Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A disgrace to modern man

I rarely ever have intense emotional responses to anything I read on the Internet. Yet here I sit in bed, sobbing alone while a very ironic Beyonce song plays in the background. I am crying because I just came across the most horrific thing I have ever seen on the Internet. There is a website called Return of Kings which is essentially the bane of my existence. It serves as a "safe place for men who don't agree with where Western culture is headed." It has to be the most terrible thing I have ever seen. It degrades women, desensitizes men, and absolutely causes humanity to go back a few steps. It's impossible to describe in my own words, so here are a few screenshots. 

this contact information requires that one deem a feminist "ugly" in order to send an email. 

#6 of 10 in the article "10 Reasons not to Rape"

This was the point where I started crying.

Teaching young boys that showing their emotions is the "wrong" way to be a man

These are all full-length stories. 

After reading this, I immediately went to write this blog. Freedom of speech being denied to women and homosexuals? This is 2014.  I am beyond sickened. 

The ROK belief system is disgusting and makes me squirm. I seriously would read this and try not to punch a wall. 
 I don't really know how to end this blog. I urge you all to email these disgusting men and tell them what you think. Share my blog post. Share the website. Get this piece of trash off the Internet. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Harand Complex

   As I grow older and [hopefully] wiser, I have started to become aware of a certain cycle I like to call the "Harand complex." Harand is the summer camp I went to from age 8 to 17 and the place I liked to call home. At Harand, I really transformed from a naive little girl into the well-informed young adult I am today. At Harand, there were a handful of people who truly changed my life, and I would love to go in depth about each one. However, time is limited and your attention span is fleeting so I am going to focus on two who revealed to me the truth in the "Harand complex."
   When I was 11 years old, I had a counselor named Cyd who was artistic, mature, intelligent, and downright hilarious. I was always a little bit wise beyond my years, and having a counselor who recognized that was a huge perk. She saw in me things I hadn't seen in my 11-year-old self. I kept in contact with her summer after summer, even though she never returned back to Harand. In my more recent years as a junior counselor, I tried to pass on to my campers the same respect and esteem she held for me as a young girl. 
When I got accepted to Boston University, Cyd reached out to me on Facebook, informing me that she, too, was a Boston Terrier and was still residing in the city post-graduation. She told me to Skype her when I was available. 
   Last night, we finally found a time to talk in between my insane school schedule and her very busy adult life. We didn't just "catch up." We talked for three hours covering everything from camp gossip to academia to Boston to life. She gave me fantastic advice about school, BU, and life itself. She is very successful doing what she loves, but she told me she never would have gotten where she is if she didn't step outside her comfort zone. One quote that really stuck with me was when she told me "you never want to get too comfortable because then you never stop pushing." It seems like no matter how many years go by, my camp counselors never stop their stream of insight from entering my life. 
   After meditating on her advice and reflecting on the impact I had on my campers, I stumbled upon the Instagram account of one camper in particular. 11-year-old Ruthie was everything I wished I was at that age. Her bio reads "charming, charismatic, smart 5th grade intellectual if I do say so myself." She posted pictures tonight of the State of the Union address and refers to herself as a "gay marriage supporter and feminist extraordinaire." She's 11, people. I hope that the wisdom and trust I received from Cyd contributed to Ruthie's fabulousness. I hope that Ruthie eventually inspires another little girl to share three generations of love, intellect, and respect. That's what I like to call the "Harand Complex." 

Ruthie and I, looking classy in white lace at the Harand Banquet.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Glass Ceiling

After recently viewing Miss Representation (I highly recommend), reading feminist news sites, and discussing controversial topics with teachers and friends, I am more motivated than ever to be a successful woman in the workplace and to work my way up to an influential position in media. 
My choice to delve into the toxic realm of journalistic media as a career is both terrifying and exciting. It's terrifying in the sense that media today has taken a turn for the cheap, appealing to a disgusting demographic of young, horny men because "sex sells." It's terrifying to see "news" stations that feature Robin Thicke's rapey performance with Miley Cyrus as a headlining story when globally, young girls like Malala Yousafzai are taking bullets in order to advocate the importance of education. Investigative journalism is becoming increasingly harder to find on big corporation networks. It's scary to enter a world of media that is dominated by older white men who continue to hold backward judgements about successful women in the workplace and continue to cover superficial stories, ignoring the more important news. 

But I'm not scared. 

As a future journalist, I believe that my generation has the power to not only help change the role of women in the media, but to change the media's representation of "perfect" so future generations' role models will no longer have impossibly skinny limbs, Photo shopped-flawless skin, fluorescent white teeth and tanned, melanoma-ridden skin. So little girls won't be scared to ask for Hot Wheels for their birthdays and little boys won't be taught to hide their emotions. I want people to know who they are before the media tells them who they should be.
I can go on for hours about the indecencies and terrible examples set by the media, but I must not digress. 
Journalism, like any area of prominence, needs more successful women to balance out the bylines and create a sense of equality. There needs to be more than 26% female staffers on the New York Times. There must be more success stories about female editors than instances of sexual harassment in the newsroom. 
I aspire to work myself into a high position so I can write about topics that will open minds and inspire more women to become successful politicians, doctors, and other male-dominated professional positions.
I want to break the glass ceiling that has been set for women. I want to change things. And that is exactly what I am going to do. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hello, 2014

2013. This past year, I drifted from some of my best friends, reconnected with old friends, and formed an inseperable bond with the girls I consider to be my closest friends. It was also a year of firsts. First music festival [Lollapalooza], first college acceptance [Boston University], first job, first summer home from camp, first byline in the local paper, first steps into adulthood. With this transition, I took on some pretty hefty responsibilities. Being an editor-in-chief, flying alone to visit colleges, getting a boyfriend, keeping up my GPA; it's been a tough go, but I feel like 2013  was also a year of balance. I learned how to make myself happy doing the things I love while also putting 100% into what is really important. I delved into good literature and learned how to read critically and write concisely. I became educated in feminism, which has become a huge part of my existence. I made great friends with a teacher who has changed my life in the best way possible. 2013 had many sleepless nights and tears and coffee and frustrated pounding on the computer keyboard, but now my future is bright. 2014 has never looked better. 2014 holds graduation and the print of my yearbook and college and new opportunities and a career in journalism. Hello, 2014. You look so bright. 

some 2013 highlights-
In June, I went to Indianapolis with my best friends .

In July, I went to a one week journalism workshop where I developed my yearbook and met my boyfriend and bonded with my fellow staff members. 

In August, my sister turned 16 and she had a party and invited my best friends before they left for college. 
In August, I went to Lollapalooza for three days with Emma and had the time of my life.

In September, I met Maneet and we bonded over fashion and NBC sitcoms

In October, I visited Anna in Boston and fell in love with everything about the city.

In November, I went back to Boston for a journalism convention, where I roomed with these swaggies and made three new best friends. 

In December, Tavi Gevinson, editor of Rookie, signed my book and danced to Hilary Duff with about 100 other crazy teenage girls.

In December, Nick and I both got into our dream schools. 

peace out, 2013