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By Christiana Paradis
The article “5 Reasons to Date a Girl with An Eating Disorder” was written to do nothing but hurt and insult. I was really hoping that perhaps it was written satirically; however, even then is it not even remotely appropriate. This article opens with, “Nothing screams white-girl problems louder than a good old-fashioned eating disorder.” First of all, to make the audacious statement that only “white girls” have eating disorders is both culturally insensitive and offensive.
Each and every one of these despicable reasons makes an eating disorder sound like a choice that is something to scoff at and make a joke of. It never once takes into account how dangerous and life-threatening eating disorders can be. Furthermore, presentations like this can have detrimental effects depending on who they are being read by, even if they think it is a joke. A joke should never be made at the expense of someone’s health.
This list goes on to site the following reasons:
By Erika Davidoff
Jezebel recently featured a great article compiling ad campaigns on rape prevention from police departments across the world. Though some of them have messages that accurately blame rapists for rape, like Canada’s “Don’t Be That Guy” series and Scotland’s “This Is Not an Invitation to Rape Me” campaign and website, an alarming amount still imply that it’s women’s responsibility to prevent rape by not drinking too much . While it’s perfectly reasonable for police to launch campaigns warning citizens about the dangers of drinking and impaired judgment during a season where alcohol is particularly plentiful, it’s unfortunate that this message is tainted by victim-blaming and misconception when it comes to rape.
These campaigns also reminded me about the messages regarding sexual assault that are disseminated across my college campus. This was the first year that my school required all incoming freshmen to take an online course on sexual assault, and though I’m not sure what the class told men, I know my women-only section was full of advice on how to avoid rape and prevent dangerous situations from happening. Flyers advertising defence courses for women—often specifically rape defence courses—are also prevalent on campus. I’m not against any of these measures and I think it’s important that women (and men!) watch out for themselves and their friends, especially when alcohol is involved. But it’s unfortunate that on campus I am so frequently reminded of our culture’s general opinion regarding rape—that it is women’s responsibility to protect themselves and prevent themselves from being assaulted. It’s simply rarer to see such messages targeted towards men.
I’m glad that this belief is slowly changing, as evidenced by the new campaigns Jezebel highlighted, and I want to commend the Vancouver Police Department and the Bristol police for their thoughtful campaigns. I hope that others follow suit, and that, eventually, the self-defence courses and rape-prevention advice targeted towards women will become a little less necessary.
By Hannah Johnston
Today is a good day for all of us to sit back and bask in some self-appreciation. It’s really easy to lose track of ourselves day to day, to start to see more of what we think is wrong than what we think is right in ourselves. Take a moment to listen to this song and know that everyone one of us is amazing, despite what the damn media might have you believe.
by Kara Chyung
In honour of Grace Hopper, an American computer scientist and Navy rear admiral whose 107th birthday would have been on Monday, I thought this week would be an appropriate time to raise the issue of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers.
Math has always been my favorite subject. I used to think my interest in math stemmed (see what I did there?!) from a desire for concrete answer, but I’ve realised that what I enjoy most is the process of solving the puzzle. As I go through high school and begin to think about college, I find myself strongly considering a career in mathematics or technology.
Recently, I read an article in the New York Times Magazine about the challenges women seeking a career in the sciences face. While often there are not rules strictly prohibiting women from pursuing STEM careers, the numbers show that the feeling of exclusivity in an all-boys class and a lack of encouragement from professors have deterred women from taking their studies in STEM fields beyond the undergraduate level. The circumstances have improved since the time that the author was in college, but there still is a lack of girls aspiring to these careers.
The article also mentions that girls are not introduced to STEM fields at a young age, so even if they develop any interest in science and math later on, it is often too late. Fortunately, there are many programs to get girls interested in STEM fields and promoting STEM education. Read about the organisations listed below.
Remember, a woman can do anything that a man can do, including programming computers or solving calculus problems!
Check out these links to find out more about STEM education for girls!
Girls Who Code: A nonprofit organisation that promotes girls’ education in computer science. Girls Who Code offers an intensive 8-week long Summer Immersion program that exposes girls to careers in technology.
The National Girls Collaborative Project: An organisation that helps bring girls together across the United States on STEM projects. The National Girls Collaborative Project currently has 28 Collaboratives serving 38 states.
Girlstart: A community-based organisation based in Austin, Texas, that seeks to spark girls’ interest in STEM through year-round education and programs.
Girls Scouts’ Imagine Engineering: Imagine Engineering seeks to educate girls about engineering careers and helps link girls and their families to STEM opportunities and organisations.