“My manager told us we will work as a prostitute. I’m still virgin. I tell my friend I don’t want this work because I cannot give myself to anybody … My boss tell me I sign contract, I cannot go back Philippines. I’m afraid I have AIDS.”
-Anna, Philippines (MSNBC, 2007).
Part I-The Problem: Sexual Trafficking
According to the United States Federal Government, sexual trafficking means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person. Today, the United Nations estimates that an approximate 27 million people currently exist as sexual trafficked persons. This number is greater than the number of slaves held in captivity during the Atlantic Slave Trade at any one point. The United Nations cites sexual trafficking as the fastest growing, and most profitable international organized crime, taking in between $9-$30 billion dollars in profit annually. Around 50% of all trafficked persons are 18 and under (Hodge, 2000). The three top countries from which traffickers find their victims are Romania, Thailand, and Japan. The three top countries to which these people are trafficked are Italy, Canada, and, perhaps surprisingly, the United States (Hodge, 2000).
Many people fall victim to sexual trafficking. The traffickers target people living in poverty and play on their desperation, promising new jobs in other countries. These victims trust their predators but find themselves far away from home and forced to live as prostitutes through violence and black mail. Other times, victims are kidnapped.
Despite the prevalence of sexual trafficking in America, the country remains ill equipped to deal with the problem. Only four shelters exist in the United States that specifically cater to the needs of trafficked persons. These shelters exist in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Columbus, Ohio (Not For Sale Campaign, 2009). Furthermore, the United States has only passed one set of laws, the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act,” which deals with the problems of sexual trafficking. In the first section of this act, the government plainly states, “Additional research is needed to fully understand the phenomenon of trafficking in persons and to determine the most effective strategies for combating trafficking in persons” (United States Congress, 2008).
Part II-“Modern Day Slavery”- Sexual Trafficking vs. Slavery
Social workers often refer to sexual trafficking as “modern day slavery.” In fact, many similarities between the Atlantic Slave Trade and modern sexual trafficking exist. Between 1680 and 1865, around 500,000 slaves were brought to America. These slaves, mainly taken from Africa, found themselves subject to abuse of all forms, including sexual abuse (Randall, 1997). Slave traders, like traffickers, preyed on those in poverty by convincing African tribes to sell their own into slavery. Slave traders also kidnapped many of their slaves. Like the sexually trafficked, slaves often experienced physical and sexual abuse.
Part III-Research Question
My researched compares the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act” with the laws of the Atlantic Slave Trade that protected slaves from sexual abuse. I hope to resolve the shortcomings of the United States federal laws by finding strengths I the laws of the slave trade. I hypothesized that I would find slave trade laws, or aspects of them, that could be applied to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act to help curb the incidents of sexual trafficking in America.
Part IV-“Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act”
All American legislation concerning human trafficking resides in the “William Wilberford Human Trafficking Reauthorization Protection Act of 2008.” William Wilberford, born in England in 1759, adamantly fought for the abolition of slavery in Europe (“William Wilberforce,” 2010). It therefore seems appropriate, as many now refer to sexual trafficking as “modern day slavery,” that this act be named after him. Congress passed the first protection act in 2008. The legislation received revisions in 2005, 2007, and most recently in 2008. Four sections exist within the act itself: Combating International Trafficking In Persons, Combating Trafficking In Persons In The United States, Authorizations of Appropriations, and Child Soldiers Prevention. The first three sections contain the majority of the sexual trafficking laws.
The first line of the act states the purpose: “To authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2008 through 2011 for the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, to enhance measures to combat trafficking in persons, and for other purposes (United States government). Made clear through both the title and the stated purpose, this act aims to decrease the prevalence of human trafficking nationally and internationally, and to aid the victims of this crime. Furthermore, the opening section says, “Additional research is needed to fully understand the phenomenon of trafficking in persons and to determine the most effective strategies for combating trafficking in persons” (US government). This line proves that the government openly admits to their lack of knowledge about trafficking and the desperate need for further research. One could perform an entire study, dissecting the ins and outs of the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008,” but for this paper, I will highlight three major aspects of the act.
The act creates a T-visa. Only victims of human trafficking can receive this visa, and only on the ground that they willingly assist in the prosecuting of their traffickers. Those qualifying for the T-visa may stay in the United States for three years, at which time they can apply for citizenship. Visa holders qualify for the same services that refugees do, including health care, counseling, and access to need-base services like food stamps. The T-visa also provides victims with protective services, sometimes including police escorts and even false identities. Due to fear, victims of trafficking oftentimes refuse to name their traffickers or testify against them in court. By providing victims with protection and incentives to co-operate in the prosecution of their traffickers, law enforcement can make a dent in putting traffickers in jail.
Another aspect of the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008” promises to allocate funds towards the cause of ending human trafficking and aiding its victims. By the year 2011, the government pledges $21.5 billion dollars towards this cause (American government). This money will fund American services like shelters for trafficked victims, and it will help pay the legal fees required to prosecute traffickers. Furthermore, the American government will donate $2 billion annually from 2008 to 2011 to the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center. This nationally created program helps end human trafficking by “reporting on the emergence or shifting of global patterns in human trafficking, including data on the number of victims trafficked to, through, or from major source and destination countries, disaggregated by nationality, gender, and age” (United States government).
Although the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008” provides a sound basis for trafficking laws in the United States, problems with the laws still persist. Trafficked victims oftentimes cannot identify their traffickers or find themselves without any useful information for the police, thus making them ineligible to apply for a T-visa. This means that these victims have to return to their original countries immediately, which might mean returning to the same dangerous conditions that led to these victims being trafficked in the first place. The second highlighted aspect of the act, the allocation of the funds, also has its problems. Services and studies definitely require money, which the government promised to provide, but since 2008, the government has failed to report on exactly what programs the money went towards, leaving many to speculate whether the government actually allocated the money as promised or not. Finally, the government promises not to prosecute victims of trafficking for crimes like illegal immigration or prostitution, yet reports continue to surface about women facing prison time for crimes committed during their period of captivity. A recent documentary, “Fatal Promises,” features an unnamed woman who spent months in prison for prostitution although she only committed these crimes because her trafficker physically forced her too (Fatal Promises, 2009).
Part V-New Research Question
I quickly found that no laws existed that protected slaves from sexual abuse. In fact, the law protected slave owners from being sexually abuse by their slaves. Therefore, I changed my research question. I expanded my research to include all the actions taken by the government concerning slavery and compare it to the current American laws surrounding sexual trafficking with the same purpose of finding better methods to decrease the problem.
