Forget the haters ’cause somebody loves ya

So, last night I was the saddest I have been awhile. I am the type of person that is extremely invested in my sports teams (the Cubs are just a constant heartbreak that I have grown numb to), so I will spiral into sadness when they perform poorly and lose. It doesn’t hurt that I am a Tiger’s Lair coordinator, so it is literally my job to be spirited and put my heart and soul into loving my Tigers.

Last night, my Mizzou Tigers lost in double overtime to the South Carolina Gamecocks (insert phallic joke here). It was a heartbreaking Homecoming game to say the very least. The “ping” of the final field goal off the left upright is still ringing in my mind, but don’t you dare expect me to start badmouthing Andrew Baggett, our kicker.

According to the internet, my sentiment is an anomaly. Many people took to Twitter to beat on Baggett after the game. Sure, there were people, like many of my friends and fellow Tiger’s Lair coordinators, that tweeted their support of Baggett and the team as we head into taking on Tennessee this upcoming Saturday at 6:00. But, the pure hatred and disrespect that I saw Mizzou Nation giving one of their own pissed me off, for lack of better words.

At Mizzou, we pride ourselves in our rather cheesy motto of “One Mizzou.” Now, how diversity on campus ties into that is a whole other beast to tackle at a different time, but when it comes down to it, it means that we are all in this together. We are all at Mizzou to learn, celebrate our traditions and triumphs and help pick each other up from our losses and missteps. We have been through our rough entry to the SEC last year and still came back, roaring for more. We were there as Baggett grew and developed as new kicker last year. We started as unranked, cheered our team into the 25 spot, freaked out when we hit 14th and were absolutely baffled and excited when we became number 5.

Now we sit at the number 10 spot, 7-1 and still top of the SEC East. These are all things to be proud of. Think of all these things (and the fact that our volleyball team is 25-0 and 9-0 in SEC play. Wow, just wow!) as our coaches and players push into next week to come back better and stronger. Also, remember your privilege as a fan. You get to sit back and watch through all the good and bad. You don’t live it the same way as the players. They have to deal with not only the fans reactions but themselves. As former athlete myself, I know that myself could be my worst enemy and my biggest ally. I pushed myself to do everything for my team but would beat myself up when I thought I messed up the play or didn’t help them enough. Baggett has to deal with the criticism from supposed loyal fans and also deal with whatever emotions have stricken him. So, you may think that it is hard time for you getting over the loss but multiple that at least 1,000 times over (I don’t want to get too hyperbolical) and that is how the players and Baggett feel.

So, let’s stop the hating and refer to Miley Cyrus’s lyrics (whom I will be taking the persona of this week for Halloween) that title this post and go into this upcoming week ready to be One Mizzou; fans and players together to come back and beat Tennessee.

From one Mizzou obsessed and Truman the Tiger infatuated fan to the rest of Mizzou nation: MIZ!


Are you rapey for some football?

Rape and football are two things that usually don’t go together in my brain because I absolutely adore football (oh, hey #5 Tigers) and I rape culture is something I absolutely hate, as a stated in my last post. But, a lot of times, the hypermasculine complex that can come with sports can be a breeding ground for rape culture. Steubenville is just one example where the star football players were portrayed by the media and town as just good boys “just being boys” and advocating victim blaming by saying the girl should’ve known better. It’s all too typical. The most recent big story is about Maryville, Mo. in which Daisy Coleman, age 14 when she was sexually assaulted and left for dead in the snow last year, and her family are the center of threats by the town and the powerful family of her attacker. He was also a star football player. The first person account from Daisy brought me close to tears, it was so powerful to see her share her story and so horrible to hear.

