Look out your window or up from your smart phone. Look around you at the outdoors. It's warm outside, and the breeze is barely catching at your neck. You can bask in this warmth, let it consume you from the outside in, let it tingle your skin, let it make you feel alive.
It's like a chemical reaction, this summer of ours, and the warmth and its "(sigh) it's so beautiful outside" is the catalyst. The moment our bodies realize it is summer, the potential of adventures you dream about (rock climbing, river rafting, hiking, beaches, swimming, late nights in the dark, warm air...) becomes kinetic. We pack our bags with swimsuits, towels, (maybe tequilla? A beer?), and a compass or map if you don't like getting lost, and off we go. Into no man's land. Into nothingness. Into lazy day afternoons. Into making ourselves deeper and better... and tanner (wear sunscreen!). Into internships that further our passion. Into classes that pull us deep into books as we lay in a field (Memorial Glade?) and brush our feet against the wet grass. Into living in the moment and truly appreciating what we have. Because... think about your summer, what it entails, the people you'll be hanging out with... how incredibly lucky are we?
So, turn whatever electronic device you're using right now off. And, don't turn it back on until you really have to. Go outside, don't stay inside. Enjoy the summer and all it's beauty. Take the time to "sniff the roses." I don't care how corny that sounds. Be the first to jump in the pool and the last to leave the BBQ. Surprise your friends with adventures to the beach. Surprise your lover with a salty kiss.
And, for god's sake, don't spend your time reading Unleashed. As wonderful as our articles are and as much as we love that you read all these articles (thank you, thank you very much!), we want you to get the fullest experience summer has to offer. We want you to spend every minute you can "doing", not surfing the web or watching soap operas in which other people live and "do." That should be you living, not a fictional character on a flat screen. Go absorb that Vitamin D!
And, as the editor of Unleashed, I care about my writers too. I want them to live just as fully! So, I free us all, just for these three months. Unleashed will be paused until the beginning of fall--August 23rd. Until then! We will miss you dearly! And, we will see you again in the fall.
-Sasha Martin (editor of Unleashed) and the lovely Staff of Unleashed, ever appreciative of your support.
Monday, May 14, 2012
“What are we arguing about? This shouldn’t be hard.”—Vice President Joe Biden
Joe Biden is referring to the objection by Republicans (and only Republicans) to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which was recently passed in the senate by 68 votes for and 31 (only Republican) votes against. The original VAWA, from 1994 advocated by then Senator Joe Biden, provides protection and legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, including aid to local law enforcement, transitional housing for battered women and youth prevention programs.
All those against reauthorizing the VAWA 2012 were Republicans who sited the updates to the Act as reason to vote no. The provisions added to the VAWA 2012 are protection of same-sex victims of domestic violence, protection of Indian women victimized by non-Indian men on reservations, and the issuing of temporary visas to undocumented victims who otherwise would be too frightened to go to the police.
In favor of VAWA 2012:
“Most police officers understand that family violence is a precursor to all other forms of violence, that children who grow up in a violent home are far more likely, as they move into adolescence and adulthood, to resort to fists, guns, knives, baseball bats or hammers to resolve differences. Cops know that early intervention can save a life. Support for the Violence Against Women act should be non-partisan, and overwhelming. It had been before the House of Representatives became infiltrated with an agenda to vote No on any proposal the newcomers thought would restrict freedom. As an American man I shudder to think they could be so irresponsible. As a human being I cannot fathom any other man, or woman, not wanting the tools in the VAWA to be available to law enforcement.”---Steve Preminger, Chair Santa Clara Democratic Party, Director Union Community Resources
Opposition to VAWA 2012 (Republicans and right-wing Christian conservative public policy groups who think the VAWA promotes anti-family, anti-religious, pro-homosexual, pro-feminist agendas):
“We know from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that there are roughly 30 factors that lead to violent, abusive behavior, most notably, anger, drug addiction, and alcohol abuse. Sadly, instead of rehabilitation programs that address those behaviors, the Violence Against Women Act promotes a feminist agenda.”—Janice Shaw Crouse, of Concerned Women for America
In favor of VAWA 2012:
"Today, like each time we have reauthorized this bill before, we passed a better Violence Against Women Act. Expanding coverage for domestic violence should never have been controversial. Where a person lives, who they love, or what their citizenship status may be should not determine whether or not their perpetrators are brought to justice."--- Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
In opposition to VAWA 2012:
“This nicely titled legislation destroys the family by obscuring real violence in order to promote the feminist agenda. It also creates new protections for homosexuals.”--- legislation and advocacy arm of Concerned Women for America.
