Why I March

By Kali Nelson

group photo marchers homemade signs
Group picture, was taken at East City Park during the March.

On January 21, 2017, upwards of 2,600 people from the Moscow/ Pullman area marched in solidarity with the Woman’s march in Washington DC. The march went from Moscow City Hall to East City Park where there were speeches by members of the community and from both U of I and WSU. Both schools had students in attendance. The march was for Woman’s Rights but encompassed issues such as immigration, the environment, and LGBTQ rights. The parking lot in front of City Hall was a sea of pink hats and protest signs.

But this is not all that I would like to talk about. I would like to explain one woman’s reason for marching: mine. I marched for the reasons I listed above, but there was more to it. I marched for other reasons that are not so nicely summed up in a word or two. I marched in protest of an administration that does not represent me or most America’s population. I marched for my rights to my body. I marched for my sisters that are different than me and who now feel uncertain about their place here. I marched because we cannot ignore the facts about climate change anymore. We need to act against this threat. Continue reading “Why I March”

Meet Maddie

Madelyn Starritt pictured standing by Multnomah Falls in Oregon
The author by Multnomah Falls, OR

By Madelyn Starritt

Hello! My name is Madelyn, but I usually go by Maddie. I was born and raised in Sandpoint, ID with my younger brother, parents, and large wonderful family. Moving to Moscow for school was a fun adventure and I’ve grown to love it here, but I do miss the lakes and mountains from back home. I first met my husband in high school, and we have been married for a year and a half now. He is my best friend and always so supportive of my dreams and endeavors. I am incredibly grateful to have such a caring person to spend my life with. It is just us right now, but in the future we plan to get a puppy and eventually have children of our own.

Here is a little bit about me: I love the outdoors and soaking up sunshine! Some of my hobbies include sewing/crafting, spending time with family and friends, and photography. I am an avid user of Pinterest and Netflix, I own far too many blankets, and I love candles. Don’t ask me to pick a favorite movie because I love too many to narrow it down. When I was in middle school, I played the saxophone and tried many sports growing up, but soccer was my favorite. I also love brownies, but do not like chocolate cake.

I am a senior here at the university studying Journalism with a minor in Communication. Before transferring to UI, I earned my associate degree at North Idaho College. I graduate next fall, and am excited and terrified to finish school and start my next adventure. I very much enjoy the media field and am excited to find a career doing what I love.

I am excited to write for this blog because I enjoy writing, photography, and the whole process of creating and publishing content. This opportunity will give me a chance not only to write, but to do so about topics that are important to me. Women’s and gender issues have and always will have an impact on me and those close to me, so I have kept myself informed about them. I have also taken some classes that explore many of the topics around women’s, gender, and diversity issues, which I have found very interesting. I hope to explore and write about more of these topics and issues that tend to get ignored, even though they have a big impact on us all. Often these topics, like race, gender, and women’s issues, are avoided or ignored because they might be uncomfortable to discuss, or taboo. This won’t change if we continue to not talk about these things. I hope writing about these topics will start a conversation, bring light to these issues, and encourage others to discuss them, so we can start to take steps forward to addressing these problems.

Thanks for reading about me! I look forward to this next semester and sharing my thoughts with you!

 

Meet Lauren

The author posing by a river
The author photographed by a river

By Lauren Orr

I’ve always thought of myself as a very outspoken kind of person, especially when it comes to what I believe is right or wrong. When I think something isn’t right, or if I believe there is an injustice happening, I immediately want to speak up about it. I am not afraid to speak for the truth, nor held back in fear of what people think of me. I don’t particularly care if I rub people the wrong way or if people don’t like me for what I believe, or for how I dress, etc. I know a lot people can’t say the same, so I like to think that in times where people aren’t capable of speaking up because of that fear, I can do it for them. So what really interested me in writing for this blog is that it gives me a platform to write about topics that people seem to ignore or sweep under the rug because they’re hard to talk about or because they’re scared of what other people will say to them (or about them).

I have always considered myself to be a feminist, even in elementary school. I have an older brother who is barely a year older than me, so we basically grew up together as twins. Because of this, we have always had similar friends, and I hated that because I was a girl, his friends didn’t really see me as tough and I didn’t like that they just assumed that I wouldn’t be interested in the same things as they were, when in fact I was (especially because I was so close to my brother). Yeah, I liked to play with Barbies, but I also wanted to build Bionicles and Legos and play Star Wars video games. I didn’t like that no-one thought that I should be interested in “boy” things. And on top of that, growing up, I was always given the “girl” chores by my parents, like doing the dishes and cleaning the house, while my brother learned how to change the oil in the car and was asked to mow the yard.

