What is a Woman’s Intuition?

By Molly Fredriksson

woman
Source: Google Creative Commons

At some point in our lives as women, we have had that “gut feeling”. That feeling of just knowing that something is off, or maybe that you know everything is going to work out just fine. Either way, it’s a woman’s internal “knowing” that something is already going to happen. Some women describe it as their “sixth” sense. I personally think it is a special power that women are blessed with, and when we learn to use it correctly, it can enhance our lives. 

The tricky part is deciphering intuition versus anxiety. This is something I have struggled with my whole life because even anxiety can give you the “gut” feeling. But what I have come to realize is when it is anxiety it is usually associated with fear and resistance. When it is your intuition, whether the situation is good or bad, your mind is met with peace and acceptance of what is. 

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The Strong Female Character

By Samantha Baugh

The Strong Female Character has existed in films for decades, but is making a surge in young adult literature. Such authors as Veronica Roth, Suzanne Collins, Leigh Bardugo, and Cassandra Clare tend to dominate discussions or mentions of anything related to the Young Adult genre, especially that of strong female characters. These women are part of a group of prominent female YA authors who have offered up pieces of art which empower young girls to be better than what the common media is asking them to be. Collectively, they are all accomplishing the same goal— young female characters who teach young female readers how to be bold and stand up for themselves. Although, these authors are not independently doing anything unique. In fact, there are a few articles that would argue they’re all doing mostly the same thing and that in the end it is still problematic. 

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A Woman in Finance

By Samantha Krier

It is intimidating to enter into a major that you know almost nothing about, and a major that historically has not had a great deal of women in it. When I decided on my major and announced it to my family and friends, I got a lot of confused looks. There wasn’t really a lot of excitement or congratulations. They told me “that’s a good field to get into” rather than “what a great choice for you!” This is understandable, since I do not really seem like I fit into the business world. My personality is very shy, and I have showed more aptitude for reading and writing than business. In addition, I had never really told anyone that I wanted to be in the business world. This reaction wasn’t uncalled for, but it made me nervous that no one seemed to believe in my decision.

When I started in my major, I had no experience in Business or Finance, and everything was new to me. I had to learn very fast and start from the bottom to be where some of my classmates already were. Some people had been investing already, and some had been reading and listening to podcasts about the market for a while. Surprisingly, there was an almost equal mix of men and women in my classes. In some of the upper-level classes, there might have been more men, but it was pretty close. The university did a great job in this way. Nevertheless, I still was intimidated by some of the men in my classes who acted like they knew everything already. They already had the upper hand, because more men have been in Finance historically, and the field may be more partial to hiring them.

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COVID-19 Societal Effects on Women

By Molly Fredriksson

File:Coronavirus COVID-19 prevention.svg
Source: Google Creative Commons

A virus cannot discriminate, but the socioeconomic way it affects women and men is vastly different. Governors in the United States began shutting down parts of their states and businesses in March due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Although this was essential to stop the spread of the virus, we are seeing the shutdowns affect the genders differently. Childcare services, care for the sick, female sexual and reproductive health jobs, and other caregiving type positions are typically filled by female workers, leading them to increased stress, exposure, and even workplace violence.

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Feminism; Myths and Misconception

By Hailley Smart

As long as there has been feminism, there have been many myths about it. As time has moved on some of these myths have fallen away and new ones have sprung up. In this article I will be discussing some of the most relevant and common myths in 2020 about feminism. I will be looking into how the misconceptions are wrong and providing links to other sources (both through the University of Idaho’s Women’s Blog and other sites) that can be utilized to dig deeper into these myths.

Women are already equal/there is no need for feminism anymore

While it is true that feminism has made many strides in furthering equality, there are still many areas where women are behind. Women are still twice as likely to do the majority of the housework (averaging 14 hours of housework a week, while men are reported to average 7). Women still get paid less in many fields of employment. Many jobs are also far more exclusive of mothers then of fathers. For more on why feminism still matters, I suggest looking into Kailyn Eagy’s article “Is the Women’s March Still Relevant?” and the APA’s article “What Feminism Means Today”.

Feminists can only be women/Men can’t be feminists

While it is a true statement to say that women care about their own equality, it is not exclusive to only women. Equality between the sexes is important to all. The idea that if you are not female you cannot relate to feminism is nonsense. There are many notable male feminists: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, and John Legend, who said in 2013, “All men should be feminists. If men care about women’s rights, the world will be a better place. We are better off when women are empowered — it leads to a better society.”

Feminists believe that women are above men.

Yes, there are some who claim to be feminists who do believe that women are superior to men, however that is not true to the spirit of feminism and that is not what feminism represents. Feminism is at its heart about fighting for the equality of all. No gender is better or worse than any other. Feminism endorses and advocates for human rights for all gender identities since everyone deserves to be treated equally. I recommend the Forbes article “True Feminism is About Equality for Both Genders”. I also recommend the post by Beatrice Santiago called “Feminism”.

