Category Archives: Pop Culture

My Favorite Feminist Celebrities

By: Alexis Martinez

Many celebrities have labeled themselves as feminists. They have been advocates for women’s rights without any hesitation. These celebrities have used their platform to tell the world what they believe in and to fight for our rights.

Emma Watson

She’s amazing, and certainly more than Hermione. In 2014, she launched a campaign called HeForShe. For the campaign’s launch, she gave an incredibly moving speech about why gender equality is important. She has also started a feminist book club where she shares a different pic each month on Goodreads. Emma has done amazing things and she certainly isn’t stopping here.


John Legend

“We are better off when women are empowered – it leads to a better society”, John Legend said this after he announced he’d be performing at The Sound of Change Live concert in 2013. Many uneducated people believe that men can’t be feminists, but they totally can! No matter what your gender is, we all need to come together to fight for equality.




Gina Rodriguez

The Jane the Virgin star has discussed a range of things from masturbation to diversity in Hollywood. Recently, she discussed how she used to feel guilty for masturbating. As ridiculous as it sounds, this is a real feeling that many people feel. The stigma around masturbation makes women feel guilty for it and that we’re not being “innocent” anymore. Gina is a great example of a woman of power using her voice.




Who is Lori Robinson?

By: Emma Ziulkowski

Lori Robinson is the first woman combatant commander for the United States Air Force. Robinson is tasked with making life or death decisions in regards to warfighting commands. Robinson monitors Air Force activities for Airmen serving in Japan, South Korea, Hawaii, Alaska and Guam. Robinson’s expertise venture past aircrafts and war into space drones and cyber security. She was recently tasked to create allies with Canada to monitor the air and sea surrounding both nations. There is a plethora of responsibilities that come with Robinson’s new job title, but she displays nothing less than resilience.

Robinson should not be recognized for her accomplishments due to her gender. She is qualified for the position she has earned. However, I believe Robinson is an excellent role model to younger women. Robinson is recognized by Time magazine as being one of one-hundred most influential individuals listed in one of their articles. Robinson graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She acquired an overwhelming amount of education since college. Prior to her most recent promotion, Robinson has been climbing the latter of promotions since she began proudly representing the United States Air Force back in 1981. In addition, she is adorned by a compelling amount of awards. If you’re interested in viewing her long list of accomplishments, please visit:

Again, Lori Robinson is an excellent role model for young women. She has proven that you may attain anything you wish if you work hard for it.



5 Reasons to love Zendaya

By: Cassie Manz

I’ve known about Zendaya for a few years now, since her breakout role on the popular Disney Channel TV show, Shake It Up, that my little sister loved. Also, let’s be honest, I secretly listened to “Replay” in my car so said little sister wouldn’t know I liked the same pop music she did.

Zendaya Coleman is a “young style icon,” according to Vanity Fair (I would agree), a hit singer, actress, and a budding fashion designer. At 20 years old, she has 43 million Instagram followers, 8 million Twitter followers, and has already attended the Met Gala three times. So, basically, she’s killing it.

In case you might be on the fence about loving Zendaya or just not know a lot about her, here are some notes that prove she is really cool!

  1. She’s hip enough to be known by only her first name, like Beyonce and Adele.
  2. For her 18th birthday, instead of throwing a huge party or going to Hawaii, she helped raise money to feed hungry children in Haiti, Tanzania, and the Philippines. Fans could donate to her online campaign she created through feedOne, an initiative of Convoy of Hope, a humanitarian-relief organization she was worked with in the past.
  3. She shut down Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic’s racist remarks with a single Instagram post. After Zendaya appeared on the Oscars red carpet in 2015 with her hair styled in faux dreadlocks Rancic commented during the show coverage that Zendaya’s hair made her look like she “smells like patchouli oil. Or, weed.” Zendaya responded brilliantly, eloquently, and gracefully. In her post she wrote: “There is already harsh criticism of African-American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair. My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough.”
  4. She spoke out against photoshopping in the beauty industry. After Modeliste magazine published retouched photos of her in a spread, Zendaya called the magazine out on Twitter, posting a side-by-side of two versions of the same photo, one edited and one untouched. In her post she wrote that the retouched photos “are the things that make women self-conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have.” Modeliste removed the photos from their website.
  5. To top it all off, she’s (if you didn’t guess by now) a feminist. In her own words a feminist is a person who believes in the power of women just as much as they believe in the power of anyone else. It’s equality, it’s fairness, and I think it’s a great thing to be a part of.” Something everyone can get behind!

