Monthly Archives: March 2018

The Competition for Inferiority

        Have you ever noticed how many girls and women, when complimented, will immediately deny it or deflect it back to the other person? It often looks something like this:

        “Your hair looks so good today!”

        “Ugh, are you kidding? It’s so flat. I wish mine looked more like yours…”

        I think many people can admit to using this tactic. I hadn’t even realized the commonality of it until just recently when I overheard a couple of girls in the bathroom at school. Initially, their tones could have been mistaken for an argument; they were bantering back and forth while simultaneously inspecting their own bodies and faces in the mirror. As I took a closer listen to their conversation, I realized they were talking back and forth about who looked worse that day.  They weren’t claiming that they looked better than the other, but the opposite. It was as if they were partaking in a competition of inferiority and self-hate. After reflecting on it for a bit, I wondered why girls believe that in order to bond with one another or build each other up, they must first tear themselves down.

        Responding to compliments can be tricky and even awkward. We can all agree to that. But in the situation of a girl receiving a compliment, it is very difficult for her to respond in a way that will resinate positively with everyone. If she responds by denying the compliment or deflecting it back onto the other, she may often be perceived as though she is fishing for more compliments from the other person, or an ‘attention seeker’. If the response goes the other way, and she responds with a smile and a ‘thank you’, an acknowledgement that she agrees with them, she runs the risk of being called conceited or overly confident. This is one of the many times in which girls just cannot win; they are constantly bombarded with contradicting messages of how they should act in a society. Where does this complicated situation originate?

        It may be possible that this negative self talk is just another repercussion caused from an overly critical society. It’s a historical fact that women who make the choice to carry themselves confidently and acknowledge their own success or positive qualities have been tormented by a patriarchal society, fueled by intimidation and insecurity. Not only have men been known to fear a woman who does not carry herself like she is inferior to him, but for centuries, women have attempted to tear down the one at the top, due to jealousy of escaping the social norm of being silenced and modest. Women are simply held to higher standards by society; Pew Research Center states that 50% of people believe that women’s higher expectations in the work field is considered one of the major barriers for women’s success (Pew Social Trends: Obstacles to Female Leadership). Self confident women have been feared and hated forever possibly due to the fact that they refuse to carry out the expectations set onto them by others, either in a work or social setting. It is human nature for girls and women to feel as though it is their responsibility to prove that they are the self-critical, modest beings that society has so long told us we have to be to prevent being targeted. 

        What’s so flawed about this system is that it is promoting the vicious cycle of inequality for women. On the surface, this game of who-can-pity-herself-more may seem completely harmless. It even may boost the ego of the other person involved who is hearing her compliments being dished right back towards her. However, every time we make even a small comment laced with self hate, we are doing a disservice to woman as a whole. If all of us continue to encompass a mindset that we will be unable to bond with others or succeed without first cutting ourselves down, we will be taking two steps back for every step forward.

        So instead of giving in to this toxic urge to shame, hate, and compare ourselves to others, try looking at it from another perspective: ask yourself, why do I feel the need to criticize myself right now? Who is this benefiting? Once we realize that comparing and competing with others over qualities that we should be celebrating is not bringing women together, but instead supporting a longstanding patriarch in which women are unable to embrace their true greatness, we will be taking one step closer to breaking the system. So next time you hear a compliment, resist that urge to deny it. We are beautiful, and we all deserve to be able to embrace that.

– Liv, 3/7



“Chapter 3: Obstacles to Female Leadership.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, 14 Jan. 2015,


Blog Post #5: Religion in Ancient Egypt – Bella

This week, I have been specifically focusing on Ancient Egyptian Religious Myths and Gods and Goddesses. I am just beginning to funnel down to femininity within the legends, focusing on certain Goddesses such as Isis and Hathor. An aspect of this is not just looking at the Goddesses themselves but the priestesses and the temples associated with them on earth, and how they are manifested in the real world. Continue reading

