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After Rutgers’ own DJ Vacay warmed up the crowd with remixes of this year’s top hits, and newly signed DaniLeigh showed up and showed out with her own original music, the crowd of Rutgers students in the College Avenue Gym were ready to jump onto the stage in anticipation of Khalid’s performance. So when the purple lights shut off and the smoke that covered the stage cleared, the crowd erupted with applause and screams.
With only about 7.5 percent of Rutgers’ student population categorized as black, it may seem as though the black community on campus is rather small. Despite this percentage, black students make a huge impact on the general culture of Rutgers University. Through the work of collectively over 30 multicultural clubs, greek organizations and social justice groups, black millennials' presence is strong throughout the campus. Whether you are the future Black Student Union (BSU) president or aren’t a frequent club goer, there are many ways to get involved and support black organizations and events on campus.
As this is the last column I will write this semester, I wanted to address an issue very close to home. Many times, when I identify myself as an advocate for women’s rights and feminism, a lot of people tend to find this in contradiction with my affiliation with the Islamic faith. For a lot of people, “feminist” and “Muslim” are two terms that just do not seem to fit right with each other. Why is this?
The concept of “laïcité”, or secularism, was wrought by France’s desperate need to escape the tyrannical grasp on its government and doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. This separation of church and state was implemented in 1905 in order to validate France as an individualistic power, rather than a mere marionette of Catholicism. Fast forward a century and some change later and we see France’s emphasis on secularism transpired into an image of a police officer forcing a Muslim woman out of her burkini on a Nice beach to be exposed to the public. It is not only the non-French who are lost in translation with this butchered demonstration of “liberté, égalité, fraternité.”
As Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to an end and all of the bright-pink banners slowly come down, it seems as if the fervent support for the cause passes as quickly and quietly as the page on the calendar. But was is ever really there to start with?
I am a diehard Bey fan. Her music never fails, her confidence is unwavering and her position as the black, female forefront of the feminist movement is nearly orgasmic in thought. So when Nigerian feminist novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose celebrated TED Talk became a powerful interpretation of the definition of feminism, voiced her reluctance to champion Beyoncé’s representation of feminism, I was shell-shocked. My rose-colored glasses shattered and the Beyoncé fog began to lift. Was I really so naïve as to accept her version of feminism simply because of her status? Was this wrong? The answer is both "yes" and "no."
I am sitting at a desk in my dorm’s lounge, attempting to separate Jane Austen’s ironic and burlesque disposition from the actual naivety of Marianne Dashwood in "Sense and Sensibility," when I overhear my “men and women should be equal, but I’m not really a feminist” floor mate speaking to our male friend about why he “hates today’s feminists.” Disregarding the fact that this is the same male friend who points out to me how excessive the girl passing us on the street’s makeup is, while in the same breath reassuring me that he “doesn’t mind” mine, I begin to dwell upon what I, being a member of “today’s feminists,” have done so horribly wrong to offend him. His opinion is one that is common within contemporary society, but why?