Part VI-WPA Slave Narratives
Between the years of 1936 and 1938, the Works Project Administration compiled the Federal Writer’s Slave Narrative Projects. This project contains over 5,000 firsthand narratives from American slaves in 17 states. A variety of people are represented. For example, James Cape, age 100, talks about riding horses to Mexico, while Sarah Graves speaks about the agony she felt when separated from her family (library of congress). These documents, now available online through the Library of Congress, provide thousands of ex-slaves with a powerful voice and the tools to share their experiences with the rest of America (Library of Congress, 1938). These documents provide generations who never experienced slavery with an opportunity to understand the horrors of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Although not created during the time of the slavery in America, these narratives were meant to ensure a “never again” policy.
Unfortunately, this “never again” has happened because we now face “modern day slavery” in the form of sexual trafficking. I believe that the government should fund a project to record and compile narratives from victims of sexual trafficking. These first hand accounts can help the American people and government better understand the problems of sexual trafficking victims and thus better enable us to provide helpful services. These narratives could increase awareness, thus motivating people to care about the problem. If people care, they will take action to cause change.
Part VII-International Law
In addition to my research on slavery, I also examined two international models of laws concerning prostitution to determine their possible application in the United States.
Part VIII-The Netherlands
The Netherlands legalized prostitution in 2002. The government passed this law in response to country-wide problems, including an expanding sex industry and increased sexual trafficking from Eastern European countries. Nevertheless, many scholars argue that the prostitution and sex industry has only grown more corrupt. Since 2002, the sex industry in the Netherlands has become 25% more profitable (Raymond, 2003). By legalizing prostitution, the government has removed obstacles preventing individuals from seeking sex in exchange for money, thus creating a new business opportunity that many people have taken advantage of.
Furthermore, the stigma around prostitution has not diminished. In fact, many women in the Netherlands argue that the law has increased the stigmatism surrounding female prostitutes. Since they now participate in legal work, women working in the sex industry must register as prostitutes both with the government and with health insurance agencies, forcing them to lose their anonymity and be characterized as “whores” (Raymond, 2003).
Based on its failure in the Netherlands, I hypothesis that a law legalizing prostitution in the United States would only further corrupt an already corrupted sex industry. Red light districts would appear throughout the country and would act as a breeding ground for traffickers who no longer had to worry about illegally promoting prostitution.
Sweden, in contrast, has decriminalized women who work as prostitutes but continues to punish men who seek out and pay for prostitution. The 1998 “Violence Against Women Government Bill” penalizes those who buy sexual services (Raymond, 2003).
The new law received 80% approval ratings from Swedish votes in 2001 and has appeared to have moved prostitution in a positive direction (Hodge, 2000). Since 2001, the number of women working as prostitutes has decreased by 50%. Furthermore, the number of buyers has decreased about 80%. Due to the relative newness of the law, no group has published statistics on any changes in trafficking (Raymond, 2003).
I feel that a law copying the legislation in Sweden would decrease help end sexual trafficking in America. Not only would the demand for prostitution decrease, but also by decriminalizing women, the government would be able to legally provide services, like health care and housing placement, to female prostitutes since they would no longer be participating in an illegal activity. Female prostitutes travel between the streets and prison, sometimes with no other tangible options. These services could provide opportunities for women trapped in the sex industry to escape via employment services or free rehabilitation programs. I also think that the Swedish model would help decrease trafficking since traffickers often blackmail victims to maintain power over them. This means that traffickers threatened to turn in victims for partaking in prostitution if they do not submit to the will of the traffickers.
Criminalizing men buying sex makes it clear that prostitution is a crime of men against women. Women do sometimes willing perform sex acts for money, but almost always this happens because these women cannot find another viable way to survive. The Swedish model helps remove the stigmatism around female prostitutes because it shames men for taking advantage of these desperate women in helpless situations. Women trafficked into prostitution, but even “free” prostitutes, are victims at the will of the male buyer. The Swedish model places the punishment on the victimizer rather than needlessly punishing the victim.
Part X- Conclusions
In summary, I propose the compilation of victims’ narratives to increase awareness and understanding. These narratives could incite action on behalf of the American people, but if published internationally, they could also educate people at high risk about the dangers of sexual trafficking. With these narratives, people could completely avoid sexual trafficking simply because of education and awareness. I also propose enacting legislation that decriminalizes female prostitutes but punishes those who purchase sexual services. This would diminish the sex industry and also the sexual trafficking by lowering the demand for prostitution, thus lowering the potential profit and in turn diminishing the sex trade.
My research only covers a very small aspect of sexual trafficking. I suggest more research on other countries’ laws pertaining to prostitution and sexual trafficking. I also suggest looking at international advertising programs aimed at increasing awareness of sexual trafficking and perhaps bringing some of those programs to America.
Part XI- Advocacy
I hope that my research exposes the occurrence of sexual trafficking, which many people are not aware of. The statistics alone prove that this problem is widespread and that action is urgently needed. Those interested in sexual trafficking and its prevention can get information through a number of different advocacy groups. The biggest and perhaps most known sexual trafficking advocacy group in America, Not For Sale (notforsalecompaign.org), provides further information about trafficking and suggests solid steps that people can take to help end its occurrence. At the very least, simply talking about sexual trafficking and throwing the term out into forums of conversation gets people thinking and talking, which is the first step towards change.
Cherokee and Christian Creation Stories: Their Influence on Gender Constructs and the Consequences When the Two Meet
Creation stories directly influence religious societies. Very clear links exist between themes of both the Cherokee and Puritan creation stories and these societies’ views of gender. The Cherokee have a story of male and female balance, which supported their system of gender roles in equilibrium. On the other hand, the Christian creation story puts Eve, and thus women, in a somewhat subjugated position in comparison to Adam, or men. When these two societies meet, the Cherokee Selu falls victim to the Christian Eve as Cherokee men grow less interdependent on their female counterparts, thus diminishing the power of Cherokee women.
The Cherokee creation myth, in summary, involved a female, Selu, and her husband, Kana’ti. They had one child together and captured another. Kana’ti provided the meat because only he knew how to release a single buck from a hole and shoot it with an arrow. Selu provided the beans and corn because only she could rub her stomach and armpits to produce baskets of food. The two curious children, after figuring out their parents’ secrets, accidentally released all the animals from the hole. They then killed Selu, because it was fate, and dragged her body in circles over the fields. Corn sprang up. Kana’ti, infuriated, traveled to the end of the world to live with his wife. Main themes that arise in this Cherokee creation myth reappear in the ways in which Cherokee communities viewed gender constructs.
