Friday, October 28, 2011

Check out Issue 6! Just released today!

Role Reversal

As we thought about fashion photography and feminism for our Fashion Issue, we considered the ultimate battle mostmodels must face: objectification. Typically, females are portrayed as the weaker subject in a photo, based on who's showing more skin, who's got the stereotypically seductive facial expression and pose, and how each model is clothed. By switching roles and positioning females in typically masculine poses, MEDUSA seeks to question the familiar standards of beauty
and sexualization in glossy fashion magazines. We hope that this role reversal facilitates a critique of the rigid structure of fashion photography and illuminates the
possibility that fashion photography doesn’t always have to be portrayed in such a binary way.

An Eyelid Tutorial

Here's a link to a video tutorial: the process of creating an artificial eyelid fold.

Events - Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region

Events - Planned Parenthood of the Rochester/Syracuse Region

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Medusa Documentary Picks: Gender and Society

The following is a list of documentaries that may be of interest to our readers that are currently available online. The descriptions were not written by Medusa staffers and the publication does not necessarily endorse the views portrayed in these documentaries. If you happen to watch one of these documentaries, or any others that you feel may be of interest, feel free to submit a review to us at, or tweet your opinions @medusamagazine.

China’s women have always been under pressure: from men, from family, from work. Now more and more are under new pressure — from themselves — to take control of their lives; to get an education; to have a career; to marry for love. It’s a slow, difficult process, and it is changing China. Mass migration from the countryside to the cities is increasing prosperity, but fracturing families. It also gives women new roles — whether running the farm back home, or as wage-earners in the city.

The film also explores the discrimination suffered by Xinjiang’s Muslim women, the hardships of life in Tibet, and China’s tragic suicide figures: China has one of the highest suicide rates for women in the world: 150,000 a year. One every four minutes. Finally, we see a glimpse of urban life where the younger generation of women has left the countryside for factory work in the cities. The hours and conditions are tough but the women are slowly gaining confidence and independence.

The question that really comes out of this is ‘why are boys behaving in this way?’ ‘Why is 90% of violence committed by boys and men?’ It’s not just in these few places (like video games or movies) but it’s in what passes for normal culture. It is part of the normal training and conditioning and socializing of boys and men. That’s a point that a lot of people don’t want to hear, but if you look at the culture these kids are immersed in, violence is a normal, natural part, not just of the world, but of being masculine or being a male person in the world. It’s not just in these few places (like video games or movies) but it’s in what passes for normal culture.

In this innovative and wide-ranging analysis, Jackson Katz argues that widespread violence in American society, including the tragic school shootings in Littleton, Colorado, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and elsewhere, needs to be understood as part of an ongoing crisis in masculinity. This exciting new media literacy tool– utilizing racially diverse subject matter and examples– will enlighten and provoke students (both males and females) to evaluate their own participation in the culture of contemporary masculinity.

In the United States the average age of entry into prostitution is just thirteen. The film takes us into the work of a former sexually exploited youth-turned-activist named Rachel Lloyd, who started the New York City organization GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services) to help victimized young women escape their pimps and find another way of life.

Married at 16 years – with 18 years of violence following – left Wendy terrified. She summoned the courage to deal with her husband the only way she knew possible.
Originally as One Minute to Nine, this documentary finally arrives at HBO with a somewhat more in-your-face title – and, in a stark, spare way that has come to characterize the pay channel, delivers a pretty bracing wallop.
A harrowing portrait of domestic abuse, the project draws heavily on video shot by the dead abuser, as his wife, Wendy Maldonado, spends her final days of freedom before going to jail for his murder.
The net result is every bit as chilling and depressing as one might expect. Includes captions for the hearing impaired.

This documentary features the ‘Introduction Services’ available in Thailand to men from overseas seeking Thai women for marriage. Although presented in a fairly light-hearted format, it was very thought-provoking. Of course, to most of us the notion of these agencies is abhorrent to say the least. However, largely due to the style of presentation, it was quite revealing to listen to the viewpoints of the ‘clients’ and owners, who seemed to feel comfortable expressing their views. Louis Theroux’ style, which does not at first appear overly challenging, allows a truer insight into a person’s behaviour and makes him/her less defensive and consequently more candid.