Feminists hate men

This is one of the most harmful of the myths about feminism. Not only are many feminists men themselves, but it is entirely unfounded to say that all feminists are man-haters. The stereotype of the raging man hating feminist is entirely unfounded. Feminism merely seeks to point out the gender imbalance that is often perpetuated by both men and women. Believing this myth perpetuates feminism as misandry and creates a mindset of hatred of, contempt for, and prejudice against men in general.

Feminists can’t be feminine

The idea that feminist can’t be stereotypically feminine is an outdated idea. That feminists hate fashion, make up, and all things that are traditionally feminine is flawed for one primary reason. It is based on the idea that all feminists are the same. While there are many feminists that are very much against flowing skirts and heels, that is their personal choice based on their own interests. There are equally as many feminists (both male and female) who embrace the ‘girlier’ aspects of appearance (many of the most traditionally feminine clothes have even been used as symbols of feminism). The choice to embrace traditionally feminine or masculine traits is exactly that, an individual’s choice and not a representation of feminism as a whole. Being feminist means giving and getting the chance to not be forced to follow either way. It is about having the freedom to CHOOSE what each individual wants without fear of judgement or condemnation.

Feminists are crazy and oversensitive

Just as there are feminists who are traditionally feminine, there are feminists, non-feminists and anti-feminists that are very easily offended. There are also members of each group that are hardly offended by anything. Neither of these mindsets are wrong, just as neither are right. They are simply facts of each person’s identity. The reason this one is held to be true is due to the fact that the media tends to display the most radical factions of any group in order to gather the most attention and readership. There is no single type of feminism, and there is no single type of person who is a feminist.

As with any defining movement in history there have been and are a wide variety of misconceptions and myths that have been spread about feminism over time. I hope that I have given you some insight into some of the most common misconceptions about feminism nowadays, as well as a variety of sites and sources to look further into. For an interesting view of anti-feminism, I also suggest reading Sierra Rothermich’s article “Looking Through The Eyes Of An Anti-Feminist”.

Countries Led by Women: Responding to Covid-19

By: Kailen Skewis

The coronavirus has done a lot of harm over the last few months, affecting people worldwide. Some countries, including the United States, have suffered from not taking the virus seriously enough and are seeing a rise in cases and deaths even months later. Countries such as Germany, Taiwan, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Finland, and New Zealand have some of the lowest recorded deaths linked to the Coronavirus. They are also all countries which are led by women.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

GERMANY, ANGELA MERKEL

5,805 deaths.

The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, has been taking the Coronavirus very seriously from the get-go. Germany is conducting around 350,000 tests a week, which is many more than any other European country. Out of the top five most affected countries they have had the most tests per 1 million people making up its population. German authorities have been able to successfully and efficiently slow the spread of the virus through their widespread testing procedures. It has also enabled lifesaving treatment to be administered in a timelier way. At the moment, Germany is trying to safely open places like stores and parks back up.

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Drag, Feminism, and Inclusion

By Kailyn Eagy

a drag queen performing is backlit. Blurry images of a crowd are in the background
A drag queen performing. Source: Creative Commons

Drag is defined as members of one sex impersonating the other. Men who become drag queens impersonate women. Drag kings are the opposite. However, it is becoming more common for women to get into drag hair, makeup, and dress as women – this type of drag is known as “bio queens”. Essentially, over exaggerated versions of themselves or their alter egos. Here is drag queen Trixie Mattel sharing the history of drag culture

The art of drag has been accepted more and more among common society as topics of gender, sexuality, and fluidity have been more of a conversation. Much of its mainstream popularity is due to the competition reality show Rupaul’s Drag Race. It is common for gay bars and nightclubs to host performances by drag queens and kings. Many people either adore drag or are confused by it. Based on its close ties to gender, I would like to explore the relationship between drag and feminism.

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Gender Bending in Theater

By Samantha Baugh

When we watch a Shakesperian play today we might find a few female characters who are well developed, strong, or autonomous. Rosalind is perhaps the primary example of this, with a few others who deserve mention— Desdemona, Portia, Viola, and Hermia. While I think it unlikely that some of the plays these characters operate within could pass the Bechdel Test, it is important to note that at the time Shakespeare was developing these characters, women were bound to household duties and many of these characters are breaking gender traditions. 

woman with a black and white vest and tall red and white striped hat plays at a drum set
Rosie O’Donnell as The Cat in the Hat in Seussical (Aubrey Reuben) from Playbill

At the time of these strong female characters’ stage premieres, they were played by male actors. In fact, every character was played by a man; it was illegal for a woman to be on a commercial stage until 1661. How does this change the play? What would it do to audiences today if a company were to cast Rosalind as a male? These decisions will determine the audience’s reception of the play. In today’s social climate art forms lead social change by inspiring conversation, which are often a result of the decisions made at the audition table. 

