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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If Ads Were Realistic

By: Madelyn Starritt

We are constantly immersed in media and advertising; getting bombarded with messages even if we don’t want to. These messages often feature unrealistic beauty standards and try to convince us that we will not be happy unless we buy these products. This constant intake of messages and images has an effect on us and it is not for the better. These companies are just trying to make money and will do whatever it takes to do so. Below I have recreated popular ads that are often directed toward women to be more realistic.

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Who Am I?

A picture of the author and her roommate
A picture of the author and her roommate

By Valeria Ramirez

The question of “What type of feminist am I?” has stumped me for over the past week. I spent countless hours figuring out a way to answer this question and nothing has come to mind. Only recently have I noticed how naïve I am when it comes to feminism. I was introduced to feminism last year by reading a series of articles in The Washington Post. From there on, I started doing my research on what feminism is. For the longest time, I believed that feminism is based on equality of the sexes, but that was only the half of it and I’m starting to grow and learn the different perspectives of feminism. If I had to categorize myself as to what type of feminist I am, I would say that I am Open-Minded Beginner Chicana Feminist.

I would call myself as a beginner because I’m understanding the ideals of feminism one step at a time. I learn as I go and apply my new found knowledge to my everyday life to explain and expand knowledge of feminism to others. I love learning the different perspective of others and go off on their ideas to create a conversation. Yesterday, this happened when I was heading back to Moscow from a conference in Corvallis. My CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) advisor, Christina, was talking to the other CAMPers about feminism and issues revolving around the Latino community. I was very captivated and in awe how the other CAMPers were very interested and engaged in the conversation. Even when the guys were speaking their different viewpoints and talking about values that they were raised with, everyone was accepting and providing a female perspective on how they felt about what they said. That’s something that I love about feminism, how it can bring two perspectives together and have them find a way to co-exist with one and another.

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A Meditation on Beauty

By Kate Ringer

 

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My polished and flawless sister

I was a little shaken after doing my last blog post, My Week With Makeup. It was really hard to see two pictures of me, side by side, where I looked completely different. When I looked at myself wearing makeup, I felt like I finally measured up to the other girls I see walking around campus, the girls who look flawless. I looked older wearing makeup, and certainly more put together. I have a younger sister who is seventeen, and whenever we meet new people, they assume that she is older. Why? She wears makeup, she actually curls or straightens her hair in the morning, she’s polished and flawless and put together and so people assume she is older.

 

 

This worries me. Continue reading “A Meditation on Beauty”

Positive and Negative Liberty and The Handmaid’s Tale

By Kate Ringer

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a novel dating from the late eighties that I read recently with my book club. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t the most fantastic book I’ve ever read, but it certainly made me think. It tells the story of Offred, a middle aged woman who is struggling to find her place in a society in transition. This novel was fairly dystopian, but what made it different than other dystopian novels that I’ve read is that I felt like this is something that I could see happening in my lifetime, practically at any moment. It was realistic, and it said something about American culture that scared me. Continue reading “Positive and Negative Liberty and The Handmaid’s Tale”

Let’s Talk About It

Dear Readers,

My name is Savannah Slater. I hail from the growing city of Nampa, Idaho, but my “home” is now a combination of Moscow and Boise, Idaho. I would also consider a little town in Finland, named Ähtäri, to be my home. After spending one very cold year there in high school, and returning just this summer, I find that little Finnish town closer to my heart than most places in the United States. Because I was able to do a fair amount of traveling around Europe (and a small amount in Thailand) during my year abroad, I invested my college career in an International Studies major. I chose to come to the University of Idaho by default (in-state tuition is really the deciding factor for any student/parent budgeting for higher education). Now, with a mere three semesters left before receiving my bachelors, I am accepting the fact that I may do absolutely nothing with this degree. Instead, I have every intention of continuing my education in pursuit of a law degree (a sentence I never thought I would write). This change of interest in my future really sprouted from a conversation I had with one of my closest friends. Struggling with her past, my friend finally divulged to me, in great detail, two counts of rape she endured in high school, and her justified disappointment in the United States’ legal system. And, if you have ever had an epiphany, you will understand me when I say: her terrible experience helped me realize my future.

My father has been a police officer for a little over twenty years, while my mother created the position of Victim Witness Coordinator (a position dedicated to guiding victims through the process of taking legal action against their offender) for the city of Nampa, Idaho. What this means to me, especially now as I move in a different direction with my life, is that I have a beautiful foundation to make a difference in the way we handle rape. My father, unfortunately, participates in the same mindset of countless other’s- including police officers, lawyers and attorneys, judges, and many citizens- that rape is circumstantial. Meanwhile, my mother is a pioneer for passing legislation that protects victims of any sort, and will be the first to testify just how un-circumstantial rape is. Like my friend, my mother continues to warn me about the lack of protection for rape victims, and the mindset of the many people who form the judicial system, in hopes that I am fully aware and prepared for the difficulties I will face following this career path. Which brings me to my newfound admiration for feminism. As I continue to learn about feminism and apply it to my own life, I hope to bring you, the reader, along with me. Together, we can determine feminism’s place in our global community.

Feminism is a great platform to analyze current events, both in the United States, and in the international community. I truly hope to use the news (CNN, New York Times, Reuters, and BBC News are a few of my favorites) and my own life experiences to show the importance and applicability of feminism. I began learning about feminism in a Western Literature class here at the University of Idaho. I could not have asked for a better professor, than the one and only Thomas Drake, to teach me about the pioneers of feminism, and why it has become so important to sociology, anthropology, political science, and so many other disciplines. My professor taught me about Virginia Woolf, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Mary Shelley, the forerunners of Feminism. As I continue to learn about feminism, and about myself, I often refer back to this quote from Virginia Woolf: “As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.”

On my journey of self-discovery, I hope not to depress you, but to open up the floor for discussions on subjects “they” don’t want to talk about. Let’s talk about rape, about famine, about discrimination, about sex, about death, about violence, about all of the important issues that people try to keep out of everyday conversation. Only when we start talking about the things that keep us up at night can we open the door for peaceful and thoughtful solutions. And that is precisely what I would like to do here, as I spend the semester blogging for the Women’s Center, I aspire to create a comfortable space filled with honest and considerate discussions.

Truly yours,

Savannah