For those who are not celeb-obsessed like me, there is big news in the field of celebrity marriages: George Clooney finally settled down! The actor married girlfriend Amal Alamuddin over the weekend. Most tabloids’ coverage of the marriage contained phrases such as “Mr. and Mrs. George Clooney,” and “Clooney’s beautiful bride” . However, Amal Alamuddin has a few additional credentials other than being the one who finally tamed George Clooney…and this article lists ‘em all in satirical, hilarious detail.
*trigger warning: discussion of sexual assault and abuse*
What happens when someone you are a fan of, someone that you respect and look up to, and/or someone you know is outed as a sexual abuser? Let me tell you: it sucks. This is something that the YouTube community has been dealing with for months now, and it seems like the list of popular YouTubers who have been outed for sexually assaulting their fans is growing by the day.
The topic of sexual abuse on YouTube is huge, and there is so much that I can talk about that I don’t know where to start. Not only that, but I have been a part of the YouTube community for most of my teenage to adult life. I’ve been watching and making videos for over 7 years, and many of the people who have been outed as abusers were among my favorite content creators. In fact, I have met some of these YouTubers. Pictured below is my 17 year-old self with Mike Lombardo, a YouTube musician who is currently serving a 5-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.
This pattern of sexual assault on YouTube is something that has been happening for years and is just now beginning to unfold to the public. For those of you who don’t know, YouTube is not only a website devoted to music videos and adorable kittens—there is a whole community of content creators that make videos for their own YouTube audience, gaining millions of views and subscribers. These content creators are so popular that they are able to make YouTube a full-time job, gaining a large amount of money and an even bigger audience. These YouTubers are in a very powerful position, and a select group of YouTubers abuse this power.
Take a second to listen to this song by Lil Dicky:
Although Lil Dicky’s song is satirical and supposed to be humorous, the song points out a lot of accurate examples of how inequality still exists in America today.
Check out this awesome article on JMU’s take on sexual assault awareness and prevention!
Did you know there are options for male contraception other than condoms? Let’s talk about it.
One of the most up-and-coming options for male contraception is something called Vasalgel – a non-hormonal, reversible form of birth control that blocks the vans deferens, aka blocks sperm from being released. Non-hormonal means it won’t mess with testosterone levels in the male body, and reversible means this is a temporary option for those who aren’t ready to have a family just yet. Currently, there are many other options out there for male birth control, including non-hormonal pills, heat methods, and ultrasounds, which also provide temporary sperm-blocking options for men. Continue reading
Growing up is not easy for the female gender (let’s be honest, growing up isn’t easy for anyone.) BUT girls are frequently pushed and hustled into a few paths deemed acceptable for them by society. Not enough girls are encouraged to pursue their love of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM.) The sad fact is, women hold less than 25% of our country’s STEM jobs.
That shit does not fly with me and I am sure as hell it doesn’t fly with the creators of School of Doodle. Why is it so increasingly rare to find a girl who maintains an interest in science, math and technology? Verizon Wireless sheds light on this concept in their recent 2014 campaign: Inspire Her Mind.
This video for the #HeForShe campaign is amazing. Watch and share with the men in your life!
For more information on #HeForShe check out mustbeamermaids post on Emma Watson’s UN speech!
Disclaimer: In this post, I WILL NOT, I repeat WILL NOT, use Michael Boyles as a symbol to talk about depression and suicide prevention, I’d rather just discuss the kind of person he was at James Madison University.
I remember the first time, I met Michael, it was at a tabling event for the LGBT & Ally Education Program; he was so eager to make a change within the community at JMU. At that time I had no idea how many lives this freshman would impact and how he would change my life for the better. I remember other times of first seeing him before he officially became a volunteer for the program; I saw him at play auditions and at the big a capella audition. Michael just wanted to get involved with everything and that fire inside of him was something I admired and still think about.
I never thought I would dream of going back to high school…yeeaahh rough times. But recent news about “School of Doodle,” a free, online high school designed to activate girls’ imaginations, has me seriously reconsidering…
The School of Doodle, launched by Molly Logan and Elise Van Middelem, which they humbly proclaim, “possibly the most amazing project ever” (could not agree more) is place that aims to build girls’ imagination and teach them to BE LOUD. The educational venture creates a space for girls to be creative, free, connected and most importantly, LOUD! One beautiful badass behind this project, Natasha Lyonne, describes this phenomenon:
“Being Loud is a philosophy, a battle cry, a habit of mind. Being Loud is demanding to be seen and heard. Embracing every part of you—the messy and the neat. Being Loud is being colorful, curious, compassionate, creative, courageous and confident.”
It’s an online “school” (I use that word loosely because it’s really not a school at all. The creators describe it as an “endless obstacle course for the imagination.”) that “assigns” daily duties including “How Do Videos” led by teachers like Kim Gordon, Marina Abramovic, John Baldessari and Yoko Ono. That’s right. YOKO ONO COULD BE YOUR TEACHER. There are also “Doodle Challenges,” modeled after a similar concept to homework (bleh) yet, seemingly far superior to that wicked practice.
If girls are curious about a lot of things, they can “dabble” in a course (for example) with John Baldessari to learn how to draw a portrait in the air with their fingers. Or, if they’re into just one thing—like music—they can “dig” and strike a chord with Kim Gordon and learn how to write a 3-chord song. Check this shit out on their splendid kickstarter webpage.
The School of Doodle has a huge following, with big name backers including Alice Waters, Courtney Love, Sarah Silverman, Susan Orlean, Pussy Riot, Sia, Rodarte, Arianna Huffington, Yayoi Kusama, Natasha Lyonne, Yoko Ono and pretty much every heroine I have wanted to create a shrine for in my spare time. Continue reading
As I’m sure many of you have heard, Emma Watson gave an incredibly powerful speech at the UN last week, launching the HeforShe campaign. Shortly after, I saw my friends, who never outwardly identified with feminism, posting and sharing the video of her speech on Facebook. I was so happy and excited to see so many men and women I knew outwardly posting about feminism, but I wondered why it had to be now. If it wasn’t Emma Watson that had given that exact speech, would people have had the same reaction? Was it the fact that Emma Watson was a white, straight, attractive actress that drew so much attention?
I recently found this article that sums up some of the problems with Emma Watson’s speech, and I think it is an incredibly good read. Let’s remember, the feminist movement can be beneficial to both men and women, but we should also include men and women of color, transgender and queer individuals of color, and people from all parts of society in our fight for equality.
Solidarity is for everyone.
Read the article here.