For all of my feminist beliefs, I still find myself affected by the pro-abstinence teachings that I grew up with. If the story of True Love Revolution proves anything, it’s that these sexist doctrines can spring up anywhere — whether that’s in a Southern public school or on a purportedly liberal campus like Harvard.
In 2017, two Harvard professors launched the Embedded EthiCS program, hoping to “bring ethical reasoning into the Computer Science curriculum.” But few students take the program seriously, and many even consider it “funny-bad.” At a time when tech-ethics seems more important than ever, what’s going on?
Before I thought of simply sparking a conversation with my years-old crush, I was repeating variations of 'I don’t chase, I attract,' convinced of its effectiveness by the TikTok creators whom I watched. But testing the concept wasn’t the problem. The problem was that I had believed that such techniques were a convenient shortcut to actual change in my life.
On manifestation TikTok, superstitions and unfounded techniques promise the fruition of anything you desire. The more I scrolled, the more I was told to repeat phrases, to embrace my delusions, or to use an audio for good luck.
As I reflected on my own relationship to racial fetishization, I discovered that it was overwhelmingly forged through ambiguity: ambiguous interactions, ambiguous responses, and ambiguous feelings. The instances that prompted my immediate, visceral disgust felt secondary to the instances that left me uncertain, on the precipice of being shoved into a tired cultural script but clinging to the hope that I’d hold my ground.
Is it vulnerable or honest about the reality of being at this school? Or is it playing to an aesthetic standard of what a Harvard student is supposed to be: personality, friendships, and academic success, all in one? These performances feed into a perception, however misguided, of students at Harvard and other elite universities as universally capable and flawless super-students, without even the possibility of failure.
My shame of being found reading Colleen Hoover stemmed from a culture of intellectual snobbery — feeling superior and prideful about the type of culture you consume. It’s the person who prides themselves on their knowledge of “classical” literature, listing off the last names of authors such as John Milton, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen as if they are family friends.
Postmates, the food delivery app owned by Uber, announced "The Bottom-Friendly Menu" in 2022 Pride Month campaign. Though the project was conceptualized team of BGLTQ employees, it fails to scrutinize the terms we use for ourselves.
People wanted to hear the story of a white, conservative, evangelical woman from the South publicly endorsing vaccines, especially in the wake of a global pandemic that could be put to rest if those millions of “crazy evangelicals” just got the vaccine. But this, I soon realize, is not the story that matters most — at least, not to Katherine.