Amazing Female Activists Who Should be Going on Campus Tours (Instead of Brock Turner)

Amazing Female Activists Who Should be Going on Campus Tours (Instead of Brock Turner)

Let's put the rumors of a Brock Turner campus tour to rest and invite these empowering young women to our campuses instead.

When a rumor that Stanford rapist Brock Turner would be embarking on a tour of college campuses to speak about the dangers involved with drinking and college party culture, the internet was (rightfully) equal parts shocked and outraged at the prospect of a young man who had committed a heinous sexual assault becoming a symbol of a safe college lifestyle, meanwhile shifting the blame for his crime off of himself and onto the fact that he was drinking and therefore "could not control" his actions. Although the idea is merely a rumor and no definitive proof exists of the tour being a real possibility, campuses across the country could definitely benefit from a speaking tour-- by one of these empowering and qualified young female activists or groups.

1. Nicole Maines

Nineteen-year-old Nicole Maines was named one of Glamour Magazine’s “50 Phenomenal Women of the Year Who Are Making a Difference” in 2014. Nicole, who has identified as female since the age of two, faced discrimination in fifth grade when she was banned from using her Maine middle school’s girls’ bathroom. Her family then worked with the Maine Human Rights Commission to file a discrimination lawsuit. In 2014 the verdict was announced: according to the state’s Supreme Court, Nicole’s rights under Maine’s Human Rights Act had been violated when her school denied her the right to use the bathroom for the gender she identified with. Not only is her case a landmark case for transgender rights (the first time a state court deemed it unlawful to ban transgender students from the bathroom they feel comfortable using), but Maines has since spoken out about trans rights in a TEDx Talk, a campus visit to the University of Maine, and various interviews for various media outlets such as Good Morning America, ABC News, and the Huffington Post. She has also been the subject of a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning Amy Ellis Nutt, entitled “Becoming Nicole,” about her experiences as a young transgender woman.

2. Jules Spector

In December of 2013, then thirteen-year-old Jules Spector launched a blog called Teen Feminist, on which she has since written a plethora of posts such as “Why Do Women Have to Be Funny in Journalism?,” “The Art of Saying Sorry,” and “6 Women-Run Companies For Women and Girls,” among posts about heavier topics like child prostitution, abortion, and body-shaming. Her blog has gained media attention as several of her posts have gone viral and been shared by celebrities. Says Spector, “I want to get teenagers more involved in learning about who they are and not being ashamed of being a woman.” Spector has also been involved in the United Nations Foundation “Girl Up,” promoting women’s education and health in developing countries, volunteered with the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, and interviewed Malala Yousafzai for an ABC documentary.

3. Rowan Blanchard

Best known as Riley Matthews on Disney show "Girl Meets World," fourteen-year-old Rowan Blanchard established herself as a young feminist role model when her Instagram post about the importance of intersectionality and inclusive feminism went viral last year. Blanchard later spoke at the UN Women and US National Committee's 2016 conference, addressing gender stereotypes, objectification of women in the media, and the lack of women in STEM fields. Said Blanchard, "When I was in preschool, I played catch with the other kids and I was told I threw like a girl. I've identified as a feminist ever since."

4. "The Arts Effect NYC" Theater Company

The Arts Effect NYC is an all-girls theater group founded in 2007 with the purpose of empowering young women through theater and creating a space in the male-dominated theater industry for nine to eighteen-year old girls to “utilize the power of the theater arts to share their voices, challenge their communities, and inspire their peers." At the 2013 New York City Fringe Festival, the theater company performed "SLUT The Play," described by the company as "A play and guidebook for combating sexism and sexual violence." The play, written by Katie Capiello, earned the theater group recognition from New York Magazine, Time Out New York, and Gloria Steinem, and has since been performed across the country and on tour in Nova Scotia, Sydney, and Mexico City.

Cover Image Credit: Entertainment Weekly

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.

Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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To The Generation That Might Not Care, A Green New Deal Is Crucial

Take care of our planet and our future.


The reality of climate change and method to address the issue has been a source of contention in the United States for far too long. While Republicans trail behind Democrats a great deal in the percentage who believe long-term, irreversible climate change is a real problem, an equally if not more important gap to acknowledge is that between generations.

A universally taught science concept in elementary school is the difference between weather and climate. Weather is the day-to-day condition of the atmosphere — rainy, sunny, etc. Climate is the weather of a particular geographic location over a long period of time. The weather in an area may be snowy on a particular January day but might overall have a warm climate (Trump has yet to learn this concept).

The gap between generational support for not only believing in the reality of climate change but if the government should take steps to prevent further harm on our planet is apparent. A few reasons that older generations may not support aggressive climate change policies are that many are not going to see the lasting impact of their harmful actions, may not want to acknowledge that their way of life for a majority of their life was detrimental to the environment, or that they simply do not think it is the government's role to further regulate current practices and lifestyles in the name of the environment (an argument supported by many conservatives).

Data For Progress

The "Green New Deal," proposed earlier this month by Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey is mainly a list of ideas and goals rather than a carefully laid-out plan, though aims to eliminate greenhouse emissions through the creation of millions of jobs in the renewable energy industry, moving toward public ownership (a major source of disagreement among Republicans and Democrats), and much more. This plan is a comprehensive overview of many sources of environmental degradation that our nation has not addressed, despite the majority of the nation believing the climate change is a real issue.

There will undoubtedly be a major shift in the operations of many companies due to aggressive climate change policies, which could have been avoided at a drastic level if our nation had chosen to make climate change prevention a priority. Unfortunately, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures will rise to an irreversible level in 12 years if the United States and other countries that greatly contribute to rising temperatures do not take action. A sense of urgency has been lacking for far too long is crucial.

Written into the recently proposed Green New Deal is a section detailing how it will attempt to remedy the inequality of those most directly impacted by climate change. Vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color, are not seeing an equitable distribution in disaster funding to prevent damage inflicted by the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters that have resulted as an increase in rising global temperatures — Which, regardless of your age, should be a glaring flaw in our current system.

I personally doubt that the entirety of the recently proposed Green New Deal will be enacted, however, I believe that anyone who values the quality of human life, clean air, clean water, food sources, for not just those in the United States, but around the world, should be supportive of a Green New Deal.

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