10 Things You Should Know Before Your Wedding



If you’re reading this, congratulations! You’re likely engaged, or at least heading toward a wedding. It will be the most incredible, beautiful day of your life. You’ll probably deal with at least some stress beforehand, but when all is said and done, you’ll get to spend a wonderful life with your partner.

That being said, here are a few things I learned along the way to help YOU relieve stress and enjoy your special day!

It’s your wedding, not anyone else’s. It’s easy to feel pressure from friends, parents, etc. They’re all likely well-meaning, but it’s your wedding day, not theirs. It’s up to you how much input you want to let others have on things like your wedding dress (Say Yes to the Dress, anyone?), food, etc. We’ve all seen that list circulating the Internet about “stupid wedding trends” or whatever, but my thought is this: DO WHAT YOU WANT. WHATEVER YOU WANT. Seriously. Whoever you want in your bridal party, invite them; and whoever you don’t, don’t. Whatever band you want to hire, go for it! Same goes for the food, the venue, the dress, and all that jazz.

Continue reading

Fifteen Real-Life Wonder Women

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Although I’ve yet to actually go see it, I’m thrilled by the hype floating around on social media regarding the new Wonder Woman movie. There’s just something about seeing a film surrounding a strong, powerful woman succeed that sends chills up and down my spine. It’s fantastic – and I wanted to feed off that energy by reminding everyone of some of the incredible women who have brought about change in society!

Hopefully you’ve already heard of these 15 powerful women and are familiar with their accomplishments, but in all honesty, you might not be. Their stories deserve recognition and acknowledgment, far more than I can give them – but I hope this is a start.

Continue reading

Book Review: Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire

Deepa Kumar’s book “Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire” might just be the most important book I’ll read all year – and I strongly suggest that others pick it up and give it a read as well. The book is a few years dated, but it is so important, even moreso in today’s political climate in the United States under Trump. (Honestly, I can only hope Kumar will re-release it in a few years with chapters about what’s going on in the country today, and I can only hope that in a few years, we’ll be better off.)

It took me about two weeks to read this book, if only because I wanted to take my time and really digest it. There’s a lot of information here, starting with the historical context of Islamophobia – not just in the United States – and leading up to the times that casual Islamophobia ran free under President Obama.

Continue reading

Book Review: Asking For It

I want to keep this short & sweet (if that’s even possible with me). Kate Harding’s book, Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture – and What We Can Do About It is such an integral read, especially at this point in our society.

The 2015 release discusses the rape culture that exists in our society today, and its many facets. From the seemingly-innocent “safety tips” that women are often given – which really serve to enforce rape culture – to the politics of rape, to various examples of how the media has handled (mishandled, that is) many of these situations, Harding covers a lot of ground on an important topic. She also discusses the Internet age and the “trolls” that exist nowadays, and how these people are really enacting a form of terrorism, albeit not the kind we might traditionally think of.

Honestly, as someone who identifies as a feminist, I thought this was one of the most important books I’ve read in a while. It’s a 2015 release, so it’s very up-to-date, and undoubtedly a newer version could now be written to discuss our current political state and how it upholds rape culture and portrays sexual assault as somehow okay. (I guess realistically it’d have to be a whole separate book, because oof, it’s a doozy.)

Please, please, please, read this book. As the title states, it certainly is alarming to see this rise of rape culture today. As I read this one, it absolutely made me think of the recent case with NHL player Patrick Kane, and the entire mess that surrounded that case – and just how much support was shown for him, not the victim, and how rape culture ties into every piece of it. Ugh.

Perhaps this book can make us all take a look at how we act in everyday life and if we are, even in small ways, upholding rape culture.

I want to end this review – like I said, a brief one – with a quote from the book itself:

“For as much as feminists are painted as “man-haters”, we’re not the ones suggesting that boys and men lack the ability to think rationally, control their own behavior, or act kindly toward other human beings – even with a boner. We’re the ones who want all of our children to know about meaningful consent, healthy sexuality, and honoring each other’s bodies and boundaries, instead of teaching them that one gender is responsible for managing the other’s helpless animal lust.”

Book Review: The Beauty Myth

“We do not need to change our bodies, we need to change the rules. Beyond the myth, women will still be blamed for our appearances by whomever needs to blame us. So let’s stop blaming ourselves and stop running and stop apologizing, and let’s start to please ourselves once and for all. The ‘beautiful’ woman does not win under the myth, neither does anyone else. The woman who is subjected to the continual adulation of strangers does not win, nor does the woman who denies herself attention. The woman who wears a uniform does not win, nor does the woman with a designer outfit for every day of the year. You do not win by struggling to the top of a caste system, you win by refusing to be trapped within one at all. The woman wins who calls herself beautiful and challenges the world to change to truly see her.

A woman wins by giving herself and other women permission — to eat; to be sexual; to age; to wear overalls, a paste tiara, a Balenciaga gown, a second-hand opera cloak, or combat boots; to cover up or to go practically naked; to do whatever we choose in following — or ignoring — our own aesthetic. A woman wins when she feels that what each woman does with her own body — unforced, uncoerced — is her own business.

When many individual women exempt themselves from the economy, it will begin to dissolve. Institutions, some men, and some women, will continue to try to use women’s appearance against us. But we won’t bite.” – The Beauty Myth

Though there are undoubtedly many key statistics and facts and statements, I felt the above quote nicely summarized my most recent reading, Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth. What an integral piece of reading for women everywhere – and men, too, for that matter; an imperative look into our society and the world around us and how the beauty myth shapes pretty much every aspect of that, and what we must do to fight back against it.

Wolf examines several key pieces of life: work, culture, religion, sex, hunger and violence, and picks apart each one to discuss how the beauty myth is present in that specific topic.

Continue reading