Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Categorized: Sex and Culture

Living in a Women’s House Made Me a Better Feminist

During my first two years attending Kansas State University, I chose to live in a small, all-female residence hall called Smurthwaite Scholarship/Leadership House. To describe what it is, I often say that it’s the perfect balance between a sorority community and a typical residence hall. But my experience in this small community of women is much more than logistically perfect. I have been immersed in a supportive, educated, uplifting, engaging, and friendly family. Now that I plan to move off campus for the rest of my time at K-State, I have reflected on the past two years. Smurthwaite has been foundational to my college experience so far, and it has shaped me not only as a student and a friend, but as a feminist. One factor that has helped me… Read more »

Breaking News: Sexual Education Did Not Prepare Me for Sex

Let me introduce myself. I am an upper middle class woman who grew up in a fairly prosperous area. I went to a middle school and high school that are highly ranked in the country. I am currently in the Honors College at a well-ranked public school on the pre-medical track. My friends, for the most part, are progressive and openly talk about sex. All of these factors, one may think, might make me more prepared for sexual encounters. This may be the case, but I still would not label myself as “prepared”. In fact, I think I was fairly far from it when I started having sex and still do not know as much about sex and sexual health as I would like. I have made many mistakes along… Read more »

Yes, We Do Need Love, Simon

When I read Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda for the first time, I was not looking for a book about real, political issues. I was simply looking for a fun read, and I got it in this charming romantic comedy about a gay teenager struggling to come out to his family and friends. This Friday, the movie adaptation Love, Simon will be released, and its marketing campaign is filled with funny puns like “He’s done keeping his story straight” and “coming out” used for advertising. The story isn’t groundbreaking or complicated in any way. Rather, it’s an anomaly because it’s a simple gay love story with a happy ending. An article in Time recently discussed whether this is a movie that today’s generation needs particularly. The author argues that a story about a white… Read more »

I Don’t Expect Cardi B to Fight for a Cause, She’s Making Too Much Money

Cardi B has captivated me ever since her videos on Instagram. From “ A hoe nevah gets cold” to being a stripper and about her “shmoney”, Cardi has shown me the true meaning of faith meeting opportunity. The champion story of Cardi makes me teary eyed every time I think of it. Her reflective song “Everything” where she highlights the struggles of her life really makes you think about how those without have to live. Cardi stripped her way into the entertainment industry and landed her spot on Love and Hip Hop. Portraying a hood- ratchet girl, she gave the show a lot of depth and ‘reality’, but I didn’t like to watch her on the show because I felt like it didn’t highlight her better characteristics. She was always… Read more »

Innovations by Women are the Future of Reproductive Health

With the rise of women worldwide entering STEM fields, more and more modern-day innovations are created by women and girls. We are also seeing more businesses run by women, creating new products and enhancing old products for other women and female-bodied people. Female innovators in every field are important, and their contributions to society are valuable. In particular, women and other people creating great products that positively impact reproductive health are critical, and should be celebrated. First, look at LOLA. It’s a company that sells “tampons and pads by women, for women.” Their products are different because LOLA is straightforward with what materials they’re using; for example, their tampons are 100% cotton. LOLA’s founders, Jordana and Alex, came up with the idea for their product by considering a simple question:… Read more »

WE Get The Job Done

On February 11, 2018, the first female American figure skater in Olympics history nailed one of the most challenging feats in figure skating, the triple axel. Her name is Mirai Nagasu, and this is only one of her many accomplishments. A three-time Four Continents medalist and seven-time US national medalist, Mirai has achieved more at the age of 24 than a lot of Americans could ever dream. The recent conversation has been centered around her triple axel accomplishment, while her Asian-American heritage did not become relevant until a tweet from a New York Times reporter sparked outrage a day after Mirai’s triple axel. The reporter tweeted a gif of her performing the axel with the words “Immigrants. They get the job done.” A line popularized from a track on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton mixtape,… Read more »

The Valentine’s Day Holy Trinity: Condoms, Consent, and Lube

The mood is set. You’ve got a lovely significant other and they just texted you saying they’re on the way. You’re fresh out of the shower, that food you ordered is on the way and you realize the drawer in your nightstand is barren. No condoms. What do you do? Dig in your wallet for ol’ reliable, the condom you got for getting an HIV test? Call your loved one and ask them to drive to a gas station and pay for overpriced condoms because all the stores are closed? I beg you, whatever you do this Valentine’s Day season, don’t go unprotected. When I was younger, I used the free condoms from my doctor’s office because I could get as many as I needed and just keep them. The… Read more »

The Invisible Hand of The Patriarchy: Why We Need More Women in Economics

When journalist Maria Bartiromo came to CNBC, she was the first woman to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Regardless of her extensive credentials, journalistic ability and a prestigious degree in economics, she was deemed the “money honey”– a somewhat crass way of commodifying her work. Though this is somewhat of a rarefied example, this moniker placed on Bartiromo points to her status as a one-off in a field so vastly dominated by men. I think about the concept of the “good ole’ boys club” a lot. As I attend a college that restricted women’s admissions until the late 1960s, I consider the words of Virginia Woolf discussing her own fictional university: “I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought… Read more »

Reproductive Health Issues Could Lessen with Better Sex Ed

I have written about the importance of sexual education and why there is a need for more comprehensive sex ed programs in the United States: to provide an education on condom usage, hormonal birth control, consent, and healthy sexual and romantic behaviors. Real sex education can also help break down the stigma attached to sexuality, and our reproductive organs. One reason to promote comprehensive sex education that many people overlook is to include conversations on male and female reproductive organs (plus the more common variances that occur with intersex individuals). Yes, promoting the use of condoms and learning about more than abstinence is great, but learning about our own bodies is extremely important. Teenagers learn about their muscles, their digestive systems, and their brains in high school. Why not their… Read more »

Wolves with a Time’s Up Pin

When Grace’s account of her evening with actor, stand up comedian, director, author, and, most importantly, proclaimed feminist, Aziz Ansari broke, hundreds of think pieces were soon posted all over the web. This particular story struck a chord because it’s familiarity resonated with so many people who never knew how to discuss or label experiences that went beyond “bad sex”. URGE’s student journalists Anna Khan and Ofelia Alonso did an incredible job detailing this encounter and explaining how our culture contributes to experiences such as Grace’s, and I encourage you to read their articles. This story in particular hit me the hardest, since Ansari is a public figure I had previously seen as one of the very few men in Hollywood that could be considered a “good guy”. He appeared… Read more »