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Caitie Karasik
Caitie is a senior majoring in Sociology with a minor in Political Science. She studies generational differences in gender norms, and is particularly interested in the attitudes and behaviors that characterize Millennials ("Generation Y"). Contact her at [email protected] with comments or questions.

Celebrity in the age of new media

Hank Green is right to insist that young people should look past so-called “legacy media” toward innovative and fresh media agents, but this attention should always be proportional and earned before sources of content are judged only by popularity.

Bitch, be careful: The importance of context in language

Whether or not you agree that “bitch” perpetuates a sexist conception of women and should be phased out, the lesson here is that context is everything: words matter, and it is vital to assess their meaning when they are used lest they mindlessly infiltrate our vocabulary like the word “like.” At the very least, people should be careful, speaking with intent not reckless abandon, recognizing exactly what they are saying, why, and to what effect.

Humor and responsibility

This responsibility to know the difference between offense and harm becomes more complicated when we leave the world of professional comedy for Stanford, but using this framework of determining who is the target of a joke is useful. Use humor in art or entertainment responsibly, and think before crossing the line of controversy and offense into more hurtful territory.

Photoshop: An unchecked evil

You don’t have to think all ads should promote realism or a certain body standard. But we should all agree that participating in a world of fiction - body parts that don’t exist - should at the very least necessitate FTC oversight, the kind of oversight it neglected to take on in 2011 or 2014 when it merely proposed laws advocating more research.

The relevance of reality TV

Reality television may seem a trite entity, but its themes demonstrate the power of entertainment to communicate destructive examples of gender roles that become ingrained into individuals and the larger social psyche.

Sympathy and blame: Responding to rape

This seems to be an area in which men – the vast majority of the accused – are blatantly shown higher respect in the aftermath of these events compared to women – most often the victims. Rapists and sexual predators should be punished for their actions, and the level of distrust reserved for victims should not outweigh the level of distrust for perpetrators of sexual violence.

Why you Tinder on campus

The reason millennials in particular seek ease in a dating app is not just to amplify the number of connections. Rather, it is to assuage a valid fear that meeting in person is too risky. It’s risky because we assume that the only thing we’re allowed to ask of the people we meet in person is sexual, not personal.

Harassment 101, part II: At school

The connection between harassment and rape culture, then, becomes a matter of the beliefs that the perpetrators of these acts share. A culture in which harassment is normal directly contributes to a culture in which rape is common and permissible; in which Title IX is a joke, not a law that prohibits unsafe accommodations and environments for women; in which domestic violence leads three women every day to be killed by an intimate partner or former partner. It is important to take these abstract notions of gender and sexuality seriously because beliefs about gender and inequality influence women’s safety.

Harassment 101, part I: On the street

The statistical consensus of social science points to the overwhelming prevalence of street harassment as a gendered phenomenon that targets women disproportionately to men. This demonstrates that it is not sufficient to conclude that some men are malicious. Rather, street harassment represents a norm of a generalized, shared claim that men make to social power, and the ownership of women’s lives and sexual status.

“Taking care of each other” and mental health

You’ve learned to check in with your buddies when they want to drive home from EBF Happy Hour. You’ve learned to guide your girlfriend’s stumbling feet to keep the spikes of her heels from tripping on pavement cracks. It’s time we learn how to check in with regard to mental health – to take care of each other so we don’t let anyone fall through the real cracks.

Let’s talk about sex

Let us catch up to this standard in how we engage in conversations about sex on campus, through active participation in relevant events, active discussion when possible, and active self-education. The alternative? A world in which sex in all its permutations and all its mentions is stuck under the perpetual cloud of gray areas.

Yik Yak: Our anonymous friend or foe?

I was in San Francisco last weekend when a friend remarked, “There’s a sense of anonymity, living in a city, that’s so nice.” And it is nice. Asking the employee wearing yogic attire and a smug smile how to pot a succulent in a flower shop that resembles the stage of a Portlandia sketch. Chowing…
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