We Need Feminism More Than Ever in 2017

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Image Source: New York Magazine

It’s still a mystery why after all the strides we’ve managed to make through the decades, how a privileged rich old white man with practically zero presidential or political experience who advocates to “grab her by the pussy” became the 45th President of the United States. It’s really devastating to read articles about bright, ambitious individuals who were interested to coming to America change their minds after seeing the current state of US affairs. It’s no doubt that we still had a long way to go in terms of political, economic and social rights before, but now the government is pretty much the butt of every joke. Seriously, it’s kind of difficult to go a day without getting a notification about some deplorable executive order or proposed law.

In case you know someone who lives in a cave or plugs their ears with their fingers and violently screams, “LA LA LA” when addressing the deteriorating equal rights of genders, here are some sources to site when arguing why we need feminism more than ever.

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Image Source: Huffington Post

  1. Brock Turner and Rape Culture

Yeah, I’m pretty sure we were all tired of seeing his ugly frazzled mug every five seconds when scrolling through any social or news feed for a time. Brock Turner the rapist Standford swimmer who escaped his crime with a slap of the wrist, maybe less than a slap—like a tap or a pinch, of raping an unconscious girl behind a dumpster. Classy, right? His father penned a letter to the judge asking leniency for his crime, defending that his life will never be the same and that jail time would be “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action…” Maybe sir you should have simply taught your son not to abuse women but if you see your son’s heinous crime as “action” maybe someone should have taught you. It’s 2017 and sadly rape culture is still a thing.

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  1. Abortions and Planned Parenthood

The Trump administration’s mission statement, besides ruining America, is to take reproductive rights away from women. If it were the other way around, pregnant men would be able to find abortion clinics every other block like a Starbucks. Sadly that’s not the case and Trump is seeking to defund Planned Parenthood and ban abortion. The fight for the rights to control our own bodies is still very much real.

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Image Source: CNN Money

  1. Wage Gap

Women are often paid less than their male counterparts for the same work. Not because they are less qualified, but because they are women. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, in 2015, females only made 80 cents or every dollar that a man made, meaning men are paid 20% more. The gap gets worse when you’re a woman of color, ranging from 50-60 cents instead of 80.

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  1. Gender Identity and Bathrooms

On February 22, Trump rescinded laws that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms of their gender identity. Seriously? You can’t even let people use the bathroom safely? The truth is, trans students risk harassment when forced to use restrooms assigned to their birth gender. It should be a basic human right to be able to use the bathroom safely and comfortably.

 

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US president or high school bully?

  1. Trump

Just, everything about Trump and his misogyny is deplorable. He treats women as objects, even his daughter in a pretty disgusting ambiguously incestial fashion. From calling Alicia Machado names such as “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” to his infamous “grab her by the pussy” video, his sexist attacks leave me dumbfounded to say the least. Donald Trump has feuds with countless strong women personalities, one of them being Meryl Streep, who called him out on making fun of someone with disabilities.

So, if you know someone who thinks feminist issues are a thing of the past, here’s a small list of the many things that are going wrong at the moment.

Not Your Asian Accessory

 

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I’ll fight my own battles, thx.

I’m not your Asian sidekick.

I’m not your fetish.

I’m not your model minority.

I’m sick of having white people tell our narratives in the media. I’m sick of scanning through ads and posts and only seeing a sea of pale white faces. Who the hell thought it was a good idea to have Matt Damon star in a movie about The Great Wall of China? Stop perpetuating the idea that only a white man can save the world. We don’t need your whitewashing, we don’t need your skin to sell our stories. Why would a gweilo be fighting monsters in the Song Dynasty anyway?

I can remember so vividly looking for a face like mine on the TV, in toys, cartoons and finding none.

Years later, now, I still try to find what’s relatable to my image and am fall short. Strangely enough, whiteness is malleable, that reliability is more sound– but the slightest difference for a POC is loud.

That doesn’t look like you at all, are you kidding?  

A white man can throw on a mask and be whatever he wants. An Asian man throws on a cape, a blue shirt with a big “S” and is Asian Superman. Why is it that white people can be whoever they wish, but for POC we can only be imitations?

I’m sick of Asians being sidekicks, minor characters, background, accessories.