Opposing VAWA is "a vote against big government and inefficient spending, and a vote in favor of state autonomy and local control."--- Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) who voted No
Really. Can you, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), tell that to an abused, beaten, stalked, raped woman? “You’re on your own missy: find your own shelter, get and pay for your own legal assistance, keep the abuser away by yourself, that’s your problem. Now---we don’t want big government and inefficient spending, do we little lady.”
P.S. On the Ongoing Agenda to Destroy Planned Parenthood:
Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona recently cut off funding to Arizona’s Planned Parenthood, saying that she wanted to make sure that no tax money pays for abortion. But it’s already law in Arizona that no public money can fund abortions.
(Gov. Jan Brewer is also a member of the National Rifle Association, and against same-sex marriage.)
HuffPost, Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Overwhelmingly Passes Senate, by Jennifer Bendery
New York Times, For Senate Democrats, Vote Revolves Around Women, by Jennifer Steinhauer. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/us/politics/for-senate-democrats-election-revolves-around-women.html?_r=1
Concerned Women for America
Concerned Women for America: The Violence Against Women Act Should Outrage Decent People http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/should-the-violence-against-women-act-be-reauthorized/the-violence-against-women-act-should-outrage-decent-people
HuffPost, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Signs Planned Parenthood Funding Ban
The Woman Behind the Politic World Section:
Lesa Martin, after retiring from a career of professional ballet and graduating from UCLA, has sparked a wonderful career as a multi-media artist. She has shown her work in the SF Momma Rental Gallery, and has many ambitious plans concerning enticing new paintings people are itching to see! Multi-faceted Mrs. Martin is also deeply engaged with politics, nose buried in the New York Times daily. Here, she brings us a real, accessible woman's perspective on politics. Enjoy!
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Friday, May 4, 2012
Brad* was 24 Hour Fitness’s version of Michelangelo’s “David” (although he wasn’t naked—darn) He was also my personal trainer. Going into my first session, I expected a (beastly) woman along the lines of Jillian Michaels, and instead I got the Latino version of Brad Pitt. Tall, dark, and…anyway, you get the picture. Although at first I felt intimidated by Brad, I later used his god-like beauty to motivate me to work out harder during my session. The last thing that I wanted was for Brad to think that I was weak. And this is what got me through those final sets. When all I wanted to do was drop to the floor, I pulled through.
Although I didn’t believe that finishing that last push up was going to result in Brad getting down on one knee, I used the idea of Brad to fuel a competitive side of me, a side that was hard to bring out when working out on my own. Rather than Brad, it was what Brad represented---the pressure to push myself to my physical limit, not the false limits imposed by a tired mental state. (However, if Brad wanted to represent more, I wouldn’t turn down the offer…)
I truly believe that everyone has a “Brad.” Everyone has a trigger to motivate them to finish the end of a gruelling workout, reject that slice of cake, hold downward facing dog for an extra 20 seconds. This muse stems from a motivation to achieve what we want for ourselves, not what others want for us. So please, pause for a second and consider or not whether you are engaging in this quest in order to achieve the approval of others. If the answer is no, you may read on.
If you can’t find the muse off of the top of your head (ie: I just wanted to be healthier/more muscular/ect), you can create your own system of rewards. Establish your fitness goals and reward yourself when you achieve them! [Reward yourself for achievement instead of getting angry at yourself for slipping. That will
only lead to a vicious cycle.] I would recommend making these goals weekly or biweekly. For example, set a (healthy) daily calorie limit for yourself. Go to a website, like loseit.com, which will help you plan your daily allotment based on how much weight you wish to lose. The great thing about loseit.com is that it does not let you lose more weight per week than what is healthy for your body time. When you stay within that allotment for two consecutive weeks, treat yourself to a 25-50 minute massage. Girls: treat yourself to a manicure? Boys: buy a new bro tank? Make sure the reward system is both affordable and appealing to you! Decide the amount of money and time you are willing to put aside to create a good reward system. Think of the money as necessary celebratory expense. In reality, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will save you thousands of dollars in the future!
