Al Jazeera English: My commentary on Michelle Obama’s speech and gender issues in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

By on Oct 14, 2016 in Femellaneous | 0 comments

Friday, Oct. 14, 2016 I appeared on Al Jazeera English during its 4pm news cast today to discuss Michelle Obama’s speech, gender issues, and buyer’s remorse in the presidential election. Watch my commentary here:

Getting Girls Excited About Science

By on Mar 23, 2014 in Femellaneous | 0 comments

When I was in elementary and middle school, I loved science. I thought for sure I would grow up to be some sort of a scientist, like a genetic engineer. Well, as luck would have it, I chose to follow my passion for writing instead. But, of course, I don’t regret any of my scientific forays at that young age. I loved participating (and excelling) in science fairs, readings books about outer space and daydreaming about becoming an astronaut. Who knows, it may come true yet. Despite my career choice, I plan to encourage my future daughters to pursue careers in STEM fields. And one way I plan on doing that is sending them to science camps. One of my fondest and most exciting memories from childhood is participating in the B-WISER Science Camp at the College of Wooster in Ohio. My sister and I were invited to attend the camp after our projects won big at a local science fair. We loved...

Hey, NY Times: Ukrainian Women are Heroes Too!

By on Mar 11, 2014 in Femellaneous, Gender in the Media | 0 comments

About two weeks ago, the New York Times published an article about Ukrainians’ thoughts on the newly installed revolutionary government. It was an interesting read, but there was one sentence that angered me for its sexist implications. I wrote a letter to the editor about it. Alas, it wasn’t published. But you can read what I wrote below. Do you agree or disagree with me? In Andrew Higgins’ article, Fears of a New Order Filled with Old Faces, published on Feb. 25 in the International New York Times, he writes: “The revered heroes of Ukraine’s revolution are squads of helmeted young men with clubs who risked their lives to hold back government forces as they tried early last week to seize Independence Square, known as Maidan.” Are young men the only heroes of this revolution? Has Higgins already forgotten about the many young Ukrainian women who risked...

Don’t Write Me Off As a “Young Woman”

By on Mar 3, 2014 in Femellaneous | 0 comments

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed for the BBC World Service’s Sportsworld Sunday Debate. The topic of the show was whether countries with strong and controversial political views should be allowed to host major sporting events. The issues discussed included the Sochi Olympics and Russia’s homophobia, but I was interviewed specifically about Qatar and its hosting of the 2022 World Cup. I gave my perspective and the other interviewees/guests on the show gave theirs. All in all, a normal debate. Except for one tiny, sexist thing. One of the guests pretty much brushed me off and everything I had to say because I was a “young woman.” Here’s the background: I spoke briefly about women’s rights and migrant laborer issues in the country. Basically I said that when it comes to women’s rights, Qatar actually has a lot of things going for it. The...

EuroMaidan: Women Rising in Ukraine

By on Feb 24, 2014 in Femellaneous | 0 comments

The past couple of days have been truly exciting in Ukraine. Nationalists, anti-corruption activists and opposition leaders have ousted President Viktor Yanukovych from power and are now calling for new elections in May. As a Ukrainian-American, watching the revolution unfold has been both exhilarating and frustrating. It’s been an incredible experience to witness the everyday people of Ukraine rise up and demand their democratic and human rights from the government. But I wish I could be standing alongside my fellow Ukrainians, instead of watching the EuroMaidan protests from afar. I am nervous about what lies ahead – will justice prevail? Will Ukraine finally break free of Russian subjugation, just as my grandparents have dreamed of for so long? Or will EuroMaidan transform into another failure, just as the 2004 Orange Revolution did? Will another Russia-lackey or avarice...

Would You Wear Anti-Rape Shorts?

By on Nov 2, 2013 in Femellaneous | 2 comments

Last week, Role/Reboot published my piece on anti-rape shorts. It’s a new product created by an NY clothing firm that would apparently protect women from being at least penetratively raped. I’m not entirely convinced of its merits. But yet, I can’t help myself thinking about buying a pair. Anti-rape wear is another example of how women must shoulder the burden of sexual violence and misogyny. This time around, we have a say in whether we wear them, but we are still allowing men—or our fear of them—to indirectly control us. We don’t need another commercial campaign telling women how to protect ourselves. We already know. I carry pepper spray, always keep a close eye on my drink, and even know a few self-defense moves. Does that keep me safe? Maybe. But these actions don’t do anything to solve the underlying problem: We live in a world where men frequently dehumanize...