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Gender and Animal Crossing

By Amy Alfredson

Two animated characters standing on a dock under a half moon.
Animal Crossing New Horizons with Friends; Image by Author

It is nigh impossible these days to traverse the internet without encountering the glory that is Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It is the quarantine game and Nintendo Switches are sold out in nearly every store. While looking at island renovations and interactions with various islanders is fun, what those who do not play the game miss is the complete lack of gender conforming necessities. Basically all Animal Crossing games have functioned the same way, but since this one is the most recent, let’s swim through some of the best non-gendered parts of this game. 

         Firstly, the game expects everyone to do everything. This means that players are expected to fish, catch bugs, design clothes, make furniture, renovate the land, garden, and find fossils regardless of gender. Typically, some of these activities are particularly gendered outside of the game. Gardening, at least with flowers how the game does it, and clothing design are seen as feminine activities, whereas fishing, land renovation, and building are normally masculine. In Animal Crossing, your gender really does not play a role in your position on the island or what you can or cannot do, something that is slowly but surely being incorporated into our own lives outside of the game. Some could argue that the clothing design and tailor’s shop is still quite feminine, seeing as the two hedgehogs that run the shop are sisters Mabel and Sable. This is obviously true, but beyond that, the sisters practically raised themselves, started a business, and were successful enough that their youngest sister Labelle could become a fashion designer and they could move their store to a deserted island and still have great business. Talk about great role models for younger players! And, given how beloved they are, players have interacted with them in many of the games before this and will for games to come. 

         Animal Crossing also allows players to dress and represent themselves as they please! You can design your character to look however you want. Wear a dress or a suit on whatever day you feel like it! Even the hairstyles and colors are available to all players regardless of gender, so you’re welcome to have long pink hair no matter who you are. Unlike in many other games, you can even change the gender you present in the game by using a mirror at any time. The only choices you make in the beginning of the game that are permanent is your name, which does not have to be real sounding, and the name of your island. Players can look how they want to look within the limits of what they can design. There is also another new feature in the game that can help players dress how they want! Through the tailor’s shop, players can share designs they have made and look up and use designs other players have made public. For example, I definitely have multiple Harry Potter and Disney designs saved onto my game! If you don’t feel comfortable dressing up as Ariel in real life, totally go for it in game and be a part of that world! There are clear limits as to what you can do in the game, but this is a huge step up from the older Animal Crossing games where you couldn’t change presented gender or wear a dress any time you want. In a series where designing the world and your house is entirely up to you, it’s about time personal character design caught up. 

An animated character with a butterfly design robe standing in the rain.
Shinobu from Demon Slayer character design; Image by Author

         Furthermore, this game has really stepped up the islander and vendor designs. There is still a ways to go with mixing the various character personalities between the genders, seeing as all “jock” characters are male and female islanders literally have a category called “normal”. But strides have been made to mix visual traits and the personalities of the vendors. Flick, the insect loving chameleon, is definitely the coolest new character and conforms to no gender binaries. This reddish-pink, punk chameleon is the newest bug obsessed artist of the cast who visits your island occasionally. Unlike many of the other characters, like Audie or Fang, it is difficult to figure out his gender upon first glance. The classic characters of the game, such as Apollo, Tom Nook, and Isabelle, are all easily identifiable as male or female, so for New Horizons to include an ambiguous looking character whose defining trait is bugs instead of a dress or deep voice is up to date with our modern expectations. Leif is another interesting character without a reliance on gender. While not new, Leif’s appearance in the game as the flower and shrub vendor with a love for nature and weed-free islands is a nice change of pace compared to Blathers and Red. He’s been in other Animal Crossing games, so the consistency with his gender-free character expectations is refreshing. 

         Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a breath of clear air amid all of the chaos happening around us. While I do not suggest drowning out the real world in a sea of flowers and bells, taking the time to immerse yourself in a happy place is always a worthwhile venture. And, while you’re at it, social distancing doesn’t count if you visit your friends’ islands in the game! Stay safe, stay social, and watch out for tarantulas!

Strength and Violence Do Not Equal Superiority

By Samantha Krier

We all know that if a bear cub is within sight, mama bear is right behind it, and you either need to get out of the area or arm yourself. We know that if mama bear has an issue with us being so close to her cub, we are toast. But does this mean mama bear is the superior creature? Likely not. Most of us think we are superior because we have opposable thumbs and the ability to reason. We have the intelligence to build cities, fences to keep animals out, and weapons in case the fences don’t work. We can build cranes and forklifts to lift things that humans can’t by themselves. This means that strength is not a characteristic that makes someone or something superior, right?

Throughout the years, many men have used their physical strength to try to control women. Domestic violence is still a huge issue, and many perpetrators are men abusing women. In the current pandemic, there is an upsurge. This is likely because couples are together 24/7, and there has been an increase in drinking and drug use to pass the time. Many men use the line “if men and women are truly equal, we would be able to hit you.” The first thing some men want to do is abuse us, but they already are. Men often use violence to assert dominance, as if strength makes them the superior sex. If this were true, the animal kingdom would rule the world.

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