Women Are Not Your Punching Bag

By Kat Paterson

TW: Sexual violence and abuse

From partners to father figures to brothers and friends, women cannot seem to escape the violent tendencies that many men are plagued by. It seems as though every woman in the United States can recount at least one time that they felt threatened or were threatened by a man. The sad fact of the matter is that it seems like every woman has a story, because almost everyone does. One in three women are likely to experience physical violence from an intimate partner and one in ten women have been raped by their partner. 

One would assume that if they are in a relationship with a man and that man loves them that they are safe, but unfortunately that is not the case. In a CNN article titled “Men tell Oprah why they beat the women they love,” two men describe the way that they were feeling when they were the abusers in their relationships. The one man details the times that he beat his wife to the point where he thought he might kill her. He says that he would be filled with blind rage and experience tunnel vision where all he could see and feel was his anger. He has since been able to learn to control himself and his anger and he is no longer beating his wife, but he says that he believes that he became abusive because it was all he knew. He claims to have grown up in an abusive household where he never learned how to de escalate his feelings and emotions so instead he would use his wife as a punching bag to release his anger. However, the instances that sparked his rage were not just him being angry, it was him realizing he did not have complete and total control over his wife and that is what enraged him. 

In a world that is run by men, controlled by men, and created for men, men often forget that they cannot control other people, and especially not their significant others. There are similar behaviors in abusers that are often linked to control issues such as being manipulative, trying to be in charge of all aspects of the relationship, and they also typically think of themselves as the true victims. Even the man from the aforementioned CNN article believed to be a victim himself because he grew up in an abusive household so how is he to know how to control his anger? The truth is that he could have broken the cycle, he could have fought his urge to strike another human being, but he didn’t until his wife said she would leave him and take their kids with her if he hit her again. In almost all instances abuse stems purely from the need to feel in control and more powerful over someone else. It is mostly insecure, weak men who are the first to strike a woman and until all men go through therapy, no one is safe. Unfortunately, most abusive men won’t end up in therapy until it is court mandated.





Tik Tok: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

By Ann Lindsey Williams

Where it All Began

Social Media has been a heavy influence on society since the early 2000s. In 2004, MySpace reached a million active users. This achievement seemed like a lot but it is just a fraction of the activity that occurs in the world of social media today. The major social media sites that are used today are Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, Facebook, Youtube, and Snapchat. This article is going to focus primarily on the app Tik Tok and the ways that it is changing the world. 

Tik Tok launched in September of 2016 but already has 689 million users as of January 2021. This makes it one of the leading platforms in social media and these apps have been around years longer. Different industries such as music, fashion, and entertainment have been seriously changed since the app has gained popularity. Tik Tok’s number of users have skyrocketed during the Corona Virus Pandemic. With people being in lockdown, they had more free time to scroll on Tik Tok and the app really started becoming relatable. Whether it’s the DIY, food, fashion, music, or dance side of Tik Tok, there is something that everyone can relate to. 

Sounds and the Rise of Music

Sounds are a huge part of what makes the app the hot topic that it is. Users can save sounds that they like and create videos off of them. Almost every video has a song or sound to it that other people frequently use. Songs that haven’t been played on the radio in 10 years have blown up on the app and been a chart topper by the next day. For example, the song “Please don’t go” by Mike Posner was popular hit in 2010 and today it is the top trending song in the world. Gaining recognition that it didn’t get the first time it was popular. Tik Tok is playing such a pivotal role in the music industry because people hear songs being repeated on the app and then that transfers over to them wanting to hear it on the radio or in a store/restaurant. It is also the best place to promote music and artist. This gives smaller artist who might not have the connections or money to make it in the old music industry an in.

Change in Fashion

The fashion industry has remained somewhat stable throughout the years in terms of what models look like and how things are run. Tik Tok is having a huge effect on fashion, particularly fast-fashion. Designers and models are now being discovered just by gaining a good amount of followers from using the app. For example, Wisdom Kaye has become super popular because of the way he dresses. This eventually lead to him getting signed by one of the top agency’s in the world. Fast-Fashion is criticized for being unethical and a huge part of waste. Tik Tok is known the promote places like Shien, Princess Polly, and Zafal. This causes a lot of controversy because it leads to fashion waste and sweatshops. These places are making a ton of money because of the app. If a clothing item goes “viral” on Tik Tok it will be sold out for months. The fashion industry has been changed for good because of this app. 