The myth tells of two independent individuals, Selu and Kana’ti. Neither owned the other nor did either feel subjugated to the other. As Theda Perdue describes it in her book Cherokee Women, “Men did not dominate women, and women were not subservient to men.” In fact, the Cherokee of the 18th century practiced a balanced interdependency. The men hunted and participated in warfare because Kana’ti hunted and fought in wars. Women tended to the crops and took care of the home as Selu had. Men and women rarely crossed into the other’s sphere unless to provide a needed helping hand because men had no knowledge about farming and women had no knowledge of hunting. Nevertheless, the Cherokee did not value the work of a man more than the work of a woman, or vise versa. Rather these opposite boundaries, as Perdue writes, “opposed and balanced each other.”
According to the creation myth, Selu gave birth to her first son and cared for both of the boys throughout their childhood, making her the master of the home. The female control of the home was absolute. According to Perdue, “…men apparently never tried to dominate their wives.” The Cherokee took this even further, tracing kinship only through the women. Because the Cherokee tribe felt intense connections to their kin, women held power because of their control over kinship.
Another aspect of the creation myth, the idea of sin, ultimately led to the reverence of women. A focus on balance, stemming from the lives of Selu and Kana’ti, lead the Cherokee to deem anything balanced “pure” and everything disrupting that balanced, “impure.” Therefore, the period of menstruation marked a time of pollution or disruption because blood suddenly left the body in a unusual, disruptive manor. One might assume that this would stigmatism Cherokee women, but it only increased their reverence because during the period of menstruation, which men did not attribute to anything but female anatomy, women were given privacy and seclusion. They did not have to perform their daily work in order to rest alone. The power lies in the fact that women chose to separate themselves, and the men honored these wishes.
The previously mentioned concept of balance also appeared in the discussion surrounding female menstruation. Not only did females rest during this time, but their husbands also secluded themselves. They sat in the very back of ceremonies and stayed closed to home. Men also played a integral role in the healthy birthing of a child. The balance between male and female led to a pure and function life, or in the case of childbirth, and function child. Therefore, husbands participated in birthing ceremonies with their wives. Some refrained from hunting, fishing, and fighting during this time.
Cherokee women did not have full equality with men. Rather, men and women existed in separate spheres that cannot be compared. Men lived on the outskirts of society. They hunted and fought in wars. Women controlled the inner-workings of the communities by maintaining the crops and households. Because the Cherokees believed so strongly in a female/male balance, neither sex controlled the other. In fact, women could cross into the male sphere and become warriors if they so desired. Neither men nor women were “better,” rather both were “necessary.” This ideal gave Cherokee women a considerable more amount of power than their Protestant and Puritan counterparts.
In contrast, both Protestant and Puritan societies maintained a clear hierarchy of male dominance followed by female inferiority. The biblical creation story of Adam and Eve perhaps influenced these gender roles. God made Eve secondary to Adam from Adam’s rib. Also, Eve convinced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, making her most directly responsible for original sin. Examples of male-dominance appear throughout different facets of early American Protestant and Puritan life.
Many Puritans believed that women existed for men. This concept comes from God creating Adam before Eve. Author James T. Johnson, in his article “The Covenant Idea and the Puritan View of Marriage,” describes the Puritan view of Eve’s creation by writing, “The relief of man’s loneliness is the primary reason for the institution by God of marriage in paradise; God responds to Adam’s need by giving him a ‘meet help.’” Johnson describes wives as their husband’s “middle companions,” referencing Eve’s creation from Adam’s “middle section” or rib. In what Johnson describes as an “ideal marriage,” wives uphold their role as “middle companions” by acting as a friend, life mate, and finally, somewhat of a servant. Both Puritan wife and husband adhere to a social order where the wife plays a role subservient to the man. He has the final word and he expects her to support him in his decisions.
A look into the household provides a clear picture of the hierarchy of men stemming from the creation story. Author Leslie Lindenauer, in her book “Piety and Power: Gender and Religious Culture in the American Colonies” points out that female Protestant colonists, like the Cherokee women, took charge of the household. Lindenauer argues that, “While there is little question that a ‘well-ordered family’ depended upon the willing submission of wife to husband, a husband’s authority in the home was tempered—or even on occasion undercut—by the authority of a woman owned as a Christian mother.” 
Mary Beth Norton, however, in her article, “The Evolution of White Women’s Experience in Early America” argues that men in both Protestant and Puritan colonies held immense power and control over almost all aspects of female life, even within the household. The church held men responsible for the spiritual well-being of their families. This responsibility has roots in the story of Adam and Eve, where God created Adam first, thus endowing him with more power to lead the way to salvation.
Norton writes that Puritanism promoted “paterfamilias.” Although women cared for the family, she argues that men ran the household since they were responsible for the spiritual purity of the family. Edmund Morgan, in his book “The Puritan Family” refers to the Puritan family looking to the father for spiritual guidance. He writes, “Every morning, immediately upon rising and every evening before retiring, a good Puritan father led his household in prayer, in scriptural reading, and in singing of the psalms.” 
Though Puritanism did not consider women as inherently more evil than men, they held a greater potential for damnation and sin. Elizabeth Reis, in her article “The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England,” writes that men viewed women as, “frail, submissive, and passive.” Therefore, the devil could more easily attack women. Men in New England used this logic to support the witch-hunts that terrorized women during 17th century.
Apparent differences contrast the position Protestant and Puritan women in society from the position that Cherokee women occupied. Cherokee women had separate powers from men, while Protestant and Puritan societies directly allocated more control to men than women. It is no coincidence that the Cherokee creation story contains no obvious themes of male dominance, while the bible places Eve behind Adam.
These two gender ideals clashed throughout the 17th and 18th centuries as colonists imposed their constructs upon the Cherokee, stripping Cherokee women of their relatively equal rank in society.
Theda Perdue, in “Cherokee Women,” quotes a Cherokee, Nancy Ward, who says, ‘You know that women are always looked up as nothing.’ This statement clearly proves that women felt their equality diminish after the colonists initiated contact, and this feeling was based in truth.
Cherokee women, whom men once allowed to travel with warriors and control community life, suddenly grew “delicate” and “feminine” in the sense that their sphere no longer included the battle field, the markets, or really anywhere besides the garden and the home. Perdue highlights this change in her discussion of trade.
Before contact with colonists, Cherokee societies relied equally on the meat hunted by men as they did on the crops harvested by women. Once the colonists entered the picture and developed trade, the Cherokee men’s products increased in value since the colonists eagerly traded European novelties for hunted meat. Furthermore, colonists demanded war captives, which previously held little economical value to the Cherokees. Men responsible for warfare now took captives and traded them for a high return to the colonists. Oppositely, the colonists could easily grow their own crops, thus making the contribution of the females less than that of the males. 
