All Posts By:

sjchambers

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Movie, Movie Review, Movies

    Review of The Great Hack: A Documentary About Data Rights and Democracy

    the great hack

    The 2016 election was an election that shocked the United States. Many people were confused as to how Trump became elected despite his scandals and lack of political experience. Earlier that year, there was a movement in Britain to leave the European Union, famously known as Brexit. Strangely enough, there is a commonality between the Brexit movement and Trump’s presidential campaign: Cambridge Analytica, a data company. Not only does this documentary, The Great Hack, investigate the intrusive role of this company in Brexit and the 2016 U.S. election, but it also raises awareness about the right to own your own data. As for myself, I found myself watching with awe and horror how big companies had so much leverage in determining the future of a nation by using our data.

    Here’s a trailer if you’re interested in The Great Hack:

    If you’d like to read more about this topic, please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaigning_in_the_2016_United_Kingdom_European_Union_membership_referendum

  • GirlSpring.com, Movie Review

    Reviewing the Netflix Original Documentary – Period. End of Sentence.

    period end of sentence

    Period. End of Sentence.

    A Review of the Netflix Original Documentary by Suneeti Chambers

    As I was browsing Netflix one day, I saw the preview of a documentary called Period. End of Sentence.

    Since I have a passion and an interest in women’s health, I felt that this was a documentary I would learn a lot from and enjoy.

    After watching it, I discovered that I was right!

    The documentary takes place in India and talks about a significant topic that is considered ‘taboo’ in India: menstruation.

    As you watch the documentary, you can see the awkwardness and uncomfortableness that the women and girls show when asked about the topic of menstruation. You can immediately tell how little attention this health topic is given, despite its extreme importance. Even men are asked about periods and menstruation, and they express a lack of knowledge concerning the subject.

    Furthermore, many women India resort to unhygienic ways to take care of their period, as seen in the documentary.

    To combat this problem, an Indian man by the name of Arunachalam Muruganantham has created a machine which creates pads. It is a relatively simple machine but it is able to create pads that are abundant in quality and quantity. Then, he got people to teach women from certain villages how to work the machines and create their own pads.

    From there on, the documentary shows women with an entrepreneurial spirit, selling their own pads and getting their own money. The pride and happiness seen in these women’s faces prove that nothing can get in the way of the perseverance and power of women. The documentary has reminded me to be proud to be part Indian and to be a woman.

    Most of all, it has reminded me that we should never hesitate to change the status quo!

  • Poem

    Worthless

    It only happens in passing moments

    When there is a pause to life’s hectic pace

    When my thoughts have slowed down,

    And my attention is brought

    To the environment around me,

    And the people around me,

    When I make the jolting and painful discovery

    That I have always been, and will always be, worthless.

    For I am not the student that stares from the yearbook pictures

    With a beaming smile or an awkward tug at the mouth

    While the titles say:

    “Student Gets Accepted to Prestigious Camp for Academic Excellence!”

    “Junior Creates A New PR For The School!”

    I am not the student that people talk about with an exclamatory voice:

    “Great Job! That’s just wonderful, honey!”

    “This is stellar! It’ll look great on your college applications!”

    I am not accustomed to seeing my parents’ smiles on their faces

    Or hearing them brag loudly about how gifted their child is

    What I am used to, are

    Long nights of panic, when my stomach is tied up in knots

    I’m used to seeing my name at the bottom of the list

    “S. Chambers-The least amount of points”

    I am well acquainted with,

    “How’d you do sweetheart?”

    “U-um, not as well as I wanted it to be”

    With an awkward smile

    I have become accustomed to being in my head

    With the voice of the girl, who sounds oddly like me, loudly banging in my ears

    “Do you really think you’re all that?”

    “You don’t deserve anything good!”

    And with a softer tone, she whispers.

    “So why do you even try?”

    “You know you’re useless!”

    And I respond, my own voice sounding grotesque, but also melodic,

    “Because it is who I am.”

    Because after the heavy pants of anxiety

    And the tears that prickle my eyes

    I know that I am worthless

    But I am me and there is no reason

    That I shouldn’t be proud of that

  • Articles

    Getting Interested in Activism

    Getting Interested in Activism

    At some point in our lives, we realize that not everything around us is perfect.

    We realize that there may be actual problems in the world and that those problems could affect us in horrible ways. Moreover, we also understand that those problems can happen near home. I had a realization in middle school. I knew bad things were happening in the world, but I never thought deeply about any of the issues. When I was in middle school, I had gotten exposure to social issues and their histories. I remember watching part of a documentary in 6th grade about the role of children in the civil rights movement. I remember watching people retell stories of African-American children protesting and subsequently sent to jail, over and over again. It was impossible to not be deeply touched by the documentary and the actions of these kids to achieve justice.

