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.

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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.

Romance and the Hidden Woman

 

Image result for 1950s dating
The classic milkshake date http://www.stylist.co.uk/life/how-to-eat-in-a-restaurant-dating-tips-from-the-1950s

 

Relationships seem to be dominated by men. Whether this is because of the social/cultural expectation that men are supposed to be powerful, or because they are always assumed to be the dominate gender, I’m not sure. I think that it is a mixture of both. Men are seen as in control; they make the first move, pay for dates, buy gifts, etc. This idea that a man should be the head of the relationship has been around since the dawn of patriarchy, but the American expectations in relationship related behavior seems to be heavily based on the traditional 1950’s “American Dream” ideal. Continue reading “Romance and the Hidden Woman”

Behind The Fields: The Importance of the Bandana Project

 

 

bandana-project
A woman wearing a bandana while working on barbed wire. A title that says, “The Bandana Project”.

 

By Valeria Ramirez

Farmworkers Awareness Week is this week and is currently taking place in our UI campus and other campuses around the United States. This week is to inform other about the dangers and sacrifices that farmworkers have endured. Especially informing the public about the Bandana Project. The main issue that the Bandana Project is handling today is about women who work in the fields and spending hours in the blistering sun picking whatever is in season. As a woman working in the fields, there are many dangers that can occur from dealing with harsh temperatures, underpaid dangerous work, and sadly, they encounter many forms of sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse amongst the farmworker industry is surprisingly common and it’s heartbreaking to hear that many women undergo this treatment. They work day in and day out, doing whatever it takes to feed their families, pay their bills, and support themselves. The working conditions are horrendous and many work for 8 hours non-stop, no breaks or time to rest. Many abusers prey on these women knowing that they can’t do anything to stop them. Some of these abusers work in the fields with them or are supervisors themselves. The supervisors believe that they have some entitlement over these women, which makes them certain that they can get away with whatever they want. Sadly, they hold their power over these women because they know that some migrated illegally or they will be automatically fired if they don’t do whatever they say. This prohibits women from speaking out and taking action because their afraid to lose their job and income. No one should be treated in this manner or should be blackmailed for sexual favors.

Continue reading “Behind The Fields: The Importance of the Bandana Project”

An Evolving Feminist.

By: Tatiana Rodriguez

We live in a strange time. To have your own opinion seems to be a reason to cause a fight. Regardless of political stance or opinion, everyone seems as if their opinion is the best and there can’t be any other way. With feminism, I know plenty of women who support the fight for equality, as well as woman who claim they don’t need feminism in their life. As much as that argument kills me and I want to shake them, I can’t. I can only listen as to why they feel that way.

Being a feminist can mean an array of things. To me it means equality, equality for all regardless of race, gender, or religion. Being of equal value to the person standing next to you, and if need be, being viewed as greater if you excel in areas better than they can.

Continue reading “An Evolving Feminist.”

Feminism is For Everyone!

Women’s rights are human rights. This is a concept women have been fighting for, and continuously have to keep fighting for today. The Women’s March that happened nationwide on January 21, 2017, drew a crowd of supporters— supporters for equality. However, I noticed quite an influx of “male feminist” showing support for their significant other, mother, or friend.

Working at Cafe Artista in the heart of downtown Moscow, Idaho I had the privilege of watching and serving those who marched. While I loved reading the signs and discreetly murmuring “f*ck Donald Trump” under my breath to patrons, I was in awe of how many men I saw. These men were here to show support for their community and equal counterparts.

Continue reading “Feminism is For Everyone!”