Addressing sexual assault in the United States through the lenses of de Goya’s “Disasters of Wars”

A couple posts back, I wrote about the Blanton Museum of Art here on campus, which is home to some really cool temporary and permanent exhibitions. Last semester, Francisco de Goya’s etchings were here on display, and for one of my classes, I wrote a paper using the themes in his etchings to look at sexual assault in the United States today. It’s definitely a pretty long read — but it’s also a subject that needs to be addressed.

(de Goya, F. 1810-1820. Real Academia Calcografía. Etching. Davidson Galleries.)

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a chapter in a book, waiting to be written

It’s a tad bit late to be sharing this, but I’m just so bad at keeping my New Year’s Resolution that I figured maybe sharing my list publicly would force me to at least try a lil’ harder this time, haha. Anyways, here’s 17 things I hope to do/do better in 2017. 🙂

Below is a picture I took when I was in Switzerland. We were walking on the mountains when we noticed a bunch of these rock sculptures, where people had stacked rocks on each other and left them there. Not really sure what they’re for, but I think each sculpture has its own personal meaning to its maker. So below is the one that I built, and although now I don’t know if it’s still up there, or what the specific meaning was anymore, but now it’ll be representing my new goals for this year!

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New year’s resolution

  1. Be more focused on coursework; stop procrastinating and stop spending so much time on the Internet/social media.
  2. Every Sunday, I’ll try to post ten things that made me happy/smile that week.
  3. Spend less time on phone/set aside time for phone use.
  4. Read more, particularly when you have free time.
  5. Don’t spend too much money on eating out/shopping (you’re broke af, girl).
  6. Go to bed before midnight (unless absolutely necessary) and wake up before 8 am every day.
  7. Be more open, and get to know more people/make more friends!
  8. Aim for all As (hahahah…………………..>.>………..)
  9. Eat healthier and cut back on sugar and sweets.
  10. Give everything I do my 100% best!
  11. Cut toxic relationships from my life and be okay with that. Make better ones! 
  12. Balance schoolwork and social life. Don’t go out too much, but also don’t spend all your time cooped up in the dorm.
  13. Be open-hearted and open-minded. Happy and good thoughts only!
  14. Exercise at least four times a week at the gym.
  15. Appreciate friends and family more. Call home more often, and keep in touch with friends at home.
  16. Every day, do something that makes ME happy.
  17. Be more willing to step outside of my comfort zone.

So there’s that! Hopefully this year, I can actually do most of these! 🙂

 

 

From the ear to the heart: The Neighborhood

I was just re-listening to The Neighbourhood’s Wiped Out when I re-realized just how beautiful the album is. So here’s a review that I wrote almost half a year ago (the album was released in Oct. of 2015), and maybe you might (read: you really should) check out this collection of wonderfully haunting songs as well. (The songs were written as a way for the lead singer to cope with the death of his father.)

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From the ear to the heart: Halsey & Electropop

tumblr_ntaz9jGAUC1spwufeo1_1439943176_coverHalsey, whose stage name is an anagram of her real name Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, is a 21-year-old electro-pop singer from New Jersey. After gaining attention for both her covers and original songs on SoundCloud, she signed with a record label and released an EP (Room 93) on October 27, 2014. Fans fell in love with her unique voice and Room 93 established her as a dynamic and honest singer. Her debut studio album, Badlands, was released on August 28, 2015, and that’s when I first fell in love with this little gem.

Badlands is actually based on a fictional dystopian society called The Badlands, which was inspired by movies such as Blade Runner and The Fifth Element, Halsey said in an interview, and became a metaphor for her mental state and real life struggles, which indeed, heavily influence her songs. The album opens with “Castle,” and from the beginning we see Halsey’s emotions manifest themselves within her songs. Dubbed “an angry female record” by Halsey herself, she sings about the “old man sitting on the throne that’s saying that I probably shouldn’t be so mean.” 

“New Americana,” the second single off the track, is the song that brought Halsey the most attention as a member of the new generation, the generation whom the public and society see as “a mess.” This album essentially captures the feelings of growing up in this age, and from “Drive” to “Control,” Halsey explores the confusion and tells the uncensored tales of the youth. With soft vocals that seem to express her unspeakable pains, backed by a dark and defiant instrumental, “Colors” is, like its name suggests, colorful. Graphic colors and images paint a grim picture of love: “You were red and you liked me because I was blue/You touched me and suddenly I was a lilac sky/And you decided purple just wasn’t for you.” The album ends on “I Walk The Line,” a slow and dreary track, reminiscent of the sounds of Portishead, that concludes with the line “I find myself alone when each day is through.”

