Holiday Guide: Books for College Women

Holiday Guide
Being in college usually means you are away from family for the majority of the year, making it hard to know what they want or need. It also usually means they are starting to think about the “after college” life, which can be scary. Here are a list of books that the soon to be grad may appreciate.

THIS IS ON MY CHRISTMAS LIST. I haven’t read it yet. I am so excited though. Since I can’t give personal feedback, just read this tiny excerpt and you’ll be hooked too:
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Chubby for Life

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t chubby. Like being Indian, being chubby feels like it is just part of my permanent deal. I remember being in first grade, in Mrs. Gilmore’s class at Fiske Elementary School, and seeing that Ashley Kemp, the most popular girl in our class, weighed only thirty-seven pounds. We knew this because we weighed her on the industrial postal scale they kept in the teacher’s supply closet. I was so envious. I snuck into the supply closet later that same day to weigh myself. I was a whopping sixty-eight pounds.

Some of the first math I understood was that I was closer to twice Ashley’s weight than to her weight.

“Don’t be closer to twice a friend’s weight than to her actual weight,” I told myself. This little mantra has helped me stave off obesity for more than two decades.

My mom’s a doctor, but because she came from India and then Africa, where childhood obesity was not a problem, she put no premium on having skinny kids. In fact, she and my dad didn’t mind having a chubby daughter. Part of me wonders if it even made them feel a little prosperous, like Have you seen our overweight Indian child? Do you know how statistically rare this is? It will then not come as a surprise to you that I’ve never been thin in my life—except the day I was born, when I was six pounds.

2. Bossypants by Tina Fey
This books is incredibly funny. Like laugh out loud so loud you are a nuisance to those around you. Tina Fey tells her story of balancing her life, how balance doesn’t always work and how that’s okay.
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3. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
I adore Amy Poehler. Everyone loves Amy Poehler. Why shouldn’t they? Getting ready to graduate college, I feel a lot of doubt/insecurity/what the hell am I going to do if I’m not in class 5 days of the week that’s all I’ve ever known. Yes Please is all about confidence and overcoming situations that seem helpless.
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“Required reading for all young women.” – Huffington Post
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“Yes Please is a great story…because it is self-damning and hopeful at the same time.” – Los Angeles Times
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I read this book right when I was beginning to show interest in women’s issues. It was uncomfortable. Sometimes upsetting. Sometimes I vehemently disagreed with the author. But that’s what art is supposed to do. Not everything is neatly packaged and universal. That’s what Dunham’s piece is so great – it challenges you to think for yourself and form your own opinions.
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“Witty, illuminating, maddening, bracingly bleak . . . [Dunham] is a genuine artist, and a disturber of the order.”—The Atlantic
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“We are forever in search of someone who will speak not only to us but for us. . . . Not That Kind of Girl is from that kind of girl: gutsy, audacious, willing to stand up and shout. And that is why Dunham is not only a voice who deserves to be heard but also one who will inspire other important voices to tell their stories too.”—Roxane Gay, Time
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5. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Every girl who loves Beyonce’s “Flawless” should read this extended version of Adichie’s Ted Talk that was featured in the song. We Should All Be Feminists helps define what the 21st century definition of “feminism” really is.
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6. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso
The clothing sold on Nasty Gal perfectly reflects its creator, Sophia Amoruso: Sexy, bold, fearless. Here is a woman who went from shoplifting to creating a $100 million fashion retailer in ten years.
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“[#GIRLBOSS] is part memoir, part management guide and part girl-power manifesto. A sort of Lean In for misfits, it offers young women a candid guide to starting a business and going after what they want.” The Washington Post

“It’s easy to get the sense, reading Lean In, that Sandberg is writing for women who’ve already made it. #GIRLBOSS is for those who haven’t, which means it is aimed at people who have nothing to lose, which makes it a much riskier and more enjoyable manifesto.” New York Magazine


Why I Love Amy Schumer

Today I had a lovely lunch with some co-workers. We discussed the odd cultural trends of insta-famous pets, whether or not it was “creepy” for a single man to have a pet cat (the consensus: no, as long as you don’t have pictures of said cats on your desk), how much one co-worker’s puppy had grown, among other obviously serious topics.

Then something happened.

“I saw Trainwrecked this weekend,”announced one peer.

Another responded, “Is that with Amy Schumer? She is so vulgar.”