Entertainment Industry and New Rise of Influencer Culture

The entertainment industry is slowly but surely adding social media influencers as a type of talent or celebrity.  Normal people like Addison Rae, or Dixie Damelio are gaining millions of followers on the app causing them to surpass celebrities who have been around for a lot longer and are more established. These people sometimes do not have a single talent, they just know how to use the app. The easiest way to get famous now a day is to “blow up” on Tik Tok. This allows more people who might not have famous relatives or luck at that “one and a million” shot to become famous. This gives people more access to make money and become an influencer.    

Overall Tik Tok has changed many things about the world and it is only going to continue. This app will only grow with more and more users and will develop as technology evolves. The future is Tik Tok and there is nothing anybody can do to stop it. 

Sources: https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20201216-how-tiktok-changed-the-world-in-2020; https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/10/style/what-is-tik-tok.html; https://harvardpolitics.com/the-future-is-tiktok/

More than a Cancelable Offense

By Allie Bloom

Content Warning: The following piece contains language and accounts of sensitive topics including sexual misconduct, harassment, assault, and rape.

The Me Too movement is a perfect example of how holding people accountable for their actions can lead to great change. The normalization of exposing people, especially powerful people, for their heinous acts is something that will improve society for the better.

From celebrities to secretaries, survivors used the #MeToo on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter to share their experiences. This trend made it abundantly clear how corrupt and disgusting this patriarchal society we live in is. Major names like Bill Cosby, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, and most notably Harvey Weinstein have been taken down. Out of Hollywood, off the streets, and a few were even put in prison.

The movement’s roots can be traced to social activist Tarana Burke. Burke coined the phrase “Me Too” on Myspace to bring to light the frequency at which sexual assault occurs, particularly against women of color. From there, the movement picked up in 2017 when actress Alyssa Milano brought Burke’s message to mainstream media.

Sexual misconduct doesn’t just include rape. For far too long people, typically men, have used their power and wealth to leverage people “beneath” them into non-consensual sexual acts. From major producers and film makers to the manager at a grocery store, this coercion tactic has been treated as acceptable until recent years.

Apple TV’s “The Morning Show” starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon creates a frighteningly accurate depiction of what occurs behind the scenes of workplaces all over the world.

In a world where 90% of sexual violence perpetrators towards women are men, and 93% of sexual violence perpetrators towards men are also men, this is clearly a men’s issue. This culture where men with money and power can get away with anything, needs to be teared down and reconstructed. We live in a world where you can’t take the subway too late at night because you’ll get abducted but if you take an Uber alone you might get human trafficked. We live in a world where a cop can rape a detainee and get away with it because he’s a cop. Middle school girls can’t wear shorts in the summer because it might give boys the wrong idea. How about instead of sexualizing children, we teach boys not to get the wrong idea?

Nothing sickens me more than when someone, usually an older man, says something along the lines of “You can’t get away with anything anymore!” or “People are so sensitive these days.” Sexual assault is not a new phenomenon, people are just finally gaining the courage to speak out and no longer facilitate a culture of compliance.

There is a fine line between Twitter users eager to “cancel” the next influencer to slip up or misspeak, and to hold a sex criminal responsible for forcing someone to endure lifelong trauma. Just the other day a friend of mine said to me, “How can you come for me for watching a Harvey Weinstein movie, when you still listen to Lana Del Rey?” The difference between the two is that Lana was cancelled for dating a cop and the other is Harvey Weinstein. People are far too quick to clump accountability and cancel culture into one phenomenon. Accountability allows people to grow. We can’t go on allowing some of the most dangerous people to be running the world.





Alternatives to Fast Fashion

By Sarah Scott

Fast fashion is an unethical way to produce and consume clothing. This industry is riddled with child labor, unethical wages, overproduction, and waste. These companies prey on consumer’s insecurities, plotting a new body type to be the trend of the week so that people will buy more clothes. Self-image and a sense of fashion identity is being deteriorated by fast fashion. It is becoming more difficult to stray away from trends and hold true to and develop your own sense of fashion when trends saturate the market. Trends are in our social media, in advertisements, and perpetuated by the people we talk to. While the companies are completely at fault here, to escape this vicious cycle, shopping more sustainably and mindfully can provide a solution from the consumer. 

