Kim wasn’t one of those kids playing outside. She was inside in her room, voraciously reading and writing. Here, Kim created space in her imagination to, as she says, “be as big as I felt.” A deep hunger for learning drove Kim to university. She quickly realized this wasn’t the type of learning she was looking for. With the imagination and resiliency she fostered as a child, Kim carved her own path, using her voice to create spaces for others.
- Apply for every scholarship, not just the ones that directly apply to you. So maybe you’re not orphaned, left-handed, seven feet tall, and a third-generation Bahraini American, but you’ve found a hefty scholarship for people who are? Apply anyway! Some scholarships are so obscure or have such narrow guidelines that they don’t attract a sufficient number of applicants, but the money needs to go to somebody. Might as well be you! Be efficient with your time, though. If it’s a $500 scholarship that requires a ten-page essay, consider whether or not it’s worth the time and effort.
- Watch YouTube. I kid you not, YouTube can help you win funding. You can learn a lot from online videos, most of which are free to watch. There are channels dedicated to everything from cooking to electrical engineering to weight training. Find a channel that applies to your potential major, then apply what you’ve learned online to your everyday life and classes. Practice in your free time, and keep a record of your accomplishments online or in a portfolio. You’re more likely to win grants and scholarships when you’re already prepared and good at what you’re studying!
- Join clubs, in and outside of your school. Again, the money goes to those who show the most promise. You’ve got to show that you’re willing to learn and be active in your interests. For example, if you’re interested in journalism, start writing for your school’s newspaper, and get a student membership in a guild like the Society of Professional Journalists. (Sounds like a lot to handle? Welcome to real life! Better make it work.)
- Know somebody. If you’re Bill Gates’s niece, of course you’re going to get a great college education. But you’re not, are you? And because you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you’re going to have to earn the privilege of higher ed. Good people skills will make your quest a whole lot easier. Ask your teachers if they know an industry professional who might be willing to let you interview them about their career, or, if you’re a real rockstar, find an industry function near you and attend it. Be personable and friendly. Never ask for mentorship or recommendations from someone you’ve just met. Remember, building trust in relationships takes time.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be aggressive. Ask for recommendations for internships from professionals and instructors. If you’ve been doing great work, and maintaining good relationships, getting an internship — or a lead for one — will be a snap. It’s amazing how willing seasoned pros can be to help the next generation.
A guy on the train asked me the other day, “Is there an opposite form of Feminism? Are there Masculinists out there, fighting for men’s rights the same way women do?”
Outside, I smiled snarkily. But inside, I was like:
Yes, there is a faction of people dedicated to attaining and maintaining the rights of American men! They are called Men’s Rights Activists, or MRAs. Where feminism has caught a bad rap for several instances of perceived hypocrisy, MRAs are our mirrors in every way, except predominantly male. Despite the male gender being at the top of the food chain in nearly every industry imaginable, MRAs consider themselves the most oppressed and victimized demographic in middle America.
I’m not discounting the significance of protecting men’s specific rights, mind you. I believe men should have the right to have custody of their children, for example, if the man is the most capable parent for them, instead of those rights automatically going to the mother. Not every woman is bound to be a model parent (I am a prime example, and for the sake of humanity plan on getting my tubes tied), so the tendency for courts to bestow custody to moms almost without trial, on the assumption that she, as a woman, is hardwired to be a mother, is absurd.
But, do we all understand how this is not a specifically male issue? The reason why many courts sway towards the female parent in custody battles is because childcare is primarily seen as a woman’s duty.
Another issue cited by MRAs is that men are seen by society as the “disposable gender,” the ones that go to war and never come back – which concerns me, given the fact that MRAs also tend to be against women serving in the military altogether, claiming them weak, strategically challenged, and incompetent. (Although, biologically speaking, females are not physically built for combat, barring women from service and then complaining that men are the only ones in combat is deserving of another Grumpy Cat.)
Men monopolize careers that have to do with bricklaying, electrical engineering, mechanics, and other lines of work which require power tools and heavy lifting. Y’know, manly-man things. You might spot a woman or two here and there, but not often.
The most female-dominated industries in America involve childcare, homemaking, teaching, and secretarial work. Thankfully, our primary careers actually ask for resumes and no longer require being barefoot or pregnant, but we’re still largely about “taking care” of stuff, from screaming babies to paperwork.
Gender roles are oppressive to everybody, including men. Given that many MRA issues are really just gender role beefs, shouldn’t they be called “Gender Role Activists” instead?
Cruising through Twitter this morning I found this picture of the historical icon Rosie the Riveter, who apparently had some “me” time and got a makeover, looking extra glam with her work shirt unbuttoned, hair curled up and red lipstick perfectly applied. History, meet the Internet, where everything is sexy!
She’s still in uniform, just a little cuter, and slightly more naked:
This confuses me a bit. I mean, what is this new iteration of a women’s empowerment icon trying to prove here? She’s still saying “We Can Do It!” so surely she must intend to do something, but she’s taking down her hair and unbuttoning her shirt like she just got home from the thing she’d intended to do.
You can rivet in red lipstick, I guess. It doesn’t hinder your ability to rivet, so why not? You can even rivet with your breasts hanging out if you want to, though I’m sure that could be a hazard in some way. Accidental projectile hardware straight to the boobs, perhaps.
It’s an odd juxtaposition, though. Just before the original Rosie donned her uniform and scarf, women were expected to wear ultrafeminine clothing and makeup, and if they were permitted to work, it would be in a subservient career that always enforced and perpetuated gender roles, like teaching or nursing. Here, Rosie’s back to the pre-1940’s pinup makeup style, with a daring new neckline that would have gotten her fired on the spot.
Hell, maybe it’s not about the work. Maybe, after the work is done, it’s about wearing your hair, your clothes, your makeup the way you want, because they’re yours. Or maybe it’s not.
You know about Rule 34 of the Internet, right? Rule 34 states that anything that exists in life, be it real or fictional, has porn of it available on the internet for your viewing pleasure. She could just be wearing her stuff on her terms, or she could, as her facial expression suggests, be taking off her clothes for the viewer. The fact (and yes, it is a fact) that every female character or icon has been transformed into pinups and porn allows the viewers of these images, predominantly straight men, to believe that these women, real or fictional, are there to pander to their sexual needs, allowing for the opportunity to color their mentalities when associating with women in real life.
What do you think of Rosie’s new look? Is she pandering to an audience, or just being fabulous?