Over 230 years ago, a young woman named Deborah Samson fled her role as an indentured servant in Massachusetts, disguised herself as a man, and enlisted in the Continental Army. About two centuries later, her descendent Alex S. Myers ’00 came out as a transgendered man and was the first openly transgender person to attend Harvard.
As a news source, Buzzfeed is hyperbolic, exploitive, and desensitizing. As a fun site for lists and gifs, it whitewashes individualized colorful experiences and feeds a narcissistic nostalgia already too prevalent among our generation
What on earth do incarcerated women and Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” have in common? Absolutely nothing, you may think. I thought similarly until I saw an incredible all-female production last week of “Julius Caesar” at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York. Modern re-imaginings of Shakespeare are of course nothing new—and sometimes, they are painfully terrible. But this version of “Julius Caesar,” directed by Phyllida Lloyd of “Mamma Mia” and “The Iron Lady” fame, is entirely successful in its creativity and innovation.
Last week was an exciting one in Boston with the election of Martin J. Walsh to serve as the 54th mayor. But even with all the Boston news buzzing around me, my attention the past week has still primarily focused on the mayoral election at home in New York City.
On YouTube, anyone can find a home. There are the amateur twerkers, the singers trying to go viral with their renditions of “Wrecking Ball,” the comedians, the rappers, the cats, the news reporters’ bloopers, and the politicians’ filibusters. I am happy all of these different types of videos have found a haven on YouTube and personally spend many hours watching marriage proposal fails. But lately, it seems more and more that YouTube’s welcoming nature towards content is also dangerous. It has become an outlet for crime, criminals, and violence. Everything from videos of beheadings to gang initiations, YouTube too often gives violence a popular forum where an audience can watch and learn.
Instead of turning people off with their bloodthirsty acts, these three female killers are often seen as examples of empowered, tough female role models. But with these labels, an uncomfortable question arises: are these women seen as powerful because they are violent? In other words, for viewers and readers who worship these fierce women, does violence equal power?
But, I feel I finally need to draw the line with one specific aspect about Harvard’s finance culture: the pervasive atmosphere around campus that upon graduation, banking and consulting are the only “real jobs” and everything else is a failure.
Benson is not perfect, but she is almost always noble and just. If she does ever die on the show, it will be as crushing a blow to the fictional fight for human good as the death of Albus Dumbledore in “Harry Potter” or Ned Stark in “Game of Thrones.” She is a reminder that real heroes can exist—people who constantly try to help others and yet at the end of the day, are human and susceptible to mistakes.
The death of adorable Gale, too—if you really wanted to still love Walter—could be seen as a desperate act of survival. But now, as the fifth and final season approaches its end, I deeply hate Walter White, and it constantly shocks me how many people still defend and love him. His badness used to be fun. Now it just makes me sick.
We must not be afraid to defend her, especially if people insist on criticizing her pantsuits or her makeup. If we are ready for Hillary, then we must be ready to fight against the misogynistic blather that so disfigured the mainstream media last time.