Thrift stores and buying second hand is a great way to reduce your environmental impact, be ethical with your spending, and develop personal style. Thrifting is cheap, but not always easy. You have to dig through racks of clothes to find something that you actually want to buy. Finding the right size, style, and cleanliness can be a challenge, but if you have the privilege of time, this is a great option for you. It can also be a fun activity to replace going to the mall with friends. The pieces you find at thrift stores are often more unique and higher quality than those bought from fast fashion, while paying about the same price or cheaper. It is more ethical and sustainable because the clothes have already been made. 

Going off of the recommendation of buying secondhand, you could organize a clothing swap with friends and family. This is a great way to get rid of clothes that may not fit you or your sense of style anymore, or those regrettable online purchases. Something that is not for you may look great on your friend. This works best when everyone is around the same size, but you can also trade accessories like hats or jewelery. 

Shopping from small businesses is the last recommendation for an alternative to fast fashion. While this might not be the most environmentally friendly option, it is still more ethical than fast fashion. Be sure that you do your research and trust the small brand or business you are purchasing from. Look for if they pay their workers fair wages, how they manufacture their clothes, and where they source their materials from.

Reform: What is it good for?

By Tyler Paz

As we approach the one-year date of the Minneapolis and George Floyd rebellion, Derek Chauvin has been convicted on all three counts.

During the month long trial, police departments across the country have continued to kill at least three people a day. About ~10 miles from the site of Chauvin’s trial, the Minneapolis Police Department had shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20-year old African-American man. Chauvin’s guilty verdict has led many to believe that “justice was served” in regards to George Floyd. On the night of April 20th, the day of the jury’s decision, a Columbus police officer had shot and killed 16-year old Ma’Khia Bryant. On a day where politicians gave speeches about it was “a new day in the US”, yet again another police officer had murdered a teenager. Where do we go from here? There seems to be two views on this: police reform and police abolition.

Reform is define as making changes in order to improve it. Of course, lets improve police. Some common examples of police reform are body cameras, requiring more training, increasing the budget of police departments nationwide, and my favorite, painting Black Lives Matter on city streets. A common link among all of these reforms is the premise of throwing money at the problem, hoping it will fix itself. Such reforms tend to strengthen police power and oversight. What reformers tend to ignore is that the police are a tool for the ruling class to keep the white supremacist status quo.

Another way to solve America’s policing issue is the route of abolition. Abolition is the action or act of officially ending or stopping something. Police abolition, in particular, advocates replacing the current policing system with other forms of public safety. Abolitionists believe that the system of policing is inherently flawed and cannot and will not be able to be reformed. I’m sure we’re all aware of the phrase “Defund the Police”, which to some, is a pathway towards the abolishment of police. By taking money (thus power) away from the police and reinvesting it towards our communities, abolitionists argue that this will eliminate the need for the police, as people’s basic needs will be met. The NYPD has a budget of $6 billion, imagine what that money could do for schools, mental illness, parks, libraries, literally anything else would be a better use for the money.

Please Don’t Cancel Me

By Allie Bloom

From Dr. Suess to Full House’s Danny Tanner, it seems as though we really can’t enjoy anything anymore. Odds are, in the past few years you’ve had some form of media that you truly loved, ruined after news breaking of the lead singer of your favorite band being charged with sexual assault, or the star of your comfort childhood movie being a Neo-nazi.

So where do we draw the line? What is a cancelable offense vs. a mistake? Is redemption possible? How do we know if an apology is genuine? These are all questions that have crossed my mind as I navigate through this crazy mixed up world.

Cancel culture is hugely popular amongst internet celebrities. Some of the biggest scandals in recent years involve racist YouTube stars like Jeffree Star, pedophile beauty gurus like James Charles, and racist pedophiles like Shane Dawson. While their careers were destroyed (for now), creators such as Tea Spill and Rich Lux, who’s sole job is to expose celebrities wrong doings, thrive.

