What’s Wrong With this Picture?

The correct answer is too many things.

This video of a girl slapping her boyfriend repeatedly on the streets of Hong Kong has become viral after two days, currently topping 930,000 views as I am typing. Without a doubt, it’s disgusting to watch as the girl beats her boyfriend in public. From what I gather, there was a dispute over whether the boyfriend invited another girl to his apartment (supposedly the other girl at the scene). I believe at one point he cries out that the second girl is the girl’s family member, and also he declares that he never did such a thing. Eventually a crowd gathers around and the girlfriend was arrested by police for assault.

But I’m horrified…and not just because of this girl.

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Why My Boyfriend Hates Candy Crush

“It’s sad when I am with my grandchildren and they are constantly like this with their smartphones,” someone recently shared with me as she mimed hunching over a smartphone. “But the saddest part is that I’m doing it too.”

This is nothing new. Cell phones and smartphones have become ingrained into our tech-savy societies today. When I was growing up, I didn’t have a cell phone until high school, and I didn’t get a smart phone until around my junior year of college. The thing is, I didn’t feel like I needed one. Since the campus had wi-fi, I could always check my email with my iPod. It was only when I went to renew my phone contract and get a new phone that I saw the not smart phone selection was of such poor quality! And now, ever since I switched from an Android to an iPhone (about three months now), I have become more addicted to those stupid games (Candy Crush Saga and Sims Freelife). And while yes, those games are fun and fill up those small voids of free time, such as sitting on a train, I have recently realized how much these phones disconnect us from people — and the people we love.

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Feminism Vs. Femininity?

Last summer, I — like countless others — read Anne-Marie Slaughter’s “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All,” and had several reactions to it. Aside from the class and racial issues I had about Slaughter’s article, it did raise interesting questions about feminism and work. Slaughter had the opportunity of becoming a powerful woman leader, at the peak of a political career in Washington — but she gave it up to spend time with her kids (and, you know, remain a Princeton professor). At the time the article came out, I was interning at Beacon Press, a non-profit press that promotes equality. When talking about the article with my (wonderful) supervisor at the time, she commented, “Isn’t this a step backward?” Back at the birth of feminism, women were trapped in the housewife role and wanted real careers. Now Slaughter was claiming that women still couldn’t be the mothers they wanted while having these powerful careers? I saw my supervisor’s point.

Yet the past few months, I’ve been grappling with the conflict between feminism and my own desires. While I initially saw how Slaughter’s article could be anti-feminist, my recent struggle with feminist theory and my life have allowed me to better understand Slaughter’s claims. Feminist theory has fought against old ideas of what women can and cannot do — it has allowed women to join the workforce side-by-side with men. But feminism has now shaped what we expect a woman’s goals should be. It has created restrictions again on the definitions of a woman. Really, feminism should give women the freedom to choose their goals.

I am supposed to be one of the privileged and educated women Slaughter was addressing. But I didn’t come out with a powerful job — in fact, I’m still pretty lost as to what I would like to do. I really enjoyed my summer internship, but as it drew to a close, I had to face a looming question.

After my internship, where would I go?

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Raising and Lowering the Bar: or, That Time I Almost Failed a Class

Before I delve into this post, I wanted to apologize for how long it’s been since I last updated! I’ve been busily applying to jobs (another post to be written). During this time, the topic of education, privilege, and race have caught my attention. This is the first of a series I’m writing in response to some of these issues.  Photo Credit: http://www.google.com/imgres?start=103&biw=1366&bih=643&tbm=isch&tbnid=hxIBq1Osr397aM:&imgrefurl=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/26/fairfax-county-teachers-i_n_2765101.html&docid=yukHwWV3-yNSfM&imgurl=http://i.huffpost.com/gen/988506/thumbs/r-TEACHERS-LGBT-ISSUES-large570.jpg%253F6&w=570&h=238&ei=rnRrUZuiLdLh4APG2ICgCA&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:3,s:100,i:13&iact=rc&dur=312&page=6&tbnh=145&tbnw=280&ndsp=22&tx=162&ty=7 In my magnet public high school, I always took a full honors and A.P. course load that prepared me for college-level classes. That’s why most might be surprised that the course I probably did the “worst” in my high school career was my regular economics class. That’s right, regular, not A.P. or honors. But here’s the kicker: the reason I did “poorly” was not because of the difficulty of regular econ, but ironically it was too easy. Truth be told, I was bored. Continue reading

“My Life On My Back”: GIRLS and Rape Culture

If you haven’t heard of Lena Dunham’s hit show Girls, you might be living under a bit of a rock. The show has been deemed something you just don’t find anywhere else on TV. Some people love it, some people hate it – some people hate seeing Dunham naked (she not only writes, but also acts, directs, and produces). Left and right, there have been lots of controversy buzzing around both her (not size zero body) and her show.

Lately, season two has taken a dark turn. (Spoiler alerts ahead.) The characters are more isolated than ever. After a failed marriage and hurtful encounter with her emotionally abusive father, Jessa has disappeared into thin air. She is a “free spirit,” but one carrying heavy wounds from her past. Shoshanna no longer has her “dreaded” virginity badge, but she has cheated on her first boyfriend who she “loves.” Marnie has been on a downward spiral since the beginning of the season: sleeping with a gay man, being downsized from her job, becoming a hostess, dealing with a gaping rift between her and her best friend Hannah, and entering a “relationship” because she wants Booth’s life. It seems she was on a slightly better note last weekend when she finally admitted her lifelong dream of wanting to be a singer – but apparently this translated to suddenly singing a terribly slow remix of Kanye’s “Stronger’ at her ex’s party. And then having sex with him. Meanwhile Hannah has fallen back into her OCD ways under the stress of a stalkerish ex-boyfriend (Adam) and a (e-)book deal that she has to finish by the end of the month. She’s so stressed that she punctures her ear with a q-tip. Yeah. That was a ridiculously painful scene to watch. None of the girls are in a good place. In fact, this whole episode reeked of self-destruction and awkwardness.

But the worst of it all is in the scene that people can’t stop talking about. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about: does Adam rape Nat? The episode begins with Nat(alia) and Adam having sex for the first time.  “I’m ready to have sex now,” she announces. They begin kissing as she lists all her preferences. “I like how clear you are,” Adam tells her. “What other way is there?” she asks. It seems that they are going to be a hopeful and cute couple. Continue reading

Wealth Inequality in America

Wealth Inequality in America – YouTube.

I always hear things about how the wealth disparity in China if going to be the downfall of the communist regime. But what about America’s wealth disparity? I think back to the occupation movement. While I agreed they were the most organized movement, I really thought they had a point. And they were trying to do something! The last influential rioting in America was probably against the Vietnam war. Have we all become so desensitized to problems? Even when they affect us? We’re letting that 1% (or top 10%) get away with this. I can’t stand the arguments that they “deserve” it and that if we do anything, it’ll result in the “dreaded” socialism. Something is clearly wrong with the system. So what can we all do about it?