I was also brought close to tears because of the two recent clery releases we have gotten from Mizzou. The first one detailed how a resident at one of the Rollins complex residence halls heard a knock on her door, answered it thinking it was her friend, and a man forced his way into the room and assaulted her to the point were it injured her. My residents were leaving the building reading the email off their phones saying how scary that was and all I could do was plead them to make sure they didn’t allow anyone in the building they didn’t know after hours and to ALWAYS lock their doors at night. This one especially got me as an RA at an all girls dorm because something like that could easily happen here because our building only has one swipe-in to get in after hours. Some of the other halls have swipe restricted access after the main lobby that separates that from the area of residence to ensure that guests have to be swiped through to get into where people live. Here at Jones, you just have to have some one hold open one of the exterior doors for you and you have free reign to the entire building. Last year, a man some how got in through the underground tunnels between some of the halls and the Dobbs dining hall before they were locked for the night and was creeping around and got into some of the girls’ rooms while they were sleeping because they forgot to lock their door.

Within the same week of getting that clery release, we received another one that was about how a resident of Laws Hall, a hall that is part of the same area as mine, had a resident come forward about her sexual assault that happened a few weeks prior. This frightened me even more because how the proximity to where I live and the fact that these happened in such a short time period. It really hit me how common rape actually can be, even though it is usually not reported. The first release was especially frightening because the man that assaulted her was a stranger to her. That usually is not the case, it is usually someone you know, hence why you may not want to report it.

All I can do at this point is hope and pray that this trend will not continue and continue to educate people as much as I can. If people are educated to not perpetuate rape culture, then it won’t seem as something that is “manly” or okay to do for “power” or even something that is just brushed off as the victim’s fault. If I educate my female residents on how to prevent people getting into the building or endangering themselves in that sense, then I will consider myself successful.

Been through the Gender Blender

On Wednesday, my friend Christine tagged me on in a blog post that she had posted on Facebook with the simple status update of “Fuming.” I knew that I was about to a stereotypical angry feminist when the title was “The Case Against Female Self Esteem”. Even with that title I didn’t realize the amount of anger I would be feeling as I read segments off my phone aloud to my Alternative Spring Break co-site leader in the ASB cubicle. We are leading a Women’s Issues service trip with ASB, so we are obviously super passionate when it comes to this stuff, and I am pretty sure the whole Center for Student Involvement heard us ranting about it.

Matt Forney, the chauvinistic man that wrote this piece, starts making his argument, saying, “A woman with excessive confidence is like a man with a vagina […] In order for America to right itself, there needs to be a massive and concerted war on female self-esteem.” So, basically, according to Forney the problem with America is the fact that women feel confident with themselves. He argues that this keeps them from fulfilling their role in society. What it comes down to is that Forney is a man that is most likely threatened by the fact that women can do anything a man can, and can do it just as well if not better. He doesn’t believe in a even playing field, in which all sexes and genders are equal to be good or bad at many different things. He goes on to say how having a degree “is a strike against a girl—unless it’s in something real like a STEM discipline—as it shows that she’s a conformist who thinks that credentials are a substitute for knowledge and experience” and that women’s jobs don’t help run the country. He called them “fluff” specifically.

As someone that has struggled recently with accepting the fact that wanting to work for a magazine such as Nylon or Ms. Magazine isn’t dumb or selling myself short, this especially infuriated me because he said that “If every man lost his job tomorrow, the country would collapse.” Journalism, no matter the form or emphasis area, has a major role in helping run this country. We inform the public, we spread news that can influence people in a variety of areas, such as politics, economics, fashion, art, music, etc. Every. Single. One. Is important. It is unfortunate that the journalism world is still that of old, white men but we have to continue to encourage diversity so that everyone is represented in the media and all needs are met.

The part that made me physically ill came a bit later and said,

“Insecurity is the natural state of woman. How could it be anything else? Given their lack of physical strength, a woman on her own should be frightened as hell without men to protect her. If society were to collapse, all the Strong, Independent Women™ who read Jezebeland xoJane would last about five minutes before they either found a man to cling onto or got raped and killed. In the bellum omnium contra omnes that is mankind’s default existence, a woman who is alone is a woman who is already dead.”