Cutting Edge explores the purity movement in America, where one girl in every six pledges to remain a virgin, or to save her first kiss, until her wedding day. Award-winning documentary-maker Jane Treays investigates whether this decision is made by the girls themselves or their parents, and follows a group of fathers and daughters as they prepare to attend a `purity ball’ in Colorado Springs, run by Randy Wilson and his wife Lisa.

Birth: it's a miracle. A rite of passage. A natural part of life. But more than anything, birth is a business. Compelled to find answers after a disappointing birth experience with her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to explore the maternity care system in America. Focusing on New York City, the film reveals that there is much to distrust behind hospital doors and follows several couples who decide to give birth on their own terms. There is an unexpected turn when director Epstein not only discovers she is pregnant, but finds the life of her child on the line. Should most births should be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potential medical emergency?

Medusa Documentary Picks: Gender and the Body

The following is a list of documentaries that may be of interest to our readers that are currently available online. The descriptions were not written by Medusa staffers and the publication does not necessarily endorse the views portrayed in these films. If you happen to watch one of these documentaries, or any others that you feel may be of interest, feel free to submit a review to us at, or tweet your opinions @medusamagazine.

Fronted by Lisa Rogers, this documentary focuses on the rise in vaginal cosmetic surgery, specifically labiaplasty. For the uninitiated, labiaplasty involves cutting off the inner labia so that they don’t ‘hang’ below the outer labia. Ouch! The labiaplasty business has skyrocketed over the past few years, and Lisa’s mission was to find out why so many women hate the appearance of their vulvas to the point that they’d willingly have pieces of them surgically removed.

The celebrity trend for size zero has been criticised worldwide for encouraging women to starve in secret. This film explores the impact the trend is having on real people living real lives. From Kellie who is striving dangerously to achieve the skinny look, to Victoria who feels that her natural size zero frame is a poisoned chalice, this film exposes the contradictions surrounding women’s perceptions of size.

Fearne Cotton examines the ongoing trend for super-slim women and
immerses herself in the worrying world of pro-ana websites who
encourage anorexia and starvation as a life choice. As Fearne explores the diet and exercise regime of a pro-ana, shell
try some of the extreme regimes that they endorse and meet other girls
whove embraced the same lifestyle. She will explore the seductive
nature of these support groups, examine the world of competitive
dieting, and look at relationships that ordinary women have with each
other when it comes to diet and body image.

(Also see: The latest installment in the series, Killing Us Softly 4)

Jean Kilbourne continues her groundbreaking analysis of advertising’s depiction of women in this installment of the Killing Us Softly series. In fascinating detail, Kilbourne decodes an array of print and television advertisements to reveal a pattern of disturbing and destructive gender stereotypes. Her analysis challenges us to consider the relationship between advertising and broader issues of culture, identity, sexism, and gender violence.

Sections: Does the beauty ideal still tyrannize women? | Does advertising still objectify women’s bodies? | Are the twin themes of liberation and weight control still linked? | Is sexuality still presented as women’s main concern? | Are young girls still sexualized? | Are grown women infantilized? | Are images of male violence against women still used to sell products?

Bruce was a normal boy, not an intersex child, and yet the decision was made to turn this boy who had lost his penis, into a girl. Under the guidance of Dr Money and his team at Johns Hopkins University this baby boy was surgically changed into a girl. After surgeons at Hopkins had castrated baby Bruce, he became baby Brenda. The family were instructed how to bring up Brenda as a normal little girl. According to Dr Money’s theory she would grow up believing herself to be female and would go on to live a normal happy life as a woman. It seemed the ultimate test that nurture could override nature.

