How we internalize rape culture and normalize sexual assault

Alexander Krivitskiy on unsplash.com

I started sex-ed classes in sixth grade in Manhattan Middle School. I don’t remember much, just that everyone was uncomfortable and shy about any topic of discussion. But the classes were still somewhat useful. I’m sure I learned a great deal about safe sex, human anatomy, and reproductive health.

However, what really stuck to mind didn’t have much to do with intimacy. The key points my girlfriends and I walked away with were these: never leave your drink unattended, never get too drunk, never go to a party alone, never walk home alone. I learned how to be a good…


So long sex and kitsch, hello materialistic empowerment

The yellow rubber gloves were a wonderful touch. Because isn’t this what you wear to wash the dishes on a Tuesday night? Photo: Jamie McCarthy/2013 Getty Images

I’m sure you’ve heard by now: Victoria’s Secret is rebranding itself as an inclusive, empowered, feminist brand!

At the forefront of this turnaround are Megan Rapinoe, Eileen Gu, Paloma Elsesser, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas. They will be the faces of the new era of Victoria’s Secret that is redefining what sexy means on their own terms.

I suppose the rebranding attempt was to be expected; VS has been in trouble in terms of sales for a while. The once legendary lingerie giant with 350 stores nationally, sales topping $1 billion, 15 million dollar fantasy bras, and top-model Angels was slow…


What makes the right-wing so gullible?

David Todd McCarty on unsplash.com

Sometimes I feel like conservatives have been brainwashed to think that literally.every.single.thing is not only a conspiracy but a conspiracy against them. Is there anything that can be trusted if even science is disregarded so easily? COVID is a conspiracy. Vaccines are a conspiracy. Climate change is a conspiracy. The election was a conspiracy. Everything is a conspiracy!

I mean, how do they keep up with all of it? I feel like I would die of paranoia.

Conspiracy theories have always existed. I actually used to find them quite entertaining and interesting, and every once in a while I’d fall…


How art education can enhance learning, reach marginalized students, and offer a sense of meaning, purpose, and belonging

Olivia Bauso on unsplash.com

In a previous post, I touched a little bit on what art education can offer to an individual, to community, society, and to democracy. Perhaps you found the reasons compelling and noteworthy, but you are still wondering why art education should be offered to all students in public schools. You might ask: why can’t students choose extracurricular activities based on their own interests? Why should everyone study music, visual arts, dance, and theater? Shouldn’t schools focus on core academic subjects like math, science, and history? …


An opportunity to imagine

Robert Collins on unsplash.com

The role of the arts in society has been a subject of controversy throughout modern times. Currently, it is possible to detect at least two opposing views: the one that recognizes the value of art and the other that sees it just as something nice to have when all other, truly important things are achieved.

To me, the topic of arts and specifically, arts education, is an important one. I grew up with dance; I found my purpose and my place in the world through movement, music, and self-expression. I, amongst many, believe art plays a…


A battle between safety, individual liberty, and extreme violence

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

After the mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder last month, I felt compelled to write a little something about gun control in the U.S.

As expected, the story received some critical comments from who I am assuming to be pro-gun individuals. In my story, I touched on the issue of civil rights and individual liberty a little bit and I wasn’t surprised to see comments suggesting that restricting gun laws would be a violation of one’s civil rights. I knew that a lot of Americans feel threatened when their right to own a deadly weapon is questioned.

I was also…


It’s time to talk about gun laws, yet again

Alejo Reinoso on Unsplash.com

It’s been a grim week in the U.S.

On March 16th, Robert Aaron Long walked into Big Woods Goods and purchased a 9 mm handgun. A few hours later, he started a shooting rampage killing 8 people, six of whom were Asian women.

Six days later, a gunman killed 10 people in a grocery store in Boulder, CO.

Mass shootings are no news in the U.S. According to Vox, the U.S has nearly 4 times more gun violence than any other developed country in the world. The national rate of gun violence in the US is higher than in many…


We don’t all have the same choices in life

@ellecartier on unsplash.com

There’s a recent conversation that I just couldn’t get out of my mind. The conversation was about George Floyd, as his murderer’s trial began about a week ago, and about all the silenced unrest his death revealed. We spoke about the protests, some of which turned violent, which I saw as an inevitable, justified rebellion, and he as unjustified, violent crime. We tried to find common ground but it was impossible. We simply saw the situation fundamentally differently. I saw the riots as the fault of social injustice and systemic racism. …


Women are afraid to walk alone at night, and it’s not us who should change our behavior

@scorpkris on unsplash.com

Sarah Everard went missing on March 3rd after walking home from a friend’s house around 9 pm. Earlier this week, only three days after the world celebrated International Women’s Day, police discovered her remains in Kent.

It is a sad reminder of how far we still are in the battle for not only equality but something as simple as safety.

Well, why was she walking alone at night? You might ask, what was she wearing?

There is often an accusatory undertone when bad things happen to women.

It’s her fault that she wore a short dress, it’s her fault she walked instead of took the cab. Nothing new. …


To the silent heroes behind the pandemic

@jakaylatoney on unsplash.com

When I open the TV, or my phone, or the newspaper, pandemic-related criticism is everywhere. Whether it’s criticism towards politicians and decision-makers or fellow citizens who don’t agree with rules and restrictions, the overall message seems to be that everyone is doing something wrong.

What is not seen very often, is recognition and gratitude for people who have been relentlessly working for over a year now in an attempt to contain the spread and protect people. I notice that I oftentimes assume things work the way they work on their own when actually, there are exhausted individuals who make it…

Suvi Helena

That girl next door.

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