The trading difficulties that Cherokee women faced were not entirely due to their lackluster crops. Historically, Cherokee men controlled the outskirts of the communities, including foreign relations, which better suited them to profit from trade routes. Colonial traders, who were almost exclusively men, preferred trading with other men because their belief that women should stay at home and manage the households, thus putting Cherokee women at another disadvantage.
Cherokee women suddenly lost their balance in relation to men as they no longer contributed an equal amount to the community. This balance disruption planted the seed of hierarchy in the minds of Cherokee men, who now began to view themselves as more vital, and thus more powerful, than their wives. Perdue writes, “The precipitous growth of individualism threatened the Cherokees’ communal values. Women struggled to keep both the values and their public expression alive.
The intrusion did not end with trading. Missionaries seeking to “save” the Cherokee began building schools and hosting programs to convert the “savages” to Christianity. Of course, with Christianity comes the gender constructs inspired by Adam and Eve. At these schools, the missionaries taught the boys to chop lumber and tend to the crops while the women stayed indoors to cook and clean. Cherokee girls who followed this model were now completely dependent upon men to provide them with food, thus increasing male control.
The Christian missionaries also instilled a new concept of femininity in the Cherokee minds. Cherokee girls learned that women displayed piety, discipline, and humility. They were taught to appeal to the male race by acting subservient. Essentially, the missionaries taught the Cherokee women to abandon their independence and self-reliance and instead assist the man in supporting society. Very quickly, Cherokee women lost their position in relation to men and fell into the trap of dependence.
The Cherokee and Christian creation stories played a major role in the creation of gender constructs within these early American communities. Selu, in the Cherokee myth, shows no signs of subjugation to Kana’ti. Rather, she and her husband create a balance that makes life possible. Cherokee women, before colonial contact, enjoyed a similar status in society. They occupied a different niche than the men, but were considered equally important in the survival of the people.
The bible tells a different story where Eve comes from a part of Adam and then leads humanity into a state of sin, thus reflecting very negatively upon women. Protestant and Puritan women in early America lived within a male hierarchy. They were considered more likely to sin and inherently less powerful than males.
Selu and Eve met when colonists began trading with Cherokees, and the Cherokee women quickly saw themselves losing status. Why did Eve overpower Selu?
Although no person can provide a definite answer, history has shown that societies of complete equally (such as communist countries) do no fare nearly as well as those with a clear power structure. This could be because maintaining equality is simply more difficult than creating a ranking system. This could also be because people are not ever entirely equal, so perhaps the natural state of life will always lead to some people having more power and some having less. One can, however, draw two conclusions. Firstly, creation stories directly influence the gender roles in religious societies. Secondly, when these two societies clash, one “wins” and one “loses.” Unfortunately for the Cherokee women, their balanced role was somewhat, though not entirely, diminished and the male role was magnified.
Morgan, Edmund S.. Puritan Family. Boston: More Books, 1944.
Puritan Family focuses on the relationships between husband, wives, and children of Puritan New England. Furthermore, the book discuses the Puritans’ beliefs in a life of piety and virtue. Morgan describes the various ways in which Puritans both lived pious lives and helped others do the same.
Lindenauer, Leslie. Piety and Power:Gender and Religious Culture in the American Colonies, 1630-1700. New York: Routledge, 2002.
Lindenauer’s book compares the lives of women living in religious communities in early America. The book discuses the gender roles that the women adhere too, as well as their role in the church. Lindenauer analyzes both societies view of women, and women’s’ views of themselves.
Karlsen, Carol. The Devil in the Shape of a Woman:Witchcraft in Colonial New England. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1987.
The Devil in the Shape of a Woman provides an overview of the perceptions of women in colonial America. The book then analyzes the phenomenon of accusing women of being witches. Carol argues that a very distinct group of women were targeted and explains her reasoning.
Ulrich, Laurel. Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1982.
Good Wives describes the roles that society expected women to fill in colonial New England. The book gives very detailed descriptions of a woman’s daily life. Ulrich also compares the roles of women to the roles of their male counterparts.
Carolyn, Johnston. Cherokee Women in Crisis: Trail of Tears, Civil War, and Allotment, 1838-1907. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2003.
Johnston traces the removal and relocation of the Cherokee Indians. She gives detailed background on the events leading up to the Trail of Tears. Johnston also analyzes the political and social changes that the Cherokee experienced during the 19th century.
Reis, Elizabeth. “Elizabeth Reis, “The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England.” The Journal of American History 1, no. 82 (1995): 15-36. JSTOR. 1995. [Database online.]
Reis breaks down the Puritan ideas on the feminine soul and concepts of “femininity.” The article then attempts to trace the possible roots of these gender constructs. The article also analyzes the effects of Puritan ideals on the witchcraft trials and links ideas of female sin to these trials.
Norton, Mary Beth. “The Evolution of White Women’s Experience in Early America .” The American Historical Review 1, no. 89 (1984): 593-619. JSTOR. [Database online.]
Norton attempts to compare white early American women with their counterparts in England to determine who was “better off.” In order to do this, Norton examines the gender constructs of both early America and England. She determines that the “colt of domesticity” encouraged a male hierarchy in early America.
Barker-Benfield, Ben. “Anne Hutchinson and the Puritan Attitude toward Women.” Feminist Studies 2, no. 1 (1972): 65-96. JSTOR. [Database online.]
“Anne Hutchinson and the Puritan Attitude toward Women” uses Anne Hutchinson’s court case to examine the Puritan church’s view on females. The article draws on actual records from the time and quotes individuals that participated in the case. The article concludes that the church feared the potential of women taking control away from men, especially within the confines of the church and religion.
 Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.13-15.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.13.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.17.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.45.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.41.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.30-31.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.38-39.
 Elizabeth Reis, “The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England,” The Journal of American History 82 (June, 1995) p. 15-36.
 James T. Johnson, “The Covenant Idea and the Puritan View of Marriage,” The Journal of the History of Ideas 23 (Jan.-Mar., 1971) p.107-118.
 (ibid) James T. Johnson, “The Covenant Idea and the Puritan View of Marriage,” The Journal of the History of Ideas 23 (Jan.-Mar., 1971) p.107-118.
 Leslie Lindenauer, Piety and Power: Gender and Religious Culture in the American Colonies (New York, New York: Routledge, 2001) p.67.
 Mary Beth Norton, “The Evolution of White Women’s Experience in Early America”, The American Historical Review 89 (June, 1984) p. 593-619.
