So it’s been over a year since Clinton and Trump announced their campaigns for presidency, and every second of it has been horrible. It has been a long, tiring journey to Election Day 2016 and it’s hard to believe I’m here. Throughout this entire process, I have never written a column about any of the candidates or anything that has happened in relation to the elections. I never wanted to feed into the amount of attention these people were already going to receive, mainly because I never wanted to even dwell upon it myself and nothing that was being done was particularly shocking to me. Now, I’m ironically enough writing about it with the same level of defeat I felt filling out my absentee ballot.
Earlier this week, Katy Habr, another Opinion columnist, wrote a column on rape culture and the way that it is so deeply embedded in our society, even within groups that supposedly denounce all forms of oppression and acts of violence. Her column emphasized ideas I already had and made me think even more about the idea of rape apologists. I want to clarify at this point that this column is going to be discussing rape apologists and sexual assault/rape in general. I’ve been considering this issue for a while now as another scarily unique way that rape culture functions. Any issues or discussions around the topic of sexual assault can be uncomfortable, but rape apologists create a different kind of discomfort, at least for me.
Thick brows are the new trend and I bet you’re wondering how to obtain them. People have become obsessed with filling in their brows to get a sharper, more defined look. Queen Kylie Jenner often rocks this gorgeous trend along with her notably full lips coated with a layer of nude lipstick that really pops against her golden, bronze skin. It’s something we’re all dying to have and I’m here to tell you the simplest way to have these features: being born with them! This method is quick and easy; you only have to do it once for a lifetime guarantee of beauty!
This past Saturday night, during homecoming weekend, my friends and I were going down to the commons to get some food. Two of us had been studying for a prelim we had on Monday, so we were pretty tired. I had actually forgotten that it was homecoming weekend due to my own amount of stress and other reasons that made me not want to actively participate in this weekend’s festivities. A big reminder I had was when my friends and I saw a group of people in the distance, stumbling and talking very loudly. When we got closer, I could see that the entire group was white and one of them, was wearing a sombrero.
In its simplest definition, an ally is someone who another person can trust and count on despite them not fully understanding what it’s like to be in a certain position. An ally advocates and assists a marginalized group that they are not a part of. For example, a white person who advocates for racial justice can be considered an ally to people of color. The definition of ally is rather simplistic in concept, but is much more complicated in practice. People often find themselves messing up when their actions coincidentally work against the supposed title they claim.
Depending on a person’s background, coming to a predominantly white institution (PWI) like Cornell can be really difficult to cope with as a freshman. I know that for me, it wasn’t just dealing with the fact that I had moved from the large city of Chicago to Ithaca, but also being surrounded by people completely different from whom I was accustomed to interacting with back home. It took me more than a year of attending Cornell to finally figure out how to function in a place that was so drastically different for me. As I’m starting my third year here, I can’t help but think about where I started from and how current first-years of color might be feeling. Generally, I know that during my first year I felt like I did not belong here at all.
Over the course of the past year, I have heard several people say that they thought my columns were “angry” and wondered why I never wrote about anything “happy.” I have never really taken offense despite the fact that the comments were meant to be a critique of my writing and the approach I typically take. It has taken me years, but I have learned not to listen to what others want to see from me and instead solely focus on what I wish to see from myself. It’s not that I don’t take suggestions, it’s just that there are some that I don’t find necessary to listen to especially when it has to deal with the amount of “anger” in my pieces. The reality is that there is a lot in the world to be angry about. This isn’t necessarily to say that I am always angry, but when I’m provided a platform in which to speak freely, I am obviously going to voice my criticisms in the hopes that it can help make someone consider a new perspective.
Colonization is often thought to be an issue of the past. It is heavily associated with what we’re taught in basic U.S. history courses throughout the United States. The most notable colonizer that has a whole holiday dedicated to him is the lovely Christopher Columbus. We’re taught that he “discovered” the Americas, which is a lighter way to say that he colonized native lands through horrible acts of genocide. He is a deeply rooted image in U.S. history, which is why the idea that colonialism is an act of the past exists.