Zendaya is a great example of what Planned Parenthood stands for: strong, powerful women standing up for what they believe in and using their voices to do good in the world.





LGBT potential parents face discrimination in Texas on religious grounds

Cassie Manz

Two years ago, gay marriage was legalized in the United States. It was a historic day, celebrated with pride and love by people all across the country. LGBTQ folks would now be able to marry in a court of law and experience all the benefits and rights that marriage entails.

And before LGBTQ folks could get married, they could still legally become parents.

In 1978 New York became the first state to say it wouldn’t reject adoption applicants solely because of “homosexuality.” In 1997 New Jersey became the first state to allow same-sex couples to adopt jointly.

In 2015, the same year gay marriage became legal, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act was introduced to Congress but didn’t pass the Senate. If passed, the bill would have prohibited any child welfare agency that receives federal funding from discriminating against any potential foster or adoptive parent/s on the basis of “sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status,” according to the Human Rights Campaign. The act would also prevent discrimination against any foster youth because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

If only this bill had managed to make it through Congress.

Last month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott passed House Bill 3859 which allows adoption and foster care agencies to deny services or turn away prospective parents based on the agencies’ “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Many LGBTQ advocates, as well as Texas Democrats, have claimed the bill discriminates against LGBTQ folks hoping to adopt or become foster parents.

Many opponents of this bill claim that it does not have the best interests of the children at heart. There is a large number of children in this country who need a home, and whether or not that home consists of two gay parents should not matter.

Currey Cook, director of the Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project, told Jezebel’s politics podcast Big Time Dicks, that the law will also affect children in foster care: HB 3859 allows agencies to either refuse care to children or refuse to recognize their gender identity or sexual orientation.

In this current political climate, it is imperative that we, as citizens, remain involved in the lawmaking process to prevent unjust laws from being passed. We need to continue to call our senators and representatives and voice our opinions. And we must continue to stand up and fight for what we believe in and what we think is right: like the idea that who you love shouldn’t make a difference in whether or not you get to be a parent.




Why Donald Trump’s Sexist Comments are Still Inexcusable

By: Cassie Manz

Donald Trump has spent a little over six months in office. Given his well-known and publicized past, his recent comments about MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski may not come as a surprise. However, as a country, we cannot become complacent in calling out his sexist and misogynistic behavior. If we do so, we run the risk of normalizing his behavior and making it seem acceptable.

In a series of twitter posts on June 29 Trump described Brzezinski as “Low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and said she had been “bleeding badly from a face lift” when she attended a social event at his Mar-a-Lago residence around New Year’s Eve. In a later tweet he described her as “dumb as rock.” He also insulted Brzezinski’s fellow host, and fiance, Joe Scarborough, in the series of tweets calling him “Psycho Joe” and “crazy.”

During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, The Washington Post obtained a recording of Trump talking to television personality Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood.” In the taping, Trump was recorded saying that “when you’re a star” you can do anything to women, like kiss them without waiting or “grab ‘em by the pussy.” The video incited national outrage and criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike. In an article for the New Yorker, writer John Cassidy wondered what the Republican party would do with four weeks left till the election and a candidate who “once described his behavior in terms that fit a sexual predator?” Most people seemed sure that the public airing of the tape was the end of Trump’s presidential bid. Yet, despite these horrific comments, Donald Trump won the election. Although he did not win the popular vote, people still voted for him, including fifty-three percent of white women, according to exit polls.

