Em-URGE-ing Voices


Age: 19

School: University of Texas at Austin

Major: International Relations and Global Studies

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Favorite writer: Various bloggers on Tumblr

Favorite sex scene from a movie/TV/book: Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis scene from Black Swan

Hidden talent: I have never lost in a game of Taboo

Posts By: Nick

Interns in the United States: Unpaid and Unprotected

No benefits, long hours, random tasks, and all for the sake of “experience” on our résumé. As if unpaid internships weren’t already terrible enough. It’s basically free labor for employers in a competitive job market where purse strings are tighter than ever. The pressure to accept an unpaid internship is way too familiar for college students and youth attempting to remain competitive in a dog-eat-dog job market. Besides lacking benefits that paid employees receive, unpaid interns are now denied basic workplace protections.

Domestic Violence & LGBTQ History Month: 5 Uncomfortable Truths

Who hasn’t seen the “Don’t Be That Guy” posters around campus? My personal favorite features two males in the poster highlighting the intersectionality of domestic violence and queer relationships. Domestic violence and LGBQT visibility are both serious issues, but when looking at the intersection, the result can be quite damning. In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness and LGBTQ history month, the taboo topic of domestic violence in queer relationships has to be addressed. Surprisingly, the American Bar Association Journal cites that “the prevalence of domestic violence among Gay and Lesbian couples is approximately 25-33%” which is pretty similar to heterosexual couples. However, in LGBTQ relationships, the conditions can be much more complex:

“Orange is the New Black”: The Pornstache Problem

Note: Spoilers ahead I’m going to first give “Orange is the New Black” credit where it’s due. This show has had extremely positive reviews with a main female cast, highlighting different walks of life, and showing genuine personality traits the audience can relate to. It’s centered around Piper Chapman, a woman who is doing time for carrying a suitcase of drug money 10 years before. Throughout her time in a women’s prison, she meets a wide variety of characters each with their own storylines. Though it’s one of the most refreshing and progressive shows of our time, it draws attention from reproductive justice followers.

From Miss Saigon to Miss America: Policing Asian Bodies

“Women, particularly APA women who already experience cultural pressures when deciding to start a family, may experience social pressures to produce certain kinds of children, which could lead to less control over their reproductive decisions and experiences.” – National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) After this week’s controversies around Miss America Nina Davaluri and CBS celebrity Julie Chen, it should be clear that the Asian “model minority” myth should be far from the truth. Davaluri faced a great deal of backlash and racial slurs after her victory and Chen came clean about plastic surgery on her eyes to look “less Asian.” Asian-American women are often stereotyped to be submissive, passive, and docile.  But these racist attacks go much further than pop culture and our media.

What do Rick Ross and Miley Cyrus have in common?

It’s been less than two weeks since Miley Cyrus’ “twerking” at the VMA’s started a social justice firestorm. She was highly criticized for her appropriation of black women, but commended for her promotion of sex positivity. On stage and in her music videos, she casts black women as sexualized props and background for her interpretation of “hood music.” Miley claims she is “’bout that life.” Are you really Miley? Really? You get a faint clap for owning your body and sexuality, but you don’t get to do it at the expense of black women through music. Rapping, its roots from West Africa, transcended into blues and eventually jazz poetry. Our modern interpretation of rap is racialized, sexualized, and is assumed to often deal with sex, drugs, and alcohol.