Another Tinderella Story

By Elise Wantling

If you currently are, or recently have been, single, then you’ve probably heard of an app called Tinder. Or its’ more feminist sibling, Bumble. Perhaps, you’ve even heard of Grindr or Her if you’re LGBTQ+ identifying, or just well versed in dating apps. Online dating is nothing new. It dates back to 1995 with the creation of Match.com, but the creation of Tinder really revolutionized the industry, (though it was not the first dating app on the market). The release of Tinder spurred the creation of more and more dating apps.

With Tinder, no longer did you have to look at full profiles, and read detailed descriptions of who someone thinks they are and why they think they’d be a good match for you. Instead, you could simply swipe through photos without ever opening the profile and determine solely based on looks whether or not you think you’re compatible with someone. Tinder simplified things down to a science: swipe right if you’re interested, left if you’re not. If they like you too, you’ll match and you can chat. If they don’t like you back, you can’t message them. Simple, easy.

When I first got on Tinder back in 2016, I was nearing the end of high school and had recently turned 18, making me one of the people in my friend group old enough for the full Tinder experience. (At the time, Tinder also had a teen section for ages 16-18). My friends had gotten into it while I was seeing my first girlfriend, but after we broke up they encouraged me to download the app. I was recently out as bisexual, and the queer dating pool at my high school was pretty limited, so I decided to give it a try.

It wasn’t until I was a few weeks away from leaving for college that I got brave enough to go on my first Tinder date. It went horribly, we were not at all compatible (plus he showed up almost an hour late, said he would buy me coffee, but didn’t, and talked my ear off for two hours without me getting a word in edgewise). Despite that, I swiped on.

Tinder has a reputation for being a hookup app, an app people can use to find a quick date or a one night stand. While yes, some people do use it for that, a survey of 1,000 Americans done by Simple Texting found 52% of Tinder users surveyed said they never had a one night stand. From that same survey, almost 14% of those surveyed said they were engaged/married to someone they met on Tinder. Despite public opinion, the facts are there: Tinder is a viable way of meeting a long term partner.

Flash forward to my sophomore year of college. One lonely night I’m swiping through Tinder, only half paying attention, when a cute guy catches my eye. I open his profile and see that his chosen anthem is “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman (one of my all-time favorite songs!). I swipe right, and we immediately match, so I shoot him a message. Flash forward again, another two years, to October 2019. We’re now engaged and counting down to our wedding day that is in less than 7 months. We live together, we recently added a puppy to our family, and we have Tinder to thank for bringing us together.

One might assume my Tinder love story is an exception to the rule, and not the standard. Perhaps it is (though we are the second couple that I know in real life who met on Tinder and are getting married). However, according to the Pew Research Center, as of 2016 5% of Americans who are in a married or committed relationship said they met online. That is not an insignificant number of people! If you’ve been considering giving online dating a try, or getting back into it, consider this your sign- perhaps you can become just another Tinderella story.

 

 

 

Audrie and Daisy: Let’s talk about rape and the pursuit of justice

By Ann Varner

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5278460/

Audrie and Daisy is a documentary that aired on Netflix. The film examines the ripple effects on families, friends, schools and communities when two underage women find that sexual assault crimes against them have been caught on camera.  Both Audrie and Daisy tried to get justice. Both of them were slut shamed and had backlash so badly that one of the girls, Audrie, committed suicide. Daisy went to the police, and the rapist was arrested and charged.

Suddenly, he was set free. The prosecutor decided that there just “wasn’t enough evidence”. Daisy and her family suffered severe backlash because of it, to the point that they had to move after members of the town burned their house down. When Audrie was sexually assaulted, the boys took a picture of her. That picture was sent around the school and posted on social media. Instead of her peers noticing that something was wrong with the picture, she was called many slut-related names as she tried to find out who had taken the picture. The bullying was so bad she committed suicide only a week later.

Rapes are underreported crimes due to this rape culture and slut shaming. Victims of rape are so scared of the retaliation that could happen that they would rather not seek justice so they don’t end up like Audrie or Daisy. The biggest misconception is the notion that women are raped because of something they did, like wearing jeans too tight, getting drunk at a party, and so on. I wrote about this in my last blog about our upcoming denim day.

Daisy will be coming to UMKC for a discussion panel on Thursday, April 27th at 6:00pm in the Student Union Theater. I encourage anyone and everyone to come and hear her speak and ask questions. The only way to end this cycle of rape culture and shaming is to talk about these issues.

 

Free the Nips!