 Edmund Morgan, The Puritan Family (Boston: More Books, 1944) p.136.
 Elizabeth Reis, “The Devil, the Body, and the Feminine Soul in Puritan New England,” The Journal of American History 82 (June, 1995) p. 15-36.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.60.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.60-63.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p.76-86.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p. 86.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p. 162.
 (ibid) Theda Perdue, Cherokee Women (Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1998) p. 170-173.
Volunteers for Peace is an organization that connects American citizens with international non-profits that invite volunteers to travel to exotic locations to give their time. My first experience with VFP took me to Antwerp, Belgium where I joined a group of international volunteers to spend a summer rebuilding a school.
As volunteers, we were provided with housing and meals. We stayed in the school building, which is pictured above. The school building had a kitchen in it which was where we took shifts cooking group meals. We all slept in sleeping bags on the floor in one of better maintained classrooms.
As the school was located only fifteen minutes away from the center, we got to spend weekends exploring the heart of Antwerp. We sampled chocolates, ate Belgium waffles and admired the diamonds (Antwerp in the world’s diamond capitol).
Although we had a lot of fun, we had to work 8 hours almost every day. We had a few tasks to complete over the course of the summer which included building and polishing new desks and tables, cleaning the entire second floor of the school, and most importantly, preparing the ground for the new building. Over the course of our time in Antwerp, we removed over 10 feet of dirt and leveled the ground for the new building. Above you can see Andy and Shiori working.
For our last weekend in Belgium, the local community raised enough money to send us to see Bruges (Yes, the place from the movie In Bruges). The town is incredibly beautiful. Our weekend included a canal tour and a medieval times festival.
Besides providing the opportunity to travel, Volunteers for Peace brings people from every corner of the globe to live and work together. The highlight of my time in Antwerp was meeting the other volunteers and making friends from other countries. That summer our group included myself (an American), two girls from Japan, one German, one Serbian, a Croatian, and two volunteers from the Czech Republic.
I had a fantastic experience with Volunteers for Peace that summer in Belgium. In fact, I have now participated in three work camps through VFP. Unlike some volunteer experiences I have had, I do feel like I made a significant difference for the children living near the school in Antwerp. I had the opportunity to live in a different country and meet people from all over the world. I’d recommend the experience for anybody.
Quickie Tipster-Making Mobile Art from Scrap Film Supplies
Turn your scrap film products into unique lomography mobiles. It’s simple, great for the environment, and looks excellent hung over a bed or on the wall.
My lomography escapades have left me with bags full of the following:
-empty film canisters
-negatives from pictures that didn’t come out well (or at all)
-pictures from my Fuji Instax
Instead of throwing them out, I decided to make a lomography mobile to decorate my apartment with. I gathered the above supplies, plus a an empty coffee container, some paperclips, a hammer, a nail, a hole puncher, string (if you want to hang it over your bed) and a hot glue gun.
Using the nail and hammer, I made six holes in the bottom of the coffee container (which I used for my base). Using my hot glue gun, I covered the coffee can in my spare negatives. Then, I punched holes in all my other scrap supplies and hung them in strings using the paper clips. I attached them to the base by stringing paperclips through the holes I nailed. And voila! I had a lomogrphy mobile that I hung in my kitchen as art.
The whole process took about 45 minutes. I got to save all my film materials, and I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on the mobile too!
Laurelwood Park, located in Belmont, California, is a perfect oasis from the chaotic life in San Francisco. An hour drive from the city, Laurelwood has over 227-acres of park, mountains, and greenery to please the outdoor enthusiast. Beginners can stick to the shoter trails that don’t climb much in elevation, while the pros can trek up the tall Sugarloaf Mountains to the secluded creeks and waterfalls that are scattered throughout the park.
Last year my friend Brian and I woke up at sunrise, grabbed our hiking shoes, and set out for a nine hour hike that canvased most of the park. I also remembered my Holga CNF 120 loaded with Kodak black and white film. Unfortunately, I managed to drop my camera early in the hike so most of my film was ruined. I did, however, manage to capture Brian free climbing a giant rock…enjoy!
For Further Reading: http://www.trails.com/trailguide.aspx?trailid=HGS013-014
and to be heartbroken so badly your stomach aches and your chest resists everytime you take a breath.
to have high expectations is to be dissapointed
no. high expectations are never good
to promise is to lie
but to speak is to lie, and you promised me you would never lie, so what lie are you telling me now? Perhaps you should stop speaking.
to wait is to wait forever
because it won’t come
it won’t happen
he won’t happen
But still i am waiting because i had high expectations and i don’t want that ball to drop in my stomach and sit there, seething, reminding me that this is disappointment, and this is my own fault. I didn’t love, so I didn’t lose, but my chest still feels like its caving in and there’s a hole in my stomach. It’s black but it glows red. And my heart does ache. But I can’t tell you how it feels because all your words are lies and all my words are lies too. So only i can know how my body crumbles and burns while we sit here, waiting, in silence, not daring to breathe a lie. I want it to stop hurting, my heart that is, but when it does stop, i fear my heart has stop beating all together because i can no longer feel it. And still you can’t speak, or won’t speak, but my words are going so fast that they can’t leave my mouth, which is probably better so i’m not a liar, but they want to escape so badly to lie the truth.
i think it’s time, again, for me to disappear, again
It is so easy to forget that on the sunny, tropical island of Oahu lies the Pearl Harbor Navy Base, famous for the 1941 bombings that killed almost 2,500 people. When my friends and I decided to vacation in Hawaii, I know they had surfing, tanning, and swimming in the ocean on their minds. I, however, grabbed my diana f+ and booked a spot on a bus to take me to Pearl Harbor, where I had one of the most moving experiences of my life.
I booked a tour through “Discover Hawaii Tours.” For $30 dollars, they provided a shuttle service that brought me to and from Pearl Harbor, and then toured around the island pointing out historical sites like the home where Barack Obama grew up. The price also included a guided tour of the Pearl Harbor Museum, but I opted to grab an audio headset and walk around by myself.
The museum traces the beginning of Pearl Harbor and how it transformed over time leading up to the bombings that took place on December 17th, 1941. The exhibit follows a few navy personnel who were serving in Pearl Harbor on the day of the bombing. The personal stories helped me connect with navy men and women who were about my age and already serving their country.
After my audio tour ended, I jumped aboard the navy-operated power boat and we sped out towards the memorial that was built where the USS Arizona sunk. On the way, the boat passed by other naval ships that are still in service. I could see men and women dressed in uniforms scurrying around the top of the ship.
