Archive | 8:16 pm

“Gonna Be An Engineer”

4 Nov

Just When You Thought BIC Pens Were Enough…

4 Nov


The Honda Fit She’s made for women. It comes in pink and designers say it is “adult cute.” Women if you can make the short trip to Japan this car could be yours!

Brooklyn Young Woman Chess Master

4 Nov

Rochelle Ballantyne, is 17, and is on track to become the first female chess master. Ballantyne is featured in the documentary “Brooklyn Castle”, which follows students from Intermediate School 318. Her motivation stems from her grandmother, who taught her how to play when she was in third grade. In April of this past school year IS 318 became the first middle school team to win the United States Chess Federation’s national high school championship. The 2012 World Youth Chess Championships to be held in Maribor, Slovenia from November 7-19

Interview with activist Erin Davies

4 Nov
 FagBug exclusive: Erin Davies

Students at Ball State University got to see a rainbow-colored Volkswagen Beetle called the Fagbug September 28. The vehicle may seem to be controversial to some but, for Erin Davies, it is a way to cultivate awareness. The vehicle was displayed on the east side of the L.A. Pittenger Student Center lawn. It is the topic of the documentary “Fagbug,” which was shown that evening in the Fine Arts Building on Ball State’s Campus. Erin Davies, the creator of the documentary, was to speak about her experiences and her travels after the documentary was shown to students. In April of 2007, Davies’ car was vandalized with the words “fag” and “u r gay”, spray painted on the side and front of her vehicle.  Instead of removing the vandalism, she traveled around the country to encourage dialogue about hate crimes and raise awareness about homophobia. Davies documented her journey in her film “Fagbug,” which has gone onto win more than 25 awards.

Event was sponsored by the Ball State Multicultural Center and Spectrum.

Samantha Ellison: On April 18th 2007, your car was vandalized? What was written on your car? And how did you first feel about this hate crime?

Erin Davies: Someone spray painted “fag” and “u r gay” on the driver’s side and hood of my car. At first I felt shocked. Then I felt ashamed. Then I thought to myself, “u r gay? No shit! Thank you for stating the obvious.”

SE: What were some people’s first reactions to your car? How did other students at your university respond?
ED: The first day I drove the car with the graffiti, I drove to my graduate school, Sage College, in Troy, NY. In one hour, there were fifty phone calls of complaints and I was asked to remove my car from campus. Rather than move it, I took the stance that homophobia isn’t just my problem. It’s everyone’s.
SE: How did you use what had happen to your car to create awareness for LGBTQ hate crimes?
ED: I used what happened to turn it into a statement. By not removing the graffiti, I externalized it and had a shared healing experience. People think this type of thing doesn’t happen because they never see it in a visual form. Everyone that saw my car with the graffiti in a year, could no longer say they didn’t think it was happening because they never saw it.
SE: How did you decide to come up with the idea to travel around the country? Where did you all travel to? What were some of your most memorable moments along the way?
ED: A friend of mine dared me to drive the car for a year and take it around the country. I traveled to 41 states in 58 days. My most memorable moment was getting an email from VW of America informing me that they heard about what I was doing and wanted to sponsor my road trip. Also, I had a male named Brandon Monson drive the ca rin Indiana for 3 days to document the differences with him behind the wheel versus me.
SE: The movie Fagbug came out in 2009, documenting your journey across the country? Why did you feel it was so important to document your journey and be able to share this will others?
ED: I felt it was important to document my journey so other people who go through similar things don’t feel alone when it happens. I wanted to give an example of how to be empowered by these types of events.
SE: How have you used your merchandise to educate people on the harmful impacts of homophobia in our culture?
ED: I have a fagbug sticker, t-shirts, toy bug, poster, and DVD. All the merchandise serves as a conversation starter. Two of my t-shirts are the exact graffiti that was written on the car. Since the car got redone after a year, the shirts serve as a conversation piece in the same way the graffiti on the car did. The merchandise keeps allowing the story to be retold.
SE: Now that you have traveled the country on a mission to raise awareness about hate crimes and homophobia, what are your next plans?
ED: My plan is to continue to do so until I no longer hear about stories similar to mine on a daily basis. Eventually I’d like to retire the original fagbug into a museum and complete a follow up documentary. This spring I am flying the car to Hawaii and taking the car to Alaska to reach my 50th state which is a huge milestone.