First of all, I hate rape culture more than anything, so the fact that he just threw it in nonchalantly that women would just be raped without a man to protect them peeved me because it perpetuates rape culture by making it seem like a normal consequence. Last time I checked, women don’t “lack physical strength.” I know plenty of girls that could beat plenty of guys I know in a fight. Everyone has a unique body in which they have the choice to mold it into any shape they can, which could be a muscle machine.

Forney’s next big point is that “Essentially, “confident” women are incapable of viewing men as human beings.” He goes on to say that women don’t want to have high self esteem and that we replace a man in our life with antidepressants because we are driven crazy over high self esteem. He ends his essay saying “I say we give them what they want,” which is just the icing on the rape culture cake, joining Robin Thicke’s infamous song.

This blog post made me so angry I could LITERALLY not see straight, and no I am not using the newly coined dictionary definition of that word. The fact that he belittled people that need to use different medication as making them weak and just denying their need for a man is actually disgusting. What is more disgusting is that people that commented AGREED WITH HIM. I feel like journalism is needed for some of these people to give them the information of the women’s movement and women’s achievements and the importance they have in society, and not just to be seen as sex items. We need to make sure that everyone is being represented fairly and showing when they succeed and not just when they fail.

We also can’t enforce a gender binary and heteorsexual norm that Forney uses. I am proud to know the first genderqueer homecoming king candidate to grace the lovely tradition of Homecoming here at Mizzou. I am proud that as a University we can accept someone that challenges the gender binary and celebrate them as they succeed in getting ranked as part of the 10 ten royalty. This was the happy progression I needed after seeing the pushy, gender dominance in Forney’s piece.

Gender alone should never define our destiny because we are the ones that define our gender and we can determine what we want our destiny to be. People don’t need to give us what we want because we can get it by ourselves.

Gone finding myself, be back soon.

Who thought that an MU grad and fellow Chicagoan would get to be so famous for an dance video of sorts quitting her job? Marina Shifrin had been working at Next Media Animation when she decided to quit because she felt like it had become all about clicks and not about quality.

I can connect with a homegirl on this one. As we go through the wonderful Journalism program here at Mizzou, we are taught how to make high quality work that has major importance to the public. It is always stressed that we are serving the public and doing all this glorious storytelling. Obviously the J-School is a bit biased, but it makes us feel like we have purpose in society and that our content has some sort of authority. Many learn to love the long form style, yet we are tantalized by the fast food “journalism” of BuzzFeed. That storytelling love ends up a broken heart after many journalism majors graduate and get into careers that aren’t what they expected, much like Marina.

Some of that almost romantic quality of journalism that we are told about here is why I wanted to pursue a journalism degree.  I love magazines and how they can tell me so much about some of my favorite topics, such as fashion and issues effecting women and the world. Pardon my casual blasphemy but magazines are my Bible and I study them in the same way I study texts for class.

But, part of me also struggles with journalism. I was never part of the 10+ Pacemaker awarded paper at my high school, heck I still wanted to be a fashion designer at that point. My love for journalism is rooted in something much different than my peers in the J-School because I didn’t fall in love with the chase for news and I don’t have a passion for PR. I just really love the media style of magazines and what they have given me throughout my life. Honestly, I want to work at a fashion magazine in a role like Grace Coddington has at Vogue. I am not about that Anna Wintour life, I don’t know if I could handle that amount of responsibility and power. But Grace, Grace gets to have a decent amount of power in the fashion world, style shoots, oversee a section, etc. So, when it comes down to it, I love writing but I really want to just be apart of the cultural influence that magazines hold. I would love to do page design because I have the eye for it, I just don’t have the experience.

So, this all leaves me feeling lost in the J-School. Am I doing the right thing by being a part of the group that loves media and what it can do? Will I end up dancing my heart out to quit a job that leaves me with the thought that “journalism is dead to me?” I worry that people think my dream is frivolous, but is that something I should be worried about? Is that buying into the “clicks?”

All I can do right know is keep dancing through this J-School life and try to find my focus and my answer, and maybe it will end up with me leaving something because it is not what I believe in, but at least I will know I stand for something.