The boat stopped and we all got off on this floating white monument. Inside I saw this wall, which lists the names of all the navy men and women killed during the December 17th bombings. On man on my boat left a bouquet of flowers in front of a name on the wall.
Outside of the memorial, as I was boarding the ship, I smelled oil and looked down to see it leaking into the water. Since the USS Arizona has been left untouched since it sunk in 1941, oil is still leaking out of it at an estimated 2-9 quarts daily! I was able to snap a quick picture before our boat sped back to shore.
Both seeing and photographing Pearl Harbor moved me. I got to walk, breathe, and stand where brave men and woman stood before. The entire experience was easy to navigate, as the museum did a great job giving the history and the floating memorial made the bombing seem more real than watching “Pearl Harbor” did. I know Hawaii is mostly about relaxing on the beach, but during your next trip to Oahu, I really do suggest that you go see Pearl Harbor. Everything included, it cost me $30 plus the money I spent in the bookshop. I learned a lot about my country’s history and got some great pictures out of it too.
The world lamented when the polaroid camera was discontinued, along with the polaroid film (or at least I did). But lament no more! Fuji has introduced the “Fuji Instax” which, like the polaroid, takes instant pictures. This weekend I decided to try to capture some of my friends using the “Fuji Instax.” Here’s what I learned.
The harsh flash on the “Fuji Instax” does an excellent job of capturing colors. It works great for colorful scenery, floral dresses, or in this case, for catching the warm blue color of my friend Emily’s eyes.
The Instax lacks many features that new digitals have, including focus and zoom options. Instead, it has 4 flash options and the button to press to take the picture. Because of the complete lack of options, the “Fuji Instax” isn’t for fiddling with until you get the best shot. Instead, just point the camera at your subject and press the button. Don’t worry if their eyes are closed or if they aren’t smiling. I was able to catch some excellent candid photos this weekend.
Because the “Fuji Instax” doesn’t show a lot of detail, I like to use it to highlight one or two main props in the photo. In these pictures, the cat hat and the balloon really stand out.
Another good trick to use is to put your subject against a colorful background. The “Fuji Instax” will show the strong contrast between the foreground and the background of the photo. The color, as previously mentioned, will be highlighted as well.
So far, only color film is available for the “Fuji Instax,” but that doesn’t mean that you can’t alter your pictures and make them black and white on the computer. I think removing the color makes the photos more “artsy” looking and more vintage as well.
I had a great time taking pictures with my “Fuji Instax” this weekend. The downside to the camera is that film is pricey (about one dollar a picture) so I probably won’t be using this camera every weekend. Nevertheless, I was able to capture some great photos. The exposure makes the pictures bright in color but simplistic in nature. The “Fuji Instax” has a lot of potential, but I like it most for taking pictures that show the true nature of my friends, mostly because I can snap a photo when they least expect it.
New York City and The American Institute of Architects held a conference last Tuesday to introduce new building models designed to promote healthier lifestyles.
According to Mayor Bloomberg, “The Active Design Guidelines will prove architects, planners and urban designers with a framework for incorporating designs that will improve public health.”
The Active Design Guidelines, distributed at the conference, outlined suggestions for “promoting physical activity through design. The proposal suggests “improved ventilation, safety and amenity of stairwells” to encourage an alternative to using an elevator. Another design policy advises city planners to encourage bicycle use by building more bicycle paths and providing free bicycle storage at offices. City Planning Commissioner David Burden said, “The Active Design Guidelines support City Planning’s initiatives to create more walkable, bikeable and inviting neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs.”
The pamphlet uses the New York Times offices as an example of a design that promotes health. The building, built in 2006, has a number of the proposed designs already in place including centrally located stairs for short trips and an underfloor displacement air system that provides better air quality through a very energy efficient method.
These cutting-edge building models target a problem which has long plagued America: obesity. According to healthyamericans.org, the national obesity percentage has increased in 23 states since 2008. New York ranks 37th in rate of obesity in adults with a whopping 24.5 percent. New York’s percentage of overweight youth reached an all time high of 32.9 percent last year. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released a report last year that stated that “the citywide weigh gain totaled more than 10 million pounds in just two years.” The Active Design Guidelines assume that sedentary lifestyles contribute to the American obesity epidemic.
The conference last Tuesday sought to lessen the obesity rate in America and the audience seemed on board. The New York Center of Architecture forcibly offered standing room to latecomers as only those who arrived early found a seat. “As somebody who has spent time reading and writing about the connection between architecture and health, I am encouraged by the proposal,” said New York reporter Alex Pasternack. “I’d like to work in a building that is located near a park and has open stairwells and bicycle racks. Everyone would.”
Regardless of audiences response on Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg and the AIA still has a long road before the proposal becomes reality. Commissioner of the Department of City Planning Amanda Burden, however, remains optimistic. “I think tonight we really just got the ball rolling,” she comments. “The New York I know is progressive and ready to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Once we can get the proposal through in the city, I cannot imagine that other cities wouldn’t jump to follow suit.”
Both intentionally and unintentionally, journalists have mislead audiences and sometimes even masked the truth when covering the John Edwards scandal. This is accomplished through the use of various literary techniques. George Orwell would cringe if he could read the roundabout coverage of the John Edwards scandal. “…The English language is in a bad way,” he might say. He would be right. No journalist has the courage to be straightforward and tell the story blatantly: John Edwards cheated on his cancer stricken wife with another woman and is now facing criminal charges for illegally using campaign funds to support his mistress and her child.
Overused phrases appear in most news stories covering the Edwards case. Examples even appear in reputable newspapers. In an article featured in the New York Times, the journalist describes Edwards’ previous attorney as “going to great lengths” to protect Edwards from exposure. Similarly, The Seattle Times writes that Edwards’ “political career is buried” and that “the turmoil of his marriage” has become public. Orwell would conclude that these dying cliches prove that “the writer is not interested in what he is saying,” putting more emphasis on the sound of the work rather than the obligation to hard choose each word so that it represents the hard truth. Tired phrasing seems to lessen the intensity of the situation, thus mistakenly softening the truth.
Pretentious diction, another commonly used ploy, makes vocabulary often too difficult for readers to understand and thus, they miss the true meaning of an article. While covering the Edwards story, The Washington Post used the word “bevy” when talking about a group of political action committees and non profit groups. In the same article mentioned above, The New York Times included words such as “clandestine” and “sordid.” Orwell would wonder if the journalist used this language to “dress up a simple statement and give an air of scientific impartiality to biased judgements.” However, despite the intentions of the journalist, the unfortunate result is that readers misunderstand the context of words and thus misinterpret the tenor of the writing.
