Girlfriends

By Kali Nelson

A woman with a big piece of cardboard.
My friend with a piece of cardboard.

As my time here on the blog dwindles down, I would like to write once again about a topic near and dear to my heart. Girl friendships. This post may sound a lot like a post I wrote earlier about Galantine’s day. But it is not, this time I want to focus on how sometimes the media does not know how to get a girl friendship right.

Three friends standing on a dock looking at the camera. There is a lake behind them.
My friends Brooke and Sierra and I.

The friendship between women is something else. I cannot quite encapsulate the feelings that I have for my friends, or how they have helped me in more ways than I can even count. But my girlfriends are my rocks, they are my best friends, I cannot think of life without them.  While there can be bad friendships that cause more harm than good, there are also friendships that enrich lives and make life so much better.

Continue reading “Girlfriends”

Walking the Line: Religion and Feminism

           By Kali Nelson

Religious themed necklaces sitting on a white background.
Some of the religious necklaces I have received.

Easter has almost come and gone and I am once again reminded that I walk a thin line between my religion and my feminism. For the last month, I have been doing a lot more thinking about how sometimes my religion and my feminist beliefs conflict. I find it hard to believe that my God loves me but also doesn’t believe that I am a second-class citizen.  Feminism and Religion have long been on separate paths but it time to see that the two can and should work together.

I would like to note that I don’t have many experiences with other religions besides the one I was raised in, which is Catholicism. I will try my best to bring in other religions and if I get something wrong please let me know.

Continue reading “Walking the Line: Religion and Feminism”

Sexism in the Academic World

By Kali Nelson

 I have always been told that I would one day go on to school after high school whether it be trade school, community college, or a 4-year school, it was always in my sight. I know my parents are setting me up to succeed, but college alone will not help me. I need to put in 110% to whatever it is I plan to do because if not I may be stuck somewhere I don’t want to be. My parents expect all three of their kids to get to college. Maybe they know, maybe they don’t, but the academic world is sexist.

 Throughout this post I will talk a lot about how women face sexism but this does apply to all minorities in the academic life. The main reason for this is because there haven’t been many studies done to see this aspect.

 Higher education has this illusion of being a white boys club. But women have been flooding the ranks of academic life for years now. In 2015, Time magazine reported that 37.5% of women between the ages of 25 to 34 had a bachelor’s degree, while only 29.5% of men did.  Despite these great numbers, women still face sexism in higher education. Let’s look at how many men compared to women get tenure in 2012. According to the American Association of University Professors, 62% were male and 44% of women. This is only startling if you look at what many universities base tenure on: reviews and publications. Reviews are left by students, mostly as the semester has ended, but can also be left on other websites like “Rate Your Professor”. These reviews usually are harsher on the women professors than they are on men. While this is not the students complete fault it has to do with society.

 Women in academia also have to handle the citation gap. This means that articles written by women received fewer citations then articles written by men. While the article I linked to says that the gap may be small it is detrimental to women because if their article is not cited, the women who wrote it cannot get credit for what they have contributed. Another thing that affects women negatively is the baby penalty. The women who want to get to the top of academic life usually must choose between having a family or having a high position. Women who want a family usually become a second tier faculty member. They fill part time positions or adjunct faculty spots. This hurts women but not men, men having a family actually helps their career.

 Women also have the problem of fighting the idea that sexism is dead in academia. It isn’t, women feel they have to work twice as hard to get the same position. While academia is lightening its attitude towards women it is still a hostile environment or them, some women may some of the only ones in their field. This causes a problem because how can women have equality if there are only a few in a huge field then how do they rise up to be equals.

 There is also the imposter syndrome. This is the feeling that no matter how qualified you are at what you’re doing, your colleges will find out that you shouldn’t be there. I suffer from this a lot. I recently got a job this summer and when I got to the meeting and I met everyone else, I felt that there had been a mistake. I couldn’t be qualified for this, I had so little experience, I felt that I had taken someone way more qualified for the job. This also happened when I got the ok for this position on this blog.  I thought that there were so many more qualified people to do this job, who was I a fairly well off, white girl to tell people what I thought about feminism. I know in my head that I am qualified to talk about feminism because I am a woman. Feminism is not just for one group but I still doubted myself about if I could do it. This is the impostor syndrome, now no matter how qualified I am for a position I still doubt. I had so little confidence in myself, I still think that sometimes I must work twice as hard to even compare with my male counterparts. This problem is not just me, it applies to every woman. This is not helpful to women, trust me, it has led to worry and stress and no sleep because anything less than perfect in anything I do is seen as a failure. People think I act like I’m smart because I like to, no I do it because I’m afraid that people will realize I shouldn’t be here. It’s terrifying. It has taken me a semester to get over the feeling that has plagued me for over a year, and I’m still not even close to over it. Every time I apply for something I trick myself to believe that I am not qualified for it, even if I am more than qualified.

