Madonna and Drake: The Bigger Problem

By Morgan Fisher16537054883_59572693b8_z

This past weekend, the Internet was in an uproar over Drake and Madonna’s Coachella make-out session.

The reason behind the uproar was, ostensibly, Drake’s surprised reaction to the kiss—he made a disgusted face and asked the audience, “What the f—k just happened?” Twitter instantly blew up after the incident, casting aspersions about Madonna’s age, and reprimanding her for kissing a man half her age.

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Women in Crime

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By Cassie Greenwald

Women are not expected to be criminals and if they are, often they are described as ‘mad not bad.’ This is because of the view that women defied their natural biological principals to be passive and compliant. “The perception that women may be mad because they ‘dared to go against their natural biological givens such as ‘passivity’ and a ‘weakness of compliance’ ‘ appears to originate from the view that women who conform as pure, obedient daughters, wives and mothers benefit society and men” (Feminism and Crime, 2015). Research suggests that the reality is women commit crime at a different level to men.

Studies have found that most women offenders are mothers, who do not work outside of the home, had problems at school and left with few marketable employment qualifications. Many of these women are on state benefits and have experienced some form of abuse resulting in psychological distress leading to alcohol and drug abuse. Recent data shows that women are in prison for the following crimes: Drug related (37%), Violence (17%), Theft (13%), Robbery (11%), other not specified (9%), Burglary (8%), Fraud (4%), and Motoring (1%). “What is clear is that women are committing certain crimes at a different level to men. Female murderers are much rarer than male murderers and as the statistics above show, most women are in prison for drug-related crimes (37%) before there is a 20% drop to crimes related to violence (17%)” (Feminism and Crime, 2015). There are more women in prison now for drug-related offenses due to the War on Drugs, which has put many male drug dealers behind bars for minor offenses. This leaves their dependents, frequently women who have no prior history of drug trafficking, attempting to make a living by taking over their partner’s deals. Continue reading

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Progress or Appeasement? Defining Feminism In the Music Industry

By Morgan Fisher

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When it comes to gender equality, the music industry has evolved into somewhat of a paradox over the years. On one hand, you have wildly successful female artists such as Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, whose girl power songs have contributed immensely to their prominence in the industry. But then you have artists like Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Li’l Wayne, and Eminem whose misogynistic song lyrics are vulgar enough to make us wonder if any true progress for equality has really been made. Add to that the controversy surrounding whether or not choosing to expose yourself (like the women in the “Blurred Lines” video) or swinging on a wrecking ball naked (like Miley Cyrus did) is considered progress because women are “taking control of their sexuality,” or if it’s a gigantic step back because it’s the opposite of what is supposed to be happening. This is a complex, murky dilemma that doesn’t seem as if it will be resolved anytime soon.

Beyoncé has become arguably one of the most iconic musicians of all time. She is a self-proclaimed feminist, and as much as people love her for it, she also receives a great deal of backlash for it. A big reason for this is because of the way she goes about expressing her sexuality. The clothes she wears for performances and in music videos are often notoriously revealing, and her lyrics sometimes call into question whether or not she is actually perpetuating anti-feminist stereotypes with some of the things she sings about. It’s difficult to reconcile these two very opposing ideas, and it seems to serve as further evidence of the gray area that comes from trying to define feminism and what it means in the music industry.

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Deconstructing the “Cool Girl”

By Morgan Fisher

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One of the best books I’ve read to date is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. The story is intense, sinister, and uncomfortable, and I walked away from it trying to wrap my head around what the hell it all meant. And that, in my opinion, is what makes a great book.

The most thought-provoking quote from the book is a long passage about the “Cool Girl,” in which one of the main characters, Amy Dunne, is contemplating this phenomenon and is appalled at the prevalence of the “Cool Girl” in the world.

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Equal Pay for All

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By Ian Sullivan

Equal Pay Day is this coming Tuesday, April 14, and as the   states, the day’s purpose “symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.” In other words, Equal Pay Day doesn’t fall on just any random day; what women have earned in the 104 days since the new year began combined with all of last year equates to what men earned just in last year’s 365 days. The gender wage gap is no secret, and yet its status as such wide-affecting issue persists. Simply put, if you’re a man, you’re bound to make more money than a woman doing the same exact work. That is inherently unjust, and unfortunately, more than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, women are still being taken advantage of.

Comedian Sarah Silverman, of whom I am a big fan, delivered a sort of public service announcement for Time magazine the other day, in which she recalls an instance in her life when her and fellow comedian Todd Barry performed stand-up sets on the same night at the same club for the same amount of time. Barry received sixty dollars in compensation; Silverman received an insulting ten dollars…for the exact same work.

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Child Custody and Family Dynamics

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By Cassie Greenwald

For women, having custody is not purely a straightforward matter of being able to raise children according to their own choices. There is a complicated relationship of dependence and independence interwoven into women’s rights. “Joint custody has the potential both to help women develop more independence and to aggravate the problematic aspects of dependency in women’s lives. Although joint custody was expected to help women, it has had mixed effects, benefiting some women, hurting others, and for still others, helping and hurting at the same time” (Bartlett and Sack, 2015). Custody often exacerbates complicated family dynamics for parents and their children. This article aims to explore the historical content of child custody as well as the current feminist view of family dynamics in a heterosexual context.

Historically, feminists in the nineteenth century fought to establish custody rights for mothers. It was not uncommon for courts to give fathers paramount rights of custody and control. At the very first women’s rights gathering in Seneca Falls, NY in 1848, the newly drafted Declaration of Rights and Sentiments presented custodial rights for mothers as one of the primary demands (Berkeley Law, 2015). Children were viewed as helping hands and the goal of early feminists was to consider the needs of the child. In 1843, a New York judge established common law tradition by awarding custody of a three-year-old sickly child to her mother. The judge explained that, “the law of nature has given to her an attachment for her infant offspring which no other relative will be likely to possess in an equal degree, and where no sufficient reasons exist for depriving her of the care and nurture of her child, it would not be a proper exercise of discretion in any court to violate the law of nature in this respect” (Berkeley Law, 2015). Women have long been considered to have natural instincts towards caregiving roles, and therefore should be awarded custody of their children. Continue reading

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Girls Are Gamers Too: Women in Video Games

By Morgan Fisher

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I played video games all the time as a kid. I was an avid Backyard Baseball fan, I loved to play Crash games, and I have countless memories of my cousin and I battling at Street Basketball or Dragonball Z games.

I loved playing games with other people. It was fun to develop my skills while also building relationships with the people I played. However, I have since lost interest in most games. Nowadays, I’m pretty much strictly a Mario Kart/Guitar Hero social video gamer. And I think a lot of it has to do with the way video games, especially the most popular ones, have evolved to fit into this “manly” stereotype, where women aren’t taken seriously within the community, and where women are often utilized as pawns in the games.

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