Tag Archives: column

Belated Farewell Column!

Other things I forgot to post to this blog while I was busy scrambling to graduate from college include my farewell column to the Pitt News, featuring my thinly-veiled thoughts on the Druids, musings on being both opinionated and crazy, and helpful hints that a woman is not going to touch your genitals tonight.

Sometimes the cruelest thing you can say to someone is “There’s nothing wrong with you.” When you’re struggling with symptoms — mental or physical — that make you miserable and impair your daily living, those words sound like, “There’s no relief for this. It’s always going to be this bad, and if you were a stronger person, you’d just be able to deal with it.” That is a cruel lie. If you are suffering more than you are enjoying your life, then something is wrong — whether or not it’s diagnosable — and you don’t have to live like that.



Backlogs: Fossil Fuels! Preteen Thongs!

So I am behind on this blog again, but here are some of my backlog columns in case you missed them! On the controversy over Victoria’s Secret making sexy underwear for children – and the fact that being squicked out is not a solid place from which to advocate:

“The Victoria’s Secret tween line does not mean that middle school girls will — all of a sudden — be wearing racy underwear. Many of the young girls who will shop the new line were already wearing racy underwear, no doubt some of it from Victoria’s Secret; after all, people don’t exclusively buy things that are marketed to them directly, and of no demographic is that more true than girls who want to seem older than they are.

It also doesn’t mean that any of these girls are doomed. Girls with whom I went to middle school wore thongs, and many of them turned out fine. I, for my part, insistently purchased and wore a red string bikini at age 12 that I now cringe at the thought of such a young girl wearing, and I would venture that I also turned out OK.

That young teens and preteens want to feel grown-up and experiment with sex and sexiness is less a symptom of a sick society than a developmental fact. That intimates stores would want to corner that eager market is perhaps an inevitability of capitalism. But one thing’s for sure: The urge to control, condemn and punish young people — especially young women — for wanting to be grown-up and sexy has failed, thus far, to produce the desired result of adults with healthy sexual expectations and boundaries.”


On fossil fuels being an unsexy investment choice for Pitt:


After all, “sustainable” isn’t just a catchy buzzword. It means that an environmental practice can continue. Fossil fuels are unsustainable, not only because they are huge polluters but because there is a finite supply of them. Investing in fossil fuels is an exercise in prioritizing short-term reward over long-term stability. We can do better.


Catch-Up: Two Big Damn Columns

As the title indicates, I wrote two Big Damn Columns over the last month – one about asexuality, one about student debt – that I am rather proud of.

For my asexuality column, which was a basic “Yes, asexuals exist!” 101 type piece for the Sex Edition, I got to interview the wonderful Sasha. I was taking on a lot of responsibility, as a sexual person taking the role of “introducing” asexuality to the Pitt student body, and I mostly was just praying I didn’t fuck it up. But asexuals from Pittsburgh commented on the post saying that it made them happy, so I think it was a success.

When asked what’s the most important thing she wants people to know about asexuality, Sasha answers bluntly, “that we exist.”


Then I wrote about student debt, which was lengthy and kind of difficult – I had to confront some truths about my own finances that made me very anxious – but very rewarding. I also learned a lot about egg donation, because every time I thought about how much I owe in student loans, I started researching the requirements for selling my eggs.

When I graduate from Pitt this April, I will owe a combined total of $53,638 in subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford, Parent Plus and private loans, not counting interest.

How much do you owe?


when we talk about student debt, we tend to be vague. Most of us say we have “a lot of loans,” but it’s rarely clear what that means — anything from $20,000 to $100,000 can be someone’s idea of “a lot of loans.”


Today’s Column Is About Self-Esteem

I was going to refrain from mentioning this column aside from burying it at the very bottom of the Mental Health round-up because it was honestly not my favorite. Also, the title makes it sound like I am just instructing people to like themselves, when what I really meant to do was deconstruct the reasons we continue choosing not to.

But I got a lot of positive feedback, including from a very tough professor, so I’m going to make it a Special Feature anyway. Here we go.

I’m not quoting the whole thing, because the Pitt News is losing money and that makes me sad, so I don’t want to steal a page view from them. Please click through!


Something really frightening happened yesterday when I looked in the mirror.

In fact, it’s been happening for weeks. More often than not, for almost a month now, I’ve looked in the mirror and felt … basically alright about what I saw.

Getting comfortable with my own appearance is something I’ve been working toward, with no small amount of struggle, for years. And now that I seem to be arriving at my goal, the emotion I feel is less triumph than fear. Where do I get off feeling good about how I look? Who gave me permission to go around thinking I’m some sort of hot property? What kind of conceited jerk am I turning into?

On Why Hating Yourself Is A Bad Decision, Basically