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Category Archive: unsolicited advice

Sep 04 2012

You’re a Racist

And a sexist, and probably a homophobe, too. But it’s okay, so am I. In fact, research shows that almost everyone shows signs of prejudiced attitudes. The Implicit Association Test, a psychological test designed to measure the strength of subconscious associations that people have, suggests that even people who openly profess not to be racist …

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Aug 03 2012

"Don't Feed the Trolls": Reexamining a Tired Maxim

Allow me to get meta here for a moment. I’ve noticed that a very common response to nasty internet comments is to repeat the mantra, “Don’t feel the trolls.” It’s become “common knowledge” that you should ignore mean-spirited (as opposed to simply critical) comments on the internet, especially if you’re the one they’re addressed to, …

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Jul 15 2012

Outraged Beyond Your Understanding: On Listening to Minority Voices

This whole Tosh thing is making me think about how, in our culture, we discuss problems that disproportionately affect a certain group of people. For example, one thing I noticed as I read as many articles about Toshgate (and their accompanying comments) as I could stomach is that the people defending Tosh were almost always …

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Mar 20 2012

On Coercion and a Different Social Ethic

One of my favorite bloggers once wrote a post about the idea of “consent culture” as an alternative to rape culture. After describing various ways to help create a culture of consent surrounding sex, she brilliantly expands the idea to social interactions in general: I think part of the reason we have trouble drawing the …

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Feb 15 2012

On Identifying as a Feminist

[Snark Warning] It’s fashionable these days to align yourself with virtually every feminist cause but to shun the label “feminist.” It’s not “cool,” people protest. We don’t want to be associated with those mannish lesbians. We don’t want to ruin people’s fun. We don’t hate men. Blahblahblah. Okay, here’s the thing. There is no identity out there, …

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Feb 07 2012

Dating Dangerously

Three weeks before my senior prom, I asked my best friend to be my date. I was sure he had feelings for me and I wanted him to know that I returned them, and that I hoped that things would go farther. Awesome! I thought. Asking people out is so easy! Not so fast. At …

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Jan 31 2012

The Friend Zone is a Myth

This week’s Daily Northwestern column. As Valentine’s Day approaches, many of us are probably thinking the same thing : Dating is hard. And it is, especially in college. People who look for serious relationships (as opposed to casual dating or hookups) face plenty of challenges, such as jam-packed schedules, breaks away from campus, study abroad …

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Jan 11 2012

"If You're Fat, Then What Am I?"

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about body image and eating disorders. I can’t even begin to address all of them here. But there’s one I’ve been thinking about lately–that problems with body image are caused solely by comparing yourself to unrealistic standards, and can be solved by simply comparing yourself to the …

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Jan 10 2012

You Don't Need Alcohol

[This is my first column for the Daily Northwestern, NU's student newspaper. I can't find the link on their website so I'm not linking to it, but here's the full piece.] You don’t need alcohol. Wait, hear me out. You really don’t need it. Before I came to college, I obviously expected that there’d be …

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Dec 11 2011

How to "Be There" for a Depressed Person

So. I’ve talked about things not to say to a depressed person before. People have often asked me how, then, one should go about it instead. One of the nicest things that ever happen to depressed people is when one of our close friends or family members tells us emphatically that they want to “be there” for …

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