Staff Rants: Oct. 11-17

WSN Staff

Welcome to a new series of WSN, Staff Rants. Read what made your favorite WSN Staff Members angry this week.

On New York City bike culture:

I live a mile from campus. I get car sick too easily to be able to ride the bus, so I bike to save time. This seems perfectly reasonable to me — but not, apparently, to literally everyone else on the road.

I wear a helmet. I have lights and reflectors. I always bike with the flow of traffic, and I stop at red lights. Because I behave like a motor vehicle, I have all the rights of a motor vehicle under New York law. So it baffles me that drivers still think it’s okay to honk and shout at me.

Last week, as I was putting on my helmet, a passerby said, “I almost hit a biker with my car today and didn’t feel bad.” On my commute home that day, a taxi driver hit me in the back with his rear-view mirror and didn’t even stop to see if I was okay — which I was, thank God.

Cycling is cheap, healthy and environmentally friendly, so I deserve to share the road. Bicycles are the future, and I’d appreciate it if drivers would act that way. — Abigail Weinberg, Features Editor

On an anti-feminist student piece published in The Odyssey:

“I’m all about girl power, but in today’s world, it’s getting shoved down our throats. Relax, feminists, we’re OK,” read the ludicrous opening lines to an even more asinine The Odyssey article. Actually, women are not okay. One in five women get sexually assaulted on college campuses. Is this okay? Women get 75 cents for every dollar a man makes, is that okay? Moreover, if you are a woman of any minority, your wage will decrease exponentially compared to the average male’s. Is this okay?

Reading this piece gutted me on many accounts, including giving into clickbait journalism. Frankly, it frustrated every part of my womanhood, even more so than Donald Trump has during the last two presidential debates, because this argument was coming from a woman. Feminism by today’s definition is advocacy for equal rights for women and men. It’s not us versus them. I wonder if this journalist has heard of a UN campaign called HeForShe.

She goes on to state that women and men are genetically different, that women mainly have brain and men have braun. I bet Serena Williams, Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas would have something else to say about women’s athletic ability and muscle mass.

I will say this writer had one thing right: “Not everything is a man’s fault.” Feminists do not and should not blame men for hindering our progress. We can and should, however, call out women, like this writer, for hindering our progress — women who fail to acknowledge accredited statistics, reports and findings that confirm women are born into a disadvantaged place in society. We can and should empower both genders to support equality for all. After all, that’s what fourth-wave feminism is all about. —Gabriella Bower, Beauty & Style Editor

On timezones:

I remember last fall, walking to my 9:30 class at 194 Mercer as a lowly freshman, I would always text my friends at home, just looking for some camaraderie to keep me company as I made the long trek. They never answered.

Three hours might seem like no big deal, but when most of your existential crises occur after your morning classes, you just desperately need to talk to your mom or a friend from home. But when you realize it is 8 a.m. on the West Coast and no one is awake to hear your complaints, it sucks.

When I got into Tisch last spring through an internal transfer, I saw my acceptance email as soon as I woke up for class. Of course I wanted to tell my mom immediately, but she was asleep because it was 5:30 a.m. in Vancouver! When my beloved Vancouver Canucks play at home, games don’t start until 10 p.m. EST, meaning they don’t finish until well after midnight. Just this past weekend, I hunkered down to watch their first game of the season and told myself I’d do homework after the game, but the game went to a late-night shootout. As a result, no homework was done.

It just doesn’t make any sense. It’s not like I live in the future — when my mom and I are on the phone talking, we are living in the same reality, but for some reason my clock tells me it’s 9 p.m. while hers says 6. And don’t even get me started on next semester, when my best friend is going abroad to Berlin, a six-hour time difference. Timezones suck. —Rachel Ruecker, Sports Editor

On unpaid internships:

These days, laws have mostly cleaned up the scene of unpaid internships. Generally, if a company isn’t giving you a wage, they are required to offer academic credit in return for your work, so long as the work you do is offering you practical experience (as in, not being a coffee runner). But let’s all be real — that’s still unpaid labor. What’s worse, students have to pay for the credits they earn in that internship. We literally pay to be unpaid interns. It’s the most frustrating, twisted setup. I cannot afford to work 24 unpaid hours a week if I have to pay several thousand dollars to do so, and working those hours means that I can’t get a job that actually pays me because I am spending all my time at my internship. But my major’s course requirements stipulate that I complete at least six credits’ worth of internships, so it looks like I will be eating a diet of PopTarts until I finish those internships. — Hailey Nuthals, Arts Editor

On a GQ photo essay about climbing that ignored female climbers:

I’ve been climbing for more than two years. In the time since I’ve started climbing, I’ve met fantastic female climbers who can probably crush harder than most guys I know, and they’re amazing people as well. I’m always glad when climbing gets media exposure because it makes it easier to explain my favorite pastime to people who think I’m crazy for spending my Saturday mornings at a climbing gym. I was so disappointed, however, when GQ published a photo essay about climbing last month and failed to include any female climbers. I’m a huge fan of the climbers featured in the story — one of my friends got to meet Daniel Woods last week, and I almost threw my phone with excitement when he sent me the photos. But the problem was with GQ’s decision to focus on the style of guy climbers, deciding that girls were just cute friends along for the ride. I looked up the women in the photo essay on Instagram and they were all professional models. While this might seem like run-of-the-mill misrepresentation similar to when Kendall Jenner did a shoot dressed in ballet attire and pointe shoes, it’s a little more complicated than that, and thus more infuriating.

There isn’t a lack of talented female climbers. The first person, male or female, to free climb the Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite was Lynn Hill. One of the most powerful climbers in the world right now is a 15-year-old girl who probably only comes up to my shoulders. There isn’t a lack of climbers who are seen as traditionally attractive either (see: Kim Ja-in, Nina Williams and Sasha DiGiulian). I am often in awe of the people I meet through climbing; they are genuinely beautiful in appearance and personality. And if they wanted to, they could probably kick your ass too.

It would have been so easy for GQ to do a shoot with both male and female climbers. But instead, they chose to showcase the ability and talents of the men in the sport, and bring in models to look cute in the background. It undermines the existing presence of wonderful women in the industry. It portrays climbing culture as something it’s not. Because when my friends and I go climbing, us girls don’t just sit around while the guys climb. We go up the walls as well, sometimes better than our male peers. We belay our partners, ensuring the safety of our friends. We shout advice when someone is stuck on a sequence and is getting scared.

But the one thing we don’t do is stand for sexism. —Anne Cruz, Abroad Editor

Email the Editorial Board at [email protected]

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