It’s easy to miss the fact that the language we use is often heavily gendered. Phrases like, “hey guys” or “ladies and gentlemen” are commonplace but rely on notions of gender in order to produce meaning. Personally, I know that I still use gendered language on a regular basis. I say “you guys” probably multiple times a day without even thinking about it because it’s so ingrained into the way I speak and popular vernacular.
A week ago, I went to see the University of Minnesota Theatre Arts & Dance department’s production of In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play.
I went to get a haircut the other day, which is nothing out of the ordinary. I have short hair, which means frequent haircuts. As I quickly put myself together before leaving my appointment, I struggled to decide whether to wear makeup. I was already running late, I knew I was going to have to redo it later for an event in the evening and if I’m being frank, I just didn’t want to. However, I ended up doing so — my reasoning being that if my haircut turned out badly, I didn’t want to have to deal with my bare face too.
In an age where information about our peers’ lives is at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever to compare our lives to those of others.
The “Me Too” campaign has provided a space for victim-survivors to connect based on shared experience and heal. However, its original intent to bring more visibility to victims of sexual assault and harassment disproportionately places the burden of emotional labor on the victims themselves.
Last Monday, Apple released iOS update 11.1. Typically, I don’t pay attention to iOS updates — my phone is too full of photos, apps and music to even think about downloading them. However, this update caught my attention, and not because of its bug fixes and the return of the iPhones 3D multi-task feature. Rather, I was intrigued by a slew of new emojis such as a fairy, a curling stone, a broccoli and perhaps most notably, three gender neutral emojis at various ages.
Approximately a year ago, I anxiously scrolled through the myriad of coming out posts on social media from people I knew. I wrestled with the decision of whether or not to write my own the entire day. However, in the end I didn’t publicly come out — despite experiencing the pressure to do so.
Last March, I found myself speeding down I-94 toward Chicago with my roommate on a Wednesday afternoon. After finishing a midterm at 1:30 p.m., we bolted out of the city as soon as possible. Five days previously, we bought tickets on an impulse to see the seven-member Korean boy group BTS live at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
It’s hard to force fun reading into my schedule for the sake of academic benefits when, in the moment, it would take away from the time I need to finish a paper or the sleep I need to stay awake in class the next day. However, working in even 20 pages a night of a young adult novel can provide valuable stress relief from the infinitely denser readings or coursework you’ve been doing earlier in the day. It’s certainly a reprieve to switch from Foucault to fantasy.
A rollback of Title IX would affect students, staff and faculty at the University of Minnesota, notably in the way that sexual assault would be handled at the University level. It is unclear what the potential effects of a Title IX rollback would be for students or to what extent they would impact the way in which sexual assault cases are handled at the University. However, in the face of a potential rescindment of guidelines that protect victim-survivors, it is imperative that the University make a strong commitment to protecting University students.