Sometimes writers manage to avoid repetitive word choice and unnecessarily difficult vocabulary, but still soften the truth. The New York Times asserts that Edwards is trying “to preserve his political ambitions,” when in real speak, he wants to save himself from the hate of the public. The Seattle Times describes Edwards’ actions as potential “wrongdoings” rather than willful lies and abuses of political power. These journalists concisely choose weaker words to prevent any controversies from arising in response to their articles. However, through this act, these writers also consciously choose to cover themselves over completely exposing the reality of the Edwards situation.
Orwell wrote that “politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred. and schizophrenia.” The coverage surrounding the Edwards scandal certainly proves that writing reflects its subject. By using scholarly diction and exhausted word choice, writers obliviously mask the truth by confusing and distracting readers. Even more horrendous, journalists sometimes knowingly circle the truth so to prevent political backlash. Whether purposeful or not, these deceptive techniques utilized by the journalists who covered the John Edwards story has done a disservice to journalism as it prevents writers from meeting their first obligation, which is to report the truth. Reporting the truth means reporting the whole truth in a way that audiences can best understand. In the coverage of the John Edwards tale, journalists sadly failed to do this.
"Super size me please." The first McDonald’s launched in 1940. Since that time, McDonald’s has opened more than 30,000 restaurants in 300 countries, according to Eric Schlosser’s book Fast Food Nation. Other fast food chains have shot up all over the country. So America’s obesity rate and heart disease diagnoses. The connection between these facts became blatantly apparent when amateur director Morgan Spurlock released his documentary Super Size Me.
Acting as a lab rat, Spurlock ate only McDonald’s food for 30 days, always super-sizing if given the option. He experienced frightening health effects. the end of the month, he 24 pound, mood swings, and liver damage. Spurlock’s cholesterol level rose from a normal 168 to a scary 230 and his body mass jumped 13%. “My body,” Spurlock comments in the film,” officially hates me.” Spurlock claims that it took months to return to the state of health he maintained before shooting his documentary.
The purpose in making this film was to warn America of the potential health risks fast food and prove that, as Spurlock says, “[Fast food corporations] loyalty isn’t to you.” Spurlock hoped to cause change, and in some ways he accomplished this goal. Fast food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King have revolutionized their menus to contain healthier options and promote wiser eating habits. However, fast food is still a focal point of American society. Consumption has remained steadily high since the release of Super Size Me, proving that Spurlock failed to change American thought.
In 1972 Americans spent $3 billion on fast food. In 2005, the United States spent over $110 billion. he rate of obesity among the American population has more than doubled since 1962, when it was at 13%. In 2000, it hit an alarming 31%. Every day, one in every four American’s eats at a fast food restaurant. Statistics like these helped inspire Spurlock to start his own experiment, which led to the creation of his film.
The film received rave reviews and numerous awards including the Sundance film festival’s directing award and MTV’s documentary award. It also received an Oscar nomination for the 2005 est ocumentary. he public raged about the state of obesity in America and demanded change. The Super Size Me page on imdb.com features users opinions after seeing the flick. One user, Ralph Stein, writes “Oh, and McDonald’s is phasing out super sized meals, a minor withdrawal in a serious public health war.” Another, even more angered user under the name “Zeilset” writes, “The food industry in general is just another self-seeking money making machine, no better than the big companies that outsource their manufacturing to inhumane sweatshops in third world countries. They exploit the poor to feed their gluttonous and materialistic appetites.” Fast food corporations responded to the outcry.
McDonald’s, which was targeted in the film, made immediate alterations. spokesman Walt Riker claims that the changes had “nothing to do with [the film] whatsoever,” the timing remains suspiciously coincidental. Six weeks after the film’s release, McDonald’s quietly removed “super size” as an option. Furthermore, the restaurant began an “Eat Smart, Be Active” campaign and added smaller portioned adult happy meals to the menu. New ad campaigns feature children discussing the now available healthier options. Other fast food restaurants have also responded. Salads and other “healthier” options have appeared on numerous fast food menus, including big name chains like Burger King. The restaurant recently developed the BK Fresh Apple Fries. This alternative to regular french fries is served cold and is not fried. Burger King also recently set limitations that restrict kids’ meals to 560 calories with less than 30 percent of those calories coming from fat.
Not all of America responded fondly to the film, and many criticized its validity. Radley Balko from FOX News pointed out the foolishness in “a mother [going] on a binge drinking spree to teach her daughter the dangers of alcohol.” Jeffrey Overstreet from Looking Closer also the movie too sensational. He that, “Instead of making a calm, reasonable argument, Spurlock goes to extremes and dazzles us with sensational details, like the man who drinks three two-liter bottles of soda a day. His arguments would be more effective if he just stuck to the habits of normal consumers and showed us how easy and affordable it is to eat right.”
Spurlock’s documentary Super Size Me exposed the truth behind fast food: it is bad for you. Though McDonald’s still denies making any changes in , it that fast food chains felt pressured to at least appear healthier. The super size option disappeared foods appeared on menushese restaurantadvertising support healthy lifestyles.
Morgan Spurlock showed a group of kindergarteners a picture of Jesus, could not identify the man. he showed them an image of Ronald MacDonald and they immediately knew the answer. ast food companies have already children as young as five and six and ast food basic of American culture.
Spurlock’s film shocked audiences, but little to cause social change. Americans have the knowledge to make wiser eating choices, but still make bad ones. Unfortunately, corporate change cannot fix America’s obesity problems without change in thought. Americans must alter think food. Hopefully another journalist will pick up where Spurlock left off.
Transgerdism in Colleges- Services now provided to accommodate transgender students
In 2009, President Barack Obama signed a national trans-inclusive hate crime law, which provides transgender people with legal protections from hate crimes based on gender identity. The law comes at the end of a decade when transgender rights have come from the shadows into the lime light. The quickly growing awareness of the transgender community is reflected in colleges across the nation, which have begun to provide transgender-specific services for students.
Campus Pride (Campusclimateindex.org), an organization dedicated to increasing acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (lgbt) (need to spell it out on the first reference, i.e. Lesbian, Gay, etc. etc – then on later references abbreviate it, but in all caps, i.e. LGBT) students on American college campuses, provides comprehensive tools for both students and teaching professionals. Through the site, school administrators can find step by step outlines to make campuses more welcoming for the lgbt population. Students have access to a number of resources including information about lgbt summer camps, guides to help adjust to college life as an lgbt student and a listing of American colleges rated according to their “lgbt friendliness.”
