one is superior, and that I can be
proud to be where and who I am. Tell me that I’m more
than my chest, my breasts, the shell of my past,
present, and future. Say the things that should be taught
to children, fought by teens, and brought up by
everyone else. Shout from the depths of your soul,
“
Love is important! And so are you.”
Because the girl with cuts, the guy with slits, and people
that seem to miss the point to not be like the him or her
in magazines built with fantasies, live on those words.
Do not whisper and hope to catch ear that’ll hear
and forget the fear of non-perfection. Let it be known
that they are not alone. Let it be heard that love
starts with themselves. You. Only you,
live with yourself for the rest of your life.
Be strong enough to say, I love myself today.

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Femvertising

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by Jenna McDaniel

From its earliest origins, media advertising has portrayed women in terms of their sex appeal to society. The more nudity or sexual references illustrated in ads, the greater the sales in this often amoral and profit-driven industry. Over the years, companies and businesses have struggled to find a balance between what will sell their product, and what’s socially acceptable. The recent phenomenon of Femvertising is a pro-female advertising movement that is geared by marketers toward better engaging and inspiring women consumers. According to Samantha Key, Chief Revenue Officer of SheKnows, women are part of a $7 trillion market, and they make up to 85 percent of household purchasing decisions. Forbes has reported that women are on a trajectory to control more than two-thirds of the nation’s wealth by 2030. With marketing techniques such as femvertising, brands are building deeper, stronger, and overall more powerful relations with women, the growing power among consumer groups.

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Health Care Reform and Religious Freedom

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By Alicia Williams

Margaret Sanger must be rolling in her grave. How can the availability of such a widely-used health care product, legally available in the U.S. since 1965 and taken by more than 100 million women worldwide, be challenged so contentiously in court? Certain employers have decided they don’t want to provide health insurance for this particular product anymore. Can you guess what it is? Birth control. According to the Guttmacher Institute for sexual and reproductive health, more than 99% of U.S. women aged 15–44 who have ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method, with the Pill being the most popular. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has classified the development of the contraceptive pill in the Top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century. The pill doesn’t just help with the prevention of pregnancy, but with many other health problems as well, such as anemia, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease. From what I can tell, birth control has had a tremendously beneficial impact on women and society, so why is it being challenged in court?

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Empowering Women Through Education

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by Jenna McDaniel

The United States is not the only country falling woefully short in presenting equal opportunities for all. Worldwide, we have increased the number of educated women, yet statistics still remain low in comparison to men. The UN General Assembly recently addressed this topic in their 69th session, and noted that the advantages of educating women extend far beyond what we might expect the impact to be. The article Educate women and their community will prosper. Deny them education and the world will suffer, by Julia Gillard and Cate Blanchett, elaborates on the deep-rooted, positive aspects of addressing this ongoing issue, including a woman’s impact on her family and her community, as well as the economy.  Continue reading

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Pink October

Submitted to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Sept. 2014

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By Gillian Sharma

It hasn’t even arrived yet, but I am already looking forward to when October is over. Not to say there aren’t good things about October – fall colors, my younger son’s birthday, my birthday for that matter. But October is overwhelmingly BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. Around this time of year, I get the urge to do something. A couple of years ago, I sent an opinion piece to the Daily News. I ranted on Facebook about the sexual innuendo-laden games. Last year, I complained about teens wearing I HEART BOOBIES wrist bands, so they could snicker and say the word “breast.” I refused to wear pink because, after all, breast cancer is not a pink, fluffy, happy disease, but a nasty, insidious monster that kills and disfigures.

Everyone who knows me also knows how I feel about pink washing; how so often, little, if any, money from the purchase of pink products goes to something that matters – like research to find a cure. Do you know what tipped me over the edge last year? A picture a reader sent to the Daily News that was published. You know, on the inside cover. A picture of a teacher who had dyed his hair and beard pink, in honor of BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH, as a challenge to his students to donate candy (or money to buy candy, I can’t remember which) for a community event.

This made me stop and think, and it finally dawned on me that October is not about helping those living and dying with breast cancer, or supporting research; it’s all about BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH, which is becoming little more than an excuse to buy pink crap, giggle about a sexy cancer, or make money for one’s business.

I want this year to be different. Do you know someone with cancer? I would like to challenge you to do something to make a difference. Instead of buying pink ribbon t-shirts, pink toilet paper, and yogurts with pink lids to “do your bit”, you could make a meal for a cancer patient who is too tired to cook, or offer to drive them to radiation treatment, which can often be a trip down to Lewiston every day for several weeks. You could clean house or pay someone to do it for a cancer patient who is too tired or sick to handle the work, look after someone’s children, or grocery shop. You get the idea. The worst thing you can say is, “Let me know if I can do something.” Offer, then do it.

And remember all the other cancer patients who happen to have an un-sexy cancer, like bladder, lung, or colon cancer. We don’t generally wear ribboned t-shirts for them, or buy yogurts with specially colored lids for their cancer, or have a month long “celebration”. They deserve our time and attention, too.

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A Conversation with Duke Porn Star and Feminist, Belle Knox

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by Monica Reid

It’s that time of the year again; students all over the world are returning to school with renewed hope and excitement for the upcoming year. But for some, namely Duke University sophomore and Spokane native Miriam Weeks, returning to her beloved university was less like going back to a newfound home, and more like entering unprecedented territory. Along with being a full-time Pre-Law student, Weeks also works as an adult film star, acting under the alias Belle Knox (NSFW). Last year, she endured hateful scrutiny and alienation from her peers, including violent threats, hate mail, cyber bullying, and slut shaming, for her decision to work in the porn industry. I had the opportunity to interview her about her experiences last year while at Duke, as well as her expectations for this year. Continue reading

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