Empower Your Brain, Not Your Body

In a recent article in the Duke Chronicle, a Duke University student came forward admitting that in order to foot the bill for her college tuition, she has been working in the adult film industry. Immediately she was defamed and criticized, not just across campus, but across the globe as her story spread.

Recently, she came forward with her story in her own words, where she responds to the scrutiny and defends herself. She says that female sexuality is suppressed, and that she is merely embracing it while empowering herself to get a college degree. After all, she claims to be a feminist, but she works in an industry that many would say is anti-feminist.

My classmate, Lauren, raised a good question about this story. She asks, “Does she send a positive message by embracing autonomy and control over her own sexuality, or does her participation in an industry that helps her make a living off of her body only perpetuate the problems so many of us have discussed?”

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Well, I am not one to “slut shame,” nor does my opinion have anything to do with the UNC-Duke rivalry (Go Heels). But, it has everything to do with true female empowerment.

I beg to differ with this Duke university student who claims that waiting tables is more degrading than participating in a pornography. Sure, I’ve never done porn (and no, I never will), but how is sexually exploiting yourself less degrading than bringing people a meal? Sure, people may complain to you about your service and the quality of their food, but can you honestly say that you don’t find it degrading to be objectified through pornography?

And, furthermore, these films she’s making aren’t just going to disappear. Her body, and her actions, are going to be stared at for years to come – the Internet is eternal. People are not viewing these films thinking “Wow, this is art.” People are viewing these films and thinking things that I myself am too uncomfortable to even type.

I think this sends a horrible message to young women out there. Yes, it is absolutely, positively great to earn your own money and to not depend on anyone else. But, to earn your own money in such a manner is not empowering, it is indeed demeaning. And while I agree that females generally don’t embrace their sexuality as wholeheartedly as men, can you truly say that putting your body on display for all to see is embracing your sexuality? I argue that it is exploiting yourself and destroying your true, personal sexuality.

As women, we need to move away from the idea that our bodies are most valuable. We are so much more than our bodies, and we should not be paid to objectify ourselves. So Lauren, to answer your question, I think this student is perpetuating the idea that a woman’s body is where she holds her worth. We are more than our bodies, let’s embrace our brains.

The Ultimate Sports Rivalry Gone Viral

Sports and viral videos – what do the two have in common? I think they both ignite an audience and bring people together (or in this case, tear them apart), don’t you?

Viral videos captivate audiences across the globe and spread like wildfire. Over 72 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every single minute, and that rate continues to grow. People crave these user-generated videos, and sites like Vimeo are adding to people’s ability to spread their video content.

This week, “the biggest rivalry in sports, bar none” plays out live. Wednesday, at 9 p.m., Carolina faces Duke at the Dean E. Smith Center, and fans across the state of North Carolina (and the world, I presume) will be tuned in to see what happens.

The video above is proof that viral videos are more than just a method of procrastination for the world’s youth. This video is proof that viral videos spark hype in their viewers, and can bring excitement and awareness to a particular topic.

Sports films are often a big hit, just think about Remember the Titans or Friday Night Lights. The Blue Blood Rivalry Movie will be unlike any other, though, because it is a real-life rivalry that will never cease to exist.

So, watch this video. Get hyped. And, obviously Go Tar Heels and Go to Hell d00k.

Google Doodle Competition

Imagining the world without Google is pretty difficult this day and age, but even when I was a child, it simply didn’t exist. Now, I use Google umpteen times a day and don’t think I would make it through a single college research paper without the search engine. 

If you’re anything like my professor, John Robinson, you’re not only drawn to Google because of its ability to help you learn about any topic in the world, you’re drawn to it because of its, well, drawings. I’m talking Google Doodles, people.

According to Google, “Doodles are the fun, surprising, and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists.” The first Doodle was born in 2000, and since, over 1000 Google Doodles have been created for the site.

These Doodles are designed by a team of illustrators, and they are an entertaining change of pace from the typical Google logo. Google engages its users because a lot of them can’t wait to see what Doodle Google comes up with next.

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Switzerland Children’s Day 2013 (November 20, 2013)

So this year, Google announced it’s doing good with its Doodles, launching a competition for kids and teens to come up with a Google Doodle, in the hopes of winning a $30,000 college scholarship, as well as a $50,000 Google for Education technology grant for their school. The theme for this years competition is “If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place,” so Doodles should reflect this idea. Entrants from kindergarten to high school are welcome to enter and can submit as many entries as they please.

Google is propelling its popular Doodle page to help spark ideas in children, the world’s future, and I for one am excited to see what these kids come up with to make the world a better place.

If you love Google Doodles, too, but aren’t quite in the kindergarten to high school age range, feel free to send any Google Doodle ideas you may have to proposals@google.com – user suggestions are welcome!

Save Money, Use Mint

With the new year still fresh, many people are still adamant about sticking to their New Year’s Resolutions. According to the site Statistic Brain, 45 percent of Americans typically make New Year’s Resolutions. In 2014, the second most popular resolution was to get organized, while the third most common resolution was to save more and spend less. I think the two go hand-in-hand.

As a business major emphasizing in finance, I pride myself on being fiscally responsible (although some people prefer to call me “frugal”). But, as a poor college student, managing money can be stressful, and who needs extra stress these days?

As I admitted earlier, I am addicted to my smartphone and I know I am not alone in this sentiment. How does this relate to managing money? There’s an app for that!

If you’ve never heard of the app Mint and are struggling to manage your finances, go check it out (and download it!). If you don’t have a smartphone, the same services are available at mint.com.

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Mint.com is a free service that allows you to connect all of your bank accounts in one place. It monitors  your transactions from all of your connected accounts, and it allows you to create a budget for yourself. The budgets created are divided into categories, such as “food and dining,” “gas and travel,” and “entertainment.” Your transactions will be categorized, and the app will send you reminders when you’ve gone over budget in a given category. Additionally, the app sends its users a weekly financial summary.

It’s a safe and secure system that will help you manage your finances and achieve your financial goals. It’s simple to use, meaning anyone who has access to the site will be able to make use of the service.

If you, like many, are hoping to get organized and save more this year, check out Mint and allow technology to become your financial advocate!