A Review of Roxane Gay’s book, Hunger

By Kali Nelson

A black and white photo of the author standing in between lots of chairs.
Roxane Gay standing in between some chairs.

“I often say that reading and writing saved my life. I meant that quite literally,” Roxane Gay.

Bad Feminist was the first time I had ever heard of Roxane Gay and I am glad it was not the last time. Hunger is one of Gay’s latest books, and it looks deeper into her past, her struggle with her weight, and the event that changed her life.

I will always have a special place in my heart for her, and I am always excited when I get to read something she wrote. She writes from a sincere place, and it shows in her work. She writes about what is true for her. She writes about her truth, which is combined with her feminism, and it doesn’t feel like reading a textbook. Hunger is a memoir of Gay’s body.   Continue reading “A Review of Roxane Gay’s book, Hunger”

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The Women of the Alt-Right

A previously posted open-sourced photograph of Lana Lokteff was removed because she did not consent to her image being published in association with this article.

By Rosemary Anderson

The American alt-right movement wants to strip women of the right to vote, allow men to use violent tactics to “keep women in line,” and force women back into the home–but alt-right men are not the only ones who support these statements. Women do too.

With the rise of the alt-right, increasingly more women have become involved in the movement.

Racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, anti-Semitism, antifeminism: all are words that can describe the alt-right. So how do people get involved in the first place? Specifically, how do women get involved?

Continue reading “The Women of the Alt-Right”

WOMEN, PEACE AND ENVIRONMENT.

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Author taking a picture with Dr. Shirin Edadi during her book signing.

By Samragyee Gautam.

“When you believe in the gold you have, you get stronger”, said Dr. Shirin Ebadi, a Nobel Prize winner and human right activist. Dr. Ebadi was the keynote speaker of the 70th Annual Borah Symposium held at UofI on Monday. As a human rights and democracy advocate, she covered many issues related to global peace and environment including ‘The Role of women in environmental protection.’

Her speech made it very clear that though environmental conservation and global peace is a collaborative effort of all people in the world, the role of women determines how the problem can be eliminated or eradicated. She stated that “Peace is a culture that has to be taught at a very young age”, and one should learn to take care of the environment from the beginning because it is our home. That is why education about peace and environment is not just important to be taught in school but also in our homes. As stated by a popular saying, ‘Home is often our first school and mother is often our first teacher.’ Educating women about the importance of peace and environment, means others will be educated about peace and environment as well. Continue reading “WOMEN, PEACE AND ENVIRONMENT.”

A Domestic Violence Survivor

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Picture Courtesy: Takomavoice Website

By Samragyee Gautam.

“That day I came back home only to get an energy drink poured down my face and being flicked in the head all the way to the back of the bathroom and he wouldn’t stop hitting me so I had to push him back and clawed his face because I had had enough of it.” Some of us know what I am going to talk about. Because recent data shows that on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. So most of us must have encountered a story of domestic violence or unfortunately may have been a victim once in their life time.

Domestic violence is defined by the US Department of Justice, as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Britne Worl is a survivor of emotional and physical domestic violence who is vocal about her story to raise awareness. Continue reading “A Domestic Violence Survivor”

Our Shared Shelf: Emma Watson’s Feminist Book Club

 

Emma Watson sits cross legged smiling with head tilted to the left, holding the Carrie Brownstein book Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. Emma Watson is wearing light wash jeans and a blue and white checkered shirt.

By Alexandria Arritt

Many may remember Hogwart’s smart mouthed and quick-witted Hermione, played by Emma Watson. After a childhood of fame, Emma began to use her highly-viewed platform to speak about women’s issues. Emma Watson completed a degree in English literature at Brown University, and she was named UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in July 2014. Emma is a champion for women’s rights, and she has created a couple organizations that are meant to  further progress for equality between the genders.

 

Emma Watson created the HeForShe campaign, and their mission is to stand together and act to create a gender equal world. The campaign encourages website users to voice what they think are the most pressing issues that affect women. The website creates a place where women and men can unite and get involved. HeForShe directs users to easy ways to act across the world. Along with the HeForShe campaign, Emma Watson has created a feminist book club. The club is a way for different types of people to learn and grow together when learning about feminism.

 

Our Shared Shelf, created in Fall 2016, is run by Emma Watson and can be accessed by Goodreads. Anyone can make a free account and join the group! Our Shared Self’s mission statement is concluded as a letter to the readers. The statement reads,

 

Dear Readers,

As part of my work with UN Women, I have started reading as many books and essays about equality as I can get my hands on. There is so much amazing stuff out there! Funny, inspiring, sad, thought-provoking, empowering! I’ve been discovering so much that, at times, I’ve felt like my head was about to explode… I decided to start a Feminist book club, as I want to share what I’m learning and hear your thoughts too.

Continue reading “Our Shared Shelf: Emma Watson’s Feminist Book Club”

The Celebrity Makeup Line with a Purpose

A closeup up of Rihanna wearing makeup up from her new line, Fenty Beauty. The words "Fenty Beauty by Rihanna" are over her face.
Popstar Rihanna just released an inclusive, empowering makeup line for every womxn.

By Rosemary Anderson

If you’re located on the UI Moscow campus, you may have noticed a beautiful orange beacon pop up in the Palouse Mall nearby. For some, it can be described as a place where dreams come true, where the colors of eyeshadows are just as flashy as the employee’s smiles. For those whose art is makeup and a face their canvas, the new Ulta has been a godsend.

Scampering down the aisles filled with brands ranging from those commonly found in Rite Aid to those found at New York Fashion Week, I noticed a common theme: unless your skin happens to be porcelain, eggshell, snow, or milky cloud white, there’s not much for you.

Only a handful of brands create foundations and other beauty products in deeper shades. Even if a makeup line does come in deeper shades, it’s often difficult to find them in stores. If you’re a womxn with a dark skintone, it’s nearly impossible to make a quick run to Ulta and get color-matched.

For some womxn, going to a beauty store is as miraculous as finding religion. For womxn of color, makeup stores perpetuate Eurocentric beauty standards and colorism.

Continue reading “The Celebrity Makeup Line with a Purpose”

Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale: A Not-so-improbable Dystopian World

Book cover of The Handmaid's Tale featuring an illustration of two women in red robes and white head coverings walking inside a walled space
Book cover of The Handmaid’s Tale

By Madison Teuscher

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian-style cautionary tale set in a radically theocratic America. The Christian fundamentalist regime, called “Gilead,” has divided women based on fertility and obedience. Handmaids are fertile women who serve as surrogate wombs for the Commanders and their aging wives. All women are completely stripped of their rights—everything from reading to purchasing power—and are sorted into classes to divide and control them. The Wives—women married to the powerful Commanders—are relegated to spending their days knitting, gardening, and waiting for their Handmaid to give birth to a child. Handmaids are completely powerless, and everywhere they go, there are Eyes—the military division of the Gilead regime—watching and waiting to kill them for any misbehavior.

One reviewer on The Verge called the story, “1984 for feminists… but a lot scarier.” This theocratic society has based its revolution on a Bible passage in the book of Genesis about Jacob’s wife, Rachel, allowing her handmaid to conceive Jacob’s child on her behalf. This passage is recited during the monthly ceremony in which the Commander attempts to impregnate the Handmaid, all under the Wife’s watchful eye. If a Handmaid cannot reproduce, she is sent to labor internment camps with the Unwomen—old and infertile women who are no longer valuable to the society. Handmaids are containers for babies, and nothing more.

Continue reading “Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale: A Not-so-improbable Dystopian World”