My whole life growing up, it was always the subtle sexism that I bucked against. One example that comes to mind was that when I told people that my mom worked in a hospital, they always just assumed she was an aide or a nurse, when in actuality, she is an incredibly talented doctor. It was as if everyone just assumed there was no way that she could be in a top position because she was a woman. And they always acted completely surprised when I corrected them, the whole eyebrows raised, amazed expression, like it was totally weird that there were such things as women doctors. And then there was, of course, the whole situation of boys bullying me, pulling my hair, and being complete idiots towards me, and when I complained, being told it was just their way of expressing their feelings. But when I responded in an aggressive manner, or told them to cut it out, I was told to “calm down” or called crazy.

And now that I’m in college, there’s what I call the “rape and cover-up” problem. In the past two years of my college career, I have personally known three women to be sexually assaulted while on campus, and numerous other cases where women have felt threatened, uncomfortable, and a few where they feared they had been drugged at parties. Over the past couple of years, this has been become a more recognized problem as people are starting to examine violence against women and rape. But despite this, there are still numerous cases where universities have covered up the problem, justice systems have blamed the victim, and people like Brock Turner have been pitied and excused for their behavior. This is a national and world problem that can only be changed by people speaking up and by changing stereotypes and beliefs that are so built into our culture that sometimes people don’t even realize that they’re acting on them.

My goal is to shed light on as many of these issues as I can, to hopefully help people realize that change is necessary, and that there is a problem. I want sexual violence to end, for women and men, and for victims to feel that they have received the justice they deserve, and for them to feel comfortable telling their stories with no shame, because they are not in the wrong. Of course, this is not the only injustice that needs to be confronted, there are more than just sexism, and feminism must hit every issue for there to be equality and justice. As a people, we need to take a look at our society and at the world we’re living in and decide to make a change for the better.

Meet Kali

Photo of Kali Nelson
Photo of the author

By Kali Nelson

Most of my life has been uneventful. My life has also been easy, to be honest. I have faced no obstacle other than the fact I am a woman. I have been set up to do well, I’m White, middle class, and I have my parents. Sure, I’ve had tragedies but nothing too terrible that would cause my life to become an uphill climb. I am, in all honesty, a boring person. I do well in school, I have a good family that supports most of what I do.  I first learned about Feminism from the internet and it is from there that I became the political liberal that I am today.

I spent the first sixteen years of my life in southern Idaho and about three years ago, my dad moved my younger siblings and me to Washington. I enjoy knitting, crocheting, reading, learning new things, and playing Quidditch. Yes, I play the sport from the Harry Potter books. Which is funny, because I don’t even like sports that much. I did swim some in high school and I did manage the track team for my school, but I didn’t compete. I believe that I spend too much time on Netflix watching crime shows and documentaries.

I am studying Journalism and Environmental Science so that one day, I could be an Environmental Journalist. The environment has always played a big part in my life and I blame my dad for that. It’s because of him that I can name at least one tree name in Latin (in case you were curious which one, Pinus Ponderosa is the Latin name of the Ponderosa Pine.) One of my best friends is my dog, Prince. He is a Grand Pyrenees and we like to say that he adopted us because he showed up one day to help watch our sheep and never left. At one time, I also had a pet goat named Billie. She was bottle fed and one time she got hungry and got through the fence and walked herself to the house, crying the whole time.

I am invested in women’s issues and it’s not just because I am a woman. It is because I believe that everyone deserves an equal chance to do whatever it is that they want.  While I don’t have much experience in topics such as gender and LGBTQ  issues, I will try to learn all that I can and write about it as accurately as I can. I will ask for your help, if I should get something wrong, please tell me. I’m still learning and nobody is perfect.

 

Meet Olivia

Art print with the text: "So good, it could have been made by a man."
Photo taken by the author at the Seattle Art Museum in 2016

By Olivia Comstock

I am White. I am cisgender. I am middle class. I am from a wealthy area with good schools. I am in college. I have always done well in school. I have always been successful and probably will continue to be successful throughout my life. This is because everything on paper lines up for me. I was set up from birth institutionally to be well off in every way and for this I am infinitely grateful, even though I did nothing to deserve it. Despite all of this, I am still a woman. I still face adversity; a future where I face a lower-paying job, the expectation that I will be a caretaker either for a child, partner, or aging relative, lack of equity in romantic relationships, and the daily danger of walking around as a woman. As a writer for this blog, I want to be able to acknowledge and explore the underlying structures that create a world where this is possible, and examine the implications of this world. I hope to share and grow my passion and knowledge forn women’s and gender issues through this opportunity for research and writing.

I spend my time reading philosophy, scanning scholarly articles about love, knitting never-ending blankets, cooking delicious soups, devouring podcasts, and listening to obscure art-rap music. I also really enjoy backpacking, rock climbing, swimming, skiing, bicycling, and in general getting dirty in the sun! Through my engagement in all of these activities, I try to represent my position as a woman and defend women’s ability to be involved, as many of these interests lie in male-dominated areas.