“Well, that is essentially what ‘Schumer’ humor is. Vulgar,” concluded the first.

It was agreed, quite simply, that Amy Schumer’s humor was “vulgar”. I wanted to scream that she is brilliant, she is one of my pop culture idols, her jokes make me laugh till I cry while examining their relevance to my own life. The ability for me to disagree seemed to disappear. Maybe it was shock. Or the fact that I am the youngest and newest and feel no ability to strongly express an opinion (which is a personal problem I’m totally working on).

So, here I am, proclaiming my love of Amy in my own quiet corner of the internet.


 

She understands her influence as a public figure. And takes it seriously.

After a shooting at the premier of Trainwcrecked, Amy took up the fight for stricter gun control with her cousin, Chuck Schumer (a senior senator for the state of New York). Her position as a current popular media icon as brought more attention to the Schumers’ proposal for further funding of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Amy reaches a generation and demographic via Twitter and other social media that never would have paid attention to Senator Schumer alone.

In addition, Amy, unlike many comedians, takes responsibility for jokes that no longer reflect her viewpoint. She admits that she is a human and does make mistakes.

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Third, she risked her career by centering her comedy around feminism. I realize that other comedians (Lena Dunham comes to mind) have also centered their career around this topic. However, Amy has achieved success in a different light. Through her stand up and skits, she engages men and womenFeminism isn’t a “female issue.” By using relatable comedy, Amy Schumer is spreading awareness of controversial issues much more effectively than her peers.

 

She makes me happy to be a woman.

schumer 1It is necessary, when discussing feminism, to focus on the social issues women face. Yes, the wage gap sucks. Yes, double-standards suck. Yes, how expensive menstrual products are sucks. Yes, limited reproductive rights suck.

However, we forget to think about why being a women is great. Amy does a wonderful job about putting this into perspective. She accepts herself as funny, sexy and ambitious. She proves to her fans that you can be a funny, sexy ambitious woman. I’m a big believer that positivity is much more effective than hate, and Amy Schumer’s success is a huge testament to that.


In case you are curious:

4 Favorite Schumer Moments

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Music Spotlight: Bad Romance

Lady Gaga explains that “Bad Romance” is about “how the entertainment industry can, in a metaphorical way, simulate human trafficking — products being sold, the woman perceived as a commodity,”


In the past, Lady Gaga had a bad romance with her identification as a feminist. (Was the pun too much?) However, she casually and effortlessly revealed her evolution during an interview with the L.A Times. 

“I’m getting the sense that you’re a little bit of a feminist, like I am, which is good,’ she said [to Ann Powers]. ‘I find that men get away with saying a lot in this business, and that women get away with saying very little . . . In my opinion, women need and want someone to look up to that they feel have the full sense of who they are, and says, ‘I’m great.”’

Earlier in 2009, Lady Gaga gave a striking interview on double standards, but when asked if she was a feminist said “No” and that she loves men, beer, and muscle cars. I’m not sure who told her being a feminist meant no beer, cars or men, but I am glad it got straightened out.  Being at the forefront of challenging gender, sexuality, and beauty standards through lyrics, music videos and performances, it is about time she pushes past stereotypes of feminism and embraces it. 

Below, Lady Gaga explains her newer views on feminism, which I think are stated beautifully. Her art has always challenged and compelled, but now her words do too. 

Watson & Yousafzai – AKA: The Most Awesome Duo Ever

Two women who are typically not associated together, but both inspirational and ground shaking in their own right, sat down for a meeting on November 4th. Who are the women?

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Malala Yousafzai: A brave activist who, despite being attacked by the Taliban, continued to demand equal education opportunities for boys and girls, then going on to become the youngest recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize. On her 18th birthday, she opened a girls school for Syrian refugees.

….Emma Watson

Emma Watson: An actress best known for playing Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, but who drastically challenged her reputation as a pretty actress when delivering a speech on gender equality as the UN Women Goodwill ambassador

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.During this interview (it is really worth a watch!), Yousafzai paid Watson an incredible compliment when saying the following:

“This word, feminism, it has been a very tricky word. When I heard it the first time, I heard some negative responses and some positive ones. I hesitated in saying am I a feminist or not and then after hearing your speech, when you said ‘If not now, when? If not me, who? I decided that there’s no way and there’s nothing wrong by calling yourself a feminist, so I am a feminist. And feminism is another word for equality.”

