Guest Room

GUEST ROOM | You Too

On October 15, Alyssa Milano tweeted a picture reading, “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” The phrase blew up overnight, with people replying to her tweet, tweeting and posting their own statuses, and coming forward to share their own stories. Me too became a simple, powerful way to add a voice to the flood of people demanding change. Many people also stepped forward as allies, plastering social media with angry messages calling for the need to respect women, believe survivors of assault and shut down the culture of silence that surrounds issues of sexual misconduct. But the first time I saw the hashtag #metoo, the context wasn’t solidarity with victims of sexual harassment or assault. It wasn’t in a thoughtful piece of writing analyzing the various power differentials that prop up a culture that ignores abuse. Instead, it was in a Facebook post, written by a man, mocking the idea that everyone who has and will post #metoo has been taken advantage of.

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HAGOPIAN | I’m Not Saying I Don’t Know the Meaning of Life

Personally, I plan to save Mt. Olympus and receive the gift of immortality from Zeus himself. But the rest of you yahoos better start figuring out the meaning of life. You ain’t getting any younger, sweetheart. Luckily I have a story that just might help you out.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | 19 Percent

Warning: This column may be difficult to read for individuals who have experienced, or know those who have experienced, sexual assault and sexual misconduct. These terms refer to a range of unwanted behaviors including remarks about physical appearance, persistent sexual advances, threats of force to get someone to engage in sexual behavior such as non-consensual or unwanted touching, sexual penetration, oral sex, anal sex, or attempts to engage in these behaviors. Floating across newsfeeds and tweets, the Me Too campaign has made national headlines through asking those who have been either sexually assaulted or sexually harassed to write “Me Too”, aiming to give more of a sense to the magnitude of the problem and allow expression of individual experiences. According to Cornell’s 2015 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct, “by their senior year, almost one in five (19 percent) of undergraduate women have experienced non-consensual penetration by force, incapacitation, or absence of affirmative consent.”

Me, Too. There are two ways in our lives in which we discover our sexuality: the first is the moment in which we realize we have sexual desires.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | The Case for Drunk Texting

Ever since my very earliest days of drinking, I have been a drunk texter. Initially, my texts were barely legible strings of letters that even I could not decipher the next day. I would only text one of the four close friends I had in high school, trying to tell them how much I loved them. As my drinking abilities matured, so too did my ability to send texts that were, for the most part, composed of real words. And under the influence of college hookup culture more than anything, I now find myself only texting guys I want to sleep with.

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SONG | What It Means To Be An Asian Woman

When I say I’m an Asian woman, people say they know what that means. They say it means growing up with tiger moms and Silicon Valley dads. It means bowls of rice clutched in the palms of our hands as we pour over SAT prep books. It means Dad sending us to elementary school with a doctor’s coat and stethoscope already in one hand. But to me, being an Asian woman also means warm pineapple bread that Grandma just pulled from the oven.

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TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | No New Friends

The other day, I decided I was going to make some new friends. So I tried to find new friends! I walked into Trillium, grabbed myself a quesadilla and headed upstairs. I scanned the room, found a table with two strangers (read: potential friends) and excitedly walked up to the table. I introduced myself and asked if I could sit.

Guest Room

GUEST ROOM | Finding a Home in a House

The ability to discover a campus community is a unique thing for a freshman, a chance to try something new or develop known passions. In either case, this sense of freedom, to draw on historian Carl Becker’s notable address, The Cornell Tradition, is an extension of “the attitude of Cornell,” something “easier to appreciate than to define.” It is this sense of freedom, enabling discovery and synergy, that allows students to find their place amongst Cornell’s thousands of students and hundreds of thousands of alumni worldwide. With countless extracurricular opportunities at Cornell, students are certain to find groups they “click” with. Likely, it will be more than one such organization. Outside the classroom, students spend many of their waking hours with the friends they make in these settings.

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BENITEZ | Rejecting Libertarian Intuition

At the end of Ayn Rand’s dystopian novella Anthem, the story’s protagonist, escaping an oppressive society in which everything from technological progress to reproduction is centrally-planned, retreats to distant mountains where he happens upon a series of texts from the early 20th Century. In them, he re-encounters the word “I,” and hence reclaims his agency after having been brainwashed from birth to not use such first-person language. Putting aside whether our ability to perceive of ourselves as distinct, first-person entities can be so fundamentally altered by a change in language, Anthem has stood out as an effective encapsulation of the intuitions fundamental to political libertarianism. Chief among them is advocacy of minimal governance from a belief that society is bettered by unleashed individualism. Indeed, the political libertarian holds a series of admittedly-consistent notions pertaining to all levels of society: in the “micro” by holding steadfast to the tenet that no one can understand the ideal trajectory of your own happiness better than you; and in the “macro” by believing that the interactions between these self-aware individuals can most fairly and justly optimize the productivity and welfare of the population as a whole.

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LIEBERMAN | New Views on North Korea

Stress dreams run in my family. My mom gets them about travel, my dad gets them about work and my brother gets them about sports. Lately, mine have been about impending nuclear warfare. The other night I had the most unbelievable one. It etched itself vividly in the back of my brain.

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JEONG | Why We Must Protect the Hateful

I came to college a Bernie-loving, John Oliver-watching, 420-friendly, devout liberal. My political awakening began in sixth grade when I read then-Senator Barack Obama’s autobiographies. To a minority kid interested in politics, his words were gospel to me. I was vehemently pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and if anybody were to disagree with me, they were ignorant, minority-hating bigots. In an era in which politics has been defined by Trumpism, liberals have rallied under a common villain — a catch-all caricature that represents the evil of the right.