Thirty years after Bruce became Brenda, the impact of this extraordinary story continues. After almost 14 years living as a female, Brenda Reimer reverted to her true biological sex – the case of the boy who was turned into a girl had failed. Brenda took the name David and for the last twenty years he has lived anonymously in his hometown of Winnipeg. For almost all this time no one knew the outcome of John Money’s celebrated case. But now that David has gone public, the case is being widely discussed once again and its impact on John Money’s theory of gender development and the treatment of intersex children is being hotly debated.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Medusa Issue #5 is Live!

Issue #5 of Medusa Magazine is now available for download! Just click the link below to start reading!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dear Everyone, Please Stop Trying to Make Me Hate My Body


My mom has recently gotten on a health kick in an effort to get fitter, so I’ve been accompanying her to gym sessions and meetings with nutrition specialists (aka phony herbal supplement salespeople). They’ve asked us both what our health-related goals are. My mom cites a numbers of pounds she’d like to lose but when they ask me, I always say, “I just want to live a long and healthy life. I’m not really concerned with weight, I just want to stay healthy.”

I thought that’d be a reasonable answer, but yet, every time they pause as if they are waiting for me to add to my statement before they ask “So… how much weight are you looking to lose?” And I respond, dumbfounded, “I don’t know… I’m not really looking to lose any. I mean if it happens, fine. I’m just trying to stay active.”

Now, I’m an average height, and know for a fact that I’m well within the healthy BMI range. I have no chronic health problems and eat my fruits and veggies on the regular. My nutritional habits might not be perfect (as my penchant for peanut butter can attest to) but all in all, I think I’m doing pretty alright at this point.

So I’m kind of wondering why everyone— from my family, to the media, to so-called “health professionals”— seem to equate diet and exercise strictly with losing weight. Maybe I’m on the treadmill because, well, I like to run? Or maybe I’m eating carrots because I haven’t had my daily dose of Vitamins C? I’m trying very hard to understand this obsession with size, but seeing as my brain doesn’t really get fatter or skinnier depending on what’s on my plate, I’m finding it a little difficult to care at this point.

Yet, no matter how confident I try to stay in my own body, other women are always there to keep me in check. “She’s really gained some weight”, my mom comments on a friend’s Facebook photo before turning to me to say, “You might think about losing a few pounds too.” Why do we feel the need to police each other? If Kim Kardashian gains 10 pounds, it’s an instant headline. But what difference does her or anyone else's weight make to your own life? We are conditioned not only to hate ourselves, but also to take issue with any other woman who doesn't have the picture-perfect bodies we're so constantly shown.

We can't entirely put the blame on each other, but it still feels like everyone wants me to be concerned about the number on the scale? I’ve been actively trying to work against an idea that has been beat into me for several years now by pretty much every ‘Women’s Magazine’ on sale today, but it’s starting to feel like people actually
want me to hate my body and equate waist size with self-worth. Has self-hatred really become the expectation for women everywhere?

Fortunately, I stopped putting up with that a long time ago when I went on the feminist diet, which means I eat whatever I want, guilt-free. It must be working so far because I feel better than ever. No self-loathing required.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A New Princess on the Block


If you’ve been keeping up with your movie media recently you’d know that Pixar released their newest trailer for a film called Brave. Now, this isn’t the typical hero tale of a toy that saves the day or about an older man who finally learns to let love in again. No, no, this movie is about a young woman, Merida.

In Pixar’s Brave, Merida plays the first female lead in their animation history. Her character is a young woman who defies the tradition of her country and instead of following suit, Merida takes a strong interest in archery. She isn’t the classical Disney princess nor is she the damsel in distress. Merida is simply asking for a chance to decide for herself. However, this narrative does seem to ring the classical fairy tale bells. A young girl defying tradition, eventually seeking help from an elder, and then forced to face the ultimate challenge…so wait, is there a happy ending?

Could it be a fairy tale that will end with a woman not happily married to a man? Though the challenge is left for Merida to face and she takes on quite a burden because of her “mistakes”, leaving some feminists to ask: Has the movie industry finally got it? Will Merida be the breaking point in which fairy tales no longer predictably end with companionship or that the female role must sacrifice for others? This movie has an opportunity to bring stronger and empowering messages to younger generations, but now we wait until opening day to see what exactly Merida’s bravery will bring to our conversation.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pink Carriages: Peace of Mind or Unnecessary Protection?


