The Oberlin Review

Andrea Lawlor, English Professor, Author, and Poet

Andrea Lawlor, English Professor, Author, and Poet

April 26, 2019

Author Andrea Lawlor is a visiting lecturer of English at Mount Holyoke College and a fiction editor at Fence magazine. They published a chapbook of poems, Position Papers, in 2016 and their first novel, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, in 2017. A 2018 finalist for the Lambda Literary and CLMP Firecracker Awards, Paul tells the story of a queer shapeshifter as he makes his way across the United States, navigating a series of complicated relationships. Last week, Lawlor visited Oberlin for a r...

Mary Ann Newman, Translator

Mary Ann Newman, Translator

April 6, 2018

Acclaimed translator Mary Ann Newman is the executive director of the Farragut Fund for Catalan Culture in the U.S., co-chair of the PEN Translation Committee, a board member of the Catalan Institue of America, and a member of the North American Catalan Society. She translates from Catalan and Spanish and has published works by Quim Monzó, Xavier Rubert de Ventós, Josep Carner, and Josep Maria de Sagarra. She was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi in 1998 and the 2017 North American Catalan Society ...

Balanced Gender Representation Promotes Better Government

Ezra Andres-Tysch, Contributing Writer

September 29, 2017

Oberlin continued its dedication to civic participation, political activism, and social justice Tuesday as college students, faculty, and Oberlin residents lined up outside of Wilder 101 to hear executive director of Emerge Vermont Ruth Hardy, OC ’92, speak. The enthusiastic and sweaty audience packed the lecture hall, listening to Hardy discuss why women should run for office and why voters should support them. Emerge Vermont works “to increase the number of Democratic women in public office.” Hardy is an elected official herself, serving as the chair of the local school board in Middlebury, VT. She got started in local politics because she wanted to introduce foreign language classes to Middlebury eleme...

Gender Segregation in Sports Should Be Reconsidered

Brittany Mendez, Contributing Writer

September 22, 2017

Last week, at the recommendation of my Philosophy professor, I attended a lecture by Dr. Rachel McKinnon titled “Including Trans Athletes in Sports.” I’m glad I went, because it challenged me to think more deeply about why we segregate sports by gender. Historically, Black athletes have performed better in sports, but if we split sports by race, most would consider this to be absurd. If this is true, why do we accept segregation of sports by gender? McKinnon is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy department at the College of Charleston and an international cyclist hoping to compete in the next Olympic Games. As a trans female athlete, she has faced many challenges in competing in organized athl...

Off the Cuff: Chloe Bird, RAND sociologist and professor

Off the Cuff: Chloe Bird, RAND sociologist and professor

September 25, 2015

Chloe Bird, OC ’86, is a senior sociologist at the RAND Corporation and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School who specializes in the differences in healthcare between women and men, particularly in regard to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. She is also the editor-in-chief of the medical journal Women’s Health Issues. On Thursday, Sept. 17, she gave a talk in the King Building titled “Mapping Gender Gaps in Quality of Care for Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes.” What have you found i...

Identity Does Not Define Experiences

Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura, College senior

April 24, 2015

To the Editors: My name is Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura. I take he, him and his. I am a mixed-race Japanese American. I am cisgender and heterosexual; I am from Ohio and a strictly middle-class background. (I received a federal Pell Grant one year and not others because my family is right on the cusp of certain federal guidelines.) My father is an immigrant with no college degree, while my mother has a Master’s degree. (You might be surprised at who makes more money.) I am the oldest and only son of four children. I am graduating in May and have gained tremendously from my Oberlin education. This introduction is meant to highlight both my social privileges and challenges. (These are in fact relative terms, which means...

Pronouns a Right, Not a Preference

Noelle Hedges-Goettl, Contributing Writer

April 3, 2015

Here at Oberlin, we have this wonderful practice of introducing ourselves with not just our name but also our “PGPs” or “Preferred Gender Pronouns.” Usually, this takes the form of a simple statement. “Hello, Noelle, she/her/hers, nice to meet you.” But when holding initial introductions in a classroom, there is a large variety of ways to express what one wants to be called. Most people will say some variant on “Hello, my name is John Smith, and I prefer they/them/theirs.” I, however, do not. I say, “I’m Noelle, I take she/her/hers.” Now for most people, the difference here is insignificant; what does it matter the precise language used so long as I wind up calling you the right thing? But it...

Tabloids Promote Harmful View of Transgender Identity

Kiley Petersen, Opinions Editor

February 6, 2015

Recent headlines in gossip magazines like InTouch, People and Us Weekly proclaim the news that former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner is transitioning to live openly as a woman. While I tend to regard tabloid news with as much respect and credibility as Jenny McCarthy’s anti-vaccine movement, the story has created enough controversy for major news outlets like The New York Times to cover the story. Jenner’s changes in appearance have been widely publicized. There are countless slideshows and photos depicting the more feminine aspects of their look: Jenner’s increasingly longer hair and painted nails along with signs of a shaved-down Adam’s apple have been used as evidence that they are in the process of trans...

Equality Movement Must Push Beyond Marriage

Sophie Kemp, Contributing Writer

November 14, 2014

On Nov. 6, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ban on marriage equality in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee. Now, before we all stand around singing along to “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and flaunting FCKH8 apparel, it’s important to have a discussion about the direction in which the mainstream movement for marriage equality is going. I think if you were to walk around Oberlin’s campus and ask people about their thoughts on marriage equality, the issue would have overwhelming — if not complete — support. Before the Sixth Circuit ruling, I was convinced that there was near-universal support for marriage equality. We live in a society that is progressively warming up to accepting...

Fallon in Drag Perpetuates Harmful Gender Stereotpyes

Maggie Menditto, Contributing Writer

October 31, 2014

When I was 11 years old, I walked to the Potomac Video Store and rented the first eight episodes of the popular television show Gilmore Girls. Over the next couple of months, I consumed six seasons of the show, hooked on watching the mother-and-daughter best friends Lorelai and Rory navigate school, work and love, all while balancing their down-to-earth sensibilities and burgeoning career ambitions. I identified with 16-year-old Rory, who was shy and quiet but whip-smart with big dreams and a strong work ethic. I wanted to be her, going so far as transferring schools in the eighth grade to be the “new girl,” as Rory was in season one. When I had trouble in school or felt bad about my lackluster social status, I look...

Feminism Needs Men On Board, Not In Control

Kiley Petersen, Staff Writer

October 3, 2014

In what Vanity Fair hailed as a “game-changing” speech, actress Emma Watson, appointed a U.N. women goodwill ambassador in July, addressed the U.N. in New York on Sept. 21 to launch a campaign called HeForShe. HeForShe extends a “formal invitation” for male involvement in eliminating gender inequality and sexism. This “formal invitation” worries me as it brings up complications of allyship and false equivalency. I agree with a lot of Watson’s speech. She spoke honestly about her experiences with sexism as a child and as a young adult, from being called bossy at age 8 to being sexualized by the media at age 14. She eloquently defined feminism as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights...

Insidious Societal Contructs Dictate Our Lives

Sean Para, Columnist

February 14, 2014

Social constructs shape our lives in a profound and little-addressed way. Race, class, gender, the state — these are all constructions. They exist because we, as a society, live by their tenets and allow them to shape our lives. Let us consider, for a first example, the state. While the state seems to many a crucial, fundamental part of our society, its legitimacy is drawn only from popular consent and an ability to provide social benefits to most members of society. As Locke would put it, the state exists because of a social contract between members of society. The state’s power isn’t based on anything tangible, but rather the consent of the people living under it and the sense of legitimacy they give to its actions....

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