Humanitarian Vanity: How Ayn Rand’s Philosophy Encouraged Rational Selfishness


Author Ayn Rand sits at a desk smiling, in black and white
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By Remington Jensen

From her confrontational views on how to live life to her captivating story, the female philosopher Ayn Rand lived a life rich with entertainment and ethical objectivism.

Continue reading “Humanitarian Vanity: How Ayn Rand’s Philosophy Encouraged Rational Selfishness”

Latina Women take the Lead!

Beatrice is working on the computer on a project.
A photo of Beatrice working on the computer.

By Beatrice Santiago 

“What would you like to do when you grow up, mija?’’ asked my mom. This is a question that am I sure most of us were asked at some point in our lives. As a young Latina woman, this question always lingered in the back of my mind. Because I had an idea where I wanted to go. I wanted to go to college and get into a career of my choice. Currently, I am in college and my career is still in the works. I knew that when I would tell adults that I wanted to become a movie director, even an actress, but first receive an education. They would support me, yet I knew that they probably thought I could never make it. Who would take a high school student seriously with those types of dreams?  Little did they know. After my parents realized that I was actually being serious about going to college, that it was truly something I wanted to do, they supported me in every possible way. Now they are my biggest supporters.

Yet many families still have the mentality that women should take care of the house and the children while men go out and work to provide for them. Those type of expectations are especially put on Latina women. My family would always tell me that if I didn’t go to college, then I would be expected to find a man that could provide for me because I wouldn’t go far in life without a man next to my side. Or that I would get pregnant and regret it later on. This made me begin to create negative thoughts in my head–I wasn’t good enough. Or I’m not college material, I’m not capable of finishing college and finding my dream job. There were times where I got so upset, even when I did come to college. But, then I would remember stories about Sonia Sotomayor becoming the first Latina in the Supreme Court, or Gina Rodriguez winning a Golden Globe award for Best Actress in Jane the Virgin.  Continue reading “Latina Women take the Lead!”

Calling all Buzzfeed Fans: Anne Helen Petersen is Coming to UI

Photo of Anne Helen Petersen with blonde hair, smiling with mouth closed, wearing a denim jacket.

By Alexandria Arritt

A wonderful opportunity is coming to a University of Idaho campus near you! Anne Helen Petersen, senior Buzzfeed writer, author of Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of Unruly Women is coming to the university. October 13th from 8:30-10am, all English-majors are invited to attend a breakfast with Anne.


The multimedia company Anne writes for has become extremely prominent the past few years. Buzzfeed churns out videos, news, opinion and multimedia pieces, quizzes and much more. Typically, the multimedia company focuses on inclusive feminist views. The voice that Buzzfeed brings to mass media is one of empowerment, hilarity, and vulnerability.


These things and more can be found within Senior Buzzfeed writer Anne Helen Petersen’s book, Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of Unruly Women. Anne Helen Petersen has a PhD from University of Texas in media studies and she focuses on celebrity culture within her writing. After years of studying classic Hollywood stars and gossip, Petersen has a strong idea of how studying celebrities can illuminate how women are perceived by the public. The book focuses on 10 female celebrities that have been criticized for their actions as women. For example, Serena Williams, Madonna, and Hillary Clinton. Peterson uses examples like these to show what celebrity gossip says about those who read it and participate.


The opportunity to sit with Anne is, most likely, not one that will come around again. Anne Helen Petersen taught media studies at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington from 2012-2014, and more famously wrote for The Hairpin from 2011-2014. The Hairpin is a well-known “general-interest site aimed at women.” Anne was interviewed by The Hairpin about her life success and about her thoughts on Audrey Hepburn. The Hairpin allows us to get an in-depth look in the head of Anne Petersen. During the interview, Anne speaks about her first class in graduate school where she realized what she really wanted to study. She took a class called “Female Stardom” and that class led her to her dissertation on celebrity gossip.

Anne has always been interested in celebrity scandals and how the public perceived the women that were involved. After writing columns for The Hairpin, Anne went on to write her first book, Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Sex, Deviance, and Drama from the Golden Age of American Cinema. This book is well connected to her columns for The Hairpin, and she analyzes the scandals in a similar fashion, although Anne does say that the research that went into the book was far more expansive. The main point that the book shows the readers is how white, straight males tend to get away with scandals, whereas women do not. Surprisingly though Anne lets us in on an interesting opinion, she hates Audrey Hepburn! Anne believes that Audrey is “the same trope(s) over and over again.” When Anne did her research for Scandals of Classic Hollywood she wanted to stray from the overarching attitude the public had towards the stars. Anne focused on the star themselves to really gain an accurate understanding of the scandal.


