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Column By: Taylor Lamb

Hey y’all. It’s me. Your favorite unapologetic, black, advocate for feminism coming at you with something new for this semester. A column. The Black Column, to be exact.

“Oh no!” One might be thinking. “They gave her another opportunity to shove her agenda down our throats?!”

Yes. Yes, they did.

So, here’s the rundown: This semester I am taking “African & African American Studies II,” taught by Professor Harold. Is this my first “black” class? Hardly. I always try to integrate my blackness into my studies in any way I can, despite not being an AAS major. But I’ve never had a platform like this. So while I get educated, I’m gonna educate y’all a little bit too.


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Story By: Taylor Lamb

Ladies, it’s time for us to have a chat.

I’m going to talk to you about something I’ve been seeing more and more on social media lately. It is a harmful idea that people of all genders and races have perpetuated, acting as though it is normal and acceptable. This is, the “crazy girlfriend” trope.

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Now, I’m not talking about women acting rationally and reasonably in a relationship, and their boyfriend labelling any behavior they don’t like as “crazy.” That is a very real problem, and could be a different article all in itself. No, rather, I’m talking about the typically self proclaimed crazy girlfriend who doesn’t trust her boyfriend for no good reason. The girl who gets mad when her boyfriend doesn’t text back within five minutes. The girl who looks through her boyfriend’s phone & social media accounts when he’s in another room. The girl who refuses to let her boyfriend even talk to any other girls, much less be friends with them. The girl who thinks it’s okay to key his car or destroy his xbox when she gets angry at him. The girl who makes jokes about slapping, punching, and beating her boyfriend if he were to leave her. The girl who screams at her boyfriend when he’s not acting exactly the way she wants him to.

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FINDING FEMINISM

After reading Iris intern Taylor Lamb’s piece “The F Word,” [hyperlinked] U.K. resident Ash Moylan was moved from across the pond to submit her own story of feminist awakening. While we usually only publish the work of University of Virginia students, we thought now might be a great time to highlight a voice of global solidarity. So cheers to Ash Moylan, who has a degree in “Gender Politics,” works as a “lecture helper” in Carlisle, Cumbria, UK, drives a Fiat Panda (stick), and who is a self-described “ballsy blonde with sassy senses and a dangerous degree!”

Story By: Ash Moylan

“YOU CAN’T GO THROUGH THERE” – you haven’t got the necessary equipment,” a farmer told me when I tried to enter a tent marked “Washroom B”.

I was 8, camping with my school, and I’d assumed that the “B” distinguished it from “Washroom A”.

But no, “B” apparently stood for Boys, and I had to enter a different building entirely, and forsake the camping experience!

“The necessary equipment”? Did men really talk like that in the outside world?

I mean, I knew what he meant (this was 2002 and I had  a male cousin who peed wherever and whenever the urge took him), but I was understandably crushed.

Until I got home and told my 13 year-old female cousin, and asked her why men felt a need to run us down like that.


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Moonlight is the Best Movie of 2016 and You Can Fight Me on That

 

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Photo courtesy of JoBlo.com

Story By: Madeline Baker

I would like to preface this piece by stressing how little authority I have in determining what movies are worth watching and what movies are absolute garbage. I’m a 20-year-old white woman with limited life experience who hasn’t quite learned the difference between credit and debit. Apparently, society has anointed Quentin Tarantino one of the best filmmakers of our generation, and frankly I am appalled by this decision. Where was I for this vote? I have seen maybe two or three of his movies, including Pulp Fiction, and I can easily say they were all TRASH. This is beside the point, however, because now that I have completely destroyed any credibility I have as a film critic I would like to propose that why Moonlight is the one of the best movies I have ever seen.

I love movies that focus on multiple characters. I like seeing the evolution of each character throughout their respective plots within the movies, and I like seeing how the lives of the characters parallel within the movie. With this being said, I was a little hesitant to see Moonlight, a film directed by Barry Jenkins that tells the story of a young black man growing up in Miami and discovering his personal and sexual identity. I didn’t know if I would be completely bored watching one character on the screen for nearly three hours. I had never heard of the director either, and this only added to my wariness.


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The Life and Times of the Socially Anxious

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Story By: Lily Patterson

You’re at a party. You’re laughing, probably holding a cup of something, or using those hands to wave high in the air, dancing, or grabbing a friend around the shoulders, drawing them into a tight hug. You’re physically there, your feet are firmly planted on the ground,your face branded with a wide grin, elastically stretching and contracting to produce laughs and words. But you feel entirely absent, as though you’re plastered to the ceiling, looking down on your autonomous body down below.

On the surface, anxiety disorders, but specifically, social anxiety disorder, work quietly and maliciously. They’re specters, just like many mental health issues. Social anxiety is not to be confused with shyness, or being a homebody, or even being a so-called introvert. Of course, these qualities can inform and reinforce social anxiety, but they are not one in the same. And, surprise, surprise – although you might have guessed due to this article’s publication in Iris, a female-centric publication – anxiety affects women disproportionately. From adolescence to late middle age, women are twice as likely to develop an anxiety disorder as men.

Social anxiety involves excessive, deep-seated fears and compulsive behaviors stemming from one’s relationship and interactions with other people. Cases can range from mild to severe, and resulting thought patterns, emotional and behavioral responses can similarly figure across a broad spectrum. Someone with social anxiety might be entirely avoidant of all social situations and interpersonal relationships. Or, they might experience mental compulsions, forcing them to take part in all social activities possible, and to concede any and all demands, requests, and opinions of others for fear of ostracization. And these are just two paths this breed of anxiety can take.

Here’s a scenario to help explicate: imagine you’re walking out of the library. You pass a friend, who’s walking through the doors, mid-conversation with someone else. You say “Hey, how’re you?” and they look back, caught off-guard, and respond with “Oh, hey Lily,” and continue to walk. What’s your assumption? Likely, that they were busy chatting with their friend, and, moreover, happened to be walking through the door to the library next to another person, which is an awkward maneuver in itself. Easy enough, right?


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The Wing

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Credit: Edith Young for Architectural Digest (http://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/audrey-gelman-the-wing-women-only-new-york-social-club)

Story By: Lilly Patterson

This October, a new kind of clubhouse opened on New York’s East 20th Street. The space offers up a cafe and comfortable workspaces; a meticulously curated library; a locker room (more aptly named a ‘beauty room’) that defies its sweat and grime-ridden namesake; and most important, the buzzing of women intent on redefining the world both around and far beyond them.

The Wing – co-founded by former PR powerhouse Audrey Gelman and business development maven Lauren Kassan – provides a home base for women on the up-and-up to collaborate, communicate, and forge friendships and alliances. Members include actress and writer Lena Dunham, rapper Remy Ma, J.Crew president Jenna Lyons, and Man Repeller founder Leandra Medine, among many other notables. Though the concept is inspired by women’s clubs of the early 1900s, it’s clear there is nothing antiquated about the necessity of this sort of female coalition to combat the male-centric world outside its doors. Here I pose a few questions to Audrey and artistically-inclined member, Edith Young. We discussed their college-to-real-world trajectory, what membership and leadership at The Wing means to them, and their advice for all young women, no matter the path they’re on.

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Credit: Edith Young for Observer (http://observer.com/2016/10/audrey-gelman-is-reviving-the-old-fashioned-concept-of-womens-clubs/)


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