The Power Of 'She'

The Power Of 'She'

Women making progress in society but still many untied ends
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What it means to be a female has changed drastically since the 1800s. What was once a life reduced to submission to others, marriage and motherhood is now a life of greater (not perfect) equality and the opportunity to choose from various paths.

Though the expectation persists, that a woman will eventually marry, raise a family and be caretaker of the home, women are in a much better position than we were 200 years ago. Women are now pursing higher education, becoming influential voices in government, owning businesses and truly taking charge of their lives. There has never been a better time to be a lady in terms of pursuing your dream…except it depends on where in the world you live, what the dream is, your relationship status, and whether or not you are a mother.

Women are not being forced or dictated how to dress anymore, yet we are still judged as promiscuous or boring by our clothing. We are no longer forced into marriages at young ages, at least not in country, but it is still assumed that we need a male to propel our lives. We are no longer pinned to a bed against our will by a husband (who may not even love you), to conceive a child and with no way of getting out of that marriage arrangement. Yet, the emotional, physical, verbal and sexual abuse and harassment at the hands of males persists. Everything we do is still seen as an attempt to get attention from the opposite sex.

Being a woman with a passion and dream means facing inevitable obstacles. In the eyes of society, we are still subtly seen as pretty things whose only job it is to be beautiful and repopulate the earth. Just check the movies! No matter how intelligent or dominant of a role a woman may have, she usually also plays a role of seductress. It’s as if this is our main purpose of existing. Pathetic.

Some men feel intimidated by intelligent women. Hence, some women water down their intelligence to make the man feel less threatened. Intelligent women are not taken seriously. Their ideas and input are taken for granted or viewed as cute, which can be frustrating. This is why women like Rachel Maddow and the late Gwen Ifill are so important because they fight that status quo.

Of the genders, women are the ones who are expected to settle—settle for less in their dreams, relationships, and their lives. Times have not change drastically since the setting of “Fences” in terms of how women are viewed. We are still expected to sit down, shut up, take whatever life (or men) throw at us, and have dinner ready by 7.

In a way, I feel like women are still silencing their voices, brilliance, passions, and ability for greatness.

The world has come a long way in its treatment of women. However, there is still some inequality. Women’s accomplishments are sometimes swept under the rug. There is still some wage inequality, and sometimes women are underestimated in their ability to perform certain jobs well due to female nurturing tendencies. However, a determined woman is an unstoppable force, and this is the power she has.

If you take away nothing else, I want to make one thing clear. ‘Woman’ is not a synonym for ‘weak.’ Neither is pink the only color that should be associated with women. We are also red for passion and intensity, blue for calm and stability, yellow for energy and optimism, green for reliability and influence, and black for strength and sophistication.

Never settle ladies. Now is our time, we have more routes than ever before to create the life we have always wanted for ourselves—a life rid of simplicity, sorrow, submission and silence. Live freely, learn endlessly, move and speak, unthreatened by the ego of any man. Remember, the most unstoppable force is a determined woman.

Cover Image Credit: Victoria Leigh Photography

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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'The Farewell' Brings An Asian-American Narrative To Hollywood

I've never imagined that a story like this would make its way to Hollywood, and it's definitely a welcome change.

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The trailer for Lulu Wang's "The Farewell" was recently released. The film, based on Wang's own experience, stars Awkwafina as Billi, a Chinese-American woman who travels to China after learning her grandmother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. "The Farewell" initially debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in January, and currently holds a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

"The Farewell" is an exciting film for members of the Asian-American community, as it encompasses many of our own experiences in having family overseas. Having this Asian-American narrative portrayed in Hollywood is especially groundbreaking and important to the community. "Crazy Rich Asians" has received much well-deserved acclaim for its leap in Asian representation, but the film did not necessarily depict a completely relatable experience and was only one story out of many in the Asian-American community. There were aspects of the characters' cultures that allowed the Asian-American audience to connect with much of the film, but the upper-class narrative wasn't quite as accessible to everyone.

While "Crazy Rich Asians" portrays Asians in a way that is very much uncommon in Hollywood and American media in general and had a hand in helping to break stereotypes, "The Farewell" introduces a nearly universal first-generation American or immigrant narrative to Hollywood. In doing so, the film allows many members of the Asian-American community to truly see their own experiences and their own stories on the screen.

For me, the trailer alone was enough to make me tear up, and I've seen many other Asian Americans share a similar experience in seeing the trailer. The film reminds us of our own families, whether it's our grandparents or any other family living overseas. I've never imagined that a story like this would make its way to Hollywood, and it's definitely a welcome change.

"The Farewell," which is scheduled for release on July 12, 2019, depicts a family dynamic in the Asian-American experience that hits home for many, including myself. The initial critical response, especially towards Awkwafina's performance, is certainly promising and will hopefully motivate more Asian-American and other minority filmmakers to bring their own stories to Hollywood.

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