Loneliness. Depression. Confusion.
Sex. Drugs. Dreams.
This is Halsey’s diary filled with her deepest secrets and fears — the voice of the troubled youth — and though her vocals aren’t particularly spectacular, this album is so beautifully raw and emotional.

Find the album on iTunes or Amazon. 

Just the way you are

Here’s your daily dose of inspiration. 🙂

As Lisa Kleypas points out, “You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you.”

So stop doubting yourself every time you look in the mirror, because true beauty is being yourself and loving it. 

she believes she can, so she will

To say that our country has been feeling some “mixed feelings” in the past couple of days would be a huge understatement, and I know most people just want to move on with their lives. But here’s an issue that’s been bothering me for the past couple of days, and really, the entire election cycle, that I feel like I should really talk about: women’s status in society.

First off, let me preface everything by saying that I voted for Hillary Clinton not because she is a female, but because she was the most qualified candidate — male or female — on that ballot.

Second, I will say this: Hillary Clinton undeniably suffered at the hand of the underlying, sometime-subtle-othertimes-very-explicit sexism of our nation.

Of course, there are people who will immediately tell me that it’s not because she’s a woman. That it’s because her platforms and ideals don’t align with them, or that they just can’t stand another career politician. Certainly, I get that  — I mean, that’s how politics works — but this election cycle saw a slew of outside and unnecessary factors and bias that haven’t contributed to any other previous election and would not have happened if Hillary Clinton was male. Here’s why:

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3-day Quote Challenge (day 3): stronger than a bullet

(REPOSTING BECAUSE TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE. PLEASE, GO VOTE BECAUSE YOU MATTER, AND YOUR VOTE MATTERS TOO.)

I’ve finally gotten around to the third and final quote for the challenge, and I’m going to use this last quote as an opportunity to reiterate how much this upcoming election  means to YOU and ME. Heck, the whole world is watching this election, so for those of us who can vote come November 8th, I present you with this quote:

Just because you do not take an interest in politics, doesn’t mean politics doesn’t take an interest in you. – Pericles 

Voter fatigue is real, and I entirely understand. When your entire news feed and sources for media are inundated with politics, and in particular, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, you get frustrated.

But, now is not the time to let the frustration and fatigue get to you. This election, as you’ve probably also heard countless times before, is incredibly important — it’s probably the most transformative, influential and important election since 1980. So many important issues, even the very identity of the American people, are at stake here.

At the end of the day, I won’t tell you who to vote for, and I don’t care who you vote for. But please don’t stay at home, thinking “My vote doesn’t matter,” or “I don’t like either of the candidates.”

Because, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

So on November 8, go out and vote. Go out and exercise your unique right as an American citizen. Go out and be proud to be a part of this wonderful democracy.

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taste your words before you spit them out

Here’s certainly an interesting way to put things in perspective.

In Lima, Peru, Everlast conducted a social experiment: identify frequent catcallers and locate their mom. Then, they disguised the mother, and sent her walking past her son. When the catcallers began to jeer at the women (who were their mothers), the women immediately retracted their steps and began to scold their kids.

In other words, treat others the way you would treat your mother, but really, we should all just treat everyone the same way — with respect and compassion.

the eye is the mirror of the soul

I’m a pretty big proponent of journalism, free press and media in general. But, as politics grows more divisive, I’m getting to be a little peeved by the same trend in news.

Today was just a normal day, with me checking my news from the Trending section of Facebook instead of doing my homework, when I see a topic called Washington State Capitol.  There’s a section called the live feed, where anyone who posts about that particular topic can have their two seconds of input before disappearing into who-knows-where. And looking at that feed for this particular section, I see two alternating headlines:

Tea Partiers Tear Down Chinese Flag At Washington State Capitol – Huffington Post

democrat flies communist flag AT washington-state-capitol until patriots come take it Down – foxnews

I get it. I’m a journalist too. Headlines sell, political propaganda to your fellow party members sells and money and pushing your political agenda is good. (No.) But the stark contrast in these headlines really makes me want to punch the computer.

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