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Story By: Kimia Nikseresht

You know that feeling when your heart drops, your hands start shaking, and the whole world seems to disappear as you try to read that blurry “we need to talk” text through your uncontrollable tears? It might be due to the lack of oxygen, because you’re already crying so hard you physically can’t breathe through your runny snotty nose, or it might be that your body knows what your brain doesn’t want to accept yet – you’re about to get dumped.

At this point it doesn’t matter if you met this guy a week ago, or if you’ve been in love with him for an eternity. It’s a shitty feeling. Now imagine if you were finally dating your dream guy, the guy that you have literally dreamed up a future with, beautiful babies and coordinated cars included, and it’s that much worst. You suddenly find yourself talking to the mirror trying to explain to yourself that your best friend wants to be just your best friend, and the romantic trip to Maine is not going to happen. He might have memorized your mom’s number, but he’s not going to use it anytime soon. And you might have exchanged a trillion pictures of Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade (because let’s be honest, they’re #CoupleGoals) but that’s them and you’re you and they’re not the same thing.


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#ShootYourShot2016: Top 5 Relationship Lessons from 2016

copy-of-mental-health

Story By: Kimia Nikseresht

December is always the month of reflection, as we attempt to make sense of the last 12 months and, feminist or not, come to terms with that fact that we are one year older and don’t feel that much wiser. In fact, this January, we may actually feel dumber – think about it… We don’t have a female president. We don’t have peace in the Middle East. We don’t even have decent wifi at UVa. 2016 isn’t looking too good.

2016 was unique, though, in that it was also the year of the hashtag. We #PrayforParis (and some of us #PrayforIstanbul too), we recognize that #BlackLivesMatter (and some of us still insist that #AllLivesMatter), and yes, we still follow #Kimye. But 2016 also challenged us to shoot our shot – loosely stated, to go for it, whatever “it” may be. Submit that application. Purchase those thigh-high boots that you don’t think you can pull off. And send that text.

I shot my shot in 2016, and nearly suffered a heart attack because of it. But about 5 minutes of recovery time later, I let that shit sink in… my best friend is actually my boyfriend now. The one person in the world who has seen my ugly, witnessed my crazy, and watched me literally fall down a flight of stairs because I still don’t know how to walk in heels (some feminist, huh) actually likes me. He actually freaking loves me!


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Top 5 Shows to Binge-Watch Over Winter Break

Story By: Taylor Lamb

Happy finals season! The beautiful time of year when the people who haven’t visited a library all semester (me) are suddenly there every night this week (me) and are getting dirty looks from the people who were there all semester and now have to fight for space (not me). This is a time of stress, all-nighters, and if you’re not careful, burnout. However, the one thing about finals season that should put joy in the hearts of every girl and boy is that winter break is right around the corner. A whole month free of classes, tests, papers, deadlines, and stress. A whole month to hang out with family and friends, sleep without an alarm clock, maybe make some extra cash, and most importantly…. watch TV. If you’ve been feeling like you don’t have a show to watch over break, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here are 5 shows you should binge-watch to your heart’s content. (Side note: Am I the only one who noticed that no one calls it “marathon” anymore?)

1. Jane the Virgin

 

picture1I’ve been watching this show since it premiered my first year here and have been loving it ever since. Loosely modeled off of Spanish telenovelas, Jane the Virgin is a comedy about Jane Villanueva, a virgin who gets pregnant through a medical accident. Hijinks ensue. Despite that unrealistic, comedic, premise, the show manages to shed light on a lot of important issues such as U.S. immigration laws and societal expectations regarding female sexuality. What’s more, the relationships among the three generations of Villanueva woman are so beautifully portrayed. You’ll want to go hug your mom. In fact, I definitely would recommend watching this one with your mom. You can find seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix.

2. Scandal

2This is a show I’m sure you’ve heard about, though maybe you’ve needed a push to finally give it your attention. Consider this article your push. Scandal is a political thriller about Olivia Pope, a badass political fixer with her own crisis management firm that helps her DC clients resolve all their dirty secrets. Also… she happens to be having an affair with the president. Five seasons in, the show has definitely become about a lot more than that, but I won’t spoil it for you. I was originally drawn to this show when I heard that Kerry Washington (Olivia Pope) was the first black woman to lead a network TV show in almost 40 years (and the second one ever)! After one episode, I was hooked. Not only by the incredible acting of the entire cast, but the character Olivia Pope, who, in my opinion, is one of the most amazing characters on television. And I’m not just comparing her to women, either. Not convinced? The first season is only 7 episodes, so you can definitely give that a shot when you’re in your food coma the day after your holiday dinner. Find it on Netflix.


