Right Now

Story By: Pinky Hossain

Right now, being a Muslim woman is hard. Right now, Muslim women have every right to be angry. Right now, Muslim women are tired of white people telling them it’s going to be okay. Right now, Muslim women are completely and utterly over people telling them that they were overreacting about the election when they said they felt that their safety in America was compromised, especially when this:

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this:

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and this:

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is happening, among so many other hateful actions.


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Social Drinking: What’s so social about it?

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Story By: Madeline Baker

We all know UVA’s unofficial motto: Work Hard, Play Hard. I applaud anyone who can balance a rigorous academic and extracurricular schedule with an impressive social calendar. I struggled with this balance my first year at UVA. My first semester wasn’t much different from any typical college freshman’s: I was free to do whatever I wanted on the weekends and I took full advantage of my social independence. Taking shots of cheap vodka in my dorm room before hitting the Corner was a staple of my Friday night. After several weekends filled with random frat parties and nights spent on the Trin dance floor, I came to the realization that I wasn’t actually having fun, I was just pretty drunk and doing what everyone else was doing.

I hated feeling like I didn’t belong in my environment. I drank to feel normal and part of the culture, but this only made me feel burnt out and alone. The motivation I had at the beginning of the semester quickly dwindled. I had lost interest in my schoolwork, as it seemed the only reward for a stressful week of tests and papers was another night spent drinking.  I thought this was what my college experience was supposed to be about: staying out late and drinking with friends. It was what I considered to be social. It was how I fit in with everybody else and how I “bonded” with my hallmates from my dorm. I wasn’t sure if I was the only one feeling this way, but it seemed like everyone else was having a great time. I couldn’t understand why everyone looked so natural in this part-hard environment, and I felt so completely out of touch. I drank in high school, but not to the extent I was drinking in college. First year was my first experience with head-pounding hangovers and gut- wrenching nausea. I didn’t know if I could keep this up every weekend, but so long as my friends were doing it, I sucked it up and continued to drink.


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The Burnout Game

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Story By: Lilly Patterson

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘burnout’? I’d venture you have a general concept of what it is, but perhaps you don’t believe it applies to you. College students, particularly at UVA, not only take in but also perpetuate the stereotype that as young 20-somethings, we can afford to be running on all cylinders at all times. Time and time again, whether we read it on the ubiquitous Stall Seat Journals or hear it from our variety of advisors, we’re told that along with school, family, friends, and extracurriculars, we need to ensure good sleep, nutrition, exercise, and perhaps read a novel or throw in a transcendental meditation session. (While remaining entirely casuallilly about it, no doubt.) Despite these encouragements, it’s safe to say that most of us are lacking in more than one of these areas.

Here’s the kicker: I’d argue that students here are in a veritable burnout competition. Yep, that’s right. Think about the number of times someone has started a conversation with talking about how little sleep they got. 3 hours, you say? Suddenly, an interloper follows up with cries of their two-hour sleep. Another, perhaps, interjects with the home run: an all-nighter.

How about another example? You have two interviews this week, one with J.P. Morgan and the other with Capital One. But alas! Your classmate Cooper has six and three midterms.


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name

Article By: Pinky Hossain

There’s a sort of formula to it, a series of decisions you have to make. First, decide whether or not you want to give the kid a traditional name. Say you’re thinking of naming your baby girl either Alex or Khadija. You have two routes from here.

  1. Choose the less traditional, Western option because you want to cushion your child from the malice of the world – Alex is safer than Khadija. There are three other Alexes in her third grade class, and the other children won’t struggle with her name. Substitute teachers won’t trip over her what to call her, and when it’s time for her to find jobs, her resume won’t invoke any stereotypical image in her employer’s head. Keep in mind that you will have to worry about whether not Alex will lose her culture. Her aunties and uncles might not be able to pronounce her name because the short “a” doesn’t come easily to their tongues. She might begin to act like an “Alex,” an American. Maybe she’ll stop speaking her native language and she’ll hang exclusively with Jacobs and Madisons and Emmas because she’ll identify so strongly with her name. Or maybe she’ll fight Alex and struggle to remind every Jacob, Madison, and Emma that she is part of a beautiful culture. You’ll wonder where her loyalties lie. Will Alex struggle to prove to her heritage that she hasn’t assimilated or will her allegiance fall towards the dominant culture?
  2. Choose the more traditional, Islamic route and your girl might have to correct her name every time someone says it. It’s a soft k not a hard k, she’ll say for the umpteenth time that week. Eventually she’ll stop because she’ll get tired of telling everyone their pronunciation of her name is too harsh. She’ll figure that jobs won’t hire her in a country that fears anything too Muslim. Maybe she’ll wish that her name was Jacob or Madison or Emma. She’ll tire of Khadija and shorten it altogether for convenience. She’ll go by “Kay,” belittling her parents, her background, and the prophet’s (pbuh) first wife.

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What’s Better than Being DTF? Almost Everything.

Story By: Madeline Baker

On any given Saturday morning you can catch me at Bodo’s. I like to get up early and start the day off with a good old egg, avocado, and tomato on an everything wheat bagel. Judge me for my boring Bodo’s order if you must, but it never fails to satisfy me. On one particular Saturday morning I was standing in line, anxiously waiting for my turn to order, when I overheard a conversation between two guys enjoying their bagels. Based on the dialogue that followed, I assumed they were first years:

Guy A: “Well, do you think she is DTF? You know, like, down to fuck?”

Guy B: “I don’t know man, that’s, like, the most important thing you should know about a girl. Is she down to fuck or not?”

As I stood there listening to this conversation, I was both completely surprised and not surprised at all. Of course young, hormonal 19-year-old boys are going to have sex on their minds, even at 8:30am on a Saturday. What I really wondered, though, was how being “down to fuck” was the most valuable thing these guys thought you could know about a girl. Don’t get me wrong, sex between consenting adults is great, and by no means am I opposed to anyone’s sexual curiosity, but I’m not someone who wants to be known among my friends or peers as “the chick who is down to fuck.” Ask any of my friends, and they would tell you that being down to fuck is neither my best, nor my most redeeming quality. In fact, I could think of almost a million things I would rather people remember me for than being “DTF”. Of course, a million things won’t fit into one article, so I’ve compiled a list of eight things I’m down for that don’t involve fucking. These things are the most important and relevant to who I am.


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Cut

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Story By: Madeline Baker

I love a good podcast. Seriously, I listen to podcasts almost everyday when I’m getting ready in the morning, on my way to class, working out, or getting ready for bed. One of my favorite podcasts is This American Life. If you haven’t heard of it, you should really get into it. It’s hosted by Ira Glass and tells amazing stories each week about different people from different backgrounds. One Monday afternoon, I was listening to a particular episode that discussed identity: who we are, and how we define ourselves. A Pakistani-American woman, Mariya Karimjee, began talking about her identity as a female, and how, for a long time, she had never thought about her sexuality and how it related to her identity. At 15 years old, she asked her very conservative Muslim mother if it felt good to have sex. Her mother replied, “No, not for us.” That is when the woman revealed that at 7 years old, her mother had taken her to a local doctor in Karachi, Pakistan, who told her it was time to get rid of “a bug.” That same day, she went to a family friend’s house, lay down on a tarp that was set before her, and held her mother’s hand as the older woman performed a female circumcision. When I heard this story, I sat up on my bed in shock. This was a real thing? People did this to their daughters? How is this humane at all?


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