Red light. You’re dying. You must be dying. You never thought you’d die in a Volkswagen.
Green light. Your heart beats uncontrollably. So loudly you can hear it over Katy Perry on the radio. Your chest throbs as if she also hit you in the torso with a baseball bat.
Left turn. Your legs and arms go numb, making it hard to grip the wheel. You start singing every church song you can remember from Sunday school.
Red light. You can’t see. You check your phone to call 911 but you can’t see the numbers. Everything is blurry–the lights, the cars, your mind. You’re on the verge of passing out.
Left turn. Breathing becomes painful. You take a breath as if your car is floating under water, your mind floating somewhere above your car.
Red light. Your body begins to shake uncontrollably. You see a police car at the next intersection. You begin to formulate a plan to flag him down and tell him you’re dying. But you don’t know how to do this, so you keep driving home.
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.
Women’s issues are constantly battled for and against. There are fights to improve policies and situations and, often these issues are not taken seriously and pushed to the side. Things like the wage gap, the focus on a woman’s appearance instead of her knowledge, not including women in decisions and legislation about abortion rights, blaming rape victims, and so much more. These women are considered to just be whining and aren’t taken seriously. That is, until a man brings up the same issues and expresses concern. These things aren’t real or serious when a woman experiences it but once a man finds himself in these similar situations they become important. I can’t even count how many times I have said “I just said that,” because it was ignored when I brought it up but taken seriously when the words came out of a man’s mouth.
This is a problem. Not everyone feels the same way or has the same experiences. There are many people that are more and less fortunate than others. This does not mean we have the right to dismiss others problems and concerns just because we have not experienced them. That is the problem with this situation. Most men don’t experience the belittling, the misogyny, the disrespect that women do, so they don’t think women experience these things. We live in the same world so our experiences should be similar, right? No. This idea is absurd. Every person is different and has different experiences including men and women.
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”→
One of my best friends got her first tattoo at 19. It was on her foot and it said Hakuna Matata. This set something off in me, a desire to do something permeant like that. But I was not brave like my friend, I stuck to poking holes in my ears. Then came the movement when thousands of women, all at once, went out and got, she persisted, tattooed on themselves. My friend was strange, exotic, how could she a young woman who still lived at home get a tattoo. No one else I knew lived life so dangerously. Women, it had always seemed to me, did not get tattoos; it was not only morally wrong but would also lead to regret. These women were not women you wanted to be associated with, they were sluts, they had no sense of foresight, they’re boring, or they’re just mentally ill or selfish. Continue reading “Tattoos and Women”→
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.
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.