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5 UVA Women to Look Up to for International Women’s Month

Story by Allyson Cartwright

Even though our celebration of International Women’s Month is coming to a close, women should be celebrated all year round. On the grounds of UVA, we have some of the most intelligent, innovative, and compassionate female minds in the world. Many women that have walked UVA grounds, of all ages and backgrounds, are breaking ground and activating change. Here are 5 UVA women who are particularly inspirational and exemplar of women we should look up to:

1. The Cavalier Daily 126th term Managing Board
The Cavalier Daily has been the University’s premier daily newspaper since 1890. While this may not be just one single woman, the 126th managing board of the paper made great strides for UVA women as a team. What makes the 126th managing board (from last semester) so important is that for the first time in the history of the paper, it was an all-female staff. It took 126 years of managing boards before The Cavalier Daily saw an all-female board and it comes 43 years after the first woman was ever elected to the managing board. The 126th Cavalier Daily managing board shows that every leadership position at the paper was deserved and won by women.

2. Alyssa Dizon
One UVA woman’s accomplishments have united the community of Charlottesville and UVA in the name of entrepreneurship. Alyssa Dizon, a fourth-year College student, is the former managing director of HackCville. HackCville is a community “clubhouse” that supplies members with skills that benefit them in careers in entrepreneurship and startups. As managing director, Dizon introduced HackCville to the UVA community and turned it into a student-run organization. Her efforts made HackCville what it is today. The organization reports that over 1,500 students attend their workshops per year on topics like business, tech, design, media, and career development. Dizon’s work with HackCville earned her a 2016 Venture for America Fellowship.


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Top 5 Moments: How black actors “won” the Oscars without taking home a statue

Story by Allyson Cartwright

The theme of this year’s Academy Awards was unofficially #OscarsSoWhite. For the second year in a row, there were zero black actors nominated for acting awards, despite the bevvy of prolific films that came out featuring black actors—including Straight Outta Compton, Beasts of No Nation, Creed, and Concussion. The elephant in the room was the lack of diversity in the theater and it certainly did not go unnoticed by host Chris Rock, as well as many of the night’s presenters and winners. Despite no nominations for black actors, the message was glaring; the discrimination that black actors face was front-and-center on Hollywood’s biggest night of the year.

Here are Top 5 moments when black actors won the night with their message for increasing diversity:

  1. Chris Rock’s opening monologue was ten minutes of unforgiving jokes on racism and its existence beyond the award show.
    He made light of the tense controversy, but while doing so emphasized that while no black actors being nominated is unfair, there are far more disturbing examples of racism towards black people that no one is talking about, but should be. “In this year’s ‘In Memoriam’ package,” Rock said “We will be showing black guys shot on their way to the movies.” Racism is real and Rock made us uncomfortably laugh while stirring dialogue in a necessary way.

 

  1. The skit where black actors replace white nominees.
    One of the night’s video skits reimagined nominated movies with black actors. Including Whoopi Goldberg playing a janitor in Joy and telling Jennifer Lawrence to “say something!”, Tracey Morgan playing the title character in The Danish Girl, and Chris Rock getting stuck on Mars and purposely ignored by NASA in a Martian-parody. In this case, Eddie Redmayne probably was a better casting choice…


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Top 5 Reasons to be a Women’s Center Intern

Story by Carly Gorelick

GroupAre you a passionate person of any gender (yes, we encourage everyone to apply!) who is seeking an internship, a community, and is particularly interested in social issues? If your answer is “hell yes, this already sounds like me”, then I strongly encourage you to keep reading.

 

The Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center internship is a year-long program that engages its participants in the world of social justice advocacy. Interns are given the opportunity to develop themselves and their communities by participating in a class in the fall and by working for one of the following programs:

Body Positive/Eating Disorders Education
Iris Magazine (website)
Legal Clinic
Social Media Marketing Team
Men’s Leadership Project
Gender Violence and Social Change
Women, Girls and Global Justice
Young Women Leaders Program

There are many reasons to become an intern at the Women’s Center but here are some of the most important:

1. For Charlottesville

Sometimes it can be difficult to escape the UVA Bubble that encircles student life. Due to this bubble, many of us often neglect the ongoings of the greater Charlottesville community. Did you know that 27.5% of the Charlottesville community lives below the poverty level? In contrast to the opportunities we encounter at UVA, it’s a hard realization that the people who live right alongside us are struggling in ways we too rarely recognize.

The Women’s Center has thusly partnered with Hope House, a Family Stabilization Program located in Charlottesville that works to accommodate low-income families by providing them with housing and resources to rebuild their livelihoods.

Gender Violence & Social Change interns tabling for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Gender Violence & Social Change interns tabling for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Hope House is just one example of the many ways that the Women’s Center offers students the opportunity to give back to the community that constantly provides for us. Other initiatives include The Men’s Leadership Project and the Young Women Leaders Program, which provide undergraduate students the opportunity to mentor Charlottesville middle-schoolers, as well as our Legal Clinic that provides professional, pro-bono legal advice to Charlottesville residents.


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