File courtesy of Google Images.By Zaquoya Rogers

Before the 1930s, going topless was illegal for both men and women. It was seen as indecent up until the 1930s when men were permitted to be without garment from the waist up. Women on the oth http://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/nipple-double-standard r hand, still had to keep their areolas covered.

Even today, the media is very stern on keeping female areolas off of their platform. Artist and professor, Micol Hebron said of her censored Instagram photo, “The fetishization and censorship of female nipples gets to the point where the body is being seen only as a sexual object.”  Instagram is one social media network that has been adamant and persistent in removing any photo that exposes feminine nips. Their justification states that it’s for “safety reasons.” But really, how harmful can a pair of female nipples be? This goes back to Hebron’s statement about how society sexualize the female anatomy and that’s really the underlying motive Instagram is acting on. Covering female nipples in public and on social media is completely unfair. Especially when the difference between male and female areolas is non-existent. In fact, male areolas and female areolas are EXACTLY the same. According to LiveScience.com, the first few weeks inside the womb, every developing embryo follows a “female blueprint”, which is why men even have nipples. The #FreetheNipple movement have provoked peaceful protests, celebrity support and conversation. This is helping to make more people aware of why we should free the nips

Franchesca Ramsey: An Amazing Youtuber

By Matiara Huff

Franchesca RamseyFranchesca Ramsey (Chescaleigh on social media) is an amazing feminist Youtuber, and the host of MTV’s Decoded. Where she provides an intersectional feminist point of view on current events. She is also an actress, comedian, graphic designer, consultant, and natural hair guru. Her most famous video is called Shit White Girls say to Black Girls, which was and still is pretty accurate. She has made many other great videos that everyone should go check out!

Netflix Original series Master of None is the Series on Equality We’ve all been waiting for

By Thea Voutiristsas

Master of None

Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe on Master of None. Photo credit: K.C. Bailey/Netflix

Comedian, Aziz Ansari’s, new show Master of None chronicles the life of New York City dweller, Dev (played by Ansari), who must the complex social world our generation, (AKA Millennials), face. Each episode is self-contained, and often centers on a type of social injustice that a particular marginalized group encounters. For example, Episode 4 deals with the stereotypical portrayals of Indians on TV. As an aspiring actor, Dev is forced to confront racist ideas and even producers. Then in episode 7, the show tackles the difficulties of being a woman “in a world of creepy dudes.”

The shows diverse cast and progressive message are beautifully wrapped in Ansari’s witty script. The comedy makes it easier for characters to have difficult conversations about the moral, ethical and social dilemmas that exist in our world today. And to add another layer to this very complex social onion, the show frequently addresses how technology and social media have changed the way this generation interacts with one another.

Scoring a 100% on the tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 93% audience approval, Master of None is described by critics as “Exceptionally executed with charm, humor, and heart, Master of None is a refreshingly offbeat take on a familiar premise.”

Elle UK Photoshops Men out of the Workplace

More_Women_Slogans_1000px

Source: Elle Magazine UK

By Thea Voutiristsas

… then we ran out of workers. In an effort to highlight the inequality across different industries, the magazine created this video and the hashtag “#morewomen” in honor of its November Feminism issue. In just 45 seconds, the video illustrates quite dramatically how many instances where women are represented by only a single female. While remaining quite playful, the magazine’s entire movement attempts to change the portrayal of successful women as “selfish,” “competitive,” and “catty.” As the magazine posted:

The story of how women in positions of strength continually support and empower each other is consistently ignored while the myth that we pit ourselves against each other perpetuates. We want to change this narrative in our Feminism issue and create a more positive conversation – to reflect the power of women, and to support and grow each other as we push for global equality.

Click here to find out more about the movement.

A Women’s Center for Everyone

WC_Logo-2COLOR-FBy Arzie Umali

The Women’s Center has had a home at UMKC for over 40 years; however, every day, someone new walks through our doors, attends one of our events, or discovers us on the internet.  That is what is so great about the Women’s Center. It is available and accessible to everyone.  It is a place to come when you want to meet people or you need some extra support. It is a staff of creative, passionate people who plan programs and events to educate you and raise your awareness about gender issues so that you feel inspired to get involved. And it is a service that helps you find resources for women, learn about the multicultural realities of women, and stay informed about current events that affect women. Our mission is to advocate, educate, and provide support services for the advancement of women’s equity on campus and within the community at large, and as a place, a staff, and a service for our students we strive to make this happen.

