Get this. A feminist walks into a bar, face smudged with ash, thick Carhartt bib overalls, long hair tucked in a cap, perfectly manicured nails, and a strapping fellow by her side. They order two steaks, a beer each, and she has a salad, no dressing. She fidgets as she tries to adjust her thong underwear. When the check comes, he pays. He holds the door as they walk out of the bar, and she climbs to a diesel pickup pulling a trailer full of wood. He drives.
On January 21, 2017, upwards of 2,600 people from the Moscow/ Pullman area marched in solidarity with the Woman’s march in Washington DC. The march went from Moscow City Hall to East City Park where there were speeches by members of the community and from both U of I and WSU. Both schools had students in attendance. The march was for Woman’s Rights but encompassed issues such as immigration, the environment, and LGBTQ rights. The parking lot in front of City Hall was a sea of pink hats and protest signs.
But this is not all that I would like to talk about. I would like to explain one woman’s reason for marching: mine. I marched for the reasons I listed above, but there was more to it. I marched for other reasons that are not so nicely summed up in a word or two. I marched in protest of an administration that does not represent me or most America’s population. I marched for my rights to my body. I marched for my sisters that are different than me and who now feel uncertain about their place here. I marched because we cannot ignore the facts about climate change anymore. We need to act against this threat. Continue reading “Why I March”→
A concern for many parents is the sexualization of children, which is defined by the American Psychological Association as occurring when, “A person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, a person is held to a standard that equates
physical attractiveness with being sexy, a person is sexually objectified, or sexuality is inappropriately imposed on a child.” As this article points out, children are not inherently sexual. When we see babies’ upper thighs in their onesies, we aren’t concerned with people thinking that our babies are sexy, and it should be the same exact way with a child. A child wearing short shorts and a tank top isn’t inherently sexy, but they become that way when the child is taught to engage in inappropriate behaviors, such as the dance routines on Toddlers & Tiaras. Children do not behave that way unless they have been taught to behave that way through the constant media bombardment of sex culture, whether it’s through video games, movies, television shows, advertisements, or their toys. There was a study conducted by Bandura in the sixties that showed children mimicking, or “modeling,” the behavior of adults after being exposed to short video of adults playing with a doll happily
or violently. If they viewed the adult being violent with the doll, they were much more likely to be violent when exposed to the doll in their play. This concept of modeling can certainly be applied to the sexualization of children as well. Children whose parents and the media model behavior that model sexualized behavior may transfer the behavior to their own actions, according to Bandura’s theory of learning. I can remember as a child wanting to wear lipstick just like my mom, and it felt so special when I got to wear it for a special occasion. That is an example of modeling. Continue reading “The Sexualization of Children and Sex Education”→
Let’s set something straight: I have wanted to be a teacher for a long time, longer than I can remember. At first I thought I’d want to teach elementary, but once I made it to high school I knew that I had found my home in my English classrooms. Plus, I’ve always loved school, as school is where I could succeed.
Sayantani Dasgupta is the author of Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, & the In-Between and The House of Nails: Memories of a New Delhi Childhood. Sayantani is an award-winning essayist and fiction writer who received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Idaho. To read more about Sayantani, please visit her website. You can purchase Fire Girl hereand The House of Nails here. Hear Sayantani read from her debut collection of essays and get your copy signed at 7:30 PM on September 27 at Book People of Moscow. Continue reading “Fire Girl: an Interview with Sayantani Dasgupta”→
Just before school started this year, I was lucky enough to be an Orientation Leader, which meant that I got to walk a group of about forty freshman around campus for various structured activities to help them adjust to being in college. During that process, every single freshman who attended orientation (which is a lot) watched this video comparing sex to drinking tea. Through humor, this video promoted one of the most important messages that a new batch of students could receive upon arriving to campus: how to know that the sexual activity they are engaging in is consensual, and not sexual assault. But, the question is, did these students receive this message early enough?Continue reading “Consent and Sex”→
Time and time again, I’ve listened to women who are frustrated with their chosen type of contraception – myself included. For a lot of women, there is a constant battle between enjoying our sexual freedom and protecting ourselves from the possible risks of sexual activity, and it can often feel like a lose-lose situation. Whether it’s the annoying (or harmful) side effects of hormones (the pill, IUD, vaginal ring, etc.), the struggle of consistent condom use by both partners, or the sheer inconvenience of pausing the passion to check dates, insert, replace, unwrap, etc., it can feel as if we no longer have control of our sexual experiences when the options we choose from are not the best fit.
Don’t get me wrong; all types of contraception have their advantages, and every woman is different in what she prefers and what is right for her body. I do believe, though, that because of the society we live in, we can feel restricted to selecting from among just a few options when trying to protect ourselves against unwanted pregnancy and STIs. As more and more of my friends became dissatisfied with their choices, I began to explore what else is out there. Continue reading “Not Your Mother’s Birth Control”→