On the evening of February 13, several editors and writers for “The Feminist Wire” came to Scripps for a discussion on the website, its founding, its mission, and its structure. The round table featured Tamura A. Lomax, co-founder and managing editor; Monica J. Casper, managing editor; Aishah Shahidah Simmons, associate editor; and Sikivu Hutchinson, contributing editor.
“The Feminist Wire” was born from a moment where racism, sexism, and the media collided. Lomax described feeling a “need to intervene,” because no one was interested in the black feminist side of the story. “We set out to create a space for that other side of the story,” she continued.
Casper would go on to detail the “invisible labor” involved in creating that space. “We all get very, very tired,” she said. All writers for “The Feminist Wire” are volunteers—they contribute to the website in their free time (many of them work in academia or have families), and are not compensated for their work. Casper described the website as a “collective.” “Nobody owns The Feminist Wire,” she said. “It just lives.” This collective structure does require what Casper described as a “tremendous amount of trust,” as well as “love and collaboration.” With no one person in charge, everyone must rely on one another to have work completed on time that fulfills the standards of the website.
“We have each other’s back,” Simmons continued, “even when we don’t agree.” She elaborated on the “invisible labor” necessary for The Feminist Wire to remain online. Although the editors are constantly in touch, they rarely, if ever, meet in person. Instead, they hash out all details of the website via email and chat. Some of the editors at the roundtable met for the first time that night, a fact that inspired laughter from both the round table and the audience.
Simmons sobered quickly, though. She explained that what made the Wire unique was that they were willing to “pull out and tease various issues” in a way particular to the website. This often involves the creation of forums, where several people will look at an issue from different perspectives. This process often requires many people, but the collective is incredibly thoughtful when it comes to adding new members. This is true whether they are writers or editors— after all, Simmons said, they “try to embody the work we produce on the site.”
This work includes not only work from collective-approved writers but also pieces from college, high school, and middle school students. Hutchinson is an especially strong force behind getting young voices on the site— she is incredibly interested in the issues of young women of color in the LA area, whose voices are systematically silenced. Because of this, these voices that aren’t normally given a chance to speak are often presented on The Feminist Wire. The round table ended with a Q&A session before the editors and the audience dispersed.


The Scripps Voice would like to credit the Scripps FGSS Department, particularly Piya Chatterjee, Kayon James, and Emily Johnson, for the organization and facilitation of this event.

We would also like to emphasize the intersectional, anti-imperialist, and anti-elitist focus and missions of both The Feminist Wire and the FGSS Departments, and we hope to focus on that more in future coverage and articles regarding FGSS and their events. In particular, we would like to push questions of what it means to be a feminist at Scripps, a private, liberal arts institution that costs $60,000 to attend? 

We also hope to continue to generate discussion, and to ensure that all voices have a space to speak within the pages of The Scripps Voice.


Like superheroes, many people have their own sort of secret identity. That girl in your class may be ravenously obsessed with a television show; that person you saw across the dining hall could be a first-class juggler. And in this day and age, pretty much anyone could be running a blog.
By now it’s possible to carve out a space of your own in the rugged frontier that is the Internet— and indeed, Scripps students contribute to everything from creative writing blogs to blogs more focused on social justice, spaces celebrating geekdom, and places to describe in loving detail each aspect of studying abroad. What unites Scripps bloggers (and really, bloggers in general) is a passion that leads them to put fingers to keyboards, touchscreens, and frustratingly imprecise phone keyboards to talk about what they love.
At least that’s the case for Megan Gianniny ‘14. She says, “I think my identity as a geek/nerd is a really important part of myself that people can’t always tell from looking at me (although they certainly can if I’m wearing one of my many “Doctor Who” shirts), and blogging gives me a way to share that passion with a wider online audience.”
Gianniny says that community provided by blogging has been a great part of what makes blogging exciting and enjoyable for her — and in fact, a large motivating factor for many bloggers is the idea of a community with similar interests and passions.
Sarah Luna Lockwood ’16 also found that she thrived in an online community— “in my life,” she says, “it provided a very vital connection. It’s never good to spend too much time online, but I think that the Internet can provide a certain kind of happiness to people who don’t have access to it otherwise.”
For many people, that happiness can be a powerful motivator. But there are as many reasons for starting a blog as there are blogs and people who run them. Alicen Lewis ’15 says she started her own blog in part to have a platform to express her opinions and share her views.
“I have so many ideas I want to put out there,” she says, “that I just don’t have time to put down on paper.”
Others agree— “it is a perfect opportunity to be creative,” says Selene Hsu ‘15, “and exercise writing skills that would really help articulate the kind of person you are to future employers or to anyone on the blogosphere!”
“I highly recommend anyone interested in blogging to go ahead and make one,” continues Hsu, who mainly focuses on her experience studying abroad in her own blog. “My only advice is to not go into making a blog with the mindset of having it perfect. Be authentic. Learn from your mistakes. Have fun! Don’t be intimidated by established blogs since they all had to start from somewhere too!”
“I think if it’s something that someone has a strong interest in, and something they’re truly passionate about, then I would recommend they go for it, no matter what,” agrees Gianniny. “I think the joy of getting to share your passions with an audience, however large or small it may end up being, outweighs the difficulties of balancing it with student life.”
Sure, balancing schoolwork, a blog, and some sort of social life can be a tough situation. But at the end of the day, it’s pretty good to have a space to be yourself— express your own views, talk about things that get you excited, or just share your day-to-day life. It’s a great big world out there. May as well get blogging about it.