    It was also the same year I learned about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

    The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire occurred on March 29, 1911. One hundred forty-five workers had died due to a fire in the building. Better safety laws and regulations could have prevented the tragedy. Once again, after hearing about this historical tragedy I felt very emotional. I thought about the impact of bad policies and what negative consequences can stem from them.

    The older I get, the more aware I become.

    I also realize that immoral ideologies that are a part of sexism, racism, xenophobia, and many other bigoted philosophies exist. They can have negative consequences. Today, I go to rallies, protests, and any other political events I can attend. Advocating for the betterment of human, social, and environmental rights. Now, activism is a passion of mine. At a young age, I was fortunately exposed to social issues. I want to share advice as to how anyone can get interested in activism.

    So, here are a few tips

    One

    Find an issue you are passionate about. Learn by watching the news or listen to the radio. Find out what is happening at your school, neighborhood, or any community you are apart of. It’s a lot easier to feel passionate about an issue if you can empathize with it, or if it is happening close to you.

    Two

    Talk to others about it: Talk to your friends and family about these issues. However, it is always important to be civil when discussing social issues and politics. It is important to respect others opinions and make sure others appreciate yours. Also, once you find a topic you’re passionate about, do a lot of research. The more you know about the subject, the better you can talk about it with others and spread awareness.

    Three

    Check out social media: If you go on a social media platform, such as Facebook, it is easy to find events to attend that help advocate for the issue you find interesting. Also, if you don’t see that there is an event that advocates for your issue, you can create one! Of course, this requires research, getting people to help you support the cause you’re interested in, and plenty of organizing. However, it can be done! Big movements have to start with small steps first!

    I hope this helps anyone who is interested in activism. I believe that it is the job of younger people to educate ourselves about issues we care about so we can push our legislators to make reforms. It’s in our best interest to be activists so we can make the world a better place.

    P.S. If you’re 18 or older, register to vote! Make your voice heard!

    Credits:
    “Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2 Dec. 2009, www.history.com/topics/early-20th-century-us/triangle-shirtwaist-fire.

    Picture Credits: Tucker, Lynae. “Activism and Your Legal Career.” ABA for Law Students, 1 Dec. 2016, abaforlawstudents.com/2016/12/01/activism-and-your-legal-career/.

  • Articles

    Colorism in India: Light vs. Dark

    Colorism in India: Light vs. Dark

    In India, there is a central obsession with light skin in the beauty industry. This obsession can be seen through the well-known product, Fair and Lovely. It is a cream that is intended for the use of lightening skin. Fair and Lovely is a product that is problematic since it encourages the colorist belief that light skin is more beautiful than dark skin. Unfortunately, it is just one of many that are often advertised to Indian citizens. Furthermore, the lightening skin cream has been very successful. According to a video produced by BuzzFeed India, the market for lightening creams was worth around 423 million dollars in 2010. This obsession with having lighter skin is not just an issue dealing with social expectations, but also has medical disadvantages. Some creams can contain harmful components, including mercury. Moreover, the preference of light skin in Indian society has had much history and has persisted for hundreds of years.

    Radhika Parameswaran, a professor in the Media School at Indiana University who currently focuses on colorism, beauty, and sexism in India, talks about several factors that have led to colorist beliefs in India. According to her, the caste system in India may play a role. In general, there is a perception that wealthier people tend to have lighter skin. This is because wealthy people had money for others to do manual labor, and the ones that did manual labor would work in hot temperatures and their skin would consequently darken. However, there is not an established correlation between the color of skin and the rank in caste, Parameswaran says. But, the perception still exists and that is one reason why fair skin is preferred. She also goes on to mention the significance of colonialism in implementing colorism in Indian society. A lot of infrastructural development in India is accredited to British colonists. Therefore, lighter-skinned can be perceived as a sign of success, even if there’s no such belief as “The white colonists are better than Indian people.” The media also has significance. Many Bollywood actors and actresses are portrayed as fair skinned. In fact, many famous celebrities in Bollywood endorse ads for lightening cream. Furthermore, it is women that are more affected by this issue. When the caste system was more prevalent, women were supposed to have children to further the lineage in the caste system. The assumption that has risen is that if a light-skinned woman has a child, that child will also be light-skinned. Colorism does also affect men. According to The Hindustan Times, 71% of Indian women would rather marry a man with lighter skin. Overall, there are many factors that have resulted in colorism in Indian society.

    There are solutions underway, though. There is a social movement known as Unfair and Lovely. There is a hashtag for it on Instagram in which Indian people who have darker skin can post pictures of themselves with that hashtag. This movement encourages Indian people with darker skin to embrace their skin. Then, a young Pakistani woman by the name of Fatima Lodhi, created an anti-colorism movement in 2013. She now goes to schools and teaches students about colorism and makes them aware of the issue. Even though colorism has deep roots in Indian society, change is on its way.