Uncancelling yourself doesn’t seem that difficult to do, if you have the money for a good PR team of course. Popular YouTube star Logan Paul taught influencers everywhere, that you can talk your way out of anything. Known for outrageous stunts, Paul’s greatest claim to fame is his 2017 Suicide Forest vlog. Fans and critics alike were appalled when the YouTuber featured an actual dead body, hanging from a tree in his video. A person who died in the most tragic of ways, was used for what Paul considered comedy. It seemed impossible to come back from this. But after an apology video and a $250,000 donation to The National Suicide Prevention Hotline, the now boxer appeared on Fox’s hit show “The Masked Singer,” just this month.

The Masked Singer US: Major YouTube star revealed as ...
Logan Paul on “The Masked Singer”

So why does Logan Paul just get to bounce back? More mainstream than ever? How come when Tik Tok’s Lil Huddy was caught using the N slur, he still books gigs in music videos with major stars like Machine Gun Kelly? But when an old video of some girl in my sister’s new college groupchat lip synching a song with the N slur in it, she was chastised into transferring to a new school. When Kathy Griffin posed for a photo with Donald Trump’s decapitated head, she was outcast from society. But when Donald Trump himself has been accused of sexual misconduct and assaulting countless women, he still got to be the president.

‘Vile’ and ‘disturbing’ video depicting Trump’s severed ...
Comedian Kathy Griffin holding what looks like Donald Trump’s severed head.

I’m not defending any of these people’s actions. The movement is inconsistent and doesn’t allow people to learn or grow. A Jubilee video on YouTube described the situation quite well when discussing whether or not to cancel someone for an error in judgement. The participant said “It’s like having a cut on your arm and saying let’s just cut the whole thing off.” It’s far easier to just discard of someone than to help them mature.







Mirror, Mirror: Living with Borderline

By Cevin Faudoas

Who’s the least aware of them all?

It’s hard to have peace because everyone is talking over one another 

We’re all living in our own little universes even talking over ourselves. 

Then, we yell. Our opinions based on our experience over everyone else’s.

Is that not what this is? 

The rich have found a way to build a system, to keep us all in order.. 

they get to do whatever they want, they don’t worry about where they will sleep one night, where their kids will get food, or if they can afford that medical bill.

We are the puppets. 

They feed individuals information and they suck it all up. Like pleasure inside a fucking crack needle. 

The media, big companies, corporations, allll of them! 

Parents, Guardians, they’re all so close, so blind. They’re so trusting of words.

The rich vs. the non rich (everyone middle class – poor) 

We collectively all need to change our minds, as human beings. Individually we need to work on ourselves. For the greater good of the future society.

Why are they afraid to look in? To face their truths. So they continue to puppet on, to play the game, they follow the rules, they are stuck in the everyday cycle of modern society and life. They play the roles of business partners, co-worker, socialites, officers, etc.. it’s the people who come into my coffee shop every morning, and make meaningless conversation while I pour milk over their shitty $7 a cup espressos, they are afraid. 

Maybe all philosophers just had anxiety. And that’s why they overthought so much.

What I tell myself to keep my mind from suffocating in this dusty experience we call living: 

Bring awareness to moments in your life where you’re choosing to argue with or create a problem with reality. 

Every moment is a string till you get to death so each moment you can get better. 

If you’re angry it’s because of what you’re believing that’s making you angry. You have the power to change that feeling in you. Just change your mind.

Your energy gets embedded into your communication 

Acknowledge your battles. 

Be transparent, it creates connections.

Say what you struggle with, everybody has battles 

You’re always creating a result before you ever experience something, so create a positive one. 

All I know is that I know nothing.

Or maybe I should die, and get out while I can. 

The mirror says back to me, it’s you.

Mental Health Stigma, Targeting the Black Community: Young, Black, & Not Okay.

By Cevin Faudoas

The ultimate pain is feeling like you’re sitting in the middle of a street, suffocating, and no one can see you.  Feeling like your suffering is invisible to the world, as well as the torment you have stirring inside, no one can help you or cares about you. Your life is flashing before your eyes. A million thoughts running through your mind, but not a single person to tell them to. You think eventually someone will notice you aren’t okay and save you, but that hope immediately becomes a dream that’ll never be a reality. The worst part is, this kind of pain is incurable, and that is how I have felt my entire life. 