The theme of the 86th Academy Awards was, purportedly, “Heroes in Hollywood.” This dream was realized through a montage of inspirational characters of the silver screen shown partway through the show, a dazzling montage with a dazzling array of white male faces of every size and shape.
There was also Katniss, and The Bride. Female representation is alive and kicking in Hollywood, everyone!
…Unfortunately, this would grow to be a bit of a theme.
The Academy Awards is far too much of a boy’s club, but in order to discuss this more fully we’ll need to take it from the top.
For one definition of “beginning,” it’s important to note that the continued male domination of the awards starts with the Academy itself. According to a study completed by the LA Times, the membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is 93 percent white and 76 percent male, a fact that does not bode well for what sort of films and filmmakers the voters are likely to relate to and vote for. The Academy has been making strides to combat this, in theory, accepting large numbers of voters in the past few years in an attempt to further diversify its ranks. However, with so much of the Academy’s ranks so predominately white, male, and rapidly aging, it will take a lot more than hastily accepting more members to fix what seems like a broken system.
This bias is reflected in the show itself: continuing a regrettable tradition, the nominees for Best Director were entirely male. There has been one female winner of the award in the entire history of the awards, a mere five years ago in 2009. Kathryn Bigelow, the winner, makes up 25 percent of all female nominees for the award. That’s right. There have been four.
This trend continues in the other awards, with nine of 13 awards for the work of individuals (thus, categories like Best Animated Film, Best Documentary Short, Original Song, etc. excluded) going to entirely male crews. The female award winners? Cate Blanchett for Actress in a Leading Role; Lupita Nyong’o for Actress in a Supporting Role; Catherine Martin for Costume Design; Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews for Makeup and Hairstyling; and Catherine Martin (again!) and Beverley Dunn for Production Design.
Hardly the rousing sign of a female presence in the industry one would hope for.
Even the film “Gravity,” which is at its core about a powerful female performance, had its admirable seven awards accepted by an entirely male bunch. Not a single woman to be seen in a movie about a woman’s struggle – a tidy representation of the awards themselves.
To look at another branch of the tree: starting from the chronological beginning of this year’s broadcast, one has only to look at the red carpet coverage to see a huge difference between the treatment of female members of Hollywood and their male counterparts. It’s become another honored tradition to gleefully rip actresses apart on the red carpet for their choice of wardrobe, reducing these talented women to nothing more than slabs of meat ­— hands for the “manicam,” pans up and down the body that end rather than begin with the face, dissected to lips and hair and clutches and shoes. It’s difficult to take these actresses (and other members of the industry) seriously when audiences are trained to look at their appearance first and measure them on that. It’s building a poor foundation for a show designed to be a celebration of talent.
It’s true that this did improve slightly during the show, with Ellen DeGeneres bringing an enjoyable female presence to the stage (but really, anything would be an improvement over last year’s cringe worthy rendition of “We Saw Your Boobs”), but there are only so many jokes that can be made about Jennifer Lawrence’s clumsiness or the hyped-up competition between female actresses before the whole thing grows stale. It’s a baby step, but not a large one.
Lupita Nyong’o represented, hopefully, a shift for the awards when she took home the award for Best Supporting Actress with an emotional speech. With tears in her eyes, she said, “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” Although there is, as always, a long way to go —many deserving films made about, for, and by people of color were not present at this year’s ceremony — the triumph of Nyong’o (one of seven black actresses to take home the award) and her director Steve McQueen (the first African American director to win the award for Best Picture) do represent another step forwards for a ceremony plagued by stagnation.
This by no means cancels out the previously mentioned imbalance of age, race, and gender within the Academy, a problem that still desperately seeks a solution. It’s not as if the problem lies within the filmmakers, even — films like Fruitvale Station were hailed by critics and audiences alike, yet remain mysteriously absent from ballots.
Everyone knows the Academy’s weakness for period pieces. Maybe the solution is just to make films about slavery until the minds of the Academy make the leap from the 1800s to the present. 
In fact, the Academy seems far too stuck on the past, in a time where women were silent and people of color weren’t even onscreen. This realization is spreading throughout the world and throughout the industry itself. While accepting her award for Actress in a Leading Role, Cate Blanchett addressed a message to her fellow industry members: “Those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences: they are not — audiences want to see them, and in fact they earn money. The world is round, people!”
Audiences have realized it. It’s time the Academy did too.