(*name has been changed to maintain my dignity)
The whole point of this is to get you excited about your journey. Above all, fitness starts with having an optimistic, upbeat attitude. The better spirits you are in, the more easily these healthy changes will become habits. If there is anything that is worth celebrating, it is you getting in your best shape.
The Woman Behind the Fitness Section:
Samantha Salis is a Psychology Major and Political Economy Minor at UC Berkeley. She is a dedicated young woman, ambitious and sharp as a whip. Our dear Samantha tutors high schoolers and works at a Psychology lab at UC Berkeley. Even with this busy schedule, Ms. Salis creates the time to divulge to us her passion about the fitness and health of women, and is (fortunately for us) very well informed on these topics. Enjoy!
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Jean Paul Gaultier
March 24, 2012 - August 19, 2012
de Young, San Francisco
“Elegance is a question of personality, more than one's clothing”
----Jean Paul Gaultier
Dior defined elegance with its knee length skirts; Chanel defined elegance with its little black jacket; Yves Saint Laurent defined elegance with his Mondrian dress; Jean Paul Gaultier, however, pulls elegance off the altar of fashion, cuts it into pieces, mixes it with provocative sexual and religious motifs, weaves it into multicultural elements, and throws it back to the runway. His elegance is never meant to be judged with “right” or “wrong”; it always wanders on the border where all the definitions of beauty, dictated by the society, gather, fuse and reborn. This Spring, with more than 140 haute couture and prêt-à-porter designs, as well as numerous sketches, photographs and video clips, Jean Paul Gaultier, the enfant terrible in the industry, drops his explosive vision of fashion in the Herbst Gallery of the de Young Museum in San Francisco. This exhibition encompasses Gaultier’s collection from 1970s to 2010, from the very beginning of his career as an apprentice, his collaboration with Hermès, and the grand opening of his own couture house.
In order to fully display the dynamism in Gaultier’s work, de Young utilizes more than thirty over life-size animated mannequins who can talk, sing and joke with the audience. These mannequins, situated on a high platform, is highly personalized with different facial features and physiognomy. The projectors above their heads cast individualized animated facial expressions and movement on their faces, giving them moving lips and shifting eyes, turning them into lively models who are about to step on the runway. There is even a mannequin for Jean Paul Gaultier himself, casually chatting with the audience in English with a thick French accent. These mannequins display some of his most prestigious designs, including his stripped sweater, lace bondage, Virgin Mary’s crown, and transparent stockings with imprints. Across from the platform, enlarged fashion photographs with famous models, like Kate Moss, donned with Gaultier’s collection, line up neatly on the wall, leading the audience to the next exhibition room where a miniature runway is built. Several mannequins are rotating slowly on the runway, against the background of a huge screen streaming Gaultier’s fashion show in Paris.
Surrounding the runway is another set of his famous design, men in dresses. Openly gay, Gaultier redefine “gender” in his androgynous design of dress and kilts for men. He encourages his male models to put on long kilts with vibrant colors and complex pattern and sashay down the runway. For him, the definition of gender is like a piece of clothe that people wear just to hide themselves. Under that concept, everyone is made up with the same flesh and bones. This idea is further explored through his “body suit,” a tight over-all with patterns of human muscle structure, blood veins and major organs, revealing human anatomy. Under the dim light of the gallery, these body suits create an eerie atmosphere that sends a chill to the audience.
Apart from blending gender differences through his design, Jean Paul Gaultier also brings pop culture and street art into his work. His corset and cone bra are made immortal by Madonna who filled her wardrobe with Gaultier’s design during her Blonde Ambition tour. This cone bra is imitated and rendered in so many different renditions that its influence is still prominent among current pop stars. From Lady Gaga who lit her cone bra on fire in her concert, to the limited edition Coca Cola bottle donned in a lacy cone bra, Gaultier’s provocative geniuses inspire generations of artists and become an irreplaceable element in pop culture.
