Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Safe Spaces Foster Inclusive, Productive Campus Conversation

Editorial Board

April 3, 2015

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Content Warning: This editorial discusses potentially triggering issues like rape, sexualized violence, abuse, suicide and offensive language. Dubbed the “Me Me Me Generation” by Time Magazine in its May 2013 issue, millennials receive no shortage of bad press. It’s almost too easy to blame technology and the instant gratification that comes with it for creating a generation of lazy, narcissistic, entitled brats who only look up from their iPhones to complain about their Starbucks orders. Columnist Judith Shulevitz’s latest op-ed equates college students to coddled children afraid to examine frightening concepts like rape, assault, abuse and suicide or engage with racist, misogynistic and anti-queer la...

International Women’s Day Fails to Recognize Global Diversity of Experiences

Editorial Board

March 13, 2015

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Content warning: This editorial contains discussion of sexualized violence. In a country with more CEOs named John than CEOs that are women, the need for an International Women’s Day is clear. This year’s event centered around the hashtags #MakeItHappen and #PaintItPurple to shed light on the broad topic of “gender equality ... justice and dignity,” according to the IWD website. While this effort at uniting women across the globe under the umbrella of gender inequality is no doubt well-intentioned, International Women’s Day glosses over the intersecting factors that compound women’s inequality; race, class, religion, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation and trans status all play into how women are tr...

Nemtsov Killing Should Prompt Introspection Alongside Condemnation

Editorial Board

March 6, 2015

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

When prominent Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was shot dead on a Moscow street last Friday, days before he was slated to lead a major anti-government protest, global leaders rallied behind familiar cries. Nemtsov, an ardent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had been well known since Boris Yeltsin’s presidency for his liberal politics and calls for democratic reform. Just hours before his assassination, Nemtsov gave an interview calling for honest elections and an end to the Kremlin’s “censorship [and] propaganda.” It was no surprise, then, when world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, called for transparency as Putin announced that he would...

Feminized Gun Marketing Exacerbates Rape Culture

Editorial Board

February 27, 2015

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Many women learn early on how to defend themselves in dangerous situations: hold their keys between their knuckles in dark parking garages; keep mini-canisters of pepper spray in their purses. From a young age, just as everyone learns to look both ways before crossing the street, women are taught not to walk home alone if they can help it, not to put their drinks down at parties, not to show too much skin — all for fear of inviting sexual assault. It’s a similar, if violently escalated, vein of logic that Second Amendment activists employ when they tell women on college campuses that the best way to protect themselves against sexual assault is to up the ante: Carry a gun. The argument, which briefly caught the...

Williams Controversy Highlights Perils of Fame in Objective Journalism

Editorial Board

February 20, 2015

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Media lenses turned inward last week when NBC announced its Feb. 10 decision to suspend Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. Revelations that the Emmy Award–winning news personality had repeatedly misrepresented his experiences reporting on a 2003 Iraq War mission left the news network reeling, trying to assess damage done to the network’s credibility. Williams delivered an on-air apology on Feb. 4 for what he called a “mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago,” but his words were quickly overshadowed by a media cycle determined to scrutinize stories from throughout the anchor’s Nightly News tenure. On the same day as the suspension, revered newsroom comedian Jon Stewart announced that he would be l...

By Ignoring Parallels with Present, Audiences Undercut Black Retellings of History

Editorial Board

February 13, 2015

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Fresh from the success of a powerful Winter Term production that filled Hall Auditorium last weekend, members of the cast of Dessa Rose reunited Wednesday for one final performance, this time before a markedly different audience: minimum-security inmates at Grafton Correctional Institution. “I cannot tell you how much [more] this one shortened sing thru version of the show meant to me than any of our performances combined,” wrote College sophomore and lead actress Tiffany Ames in a Facebook post. “More than any show I’ve ever done.” That the musical would take on new meaning in the context of prison should be no surprise. For some of those who took seats in Hall last weekend, however, the story’s contemporary politi...

