It is that time of year again… PROM! The time when tanning, dress shopping, and worrying about who is going to ask you begins. The days when I would stress over finding the right shoes, getting my dress fitted just right, and panicking if my date would pick out the right color flowers are sadly over. Looking back on the five different proms that I attended (wow I know haha), I feel like I view it all so differently now… not better, and not worse, just different. Continue reading
If you didn’t know, the semester is wrapping up for the year.
When I look back on this semester I can only see a blur. It may not have been the toughest, but it certainly hasn’t been the greatest. Of the few real memories I can conjure up, I can distinctly remember every time I wrote for ShoutOut. Between long periods of writer’s block, cursing myself for again waiting until last minute and hollowly swearing I’ll start earlier the next week, I was actually doing something I was proud to be a part of.
This past semester I was introduced to another world. Unlike Alice’s journey into Wonderland or Dorothy’s to Oz, I couldn’t snap myself back to reality as I had unknowingly stepped into it. In this new environment I felt the patriarchy that held so many people back and created unrealistic expectations for all participants. I heard the language that was casually thrown around as if it didn’t sting like knives. I saw the pain in people’s eyes as they recounted events when they were affected by misogyny. The kicker though was the shame I felt realizing I played an active role in all of this like a chump.
Thanks to ShoutOut’s amazing writers and readers, I’ve begun changing my lifestyle. Taking small steps to turn my life around and lead it in an open-minded way, I’ve seen the positive it could do for the people around me. It’s been liberating to say the least, however I’ve recently felt like there was still something missing; a weight in my heart I couldn’t shack.
At James Madison University, a gender dialogue course is offered in which 6 females and 6 males are asked to participate to promote dialogue between the two sexes. I was able to attend the final presentations for this class, and I thought the premise of the class, the topics of the presentation, and the banter between the men and women in the course were very interesting. It was evident that this class had become very close. The men and women seemed very comfortable around each other, and it was evident that these presentations were reflective of the eye-opening experience they had together. It made me slightly jealous that they were able to experience this opportunity, and by the end of the 3 hours, I had come up with 2 conclusions.
I’m a gamer and damn proud.
You won’t catch me toting a DS waiting to update my Animal Crossing town or feed my Nintendogs. I won’t spend hours in front of my tv wasting the brilliance that is the outdoors. And I will never pass up time with friends, to finish that last level of Bioshock Infinite or play one more round of Zombies. However, I will keep up with the industry’s latest and greatest. I do long for that occasional heartwarming nostalgia that comes with replaying an old N64 favorite. And I will always look forward to the occasional follow-up or reimagining of a series like Zelda or Tomb Raider. Gaming has been ingrained within me since as far as I can remember, but it wasn’t until recently that I stumbled upon a daring vlogger who prompted me to reanalyze these pieces of my past with a new feminist perspective.
A month from yesterday will mark the one year anniversary of a bold concept that would later rock the gaming community forever. After being invited to speak to video game development company BUNGiE, vlogger and creator of Feminist Frequency Anita Sarkeesian felt satisfied with her involvement, but realized there was a lot left to be said for the industry as a whole. She decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund a series of videos that would analyze the history of video games from a feminist lens and illuminate the iconic portrayals of women in these games. Little did she know the tidal wave of backlash, harassment, and vandalism that would follow her from arguably the most proverbial of boy’s clubs.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave or the Midwest, you’ve noticed spring (weather) is finally here! Yes, the beautiful time of year when the birds are back, flowers are blooming, and the thaw of winter is behind us. With the return of the sun comes the return of outdoor recreational reading. There’s nothing I love more about my outdoor porch than curling up in my favoring chair, and with a glass of lemonade beside me flipping the pages of a wonderful book between my hands. One such book I had the pleasure of reading was The Guy’s Guide to Feminism. It’s a brief but well written read that’s sure to fit into anyone’s schedule and personal feminist level.
I’ve been considering doing a throwback post, taking something of the of the past and reevaluating it through a feminist lens. For some of you this may be a throwback but for me, my past was void of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and her female empowerment. Granted I was six when it first aired so I guess it was good parenting that prevented me from watching it but even then I wish I had joined in the Sarah Michelle Geller craze. I remember people raving about Buffy and her slaying but I jut never really go into it, primarily because I used to be a good ol’ scaredy cat and even the not so special effects of the 90′s would have scared the pants off of me.
But I am proud to announce that I am officially a member of the Buffy fan club. I have recently become obsessed (thank goodness for Netflix) but am only halfway through season two and am thoroughly excited to watch all 7 seasons.Buffy is an excellent female role model for women of all ages she exhibits independence, rejection of gender roles and confidence in her identity through her battling of literal and symbolic demons. Writer Joss Whedon announced in the first mission statement for the show, Buffy is about “the joy of female power: having it, using it, sharing it” and holy crap has she shared it with me.
Sitting in the beautiful spring sun, a girl from my dorm and I were enjoying the welcomed breeze of fresh mountain air. We were on the subject of our perspective futures, brought up by the fact that our first year in college was drawing to a close and we were both considering switching majors. Emily (changed name) was upset by her parent’s disappointment in her decision to opt out of JMU’s prestigious nursing program for a major in social work. Trying to be a good friend, I listened and affirmed that her decision was good and could still prove a rewarding career. What occurred next would haunt me to this day as an spiritual awakening that would lay groundwork that turned me into a feminist.
She began explaining her thought process behind the decision, I expectantly listened, and when she ended her diatribe I turned towards her and asked if she could repeat her last statement.
Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon is a story of heritage, pride, shame and discovery. Set in the 1960s in the era of the Civil Rights movement, Song of Solomon follows two African American families as they make their way toward the American Dream. The first family consists of a woman named Pilot, her daughter Reba, and granddaughter Hagar. They are lower class and there is no father figure, something for which African American families have always been criticized. The second family consists of Macon Dead II, his wife Ruth and children, Lena First Corinthians, and Macon Dead III, or Milkman. They are middle class, and have appeared to achieve the American Dream.