 This is not something to be proud of, I work myself to the bone so that I may feel that I am adequate enough for a job. Women do not need all this extra pressure. We have so many other pressures to escape. I cannot speak for my counterparts but I continued on with school to escape this hell. I came to college to get away from the fear that the world put in me and I have found all new problems to face and one of them is sexism in college.

Tattoos and Women

By Kali Nelson

you are enough in cursive with a blue, green, and purple watercolor background
You are enough with a watercolor background. Photo thanks to Brooke Butters

One of my best friends got her first tattoo at 19. It was on her foot and it said Hakuna Matata. This set something off in me, a desire to do something permeant like that. But I was not brave like my friend, I stuck to poking holes in my ears. Then came the movement when thousands of women, all at once, went out and got, she persisted, tattooed on themselves. My friend was strange, exotic, how could she a young woman who still lived at home get a tattoo. No one else I knew lived life so dangerously. Women, it had always seemed to me, did not get tattoos; it was not only morally wrong but would also lead to regret. These women were not women you wanted to be associated with, they were sluts, they had no sense of foresight, they’re boring, or they’re just mentally ill or selfish. Continue reading “Tattoos and Women”

The Importance of Self-care

By Kali Nelson

African american woman staring into a camera sitting in a bathtub
A woman in a bathtub staring at the camera

In college, everyone faces tough times: We fail tests, classes, have personal struggles, or just have a bad day in general. Everyone needs something to help them cope. I personally like to crawl into bed and watch Netflix. I have a friend that watches YouTube videos, another that does her make-up. What you do can be very personalized to who you are and what helps you to relieve stress. Self-care is an important thing for everyone to do because it can be beneficial to your health and improve your relationships with your friends, family, and significant others.

There is a topic I would like to share with everyone. It’s called self-compassion. Self-compassion is when you realize that you will not be able to do everything you think can. Self-compassion is about treating yourself like you would treat someone else who is struggling. This is an important topic for everyone to remember because it’s a hard one to get. I struggle with this one too, occasionally, I get over ambitious and think that I can do and succeed at everything, then I do and I fail everything. I’m trying to say that we need to think of ourselves like we would think of our very best friends if they said they were going to do what every we were planning. Continue reading “The Importance of Self-care”

I am a Supportive Feminist

by Kali Nelson

red code for a computer that says end patriarchy.
A sign written in code.

My lipstick, I pick it out carefully every morning.

All the shades of red and pink remind me that

I am the decedent of warriors.

My mother was a warrior

And her mother before her.

They did not use lipstick to armor up.

They used a little pink ribbon.

But my lipstick is my armor.

Without it I feel naked, defenseless.

My feminism is a lot like my lipstick,

I sometimes water it down as to not offend.

From blood red to pastel pink

I know I shouldn’t but I do.

I am most offensive in my head.

Always set to my darkest red.

I do not control my thoughts in my head, but I censor myself when in crowds.

But do not think I do this for you. I do this for me,

Because I do not want to fight today

My feminism is ready to combat all the stereotypes.

Don’t tell me I cannot,

If you do, get ready to watch me do it.

Oh dad,

Thank you for telling me I could be whatever I wanted

You’ve raised an ambitious woman.

But did you have to say you think it’d take me five years to graduate?

Because now dad,

I have to do it in four. Continue reading “I am a Supportive Feminist”

Blood

By Kali Nelson

a pile of pads, liners, and tampons that are used during menstruation.
Feminine hygiene products.

The blood is thick and red

It reflects myself back at me in an angry red

It suddenly smells like a fish market on a hot day

I think my cheeks are as red as the blood on my underwear.

My stomach hurts, I think I may be dying. Continue reading “Blood”