Black people have been brainwashed to believe that depression and other mental issues are a weakness. Specifically speaking, people born into generation “y” and generation “z” tend to avoid dealing and coming to terms with their feelings. Most of them thrive on the assumption that they are either too good for them, don’t possess a need to address them, or that they simply just cease to exist. The conversation black young adults need to have about their feelings is long overdue, mainly because it’s negatively affecting their mental health.  

What black young adults are going through, typically are unseen because they are forced by many factors to hide behind a socially constructed mask. Factors that include (but not limited to) family, financial stability, or parental relationships. This causes an oxymoronic pain because their culture is the cause. Black culture is stronger than narcotics. Such a powerful culture influences who you have to be and what you can and cannot do. Emotions easily remain hidden by personality traits like humor and charm.

 I’ve Personally seen men self-destruct from depression and anxiety because of the way they were raised or because of an added layer of masculinity painted on by their nationality and cultures.  One of my friends, a black male of caribbean descent, is known for his humor and ability to make anyone in a room laugh hysterically, but I am the only one who is aware of the pain he feels everyday because his father never spoke to him and his mother is dead. On the outside it seems like he’s got it all together, and that’s because he has to seem this way. If the opposite were to happen it would make him seem weak. Black people hold beliefs related to stigma, psychological openness, and help-seeking, which in turn affects their coping behaviors. 

“I would say sadness is an emotion that I typically don’t show. When i’m not happy I normally feel like something’s missing… to deal with this pain, I normally just run or play football” said Shaquan Marryshow, 19 year old black male. Self-destruction is a tough point to get to, once reached there’s no way to look back at it without the memory of the cause of it. I remember waking after my first suicide attempt, and wanting to have some sort of outlet, then never receiving it. According to the US HSS Office of minority health, while black teenagers are less likely than white people to die from suicide as teenagers, black teens are more likely to attempt suicide (8.3 percent vs. 6.2 percent).  

Never having a chance to speak about how you feel keeps emotions from being expressed and only enhances the pain. People wonder why teens cope by drinking and smoking, and the reason is because they sincerely believe that drugs and alcohol do a better job at pacifying their pain than their families can. The issue that is faced with not expressing our emotions through communication directly has to do with the ways in which people were raised. Many Black parents are often heavily insensitive when it comes to emotions, sadness and depression. “Growing up, I was taught relatively early that being sad and feeling inferior to other people is a form of ungratefulness. If I was ever feeling sad, I was always told I have a roof over my head, so there’s nothing to be sad about. Any time I did bring up my feelings, they were deemed as not important and inferior to my parents feelings and I never really figured out why. I didn’t grow up with a lot so I just always learned to make do with what I have, and deal with my issues myself,” said Mariah Ragland, 17 year old black high school student born in a low income neighborhood. Mental health conversations were never had because that would lead parents to believe that something is wrong with the way they raised their child. 

Why is it that people have to feel this way when it comes to something that should be as simple as addressing and solving a problem? Black children are conditioned to believe that it is disrespectful to stand up for yourself, most importantly to their parents because they gave birth to them. Their parents have brainwashed them to believe speaking freely equated disrespect, rather than seeking knowledge through curiosity. The problem is that black parents fail to understand the severity of mental health and how their behavior has affected us. Black families would rather lean heavily on religion for support than to speak with their children about their problems, which is what drives us into depression. 

As I go down my timeline on social media and in real life, I notice there’s a fair amount of people my age who are currently wallowing in self loathe, myself included. Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to recognize that my feelings mattered. Depression is real. Mental health is important. Black people don’t work through depression, instead we find ways to work with it, which bleeds into the ways we live our daily lives. 

Seven months ago, was the last time I almost lost my life to depression. Black people, we have to do a better job at recognizIng mental health issues and depression within each other, rather than seeing people going through a problem and ostracizing it. If this conversation is never had, then we will continue to pass on these traumatic situations onto future generations.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Mental Health. (2016). Mental health and African Americans. Retrieved from http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=24


By Chloe Hwang

In the year 2020, a lot of events took place. The Covid-19 pandemic changed everything in our lives. For students, they went from waking up early and traveling to school for eight hour of classes, five days a week. To online education. For college students, many had to change their living plans suddenly and earn their degrees from their childhood bedrooms. 