The Woman Behind the Cultural Perspectives Section:
Asheley Gao is an extremely creative young woman, currently attending UC Berkeley as an undergraduate, a long way away from her home country of China. She is double majoring in Political Economy and History of Art. Her interest in life and exuberance is evident, not only in her work as an artist and academic, but also a friend and co-worker.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Summer is fast approaching (hooray!), which means more time for adventures, road trips and overseas traveling. Experience is always the best teacher, so I decided to ask some of my friends and family members well versed in the art of travel for their best advice. Enjoy your summer travels and put these tips to good use!
· Be cash-conscious. A quick, easy way to save money while traveling is by packing your own lunch to take with you during the day. This way you can save time by eating on the go if you have a busy schedule, as well as money by not paying for three meals a day at restaurants. A second way to save money is by downloading Podcasts from iTunes, a convenient way to get a personal tour of many of many popular attractions without having to pay an arm and a leg!
· Get comfortable. Nothing is worse than discomfort during a long flight. Put a tennis ball in a tube sock and place it between your back and the seat to massage your back. You can also put a book (such as one of your guide books) under your feet to absorb the vibration from the plane, which can be draining over time. Along the same lines, you can bring a thin, hard bound book to sit on.
· Eat mindfully. Eating should be an integral, exciting part of traveling, not a burden. So if you have any kind of food allergy or sensitivity, be sure to do some research beforehand in order to get a feel for what the situation is like in the place in which you are visiting. If you are traveling within United States, that could mean looking up restaurants. If you are going abroad, it could involve knowing the word for, say, “wheat” in a foreign language so you can look for it on food packaging. Small things such as these will make your traveling – which can be tiring – less draining and leave you with more energy to enjoy the newness around you.
· Keep it clean. Staying healthy is one of the most important things you can do to get the most out of your trip. Be sure to carry some hand sanitizer, hand wipes and even toilet paper (depending on where you are traveling) to keep germs at bay. If you are going somewhere without a sanitary water system, avoid drinking tap water or eating anything cold that requires water to prepare at all costs. As wasteful as it may seem, splurging for bottled water is much better than settling for tap water in some places – getting deathly ill is definitely not worth saving money.
· Be culturally sensitive. When traveling to different places, we all have to keep in mind that culture changes, however subtly. With this change comes a whole new approach to food, architecture, clothing, social norms and ideas about gender roles. Research customs particular to the place in which you are traveling. Knowing a little something about etiquette and practical ins and outs of everyday life – for example, to tip or not to tip? – can make your trip smoother. Perhaps more importantly, know that the way that men and women interact in different countries is, of course, different. Meeting new people and finding love in a new place is one of the most exciting parts of travel, but it is important to recognize that societal conceptions of gender vary widely. Women in particular must be conscious of this - research the mentality men carry before you go to a country or risk being caught off guard. For example, when people warn that Italian men are flirtatious? Yes, this sounds exciting to a certain extent, but put up your guard or your toosh may be pinched one time too many. You might not agree with the values that men hold, and if caught unaware, this aspect to travel can be overwhelming and distracting from enjoying the richness of new places. Though you might find it offensive to curb to other cultures’ “misogynist” values, in honor of your safety, it might be advisable to research the women’s role in the country before traveling and mirror it. In Muslim countries, for instance, women must usually wear a certain degree of conservative clothing. If you don’t, reactions can range from a stink eye to violence. You don’t want either in a new country. Embrace what the place has to offer and play the part.
So be safe, be healthy and be adventurous! Learn from experience and enjoy the freedom of summer without the frustrations of travel.
The Woman Behind the Travel Section:
Katie Helete is a cultured old soul with a kind of energy that would entice you to travel with her anywhere. Attending UC Berkeley as an undergraduate, she is majoring in Political Economy. Explore the world, bucket list by bucket list with the brilliant and bold Katie.