Iowa State University 

Margaret Sloss Women's Center 

December 2016

Don't be Basic: Understanding the Cross Cultural Exchange of American Slang
by 
Dominique Gant
 and Kate D. Gallagher
Are your eyebrows on fleek? Is your squad goals af? Can you not believe how basic your bae is being?

While these phrases can be heard everywhere nowadays the slang inthem was originally developed by black folks in an American English dialect called African American Vernacular English (AAVE for short).

Some of the most prominent slang like "cool," "yo," "homie," "swag," "sup" "ratchet," "turn up," "gives me life," "slay," "on point," "the struggle," "woke," and so on and so forth originated out of black communities across the country.

While the evolution and fluidity of language isn't inherently problematic, but rather the nature of language itself, it is worth noting that often when these words and phrases are adopted into "mainstream" white slang they are misused, diluted, and purveyed as new or notable only when white people start to use them.
This process erases the linguistic ingenuity and intercultural significance of language created by and for the black community.

Oftentimes this co-opting of black slang is done by white people in order to seem cool, hip, and on trend with their other white friends. However, what this actually does is reproduce black culture in a way that is palatable to white sensibilities. Through this process not only is black culture in a sense being taken away from black folks, but it is also playing into a culture of racism that devalues anything black until it has a noticeable white following.

So while your bae might have caught you slippin and they're acting low-key savage af about it, take some time to think about the history and impact of your language choice. Are you using the terms correctly? How are others around you being affected? Are you paying homage to black folks - or simply co-opting their vocabulary to look cool?
Wonderful Winter Wows by Som Mongtin
Brace yourselves: WINTER IS COMING! My favorite season! AAHH!!

Here comes layer after layer of clothes and intersectional feminism 101 at gatherings with family and friends. Drape on my heavy, warm, puffy coat to protect me from the harsh elements of those who ignore intersectionality.

A cold, crisp breeze pressed up against my skin as cold as those who say, "It's ok, we survived (names a tragic historical time period)" without recognizing that not everyone survived. Adventuring outside to carefully tread on ice because it is just as unpredictable as the words and actions of allies.

Taking the time to embrace delicate snowflakes cascading down to earth reminding me that I am unique. Like a snowflake, I can be beautiful and gentle or intimidating and destructive. All it takes are the right amount of force in the appropriate direction with lots of other snowflake friends.

Student Worker Spotlight:  Alissa Giljohann

I am a junior here at ISU studying Supply Chain Management. This is my second year working at the Sloss House and I absolutely love it! I am originally from Menomonie, WI but enjoy living here in Ames during the school year. When I'm not studying, I like to read or work on drawings in my sketch book. I'm also a huge science fiction nerd and have a pretty good collection of 'Star Wars' & 'Back to the Future' comic books. I also had the opportunity to meet William Shatner (the original Captain Kirk) this past summer at a 50th anniversary Star Trek convention! Live long and prosper!


A Book for Break

Looking for a book to read while waiting for dinner? Or for that long drive? Well look no further:

Roxanne Gay's Bad Feminist is a collection of touching, heartbreaking, humorous, and above all relatable essays brought together in one place. 

If you've ever thought feminism is confusing, or you were doing it wrong, you aren't alone. Spend some time this winter break with Bad Feminist and remember - we're all in this together. 
The Gender Monologues
The Gender Monologues are monologues, poems, or short essays regarding gender oppression, identity, and privilege. Other intersecting identities may also be a focus, but the basis of the monologues should revolve around gender. The monologues will be shared on the Margaret Sloss Women's Center website and social media. 

Feminist Quote
"I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat." - Rebecca West
In This Issue
Campus Events

When: December 1, 7:00pm
Where: Great Hall, MU
What:  Lynn Povich is an award-winning journalist and pioneer for women's equality in the workplace. She helped organize a landmark sex discrimination suit against Newsweek magazine in 1970 and five years later became the first female senior editor in the magazine's history.Her 2012 book, The Good Girls Revolt, chronicles that lawsuit, its impact on the women involved, and what has - and hasn't - changed for women in business and the media. 

Academic Coaching Workshops - Workshop #3: Preparing for Finals

When: December 7, 
5:30pm - 6:30pm
Where: Hixson-Lied (ASC) in room 0060
What: This interactive workshop will give space for students to analyze their previous work and establish a game-plan for how to tackle their finals. Topics will include learning about prioritizing and managing your time and different study strategies by creating a a "7 or 5 Day Study day Plan."