March 13 2020 is a day that will forever be labeled as the ‘last normal day’ for all students. This was the day that a lot of schools and universities released a statement to their faculty and students that they will be home for an extra two weeks to help combat the Covid-19 virus. Kentucky suspended all in-person classes starting March 16th for at least two weeks. Ohio made the decision to close all schools from March 16th to at least April 3rd. This affected over 1 million students. Many cities themselves had made the decision to close entire school districts. After those shut down dates came and gone the schools came to the decision to transition to remote learning for the rest of the academic year. 

The transition to zoom university was upsetting and hard for many. Over 100,000 schools and universities from 25 countries used the zoom call application to finish off the year. This benefited the Zoom app greatly financially. By the end of August, Eric Yuan, the founder and CEO of Zoom Video Communications, reported that the company’s revenue grew over 355%. That’s an increase of $644 million for the company. 

In this new age of normal, Zoom has become essential for the education system now. Some universities have discussed moving entire programs to be done through Zoom, since it has been proven to be successful. Students have expressed their dislike in this. Having a Zoom education prevents them from having a real social experience. Many kids have yet to ever step foot into a school setting. They don’t know what it’s like to interact with their classmates in person and this is a concern for many parents. 

As for university students, there are pros and cons for this idea. Many have finally comfortably made the transition to this online learning. Now they would have to relearn how to be in a real classroom setting, which is unsettling. But at the same time, they have expressed how they are missing out on the real college experience. Graduating seniors have said they miss the packed libraries and common hour craziness at pace.

With three different vaccines being rolled out to the public, what is the future academic year looking like for students? Pace University, the New School, and many other universities are pushing for in person classes with the option remote and hybrid classes. Mayor Bill De Blasio is hoping for more regular school life for every student next school year.






The Failure of American Healthcare

The American Healthcare Crisis | E.P.I.C. Magazine Articles

By Philip Migliore

Covid-19 has displayed the complete failure of the American Healthcare system. The recent fair distribution of vaccines this year has led to an increased push for a socialized reform of our current systems. Currently, our healthcare system is the least efficient, effective, and most costly. We are the only country in the developed world that allows citizens to be uninsured, and the only country that allows an employer to determine this. We have a variety of systems in this country that overlap, such as Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran Health Administration, but we have no universal care system. Bankruptcy via medical bills is extremely common in this country, something many deem completely unacceptable. Every human being should be entitled to live without being financially ruined. Many Americans refuse ambulance trips to the hospital in dire circumstances, as they cannot afford it.

The system is so broken, that we already spend more on healthcare than any other country in the world, reaching $3.5 trillion in 2017. Insurance premiums are so high, nearly 45 million Americans are uninsured. Private insurance is the root of evil here. These companies and hospitals are incentivized to squeeze out as much money as they can, and it very rarely feels like your best interests are in mind. In the context of something like health, why would you want a primary motivator to be greed? With a centralized system, costs would be reduced, and every citizen would be able to receive the care they need. Many argue that taxes would go up, but would you rather be financially ruined if something bad were to happen to you? So many people avoid going to the doctor out of fear, and some kind of universal insurance would be the antidote to this. Life expectancy went down this year, to 78.54 years. We’re still behind the United Kingdom and Canada by about 4 years. It doesn’t add up with all the money we put into healthcare. Income inequality is already extreme in America, this could help level the playing field. Every person deserves the same amount of care, despite economic or social status. Many also complain that a universal system would increase wait times, yet if you look at countries like Canada and England, they’re doing just fine.

Covid-19 has drawn a lot of attention to the ways the American healthcare system fails. With free distribution of vaccines, a greater push than ever for change has emerged. Some kind of reform in the system is the clear way forward, whether it be a Hybrid system like the UK, single payer like Canada, or insurance mandate like Germany. I can only hope we elect people with the best interests of the masses in mind, as opposed to lining their own pockets.

Work Cited