The next logical question is “How?” How did women vote for this man to become president after what he said about women? How did people find it within themselves to brush these comments away, and still check the box next to his name on the ballot? For me, I am still not sure what the answer is.

But, we cannot allow what happened then to happen now. As women, trans women, women of color, and LGBTQIA folks, we cannot normalize Donald Trump’s comments and actions or allow them to slip by unnoticed. We must call out his sexist and misogynistic behavior, simply because it is wrong and unacceptable, because it is oppressive to our very existence. We would do it if he was one of our coworkers, if he was a relative, if he was still just a real estate tycoon, and we must do it while he is the President of the United States. The stakes are too high.    




Let’s Talk About Plastic Surgery Shaming

By: Alexis Martinez

On June 29, 2017, the infamous Donald Trump shamed Mika Brzezinski about bleeding badly from a face-lift… talk about fake news? He is constantly shaming women for whatever he pleases and now he’s attacking a woman for getting plastic surgery. Honestly, it isn’t a shocker but we need to end this stigma about cosmetic procedures.

The decision to get plastic surgery is nobody’s business but the person getting it. It is a personal decision and can be hard to get the courage to go through with. There is a stigma that women alter their appearance because they’re insecure and conforming to societies standards. In reality, many women are changing certain features to uplift themselves and gain more confidence. There is nothing wrong with enhancing your beauty if it makes you feel better. What hurts worst is when the people around you are shaming you for doing something that makes you happy.

Plastic surgery can help people feel better about themselves. There’s nothing wrong with making adjustments to your appearance to make yourself feel better. Many of us do it in everyday life whether its working out to lose weight or buying new clothes. Society shouldn’t hate on people for making themselves happy. At the end of the day, plastic surgery is for yourself and not for the benefit of anyone around you.

Celebrities are constantly getting put down for having surgery done. It’s hard enough to live a lifestyle with cameras constantly flashing on you, but to put down each other due to something so insignificant is ridiculous. Kylie Jenner has been constantly shamed over her change in appearance throughout the years, and does it really matter? If she loves herself then we shouldn’t be concerned at all. Not saying that she isn’t a bit problematic, I’m just saying to give the girl a break.

So, let’s all uplift each other and our beauty. Don’t let the haters tear you down.


Truth of #BlackGirlMagic


 By Emma Ziulkowski

What is this new hashtag everyone keeps posting about? #BlackGirlMagic was created by CaShawn Thompson in 2013 as a social movement to “celebrate the beauty, power and resilience of black women”.

This movement is most popular on Instagram/Twitter and if you haven’t checked it out, then I highly suggest you do so. There’s nothing more inspiring then to see these women exceed expectations and look good while doing it! (I’ll include the links below). This movement is popular on additional websites like Facebook. Thompson followed her social movement with a clothing line that prospered and is now sold to anyone and everyone. (You know, more #BlackGirlMagic, just saying.)

Black women come from a history of obstacles that are difficult due to color of their skin. This new social movement shows that no matter what obstacles these women encounter, they WILL accomplish them with grace. This social movement uses the word “magic” because what other word can capture their “beauty, power and resilience” better?

More importantly, we as a society must empower women. This is one movement of many and we need to continue being compassionate towards one another. Engage in information and movements that continue to enhance our futures.





Why the Term “Plus Sized” is Officially Out of Fashion

By: Jillian James

In the fashion industry in the United States, it has been a common practice to call any model that is above a size four “plus sized”. The official dictionary definition of plus sized is “clothing or people of a size larger than the normal range.” However, several recent studies have conformed that the average American women is a size 14-16.


The term “plus sized” is harmful and derogatory because it makes women with beautiful, healthy bodies feel like they are out of the norm or less desirable because they aren’t a size four or smaller. By this standard, the vast majority of women in America would be categorized as “plus sized.” The representation of women in the fashion industry is heavily distorted from reality, which can be harmful by causing low self-esteem and even eating disorders.