The Women’s Center is located in 105 Haag Hall. It is a convenient location for students who need a space to study between classes, finish up homework, or meet up with friends. We are open every weekday from 8 AM to 5 PM and we encourage all students to take advantage of our study lounge with computers and a comfy couch, conference room, and kitchenette. For nursing mothers we offer a private and secure lactation room with refrigerator for storing breast milk. And if it’s a book on women’s and gender topics you are looking for, our friendly staff is always happy to help you find a book in our library. The Women’s Center also houses the Violence Prevention and Response Project, where you can pick up information and resources about gender violence, stalking, and sexual assault, or stop by and speak to our Victim Services Adjudication Advisor if you need extra support. Our center really is about having a safer space to go when you need help, when you need to get away, or even if you need to see a friendly smile.

If activism and getting involved are what you want from your college experience, attending one or all of the Women’s Center’s programs is what you need to do. We offer a number of events that will raise your awareness about gender disparities and inspire you to get involved.  Through our Violence and Prevention Project we offer programs on sexual assault prevention to create a safer campus community.   This semester, our V-Day programs will begin in February with information tables at various locations across campus that will offer information about the international movement to end violence against women and girls. On February 19, we will be partnering with the UMKC Men of Color Initiative to offer a workshop just for men to discuss their own responsibilities in ending violence toward women. And on the evening of Tuesday, March 4, at the Student Union Theater, we will present a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues, which includes a diverse cast of women from the UMKC student body, staff and faculty, as well as women from the community.  For more details about all our V-Day programs or to purchase tickets to The Vagina Monologues, please visit the V-Day UMKC website at http://www.umkc.edu/womenc/VDay2014/default.asp.

The Women’s Center also hosts a number of events that recognize the accomplishment of women and focus on gender equity. During the week of February 24,  we will be presenting Every Body is Beautiful Week, a series of programs that addresses eating disorders and negative body image as barriers to women’s achievement.  These programs are offered as a campus-wide effort in partnership with the UMKC Counseling Center, Office of Student Involvement, UMKC Athletics, Swinney Recreation Center, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, and Student Health and Wellness to create more body positive messaging and ideals for women and girls. In March during Women’s History Month we will offer a trivia contest challenging our campus community’s knowledge of the accomplishments of women in history.  And on April 8, we will host an Equal Pay Day event to raise awareness of the pay disparities that women in America still face. All of these events are meant to engage our students in the unique experiences of all women.

The Women’s Center also addresses the issue of gender discrimination in the arts through the Her Art Project we address the issue of gender discrimination. This semester our programs will celebrate Wonder Women at two exciting events.  First, we are presenting a group art exhibit at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in the historic Crossroads Arts District. The exhibit will run February 7 – March 29 and will feature six local women artists who are superheoines of the local arts community and who create works that represent the strength, courage, and resilience of the empowered woman.  On the evening of April 22 at the Kansas City Public Library Plaza Branch, we will be hosting award-winning filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan for a screening and discussion of her documentary WonderWomen! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. Both of these events focus on creative women as leaders, change-makers, and inspirations to the next generation of Wonder Women. For more information about these, and all of our events this semester, visit our website, www.umkc.edu/womenc.

Finally, the Women’s Center is a vital resource for everyone, not just women, and not just student at UMKC or people in our community. We are here for everyone and available to everyone, 24-7, on the worldwide web. Through our website, www.umkc.edu/womenc, you can access resources for women, check out our calendar for events happening on campus as well as in the community for women, and learn about the staff and history of the Women’s Center. Through our Blog, https://info.umkc.edu/womenc/, you can get insight on current topics about women from articles written by our own student staff. And on our Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr) you can find information, photos, and news about what’s happening at the Women’s Center and around the world. As you can see, the Women’s Center is more than just a mission statement. It’s a place, it’s a staff, and it’s a service dedicated to making UMKC and our community a safer, more equitable world for everyone.

For more information about the UMKC Women’s Center, please stop by 105 Haag Hall or visit us at www.umkc.edu/womenc.

Student Assistant Thrilled for A Semester Full of VPR Events

By Maritza Gordillo

If feels great to be back! I am excited to start a whole new semester filled with new events sponsored by the Violence Prevention & Response Project (VPR). From January being National Stalking Awareness Month to April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month we have events that once again bring that awareness to our community and our campus this semester (the images below are from our Stalking Awarenss table on Jan. 27). Please stay tuned to all of our events and follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbr as we invite everyone to participate! Help us in promoting support, advocacy, and education to prevent gender-based and sexual violence.

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Our next event is our first V-Day table on Monday, Feb. 3, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Atterbury Student Success Center. Join us outside the cafeteria to purchase V-Day shirts, V-Day buttons, and chocolate vagina’s, and to participate in a shrink art activity that promotes healthy relationships!