The Fear of Feminism in a Millennial Age

By Olivia Heersink

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Rosie the Riveter Campaign Photo

The f-word has been flying around the media these days like a biblical plague, causing men to shift uncomfortably at the sound of it and women to quickly disown it.

You know the word I’m talking about.

Well, apologies in advance for the strong language, but here it goes, I’m a f*minist.

Hold your crinkled up noses, shivers, and gasps back for one second. In fact, I would like to politely suggest you please take those reactions and gracefully shove them. I am proud to be a feminist.

Continue reading “The Fear of Feminism in a Millennial Age”

Post-Election Empathy

By Emily Alexander

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Visual representation of “we’re all in this together.”

A few days after the election, I overheard a few male students talking about the effect Donald Trump’s victory seemed to be having on the country. One said that it seemed a little ridiculous for schools to be canceling tests just so people could sit around and talk. I’ve thought a lot about this comment in the last few weeks. As a white man in a small Idaho town, the reactions of many liberals around the country may seem overly dramatic and unreasonable. But as a Latinx facing their own or their family’s potential deportation? As Black citizens whose president-elect’s company was sued for racial discrimination? As a woman who has been groped, grabbed, and sexually assaulted by men like Trump? Making an effort to understand how people are feeling right now is essential to the distant dream we have of a unified country. This is called empathy. Continue reading “Post-Election Empathy”

Double Indemnity: How the Femme Fatale of Noir Stacks Up to the Gothic Heroine of Yore

By Canese Jarboe

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Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurry in Double Indemnity

Pulp fiction contains the lurid, the underbelly, and it’s supposed to be cheap. Despite what Raymond Chandler may have thought, James M. Cain’s writing in Double Indemnity often self-consciously broke through this lacquer and pulled from the long literary tradition of Gothic fiction. However, Cain’s careful depiction of Phyllis as a romanticized consort of Death was largely removed by Chandler and distantly depicted in one of the latter scenes of the film.

Continue reading “Double Indemnity: How the Femme Fatale of Noir Stacks Up to the Gothic Heroine of Yore”

An Open Letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton

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A photo of myself inside of the Senate chambers at the Idaho Capitol Building in 2011. Photo courtesy of Jordan Rosengrant

By: Paola Aguilar

The first time I heard your name, I was in the first grade and my mom was telling me that maybe someday I could be like you. At the age of 6, there was so much that I still didn’t know, but I knew that you were a person I could look up to. I always strived to be at the top of my class and didn’t let anyone tell me I couldn’t be. My peers called me bossy and teachers asked me to give other kids a chance to answer their questions. None of this fazed me. As soon as I knew who you were, I saw a successful woman who worked hard to fight for every American, every chance that she got. If you could do it, so can I.

Continue reading “An Open Letter to Secretary Hillary Clinton”

Fighting the Bystander Effect

By Jolie Day

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“Stand. Speak. Act.”

Have you ever seen a person in need of help but thought someone else would eventually step in? What about someone being verbally or physically assaulted because of their race, identity, religion, or gender—and no one tried to help them? Witnessed someone who was visibly intoxicated with no one to be sure they were getting home safely? Have you yourself been in a situation and needed help, but no one seemed to want to get involved? All of these experiences illustrate what is known as the bystander effect.

According to Psychology Today, the bystander effect is a sociological phenomenon that occurs when the presence of others discourages anyone from providing assistance to someone in danger, as there is a perceived diffusion of responsibility amongst them. Devastatingly, this effect can be deadly. With the dangerous uptick in violence since the election, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 33 men on average being sexually assaulted in their lifetime, and nearly 20 people per minute being abused by an intimate partner, it is important to understand what we can do to combat the bystander effect and keep people safe. Continue reading “Fighting the Bystander Effect”

A Meditation on Beauty

By Kate Ringer

 

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My polished and flawless sister

I was a little shaken after doing my last blog post, My Week With Makeup. It was really hard to see two pictures of me, side by side, where I looked completely different. When I looked at myself wearing makeup, I felt like I finally measured up to the other girls I see walking around campus, the girls who look flawless. I looked older wearing makeup, and certainly more put together. I have a younger sister who is seventeen, and whenever we meet new people, they assume that she is older. Why? She wears makeup, she actually curls or straightens her hair in the morning, she’s polished and flawless and put together and so people assume she is older.

 

 

This worries me. Continue reading “A Meditation on Beauty”

Hookup Culture and the Perpetuation of Gender Inequality

By Olivia Heersink

 

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Tangled feet of a couple in bed.

The term hookup is ambiguous, referring to different levels of sexual intimacy depending on the social group and individual. It can range from kissing a stranger to having sex with your best friend. There is no set meaning—ideally allowing participants to self-define their experiences.

Youth today are not having more sex; however, we are organizing our interactions differently. Hooking up has come to replace dating as the most common way to socialize or initiate a relationship. The hookup script, however, has maintained the strict gender roles of American culture, where men are defined as active, seeking, and desiring sex and women are expected to be the passive gatekeepers to sex, responsible for ending a hookup before intercourse.

While men are expected to benefit from sexual interactions, women are still stigmatized for engaging in casual sex. We can see this in the language we use to describe sex where men “get laid” or in anti-rape discourse, “get consent” while women are chastised for “giving it up.” Gendered roles reflect more than just double standards; they define the roles of women in opposition to those of men, meaning all interactions rely on a script of coercion.

Continue reading “Hookup Culture and the Perpetuation of Gender Inequality”