Watch Fagbug Documentary

Rep. Linda Lawson gives an emotional appeal

4 Nov

After Rep. Eric Turner said that we should prevent abortions even in cases of rape because women could be lying in order to receive an abortion, Rep. Linda Lawson gave her tearful story on being a sex crimes investigator and seeing women who were hurt have to go through court and face their attacker. She said women who had to go through that ordeal would not be making it up.

Watch the video and see if her tears enhance her story or take away from her point. Personally, I think her tears help us imagine what it was her job was like and help us see how passionate and sincere she she is about this issue.

Taliban attacks female students with acid

4 Nov


Weeks after Malala’s terrible ordeal, the Taliban take another approach to deter young women from receiving an education: throwing acid in their faces. They hope the scars deter other young women from seeking a chance to better themselves. The attacks have been followed by aggressive campaign, threatening other women and passing out pamphlets, to get their message across.

“We will never allow the girls of this area to go and get a Western education,” said Qari Muhavia, the local Pakistani Taliban leader, “If and when we find any girl from Parachinar going to university for an education we will target her (in) the same way, so that she might not be able to unveil her face before others.”

Two girls attacked were graduate students named Zahida and Nabila, they are alive but badly scarred. They were coming home after taking their exams.

Apparently, acid throwing is a common way to punish women in Pakistan who have allegedly ‘dishonored’ their families. Parents might attack their daughters for allegedly engaging in inappropriate behavior with boys. One girl, named Anwasha, died from an acid attack from her parents for secretly talking to a boy on her cell phone.

The disfigurement from the acid is associated with shame in their culture. These guiltless women will be affected for life, the judgement in their culture will probably prevent them from having husbands or families. The tragedy is the Taliban’s power over their lives and the lives of countless young women, through horrific intimidation and fear.

Why we need to vote for women!

4 Nov

Why we need to vote for women!

This article points out that the Indiana Senate is now less than 20 percent female. Women make up 21 percent of the Indiana House of Representatives. 

I think these numbers are a joke. How can we call ourselves a representative government if the makeup of government does not match the population? And it is not just women. Minorities are not well represented in the Indiana General Assembly either. I really hope this changes after the election.

The only good news this article brings is that the women who are in the legislature like Sen. Karen Tallian do not meet any barriers because they are women. Tallian says she cannot remember being discriminated against “because she’s a chick” in a long time. I’m glad that even though women are a minority in the legislature, they aren’t being treated as such.

Rally for Women 2012

4 Nov

Rally for Women 2012

I went to Rally for Women 2012 in order to meet Shelli Yoder, the candidate I chose to follow, and other female candidates and politicians. Yoder is running to represent the 9th Congressional District.

During the event, Judy O’Bannon spoke to the audience, encouraging everyone to vote for Yoder because she is the best candidate. But some of her comments were not about Yoder’s issues and instead about her appearance, which I thought was inappropriate. While O’Bannon was trying to compliment Yoder, I still found it unsettling that superficial features were being discussed at a rally for women’s empowerment. O’Bannon called the candidate a “knockout,” saying it was clear that spending all her time campaigning had not caused Yoder to gain a pound.

Do you think I am wrong to be upset by these comments? Clearly they are meant to be nice, but personally I think it diminishes the candidate and her issues. I don’t think Yoder is running to look pretty, I think she and other female candidates are running because they think they are the best candidates with the best solutions.

Feminist Nazi Memes

4 Nov

Feminist Nazi Memes

I had no idea this meme existed until I read an article about it. The article says:

“(The meme suggests) feminists are all hypocrites that like to “bitch” and complain and do nothing about what they’re complaining about. That’s all of us, and we’ve done nothing good for the world. Take feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem, for example, who right-wing radio personality, Rush Limbaugh, has called a “feminazi” for years. She’s done nothing for the world…except be a leader in the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s and 1970s and fight against violence against women, such as female genital mutilation and sex trafficking.”

Since the word feminist was created, it has carried with it some pretty negative connotations, and apparently the newest is that feminists are hypocritical. The series of memes has sayings like “I’m a strong independent woman until something heavy needs to be lifted.” It is hard to take a cause seriously when it is literally a joke going viral on the internet, but while I want to be outraged about this meme, it has some semblance of truth.

Is allowing chivalry hypocritical? If I expect a man to pay on a first date, is that taking away the balance of equality between men and women? I do not expect men to hold doors open for me, and I will hold a door open for a man if I am the first one to the door. Hopefully men will not take my inability to life heavy objects as a statement on equality, as these memes suggest, and will hopefully just have enough respect to help any person, not just a woman.