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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Glory to Gloria

Never being an activist before, or at least thinking in terms of being an activist, I was not very knowledgeable of what has been done before me in the field. I never thought in the certain ways that I do now and never imagined the amount of hatred and inequality that exists everywhere. On top that, as embarrassing as it is now, I never really heard of, or knew much about Gloria Steinem and what she has done.

Attending the Q&A session she held Wednesday, March 2, at Chico State was a blessing and really molded the way I think of certain issues. Just being in the same room as her and seeing my peers filled with so much nervous excitement when she came in made me realize the impact she has had on lives. Then she spoke and her words really had an impact on me personally.

The biggest takeaway I took from her hour long Q&A was the way she explained how to cope with anger. She described anger as a good thing, and it is something we all must have and use to our advantage. We have a right to be angry, it usually means something is wrong and unfair in our lives or others. To use anger and turn it into a positive, we must imagine it as a little cell inside of us. We tap into this cell and use it as positive energy to make a difference. We need to find others who are like minded and make these connections and express the way we feel and why we feel that way. I have never particularly thought anger was a good thing or could be a good thing, but she turned the thought of it, to a positive mentality that brings people closer together.

Another lesson I took from her was her ability to take a step back, and look at the bigger picture of situations and being able to make connections when things do happen. Her example was the Zimmerman case with Trayvon Martin, she connected this issue all the way back to the prior domestic violence charges against Zimmerman. If feminism was taken seriously and he was previously charged with what he has done, Trayvon Martin would still be walking today. On top that, Zimmerman was again charged for domestic violence after the Trayvon issue. When we step back and make connections with bigger issues, it all comes down to properly assessing the situations where there is inequality. Doing so would prevent so many of the problems we face and save lives all around the world. Her way to turn almost every situation or issue and connect the problem back to issues women face was surprisingly mind blowing and honestly true.

A third takeaway from the discussion with Gloria Steinem was too not be fed up or angry with the current state of women’s right’s. She had the whole room imagine back to when women couldn’t even have the ability to cast a vote. This time era is not too far in the past and we have made great progress with where we are today. Don’t get me wrong there is still a ways to go, but we should not be angry, and Gloria again told us to channel this anger into a positive, that we use to connect with others with similar interests to help take the correct steps forward, progressing one step at a time.

From not hearing of Gloria Steinem, to hearing her words echo in my head daily, this question and answer session was a blessing. Thank you, Gloria

To those reading - thank you for the opportunity to share.  

Submitted by Robby Duron

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Representation, Please. Please

Come back to me, Gongyla, here tonight,
You, my rose, with your Lydian lyre.
There hovers forever around you delight:
A beauty desired.
Even your garment plunders my eyes.
I am enchanted: I who once
Complained to the Cyprus-born goddess,
Whom I now beseech
Never to let this lose me grace
But rather bring you back to me:
Amongst all mortal women the one
I most wish to see.

-- Sappho (Translated by Paul Roche)

I’ve always considered it a great shame that I did not know until after I started college who Sappho was. In case by chance you are in the same boat I was in, Sappho of Lesbos was an incredibly famous poet who wrote of her attraction both to men, and, more famously, women. In fact, she is the reason we use the term Lesbian, derived from the Island she called home. Where, I wondered at first, was Sappho when in high school we looked through a barrage of poets? Where are any of the many famous LGBTQ+ creatives, historical figures, and so forth in our classrooms? As a youngster with a passion for writing, I would’ve loved to see myself in this poet! Not to mention that seeing historical figures with diverse experiences of gender and sexuality gives context to the modern LGBTQ+ experience. That is to say, when one knows our history we suddenly stop seeming as though we sprung out of nowhere, an invention of modern times.

Although there are a plethora of important issues going on in relation to our schools in this day and age, I’ve always felt that the battle to have at least some LGBTQ+ history recognized is an important one. Especially since LGBTQ+ youth are often estranged from older community members on the basis of fears that they will make inappropriate mentors, these youths are starved for representation. Just seeing themselves in the people they study in history or english could be uplifting for kids who are often struggling with acceptance, both among others and within themselves. Our censorship of LGBTQ+ history creates the illusion that the identities kids experience are somehow not safe for the classroom and sexualizes young LGBTQ+ people by implying that their identities, even outside of any explicitly sexual context, are inappropriate.

With the start of this current school year (2016-2017), California is set to become the first state to include guidelines for LGBT representation courtesy of the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act. However, in our current political climate other states may be left lagging behind. Especially in light of HR 899, a Bill that had been introduced to the House of Representatives that would work to abolish the Department of Education by the end of December of 2018. While our country is far from having unified educational standards in regards to these topics to begin with, the potential abolishment of any larger oversight could make it even more difficult for standards like those in the FAIR act to take off for additional lack of unity among school systems. Overall, we face uncertain times for progress in LGBTQ+ education, but it’s a battle worth fighting. 

Submitted by Dana Lund

Thursday, March 9, 2017

"My little titties and my phat belly..."

“My little titties and my phat belly, my little titties and my phat belly,” lyrics by Princess Nokia, an amazing artist that motivates me. For a year now, I yearned for nipple piercings, but every time I’m motivated and pumped to go into a shop I back down. I’m not scared, I have multiple tattoos, and I’m not worried about the pain. I am more concerned with my little titties. I always shamed myself for having small boobs. Just recently, I wanted to get a boob job, of course as a college student I can’t afford them right now. For a time now, my little titties have been on my mind. I want to pierce my nipples to feel empowered, and it is much less than a boob job I can save thousands of dollars, but I have a fear of judgement. What if this happens; what if that happens. I know I shouldn't care, but that’s the problem I do care.

I don’t know how to just say “fuck it” and just do it. Maybe, it starts with me, I’ve been looking down on myself for having little titties. I need to give myself a break. The first step begins with this blog.

I want to share the way I feel about having small boobs and how I’m finding ways to be more accepting of them. I also want to encourage others to love thyself. To explore their options if they don’t feel comfortable, to empower themselves. It’s not easy to try and change something because society has set an expectation for that certain thing.

If you’re happy with small boobs, by all means, you’re an inspiration.  LET ME MAKE THIS LOUD AND CLEAR: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SMALL BOOBS. But I know there’s plenty of people like me.

When I do get my nipples pierced I know, I’ll be more open to talking about my boobs and happier with them. It’s a form of self-care, and self-love. I’ll also update y’all with the healing process and the way I feel, if there is a difference and if I made the right choice.

Again, to quote Princess Nokia, “My little titties are so itty bitty, I go locomotive, chitty chitty, bang bang. Gold hoops and that name chain.”  It’s an amazing song called “Tomboy” I’ll be playing this song while I’m getting pierced.

If you’re reading this, thank you for letting me share this with you.