The Oberlin Review

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....

Kiss My Sass: Eat the Cake, Jay Z!

Sophia Ottoni-Wilhelm, Opinions Editor

February 7, 2014

Before Christmas Beyoncé surprised the world with the release of a bitchin’ self-titled album featuring an array of popular artists: Drake, Frank Ocean, her husband Jay Z and Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The album blew my mind with the collection of 17 videos centered on the theme of marriage, sex and family. Beyoncé says the birth of her daughter, Blue Ivy™ (yes, her name is trademarked), made the album possible: “Once I became a mother, I felt like I could tear down those fourth walls. I completely feel liberated, and I felt like I could no longer create my art for other people, so I just felt like it was time.” This is nothing new. Beyoncé’s personal life — both her relationship with...

Performance-Enhancing Drugs More Common in Men Than Women

Rose Stoloff, Sports Editor

September 27, 2013

The prevalence of performance-enhancing drugs among professional athletes has been well documented. Slews of baseball players, including the infamous Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Jose Canseco, have captured media attention for months on end for their illicit use of steroids. Track stars Tyson Gay and Ben Johnson were stripped of their Olympic medals after allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. And, most recently, cyclist Lance Armstrong is being sued left and right after he was disgraced for blood doping. But there is one large contingent of athletes that is curiously missing from these scandals: women. However, female athletes are not immune from turning to drugs to make themselves more competitive. Track...

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