When searching for “spouse abuse statistics” on Google, a recommended question by the search engine popped up, asking the question “When did it become illegal to beat your wife?” Taken aback, I read the sentence again, a sentence that sounded like the question asker was displeased about now missing out on an antiquated and unbecoming act, like that of spousal abuse.
My eyes were bouncing back and forth on the search page like a Newton’s cradle, reading the sentence repetitively to decipher why the question sounded like an angsty child whose bedtime was moved to an hour earlier. I wondered why the opposite didn’t reveal itself to me. I wondered how the idea of spousal abuse was less of a tragedy and more of a indulgence to men, and why this terrible act seemed to weigh more towards women not being victims but rather exclusive figures to lash anger out onto.
Why has this malicious act of violence towards women become less of a crime and more of a phenomenon of missing out? Is it because for decades men have been allowed a legal and cultural right to abuse women? Is it because despite spousal abuse being made illegal in the 1920s, modern attention towards and advocacy against domestic abuse didn’t surface until the 1970s?
It would be outlandish to even think that such an antiquated problem as domestic abuse would even still be a problem in the age of Facebook and cell phone cameras, right?
Hello, I am junior Journalism student at the University of Idaho with a minor focus in Creative Writing. The opportunity to write for the Women’s Center as a blogger was offered by a previous mentor, Lauren Westerfeld, who now teaches writing at Washington State University. I’m a column writer for the Arts and Culture section at the Argonaut in Moscow who decided to pursue a career possibility like this writing internship because I have been a strong advocate for women’s rights and equality for a significant portion of my life. I also want to provide an apt minded male’s perspective to issues like non-binary gender disproportionality and inequality in a changing era that alludes towards an overdue female renaissance.
Aside from being a passionate writer in the non-fiction and poetic fields, my life revolves around my music intake. Bands like Radiohead or lyricists like Phil Elverum — lead creator from the Microphones, Mount Eerie — have prompted me to take writing into the commonly overlooked coincidental reality I am in by promoting me to focus on similes, metaphors and abstract sarcastic prose writing that — I hope — has rarely been attempted before. Although music is my central focus, I enjoy authors like Chuck Klosterman and Kurt Vonnegut and enjoy the films of David Lynch and Terry Gilliam. I DJ at the Moscow-based radio station KUOI on a weekly basis and I am a non-fiction previewer/reader for the University of Idaho founded Fugue Journal.
In addition to the experience this internship will provide me, I hope to come out of it a more culturally aware and observant person. I wish to promote the lives of my fellow XXs and remind my XY brethren that respecting women in 2018 is an underrated quality to have. I want to change thinking processes, adjust the scope of masculinity and fixate more on the power of inclusion of all kinds rather than the exclusion that is so vehemently loved by extreme thinkers such the alt-right. I wish for enjoyable peace, a decrease in global disruption and a place of mind devoid of bias that avidly encourages forward and critical thinking.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King
I’ve been following Our Shared Shelf on Instagram since Emma Watson began promoting her #heforshe campaign. When I found out that Watson was the UN’s Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, I was not only happy, but impressed. I have always felt that Watson was a fantastic role model for young women all around the world, and not just because she played the intelligent and wonderful Hermione in all the Harry Potter films. I think she is an amazing role model because she graduated high school after filming all those movies and went to Brown and then graduated from there to go to the UN. On top of all of that, she has continued her acting career and maintained a very clean image (which shows that fame doesn’t affect people, but that people are responsible for their actions.) So, of course, bringing it back to my first statement, I thought that looking into Our Shared Shelf wouldn’t be that bad of an idea.
Our Shared Shelf is basically a gigantic feminist book club. On Goodreads.com, there are 167,663 people that are a part of the online forums and discussions. Every month or so, Watson and her team pick a feminist work to read, including Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou, and Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein. The most recent work of choice was The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, which is a play made up of monologues. The monologues are all from different stories about hundreds of women, talking about everything from sexual assault to orgasms, but the main focus of the book is the vagina and why it’s considered such a dirty thing. Most importantly, the book’s purpose is to make women realize that being a woman isn’t wrong, but actually a really freaking awesome and empowering experience. Continue reading ““Vagina” Isn’t a Dirty Word”→
Media is often a mirror of our society. Ideally, it is a conscious platform for creators to express their concerns about what is going on in the world around us. Whether their material is motivated by concern over the status quo or something else, it’s no secret that the goal is to relate to the largest population possible in order to gain an audience. This often results in stereotypes and tropes about minorities being played out on screen.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. While most people agree that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities, few identify as feminists. I’ve advocated for gender equality my whole life without realizing the entire time that I am truly a feminist at heart. Continue reading “Why am I a Feminist?”→
Over the years, I have experienced pain. I have experienced physical pain when I was a waitress and when I had other tedious, labor intensive jobs. I have experienced emotional pain when I lost my grandfather this past January. These times I have confided in my friends, family and my doctor in order to find some relief by talking to someone.
It is a common misconception in this country that women who come into a health facility exaggerate their amount of pain.
This misconception has led to many misdiagnoses and for some it has altered their lives drastically.
Where do men fit into a movement that explicitly promotes women’s issues and voices? Isn’t proclaiming yourself a male feminist exactly the appropriation and privilege that feminism is trying to combat?
An article in “Daily Life” from this week presented a solution, to become an ally, rather than carving out a space within feminism for your own satisfaction and comfort. That requires an honest and humble realization that this movement ultimately is not about you. Feminism is inherently about women from every walk of life, and the importance of their stories and opportunities. This movement needs advocates and allies in every corner of the world. We don’t need an exclusive club that affords membership only to the elite—we need voices of every race, gender, sexuality, and background stepping forward to fight for gender equality. Continue reading “Calling all male feminists—we need you, but not in the way you might think”→
Support. Love. Trust. Strength. These four words hold so much more than just what we say or use them for in our day-to-day lives. Sharing these words with one another helps bring us closer, but also establishes a new form of communication. We will examine these words while focusing on being an ally for those who identify as transgender.
I am no expert when it comes to being the best ally after someone comes to you and opens up as transgender. Honestly, no one is going to have the best or only answer for a topic such as this. Instead, I am going to offer some advice and tips that I have found helpful. Through sharing my own experiences my intention is that it will help others who read this article feel comfortable around a touchy topic.
Malala Yousafzai is unlike most teenagers her age—at the age of fifteen, she was shot by Taliban militants on her bus ride to school. These militants sought Malala—an outspoken supporter of girls’ education in her region, country, and the world. Their act of violence has brought forward the incredible story of a young woman whose shining spirit accompanies her bright vision for what the world can be—a place where education is a universal right for all children.
The Pakistani region of Swat is characterized by clear rivers, tall mountains and lush valleys. This peaceful, paradise-like valley is where Malala Yousafzai called home, along with her mother, two brothers, and father. The affectionate family gave the young Malala a place to thrive. Since her birth, Malala has been celebrated by her parents, rather than rejected—or killed—like so many Pakistani girls.