After her time with The Hairpin Anne was offered a job from Buzzfeed. Anne Helen Petersen has posted over 200 articles to Buzzfeed in the past few years! As a writer for Buzzfeed Anne has creative freedom to write about what truly interests her. And in a time like this where scandals and celebrity gossip, even within our presidency, have no end, there is a lot to write about. Anne’s most recent post on Buzzfeed from two weeks ago is titled, “Top Of The Lake” Is The Anti-SVU. Top of the Lake focuses on a detective that specializes in sexual abuse crime. Top of the Lake’s second season began on Sept. 10. A common criticism for the new season, according to Anne, is that the future for the show is unclear. There is not enough coherence. Disregarding the struggles the show is facing regarding structure, Anne notes that this is the first piece of fiction that has made her emotional within the past few months. Top of the Lake explores the facets of motherhood, rape culture, sex and misogyny. These things portrayed on screen are what make the show watchable. In this article, Anne dives into the idea of watching your own troubles on a screen. It’s relatable and the problems within are fought by tough women that become survivors of their own tragedy.


Anne writes incredible articles about women in pop culture. She is an experienced and talented writer and it will be a pleasure to have her here at the University of Idaho. On October 13th, the Lewiston native will be here for breakfast and questions. If you’re an English-major remember to take a little time out of your day to speak with one of the great female writers of our generation.

Who am I? A Reintroduction.

the author wearing white sunglasses with the sun on her face while riding in a car
The author, riding in a car

By Kali Nelson

                As many of you know, I wrote for the blog last semester, and I loved it so much I decided to come back. If you don’t know who I am, let me introduce myself a little better. I am currently a sophomore at the University of Idaho studying Journalism and Environmental Science. I play on the Quidditch team and in my spare time, I like to knit and crochet, I have a passion for reading, and I whole heartedly enjoy watching shitty horror movies, especially with vampires. My other passions include Trevor Noah’s stand up and caffeine.

I lived most of my life in Caldwell, Idaho, but a few years ago I moved to Colville, Washington, and I have found a second home in Washington. It was there that I found my love for the outdoors and the environment.

This summer I got the wonderful opportunity to work in the technician field studying Western Grebes.  Grebes are a water bird that lives in Mexico, Canada, and the United States. For this project, we spent the summer in Cascade, Idaho watching the grebes on Lake Cascade. I was part of a program here at the University of Idaho, called the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, that is in other schools like the University of Florida, University of Arizona, Cornell, and North Carolina State. I made so many friends, and I really loved what I did this summer.

I take a special interest in women’s issues because, I am in fact a woman. And even though I come from a place of privilege, I believe that every woman deserves a chance to be heard. And still, I believe that I do not have much experience with some issues. I will try my best to not mess things up. But if I do make a mistake, please let me know; I am still learning. I want to expand my views and fully understand a topic.

I want to talk a little about what I would like to cover this upcoming semester. I want to explore the ecofeminism idea that I wrote about last semester a little more and a few other things that come into my head. This semester I want to explore the many faces of feminism and how it doesn’t have to be about just the normally talked about issues. Feminism is a diverse topic, and I feel that sometimes we forget that feminism can cover many different things.

Alexandria Arritt: An Introduction

IMG_6075.JPGBy Alexandria Arritt

Hi all! My name is Alexandria Arritt. I am an incoming Sophomore at University of Idaho studying English with an emphasis in Professional Writing, and I am minoring in Public Relations. I absolutely love writing! I am currently reading two different books, and I have a long list that I am working on as well. One of my favorites is Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing. The craft of writing is certainly something special, and I believe literature affects us in a variety of ways. I write on my own blog,, reviewing novels and attempting to begin a conversation about literature. I am interested in eventually attending law school and studying criminal law. I love staying busy. I am what many people would call a ‘true extrovert’. I love socializing and discussing ideas with a variety of people. I think it’s very important to reach across the aisle and speak with those who may not share the same views. I was stuck in my bubble for a long time because it made me angry to have people talk to me in a way that I felt was unfair, but I have now dedicated my conversations to those around me to more thoughtful and insightful. I am always learning, and I am willing to alter my opinions to become more correct.

Continue reading “Alexandria Arritt: An Introduction”

On Dirty Bathrooms and To-Do Lists

some notebooks near a computer

By Cindy Fuhrman

I should be cleaning the bathroom.

My partner Caleb is working out in the field (by which I mean that as a fish biologist, he is camped along a river with a crew sampling fresh water) and it would be the perfect opportunity to do some deep cleaning. I should go so far as scrubbing the walls and washing the light fixture, for I am not working this summer, and it seems like the right way to earn my keep, to feel like I am doing something useful.

Those were the thoughts going through my head this morning as I was walking along a two track behind the house. I have certain roles that I feel I am supposed to fulfill.  Certain tasks attached to my gender, and also certain unsaid rules I have attached to the relationship. But I am writing instead. The bathroom and all the other things I think I should be doing will have to wait. Along with the walk that was for my body, for my health and sanity, the writing is also part of my self-care, something that seems for women to fall in line behind caring for others, behind doing what we think should be done.

Continue reading “On Dirty Bathrooms and To-Do Lists”

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”