Bryn Mawr Debacle Highlights Weight-Centric Approach to “Health”

Editorial Board

February 6, 2015

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Trigger Warning: This editorial contains discussion of eating disorders and body image.  A troubling Health Center email sent to students with “elevated” BMIs, encouraging them to “Give a HOOT” about their body size, generated protests and unfavorable press at Bryn Mawr College in late January. “We want YOU to be in the Fitness OWLS (Onward to Weight Loss Success) Program,” read the message, noting that the program was a partnership between the Bryn Mawr health center and the school’s athletic department and dining services. Health Center Director Kay C. Kerr issued a written apology for the message last Saturday, but not before the incident drew renewed attention to discussions of health and wellne...

Rolling Stone Errors Highlight Poor Journalism, Perpetuate Rape Culture

Editorial Board

December 12, 2014

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Trigger Warning: This editorial contains discussion of sexualized violence.  After weeks of controversy over the veracity of a Rolling Stone article on rape at the University of Virginia, an anonymous source came forward on Tuesday claiming that the deputy managing editor of the magazine, Sean Woods, had offered his letter of resignation to Rolling Stone’s founder and publisher, Jann Wenner. The move follows a series of journalistic errors that has unnecessarily diverted media attention away from the realities of campus sexual assault. The article, “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely, told the story of a first-year, “Jackie,” who was gang raped b...

Representative Media Coverage Requires Voices of Citizen Journalists

Editorial Board

December 5, 2014

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

Hours after a Staten Island grand jury announced Wednesday that a white NYPD officer would not be indicted in the death of Eric Garner, a black father of six who stopped breathing while held in a banned chokehold, The Huffington Post published a headline that stood out in the media frenzy: “A Grand Jury Did Indict One Person Involved In Eric Garner’s Killing — The Man Who Filmed It.” More surprising than the news of another non-indictment of a white police officer accused of killing an unarmed black man is the rarity of this type of media angle. In the cases of John Crawford in Beavercreek, Ohio, Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and now Eric Garner in New York City, corporate-backed national media outlets have...

Emergency Declaration in Missouri Premature, Discourages Structural Change

Editorial Board

November 21, 2014

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In anticipation of the announcement by prosecutors of whether a grand jury will file charges against Darren Wilson — the Ferguson, MO police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in August — Missouri Governor Jay Nixon stoked the flames of a virulent disconnect between government officials and black residents in greater St. Louis by declaring a state of emergency Monday. Nixon, a second-term Democrat, authorized National Guard troops to assist a coalition of three police agencies in controlling expected demonstrations following the announcement, sending a stark message to the nonviolent organizers: You are our enemy. Nixon’s misguided action worsens a pervasive lack of effective leadership at a...

Net Neutrality Essential in Maintaining Worldwide Flow of Information, Ideas

Editorial Board

November 14, 2014

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

President Obama announced on Monday his support for protecting net neutrality — the principle that all internet traffic, from personal blogs to viral videos to CNN breaking news, should be treated equally by internet service providers. This welcome gesture did little, however, to convey the gravity of what’s at stake. Without net neutrality protections, internet service providers have the power — and the profit motive — to effectively redefine high-speed internet and its idea-sharing power as a privilege reserved for those already in positions of wealth and influence. Net neutrality is one of very few issues that affects virtually every American personally, yet very few understand it; in the words of comedian...

Street Harassment Discourse Disregards Intersectional Issues

Editorial Board

November 7, 2014

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

When online videos related to pressing social or political issues go viral, the mainstream media sometimes weighs in. This week, the online branches of media outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post and NPR did just that in response to the video gracing news feeds across the nation: the viral PSA commissioned by Hollaback!, an anti-street harassment group. The video’s premise is simple: A woman is filmed from a hidden camera carried in front of her as she walks around “all areas of Manhattan, wearing jeans and a crew-neck t-shirt” for 10 hours. The two-minute video compiles short clips from some of the “100+ instances of verbal street harassment” the video claims she experiences over the cour...

Established 1874.