I have considered myself a feminist ever since I learned what that word meant in 2010 on the infamous Tumblr.com blogging platform. From that moment on, I have read everything I can find on feminism, women’s, and gender issues. I have become more feminist, more radical, and more subversive with each passing year and with every addition of feminist theory knowledge. I am continuing to explore through my education here at University of Idaho.

I am majoring in Philosophy and minoring in German, taking classes in history, philosophy, theory, and art history. However, my long-term goal is to pursue a program in Art History. I am deeply interested in the connection and context that forms between history, people’s personal lives, art, politics, and philosophy. I devour any book on philosophy, theory, art, environmentalism, politics, communism, and revolutions. I especially enjoy those that intersect with feminist and gender theory. Women and gender issues are at the forefront of these disciplines today. The way we look at, write about, teach, and structure both Philosophy and Art History is being rewired. What used to be a white, male, heterosexually-dominated world is increasingly focusing on diversity and multiplicity. What were once considered narrow, “subjective” viewpoints are now front and center. I hope to share some of these exciting currents. Some areas I am interested in exploring are women in art, gender theories, continental philosophy, ideas on love, and other concepts not often read about in mass-media women’s topics.

 

Meet Tatiana

Tatiana with her abuelita
The author with her abuelita

By Tatiana Rodriguez

I’m originally from Spokane, WA but have moved around the area since I was young. I don’t come from a traditional household—my siblings are 10+ years older than me, and we don’t have the same father. My parents were never married and I’m different from both sides of my family. My father is from Venezuela and my mother is White. When my father speaks, he has an accent—his entire family have a light-to-dark brown skin tone. When I visit them, I stick out like a sore thumb. Growing up, people would assume that he had taken me from my home, because we don’t have the same skin color. Sometimes when I was mad at him in public, I would yell “Help!” to random strangers. That’s a different story, but it was still fun.

My mom’s side of the family has blonde hair and blue eyes. Our skin color is the same, but our names are different. I’m the only one with such a different name. I HATED my first name until my freshman year of high school, and I went by “Tia” instead.  I can distinctly remember being in fifth grade and telling my mother how I was going to change my name when I turned 18. I felt like I didn’t have a true place to belong because I was different from everyone around me. That’s where most of my issues stem from.

All too often, people make comments about my name. “Oh, it’s so unique!” or “Wow, that’s two different cultures!” “Are you Russian?” Now that I’m older, I’ve grown to love the uniqueness of my name. But that doesn’t mean I don’t face discrimination from it. I have professors, doctors, and even potential bosses say that they didn’t know who was going to walk through the door. Or, my favorite, “You’re not all how I pictured you to be.” How else would you picture someone? I have two eyes, a nose, ten fingers, and ten toes.

I’ve also had people say how I’m too white to be Hispanic, or my features aren’t Hispanic enough. Again, I really don’t know how to respond. Sometimes people don’t believe I can even speak Spanish, and I have to prove that I can. My name is Hispanic, but I don’t look like it fits me.

At this point in my life, I have accepted these comments and learned that some people just won’t understand. That’s what I want to bring to this blog—more uniqueness and visibility to the Hispanic population. I want to cover Venezuelan issues, such as Maduro’s presidency, and other topics, perhaps highlighting empowering women like Meryl Streep, and emerging new artists like H.E.R. I hope to cover a variety of different issues, and especially, to open readers’ attention to Latina topics.

Meet Your New Editor

31232414pBy CMarie Fuhrman

Becoming a feminist isn’t something I set out to do, it is something that I became, somewhat without my own realization.

I have always been a strong woman. Growing up Native (of Ute ancestry, to be exact), imperfect in media’s eyes (I was overweight and acne-ridden) in the middle of the middle class, I learned something about playground justice, something about equality.  Whether it was that experience or the constant pull to fight injustice, I aimed my educational goals toward a career in law enforcement.  At the time, (the early- to mid- ’90s), the field was male-dominated and I had to learn to survive among my peers, while still sustaining my desire to be feminine and to understand and empathize with the women who came into the justice system through crimes or their own criminality.

It became overwhelming, and I changed my major to support my new-found fitness. By the late ’90s, I was a Personal Trainer with a degree in exercise physiology and on the verge of owning my own gym. It was in this career that I really started to understand my role as a woman. Beyond cooking, beyond sexuality, and far beyond the home, I began to experiences injustices in relationships, both personal and business. I was in Texas at the time, admired for my strength as a business woman and fitness advocate, but still locked out of the good ol’ boys club. At our Chamber of Commerce meetings, I was asked to serve the iced tea.

Continue reading “Meet Your New Editor”