However, the fashion industry is finally starting to take notice of these issues. A recent movement called “Drop the Plus” has gained national attention. It calls for all women of all body types who work in the fashion industry to simply be called models. Other movements have urged companies to use models with a variety of different body types in their adverting. The lingerie company AERIE has vowed to stop retouching entirely and to depict a wide range of body types in their advertising.


Currently, one of the most famous models in the world is Ashley Graham, who is a size 14. She recently broke barriers by appearing on the covers of British and American Vogue, and is redefining societies’ standards of beauty. Hopefully this is the beginning of a lasting trend to stop using the word “plus sized” and to have true representation in the fashion industry.


An unretouched Aerie ad




Why Prostitution Should Be Legal?


By: Cassandra Hedrick

Prostitution is considered one of the oldest professions, though I don’t think there is research to back that up. It still persists today, despite being illegal in most places worldwide, however there are some places that have legalized and regulated it. Because it is illegal, it actually makes it more dangerous for women who choose to do it, which of course does not include anyone being prostituted against their will.

I spoke with a former prostitute (who wishes to remain anonymous), who said “Well, I think it should be legal because simply it’s an exchange of goods for a service, people just don’t agree with it from a moral standpoint, but that shouldn’t influence legislation.” When asked why, she said “I think it’s ironic that the one advantage women have over men in our society, their sexuality, is only allowed to be monetized on big companies and the governments terms. You can use women to sell anything you want, you can sell their appearance, the idea of their body, everything. But the second a woman wants to take advantage of their over-sexualisation and monetize their bodies for themselves it’s illegal. It limits women’s agency over their own body and sexuality.” She also explained that illegal prostitution means workers cannot report assaults or they will also be charged with a crime.

On the topic of safety, the former prostitute explains that legal brothels would make the work much safer, stating “Legalization would also allow for brothels to be run, which if run correctly can be much safer for women than independent work.” She says. She goes on to explain the benefits of legal brothels, which includes a safe space for prostitutes to work. Brothels also set the pricing so individual workers don’t have to deal with the hassle of negotiation because “negotiating price can be degrading, stressful, and sometimes dangerous. In a brothel a price would be set and the women are not forced to negotiate their worth and risk the patron getting angry and potentially violent when discussing cost.” In addition to the safety of workers, we can tax brothels and put that money back into the community, essentially eliminating the need for women to get into sex work just to support themselves.

Prostitution should be legal and regulated for the safety and autonomy of the workers. There are many ways we can make prostitution safe and legal, while banning it makes it more dangerous. In the words of a former prostitute, “it is possible to form legislation that protects women and gives them the control in the situation.”


When Women are Leaders

By: Cassandra Hedrick

Women are not typically found in leadership roles, especially in the workplace. In fact, only a quarter of chief executives are women and most of that is because of women who own their own businesses. This is because of two main reasons: men tend to be favored for management positions and are given the experience that leads to them, while women get stuck in a cycle of bias. Because women are unable to prove their ability in management positions, they are not given management positions, causing them to not be able to prove their ability.

In this study from the American Psychological Association, men and women in leadership positions were observed. While women tend to use mentor style leading and men tend to use commander style leading, it was found that they are in fact equally effective in leadership positions. Actually, Alice Eagly, PhD noted that in some ways, women are actually more effective in leader ships positions.

There is no reason for women not to have leadership positions. They are equally effective as men, if not more, but because they have not had a chance to prove themselves, they are not given the chance. One organization working to give them a change is the Institute for Women’s Leadership. They provide training programs for businesses that help them get more women into leadership positions. It is important for women to demand and strive for leadership positions in the workplace, because they can and will do great things. You can do this by starting to apply for higher positions in any organization you are involved in, like clubs or teams at school. So, girls, get out there and show the world who’s boss.