Medieval Chronicles Part III: The Supplementary Sources -Gwyneth

In this blog post, I will be providing a brief overview of some of the chronicle sources used to supplement the three major sources discussed in my previous post. One such source is the Historia Vitae et Regni Ricardi Secundi, which was composed by two monks at Evesham Abbey, the first writing from 1377 to 1390 and the second from 1390 to 1402. Since we already have plentiful information pertaining to the period covered by the first author, the second author is of much greater interest. However, the usefulness of the second monk is diminished by his brevity, frequent errors, clear hostility to the king, and tendency to focus on local rather than national politics (McHardy 13). While the second portion of the chronicle, composed under Richard’s usurper Henry IV, the first king of the house of Lancaster, is often accused of being “a vehicle for Lancastrian propaganda”, Given-Wilson refutes this claim by citing the fact that the chronicle does not use the ‘Record and Process’, the official Lancastrian account of the deposition. Given-Wilson goes on to praise the Vita, claiming that it is “a largely independent source, and as such has great value” (Given-WIlson 5). Nonetheless, it is difficult to believe that the second monk’s critical attitude towards Richard was not influenced by the Lancastrian regime under which he was writing. Continue reading

The American female narratives in WWII through Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart – Tony

In this week, I plunged from the 30s into the tumultuous 40s characterized by the social changes brought by WWII. In my first blog about Casablanca, I analyzed the American GI’s version of the war and their encounter with European femmes fatales. This time, I decided to take one step further and examine how To Have and To Have Not with Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart reflected the changing gender dynamic between American males on the frontline and females on the home front. Continue reading

Medieval Chronicles Part II: The Major Sources for the Reign of Richard II -Gwyneth

As promised in my previous blog post, this week I will be discussing some of the most principle chroniclers active during the reign of Richard II. Of these, one of the most important and frequently cited is Thomas Walsingham (c. 1340 – c. 1422), a monk at the prominent Hertfordshire monastery of St. Albans. Although Walsingham is widely recognized as having been a prolific author, there remains scholarly debate as to exactly which of the numerous chronicles produced at St. Albans he contributed (Stow 69-70). Stow attributes the Chronicon Angliae, the Annales Ricardi Secundi, the Ypodigma Neustriae, and the Historia Anglicana to Walsingham. Although none of the books I have read cite the Ypodigma Neustriae, each of the other three sources are cited and attributed to Walsingham in at least two of my books, with the Historia Anglicana cited in all three books (Gundy; Fletcher; Saul). Thus it seems to me that these three texts can be said to have been definitively attributed to Walsingham by scholars. Continue reading

Polaris + Printing – Kevin

During this past week, I devoted the majority of my time to working on the next Polaris major release (codename “NX”). Among the numerous features that will be made available, “remote printing” is the most requested. It will allow duty crew members to print attendance sheets directly through the Polaris cloud printing service, eliminating the need for the driver take attendance by hand with the van sign-out form.

Continue reading

Blog Post #4 – Bella

     This week, I got in depth to looking at Helen of Troy and comparing how she could have perhaps been acted on vs an actor. The story of Helen of Troy, in concise terms, is as follows: Helen was born out of a mortal woman named Leda, and Zeus. The Gods often came down to mate with mortals, but most of the time, the offspring of the Gods’ were male and not female, so Helen was already distinct in this manner. Helen was unearthly beautiful as a result, and had an extraordinary number of suitors who wanted her hand in marriage as she grew up. She eventually married Menelaus, who was her brother in law, Agamemnon’s, brother. They had one child together, Hermione, who Helen “left” when Paris, a Trojan prince, took her back to Troy. Thus comes the debate as to whether or not Helen was acted on or acted herself, because in these times, such a high profile, beautiful woman would have been desireable to kidnap, but there are also stories and arguments that pertain to Helen wanting to leave. In my book, I am going to discuss both aspects, and argue each side. This is part of the reason as to why I chose Helen; there is so much room for interpretation and perception, especially with her femininity and sexuality.

Bust of Helen of Troy:

Greek Mythology, editor. “Helen.”, edited by Greek Mythology,

    Greek Mythology,

    Accessed 16 Feb. 2018.

Blog Post #3 – Bella

        This week, I started to have a more concrete development in my writing. I already have the very very beginning to an introduction about Ancient Egypt written, but this week, I have included the beginnings of an Introduction to Ancient Greece, specifically the women. I am a little torn on whether or not I should spend a fair amount of time focusing on just Greece as a whole, and then go into women, but because this is a book about women, I want to keep my talking about the generalities to a minimum. On the other hand, it is important to understand the context in which I am writing about women and how women were, so it is important to know all the facets of a society, and how women were included or excluded in those facets. Even though women are not included in politics in Ancient Greece, perhaps I should still write about the politics, because it is important to note how it operated and the more sexist aspect to the politics.