We won’t be your Kato anymore. We won’t humor you with fake accents and play the joke of a Long Duk Dong.

Cast more Asians as leads.

Let us tell our own stories.

Let us be sexual beings.

Stop hiding who we really are with stereotypes.

We need more Asian heroes and heroines. Not your model minority bullshit that you love to perpetuate. We need the bad bitch Asians, the artists. We need change.

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#NotYourAsianSidekick

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Aggretsuko is all of us

Move aside anamorphic nude anxiety-filled egg yolk, Sanrio’s newest character is bound to steal all our hearts in 2017. Why? Because she is all of us at some point in our lives.

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Image Source: Sanrio. Aggretsuko ©2015 SANRIO CO. LTD. I am in no way affiliated with or claiming any ownership of Sanrio or any of its characters.

Aggretsuko is a cute, seemingly shy, single 25-year old red panda who works as an office associate in the big city of Tokyo, Japan. She’s always dreamt of working in such a highly respected office but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. She works long hours and is constantly being taken advantage of by her apathetic bosses while being bothered by her talkative colleagues (primarily portrayed by a gluttonous, can’t take a hint, hippo). After work she lets loose by downing pints of beer and screaming all her  frustration, anger, and ever so familiar feelings of early 20s disenchantment into a microphone in a karaoke room. We are told to not be fooled by her cute appearance, because on the inside she is a wild animal who knows she’s worth more.

At the end of her introduction trailer, she is seen hobbling down the dark streets of Tokyo, supposedly after a night of drinking with her two office cohorts, declaring, “Tomorrow is a new day!”

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Image Source: Sanrio.

Her story is definitely not a new one, but certainly new in the world of super cute Sanrio. Historically, Hello Kitty and all her friends all have personalities and character traits but never ones that seemed so damn relatable. It’s almost as if Sanrio’s marketing team sat down and said, “Hey, let’s analyze where our initial audience is in this point and time in their lives now and make a character that will appeal to them now.” I’m actually almost certain that’s what they did because how else would they have developed a character that hit us so much in the feels?!

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Hello Kitty, Hello Art! by Sanrio & Roger Gastman

I mean, I absolutely love Hello Kitty, My Melody and their friends but never once did I think, “Wow I’m just like Hello Kitty. I also perpetually eat apples, bake pastries, and live in a small house in a 2D forest/small town and ambiguously go to grade school?…” Although, Hello Kitty’s simple design and lack of mouth may be Sanrio’s largest statement, as her character is open to interpretation and can be different symbols to different people. There is something about her plain and clean design that leaves much to the imagination that allows for her to be a muse to many artists and her audience alike.

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Image Source: Sanrio

 

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Image Source: Emilys Diary

Sanrio’s previous new addition, Gudetama, is arguably another attempt at targeting a niche audience. Gudetama is literally an egg yolk, who is so lazy to the point it would seem he is suffering from crippling anxiety. He likes retreating into his egg whites and hiding from the world. I would say that he was the product of a generation of Tumblr “sad girls” and “sad boys” whom unite via Internet and face enormous social anxiety. His plain and pained appearance is reminiscent to the self-depcracating trend of comparing yourself to a potato. Gudetama never appealed to me personally because of his unattractive appearance. I definitely sympathize with his character, but I wouldn’t want to own items with him on it because of his very pained, slightly constipated looking, appearance. I’m thinking Sanrio realized this and decided to go back to the drawing board with Aggretsuko.

The main reason I think Aggretsuko will steal our hearts is that she’s relatable. She faces real life problems, one that plights many post-college graduates who have no idea what they’re doing. She also faces the harsh reality of realizing our dreams aren’t always what we thought. Many times, we are told to shoot for the stars and we romanticize the images we see on social media of trust fund babies relaxing at beach resorts wearing Gucci flip-flops. In reality, when we graduate and actually land an entry-level job or internship we find ourselves paying off student loans and therefore making re-introduction to cup noodles. Besides being relatable, Aggretsuko actually has a solid personality as well as being attractive, indulges in adult vices such as alcohol and staying out late. In conclusion, I’m excited to see more of Aggretsuko and her character development this upcoming year. Sanrio, you’ve done it again.

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Image Source: Sanrio