    Credits:
    “Radhika Parameswaran on ‘Colorism’ in India.” Claremont McKenna College, www.cmc.edu/keck-center/asia-experts-forum/radhika-parameswaran-on-colorism-in-india.
    BuzzFeed India. “Why Is India So Obsessed With Fair Skin?” YouTube, YouTube, 28 May 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BQc2guo-Lg.
    Rodrigues, Collin. “India’s Unfair Obsession with Fair Skin, Its Impact on Relationships.” Https://Www.hindustantimes.com/, Hindustan Times, 20 Mar. 2015, www.hindustantimes.com/sex-and-relationships/india-s-unfair-obsession-with-fair-skin-its-impact-on-relationships/story-cbkOW7ZShgbR10i5yfvIXI.html.
    Abraham, Mary-Rose. “Dark Is Beautiful: the Battle to End the World’s Obsession with Lighter Skin.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 4 Sept. 2017, www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/sep/04/dark-is-beautiful-battle-to-end-worlds-obsession-with-lighter-skin.
    Picture Credits: “Fair and Lovely: Skin Care.” EBay, www.ebay.com/bhp/fair-and-lovely.

  • Articles, Technology, Woman's History

    Hedy Lamarr: An Unknown Genius

    Hedy Lamarr: An Unknown Genius

    Hedy Lamarr. She was one of the most beautiful Hollywood stars in the 1940’s. She was well recognized for the roles she played in Hollywood hits Algiers and Sampson and Delilah. The fairy tale character Snow White was modeled after her in the 1937 cartoon. Hedy Lamarr was also the inspiration for the comic book character Catwoman. Lamarr’s beauty and glamour definitely did not go unnoticed in the film industry. However, her creative and intelligent mind was hidden from society. Not only was she a talented actress, she held a patent for frequency-hopping technology. This technology is now used for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Hedy Lamarr, was born as Hedy Kiesler in Austria in late 1910’s . In the documentary Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, Lamarr’s son tells of how Hedy took apart her toy music box and then put it back together at a young age. It was obvious she had a knack for inventing. Hedy’s father had helped her find that passion. He was in finance, but was very interested in technology. Furthermore, Hedy lived in a very cultured part of Austria. She would go to the opera, the theater, and she attended a prestigious school.

    Hedy had somewhat of an acting career, acting in small Viennese films. However, when she was on the boat the U.S. Normandie, she encountered Louis B. Mayer. He owned Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which was the company producing the big Hollywood movies. He offered her to be a Hollywood actress and she complied. In order to ensure a movie-star persona, Mayer gave her the name: Hedy Lamarr. Lamarr did have some trouble finding a movie to star in, when, one night at a party, she met a man named Charles Boyer. Boyer found her captivating and asked her to be in his movie, Algiers. After starring in that movie, she instantly became one of the most popular stars in Hollywood. However, her career did dwindle a little, but she gained success when she starred in Boom Town (1940). After that movie, she was constantly starring in well-known and well-written movies. The 40’s were when Hedy Lamarr’s acting career peaked. She was constantly working and in her free time, she would work on her inventions. She had a relationship with Howard Hughes, who was a famous expert on building planes. She had come up with ideas to help him improve planes he was building. Despite the exciting events that Hedy was a part of, the 40’s were a time of anxiety and turmoil since World War II was going on.

    After a shipload of 293 people sank due to German U-boats, Hedy decided she had to do something. She thought of a solution to combat Nazi submarines and decided a radio-controlled torpedo could solve the problem. This was where her idea of frequency-hopping technology came in. The torpedoes the US used had one transmit frequency communicating, making it easy for the signal to be jammed. Frequency-hopping technology would be able to prevent the jamming of radio signals. With the help of George Antheil, a renowned musician, Hedy come up with an outline to build radio-controlled torpedoes that used frequency-hopping technology. They showed their idea to the National Council of Inventors. One of the inventors, Charles Kettering, transferred them to Professor Sam S. Mackeown, who was a physicist at Caltech. Mackeown. He was responsible for designing the electronics of George and Hedy’s project. When the patent was issued, it was issued to George and Hedy. However, since the Navy was against using the device, George and Hedy did not get money at first. Hedy’s invention was not used until the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. However, at the time Hedy did not get paid. Finally, Hedy got some recognition through Forbes in 1990. By then, her technology was already being used in GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi technology, military satellites, and more. Hedy Lamarr died in 2000, leaving a legacy that will forever be remembered.

    To learn more about Hedy Lamarr’s story, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story is a great documentary to watch. It is available on Netflix.

    Sources used: Field, Shivaune. “Hedy Lamarr: The Incredible Mind Behind Secure WiFi, GPS And Bluetooth.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 8 Mar. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/shivaunefield/2018/02/28/hedy-lamarr-the-incredible-mind-behind-secure-wi-fi-gps-bluetooth/#197f105541b7.
    Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story. Dir. Alexandra Dean. Perf. Hedy Lamarr. Zeitgeist Films and Kino Lorber, 2017. Netflix. https://www.netflix.com/title/80189827
    Picture credits: “Hedy Lamarr.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Aug. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedy_Lamarr.