The University of Oregon tops the list with a perfect five out of five star rating. Located the college town Eugene, the university offers a gender studies major with a focus on lgbt studies.. All incoming professors and campus police receive sensitivity training on gender identity issues and the lgbt office regularly plans events focused solely on concerns of the transgender community. The school recently expanded its health insurance to cover transgender students making the transition from male to female or vise versa.
New York University, which Campus Climate gave four out of five stars, has made tangible steps to fulfill the needs of their transgender students. The school’s LGBT office publishes website, “Trans@NYU” that summarizes these services. The homepage includes an email, phone number, and even an aim address that connect trans students with representatives from the lgbt office who can answer questions relating to trans life at NYU.
Furthermore, the website bares links to the other trans services that New York University has come to offer in the past few years. One of these services is the option of gender identity housing. NYU housing now includes a question on the housing form asking students to chose the gender with which they identify. If a student chooses “gender identity housing,” the housing office will match them with another student who both chose “gender identity housing” and who identifies as the same gender.
NYU has also begun building single sex and gender-neutral bathrooms specifically for the transgender population. A list of these bathrooms’ locations exists on the “Trans@NYU” website.
Ryan Lewis, 18, is a gay-identifying NYU student who served on the “first year queers and allies” council through the lgbt office. He chose to attend NYU in part because of its lgbt friendliness. “New York University is incredibly welcoming to the lgbt community,” says Ryan. “By spending so much time in the lgbt office, I have found that the school is particularly concerned with its transgender students. Every form I fill out has a female, male, or other option.”
Notre Dame University, a Catholic college located in South Bend, Indiana, received the lowest rating and only one star. The college has a history of anti-gay sentiment. Most recently, the school paper made a public apology for publishing an anti-gay cartoon in a December issue. The school refuses to include a non-discrimination policy and continually prevents students from forming lgbt clubs.
Notre Dame aside, many schools have followed the lead of the University of Oregon and have taken steps to create a campus that embraces the transgender community. These changes come at a time when transgender rights are a hot issue
According to transgerlaw.org, a nation non-profit dedicated to the advocacy for the legal rights of transgender persons, between 2%-5% of the population experience some sort of gender dysphoria. Despite the prevalence of a transgender community, very little information and virtually no laws existed prior to the 1970s concerning this segment of the population.
Transgender issues first surfaced in 1979 when the BBC aired a series titled “A Change of Sex.” For the first time, viewers could follow a transgendered woman, Julia, as she made her transition from a man to a woman. Since that time, the transgendered advocacy movement has made monumental strides. A number of advocacy groups have spring up throughout the world. The National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC), which serves as the biggest transgender advocacy group in America, continues to push to transgender rights. Furthermore, the United States has incorporated a number of laws that specifically pertain to the trans community. The State of Colorado signed a non-discrimination law in 2007, making it the 14th state to enact a non-discrimination policy protecting transgender people.
Although evidence of progress persists, the transgender continues to strive to the equality and protection that many Americans take for granted.
“We are moving in the right direction,” says NYU student Ryan Lewis. “But we are far from equality. Maybe after we secure gay rights, like gay marriage, we will finally give transgender rights the attention it deserves.”
NYU politics major Mitchell Weaver adds, “That’s true. Gay rights are overshadowing transgender rights at the moment, but I think that schools like NYU give us hope that it will all turn around.”
Tips-Getting Quality Pictures from a Disposable Camera
You don’t need a fancy, expensive camera to get great shots. In fact, sometimes a disposable camera can turn out more interesting pictures than a digital can. Here are some quick tips for taking great pictures with a disposable camera.
1. Take your pictures in good lighting. Although most disposable cameras have a flash option, they work best in lighting situations where you don’t need to use that. The more light the better. In this case, I pointed the camera almost directly at the sun.
2. Try different angles. Most people only to take a picture from eye level. Try taking pictures from hip level or, as I did in this picture, with the camera on the ground.
3. Take pictures with lots of color. Disposable cameras extenuate bright colors, which can make your disposable pictures even more exciting than the real life image.
4. Take pictures through different mediums. In these two pictures, I captured faces through glass and water. Instead of point the camera directly at the subject, take a picture with a medium in between to add another dimension to your picture. This method works best without the use of the flash, which can cause a glare.
Zabok may seem like a quiet town, but on Friday nights during the summer months, hundred of teenagers flood the train stations on their way to the HGF annual festival.
The HGF festival is in it’s 14th year of bringing both unsigned and relatively famous rock and metal bands together to play free concerts for Croatian youth. The festival takes place in an abandoned factory building renamed “The Regenerator.” It is run by a loca-nonprofit dedicated to providing alternative entertainment to keep youth off drugs.
This year the popular Croatian band, Let3, headlined the festival. They have built a reputation on solid music and shocking performances. Let3 performed for two hours in neon-colored unitards that exposed their bare butts every time they turned around.
Besides the feature band, almost 30 other unsigned bands took the stage to show off their musical talent. These included performers from across Croatia, Slovenia, and even Serbia.
If you happen to make it out to Croatia next summer, I’d highly recommend attending the festival. The concert hall is located only minutes away from the Zabok train station and is an hour train ride from the capitol city, Zagreb. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed and help to ensure the continuance of free concerts. Shows usually start around 9:00 p.m. and end late into the morning hours.
Pickle lovers from across New York City gathered last weekend for the NYC Food Museum’s annual Pickle Festival. As an avid pickle lover myself, I grabbed my fisheye and headed out to the Lower East Side to get some photos, and maybe try a few kinds of pickles too.
For ten years now, crowds of people have gathered to celebrate their love of the pickle. The annual pickle festival, hosted by the NYC Food museum didn’t disappoint this year, as thousands of fans gathered in a parking lot on Broome and Ludlow to buy, taste, and eye pickles of all kinds.
Large name vendors, like NYC’s own Peanut Butter and Jelly Company, passed out their own pickle recipes, such as sour pickles dipped in chocolate peanut butter. Many independent pickle farmers also attended the festival, selling organically grown pickles and other products.
Besides the massive numbers of pickles, the festival also featured activities for kids (and adults) to enjoy. Face-painting stands, free pickle tattoos, and craft tables provided a nice break from eating and thoroughly entertained the younger crowd.
Unfortunately, if you missed this year’s festival, you’ll have to wait until next October for the annual Pickle Festival. However, the NYC Food museum has fascinating exhibits all year long that can interest food-lovers of all kind. And if you don’t want to wait for an entire year to celebrate pickles, then visit Pickle Packer’s International website for everything pertaining to pickles, including pickle facts, recipes, and brands.