Feminist Fists

Senior Capstone

By Alexandra Fileccia

The snow began to fall as Brandie Skorker walked down the streets of her childhood neighborhood. It was dark already at 6pm in January, and Dorchester was hushed at the start of a storm. Three-family homes lined the streets, each with their porch lights on. But, Skorker was full of enthusiasm after attending a feminist cybersecurity workshop earlier in the day. She pulled out a megaphone and shared. “Feminist killjoy!,” she shouted, “Reproductive rights!,” repeating feminists slogans she chanted at rallies.

The members of most feminist organizations in Boston do not look anything like this 28-year-old, queer-identifying, chubby woman of color. They’re white, middle class and generally slim-figured. When Skorker looks around the room, she often feels like she’s in the wrong meeting.

Feminism is supposed to be open to everyone, but treating the movement as a one-size-fits-all solution leaves women of color like Skorker on its fringes. “Some feminists believe there are no distinctions of race, that we are all the same,” Skorker says and motions a fake barf.

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WERS 88.9FM Packages

Over my Fall ’14 semester at Emerson College, I worked for WERS 88.9FM. I worked specifically on the public affairs show called You Are Here contributing a package almost every other week related to the show’s changing weekly theme. Unfortunately, they haven’t uploaded anything recently to their SoundCloud page so here are my clips that aired on WERS (Note: these have already aired on the station and do not cover recent news):

I want to add that working for WERS was an awesome experience and has opened my eyes to the world of radio journalism, which I found out I really enjoy. I hope to continue with the station next semester as well.

Update: WERS has uploaded these clips: herehere and here.

Tales of a Feminist Porn Critic

By Alexandra Fileccia

Her latest blog post reads, “You guys. You guys. Oh my god, you guys. My brain is a whirling, whorling mass of confusion right now. Because DRONE BONING has apparently arrived. And yes, it is porn filmed by a drone.” Lynsey G is probably among a small percentage of women interested in advancements in the porn industry. And that’s because 31-year-old Lynsey writes about feminist porn and sex-positive feminism, a niche she’s made her own.

Lynsey freelances and works a romance-novel editing job to pay the bills. She got her “big break” writing reviews for adult entertainment films—and by “big break” I mean a writing job that pays well for minimal work (hard to come by in the writing and publishing industries) and provides a place to be published, even if by a ridiculous penname. However, she was quick to realize that reviewing porn movies wasn’t as glamorous at it initially sounded. “I came to [my job] thinking this would be really cool. I thought, ‘I’ll be the coolest person anybody knows because I’m reviewing porn,’” she says. But while watching films over the course of that job, she realized there were no plots and just hardcore, focused-on-straight-cis-male-viewers, porn. It was not as cool as she thought she was going to be.

Starting out with pornography sparked her interest in studying women and how they are treated in our society. She says, “My feminism wasn’t fully developed until later in life.” She graduated from Fordham University, a historically Jesuit school, so there were no gender classes or sex and sexuality classes. She studied writing, literature and philosophy which Lynsey says were mostly centered on religious texts and teachings. “I don’t think I’m one of their favorite alumni,” Lynsey says in gest. “Most of my publications are not going to go in the alumni bulletin. It’s a shame, I’m doing great stuff!”

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The man behind the counter

By Alexandra Fileccia

 In the Prague 1 Municipal District, across the Legion Bridge, there is a quaint shop with a goat sculpture that sits on the nearest right side corner under the blue, green and red letters of the store name, Zdravíček. A young man stands idly inside, hidden by the windowless entrance. From the outside, it doesn’t look like anything more than a place to eat; the chalkboard above the goat advertises soup and sandwiches. Once inside though, the little eatery unfolds into a colorful farmer’s market.

 Jakub Holzer, 27, stocks a shelf of local, homemade desserts. Occasionally, he knocks some over and rights them again. He walks back to the cash register and hovers for a few seconds. When he sees that no one is ready to pay yet, Holzer retreats into the back room where his colleagues are gathered in conversation. When he hears the door open, he peers his dirty blonde haired head into the room and returns to his post greeting incoming customers with a smile and a timid head nod.

Holzer speaks perfect Czech, having grown up in Nová Ves nad Lužnicí, Czech Republic. To foreigners, he speaks broken English, hesitating before each word. From his backpack he pulls out bilingual a copy of Don Quixote, one page in Czech and the opposite page translated in English. “I have taken four years [of English] in school, but without active speaking, it is poor,” says Holzer as he flips through the pages of the book. He says that reading literature with English text along side Czech text is how he keeps the Anglo-Saxon language in his head. As a customer approaches the checkout counter, he slides the book back into his backpack and rings up the fresh vegetables grown organically on local Czech farms; an involuntary action after the years spent as a cashier. Though his smile hides his annoyance with such a simple task, it is clear that the young man is capable of much more.

Being a cashier at Zdravíček is only a part-time job for Holzer, a way to make some extra cash as he says. Though he studied design in school, he is a paid journalist for Nový Prostor, a magazine sold by the homeless and those in social distress. The title translates to New Space in English. “Writing was always my hobby,” says Holzer, who says he got this job by chance. The magazine focuses on social issues and alternative culture. He has written about a variety of topics ranging from squatters in Prague to theatre technique to esotericism in Czech.

Though he currently spends his time among organic cabbage and potatoes, and shelves of locally jarred honey and jams in the Czech Republic, Holzer has traveled to Spain, Italy, Albania, France, Germany, and Romania. He says he enjoys traveling, even within his own country. “With every article,” says Holzer, “I meet new people and visit new places.” This is one of his favorite things about his career in journalism. At times he says writing for the paper is stressful, but says it is as close to a dream job as he can imagine.

Though he has done quite a bit of traveling, he plans to stay immersed in the history of his home country. “I love the nature here,” says Holzer as he hunches over the checkout counter, “and the Czech people.” He says that Czech people have a certain ironic humor he couldn’t live without. He makes a motion of opening a book and says that by picking up almost any Czech book, you would be able to pick out the humor—that it’s hard to explain. He would miss his culture too much to move away. “I feel like I belong to the Czech Republic,” Holzer says and stiffens his posture. He looks around the store for something to keep him busy, lingering around his post. With no customers around, he rejoins his coworkers in the backroom.

Student entrepreneurs launch charity music business

Student entrepreneurs launch charity music business
By Alexandra Fileccia / Beacon Staff
April 18, 2012 at 11:08 pm

With three days to make money, junior Isabel Thottam partnered with senior Emily Smith for a project as part of the Emerson Experience in Entrepreneurship (E3) program they were enrolled in. The two visual and media arts majors and entrepreneurial studies minors scrambled to develop an idea, ultimately coming up with a concept that combined their love of music with philanthropy. Thus, Hold On Another Day was born.

Hold On Another Day is a for-profit organization put into motion through the E3 program for entrepreneurial studies minors. During this one-year program—which  consists of two classes each semester—students learn about topics such as communication, law, finance, leadership, management, marketing, and sales.

Similar to the TOMS one-for-one business model in which for every pair of shoes purchased the company promises to donate a pair of shoes to a child in need,  Hold On Another Day donates a mixed CD to a partner organization every time a copy is sold. The organization helps those in need through the power of music, said Thottam.

Their current product is a mixed CD titled, “Songs for Soldiers.” For this compilation, they partnered with Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that sends care packages to soldiers overseas. For every “Songs for Soldiers” disk sold, one will be donated and put into a gift basket for a soldier. President of Operation Gratitude Carolyn Blashek said she was extremely impressed by the ingenuity and enthusiasm of a college student creating this type of business model.

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