Watson’s speech (a must watch) was as view-changing as Yousafzai says. Her words called attention to issues that feminism is meant to challenge. Education equality, wage equality, work equality between men and women (Get rid of the “Feminazi” and “Men hater” stereotypes and EDUCATE yourself on the definition of feminism. How are these still used insults?? I saw someone on campus wearing a “Menist” shirt and I wanted to scream). 

Yousafzai and Watson come from different countries, have different lifestyles, different religious views, and likely have different life goals. But each relate and identify as a feminist.

Music Spotlight: Just A Girl

It only makes sense that this blog’s namesake acts as the first Music Spotlight. “Just A Girl” is a single off of No Doubt’s album Tragic Kingdom, released in September 1995. It is the first album where Gwen Stefani wrote all of the lyrics on her own, allowing for more personal influence. When asked about the lyrics, which point out ridiculous female stereotypes, Stefani stated the following:

I wrote that because my dad got mad at me for going to Tony [Kanal, No Doubt bassist]’s house and driving home late at night. I mean, c’mon, I’m, like, going on 30 here! I wouldn’t trade [being female], but I really don’t think guys understand what a burden it can be sometimes.

J. Law and Wage Equality

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I’m over trying to find the “adorable” way to state my opinion and still be likable!

– Jennifer Lawrence

“America’s Girl Next Door” Jennifer Lawrence sparked a conversation amongst Hollywood’s elite with her essay “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars?” published in Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s newsletter. The responses to this essay merit as much, if not more discussion than the essay its self.

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  1. Support of male co-workers

Bradley Cooper:

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Cooper, like Laurence, is outraged by the wage-gap in Hollywood. As such, he commits to negotiating with female co-stars to negotiate salaries before beginning production. Click here to read more about Coopers reaction.
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Josh HutchersonJosh and Jen

“For Jen to use her platform to speak about it in her classic Jen way, just blunt, saying what she thinks, I think it’s great,” Josh said in an interview with MTV. “Obviously it’s something that should have happened decades and decades and decades ago, and the fact that it’s something we’re still dealing with now is f–king embarrassing and shocking.”

Click here to read more of his interview.

  1. Supportive, but not ready for action

Jeremy Renner

First quoted saying: “”That’s not my job,” Renner told Business Insider during an event on Tuesday. “I don’t know contracts and money and all that sort of stuff.” Read more here. 

Clarifying his words via twitter, Renner stated “A person should be rewarded only by their merit or service to their given field. Gender, race, creed, or sexual orientation should have absolutely no influence in pay, positively or negatively.” Read more about Renner’s clarification of his statements here.

  1. Diminishing the issue at hand

Many media outlets have utilized Jennifer Lawrence’s spotlight moment not to discuss an important social issue, but instead to push the issue aside with gossip. Despite Lawrence’s strong stance that pushes industry standards, media outlets are simply speculating about her dating life with the men who have come out to support her (mainly Josh Hutcherson and Bradley Cooper).

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4. Not the people to fight the battle 

Some equal wage activists do not believe this argument should be taken up by rich celebrities. It confuses the debate, making it about celebrities rather than the everyday woman.


I’m really interested to hear other opinions on this topic! Please comment with your thoughts!

Here I am. This is me.

Who Am I?

Hi, I am Amanda. I am a 21-year-old college student studying music business in Nashville, Tennessee. I moved here from a little suburb outside of Los Angeles, California (hence the little “818” at the end of my handle). I love the idea of being in the entertainment industry, but have no clue what I really want to do.

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Why Am I Blogging?

Since I’ve started my adventure into the entertainment industry, I have learned more and more about concerns of gender equality within the field. Of course, every area of business is still experiencing these issues in unique ways. Throughout my various internships and classes, the idea that women have a harder time in this industry has been hinted at, alluded to, but never straight out tumblr_nrhnfpxlr21qfyjoto1_500stated. If issues are never openly addressed, it can never be fixed. I want to create a space filled with information and discussion to, at the very least, start a conversation.

What to Expect?

Some of the content you can expect to be posted includes information about feminism, spotlights on current women within the industry, discussion boards on current issues, and weekly featured music.

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Curious about the title of this post? Click here. 

Also, “I am woman hear me roar”? Click here