The power of language following the Women’s March and the Inauguration

Story By: Pinky Hossain

Language – for better or for worse – shapes our thinking, our activism, and our view of America. We saw this firsthand over the weekend in the wonderful posters displayed and the chants uttered at the monumental Women’s March in Washington. Some of my favorite posters included “this some bullshit,” the forever-relevant Beyoncé lyrics “Who Run the World? Girls” and, of course, “we shall overcomb.” I mean, it just does so much at once, you know?

Picture1

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 11.26.07 PM
Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 11.26.14 PM

The posters reminded me not only of how powerful language is, but also of how powerful the written word is. The atmosphere at the march was tense, but nonviolent. We fought with writing, we fought with words, with language. At one point during the protest, I witnessed two men holding large signs proclaiming “It is not too late to repent your sins” and other hateful religious babble. Another man stood in front of them with his pink sign claiming, “I love Jesus, but I make him wear a condom.” It was beautifully silent, nonviolent, but also impactful. Unashamed, unabashedly uncensored, the pussy grabbed back.


read more

Story By: Kimia Nikseresht

20 January, 2017.

Normal day.

21 January, 2017.

8 AM: Standing on the crowded Metro, heading into Washington D.C. One woman walking up and down the Metro with her “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” hat. It’s too damn early for this shit.

10 AM: An air of empowerment has taken over. Excitement. Inspiration. How are people so freaking creative? These signs are mind-blowing. Speakers saying important things. I’m making history.

1 PM: Now I’m thinking. As the next speaker’s message resonates with those of the 8 speakers before her, I’m thinking about what this means. The first all-inclusive women’s movement in America. Immigrants welcome, and leading the charge. Muslim women, Black women, Latina women, LGBTQ women, middle-class White women… all are standing shoulder-to-shoulder. Peaceful and respectful.


read more

wastehertime2016-2

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 worse. 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.


read more

#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!


read more

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

 

moonlight

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.


read more