Why is the urban world made to feel so perilous for women? In the half an hour it takes me to take the LRT and the KTM to my internship every morning, my mother worries, my father worries and even I worry for my safety more than any other time of the day. What frightening train-riding perverts or robbers might I incur today?! It’s frustrating to feel like I need to be escorted everywhere I go, and equally infuriating that everyone is so concerned with my safety simply because I am a woman. If I were a man, would the big bad world be so big and bad in their eyes? 

Until I was 10 (and even then, very reluctantly) I was never allowed to walk to school without my older brother by my side. When I was 15 I fought my mother for the privilege of walking the less than a mile walk to the high street where I volunteered. Mind you, I lived in a small, sleepy English town full of elderly people and school children. Hardly the cesspool it had been made out to be.

Now having gained my independence for the first time, I stretched it as far as I possibly could by going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the summer. Everyone keeps telling me how “brave” I am to have come here “all my myself.” I’m not quite sure if I should take all this as a compliment or re-enforcement of my perceived limitations as a woman.

But I hate to admit that this constant fear mongering has gotten to me. I find myself picking up the pace when I’m alone, clutching my bag tighter and looking over my shoulder on a regular basis. Now, I know that not everyone is out to get me, but I’ve been conditioned from the point I was born until now to believe that “it only takes one time.”

However, the thing that puts me most at ease during my daily commute is knowing that in Malaysia the KTM has a section dedicated solely for women. These pink train cars, plastered with “Women Only” icons were introduced in 2010 not out of religious sensitivities as I had assumed, but as a deterrent for sexual harassment in the country. 

The segregated cars also have the added benefit of being less crowded during the intense KL rush hours. The gender segregation is not mandatory, and women are allowed to use the other cars as well, although men receive intense stare-downs if they ever unintentionally board the pink carriages. Women-only train cars also exist in Tokyo, although
some men are petitioning for men-only carriages as a measure of gender equality, and to avoid false accusations of groping. 

So then what is the Feminist stance on women-only carriages? Is it a good safety measure as a deterrent of sexual harassment? Other women like me who are travelling alone at night may feel sense of security from the measure, but is it reinforcing the idea that women need to be protected and setting back gender equality at the same time? How would women in the U.S. react to the introduction of women-only cars? Is the pink necessary? Hit up the comment box or tweet at
@medusamagazine to let us know your thoughts on segregated travel.

Friday, April 15, 2011

MEISA presents: Nervous but Excited and Sarah Aument

Looking for a musical way to celebrate it being Friday WITHOUT the annoyingly catchy Rebecca Black? Tonight, MEISA is presenting their third show of the semester in downtown Syracuse at the Redhouse. Michigan based Folk duo Nervous but Excited will be here with an opening performance by none other than Syracuse University’s own Sarah Aument.

Nervous but Excited, comprised of singer/songwriters Kate Peterson & Sarah Cleaver, has been described as a “pleasantly aggressive folk duo”, and has shared the stage with artists such as Ani DiFranco, Catie Curtis, and Iron and Wine. Their arsenal of instruments includes guitars, a mandolin, a violin, a ukulele, harmonicas, dead-on harmonies that will shake your insides, some dancing, lots of laughter and a glockenspiel in a performance that provides both a sound and an experience that will resonate with audiences long after they’re gone. Their songwriting varies from intelligent, introspective narratives to tactfully political…interspersed with songs of love and loss that will undoubtedly tug on your heart. You might cry, you’ll definitely laugh, and their hope is that you’ll leave feeling your heart has grown just a little bigger than it was before you arrived.

And of course, it’s hard to be a music fan on the Syracuse campus without having come across Sarah Aument. A singer-songwriter based right here in Syracuse, her style is best described as Folk-Rock but her imaginative songwriting crosses over to multiple genres. Her debut album entitled "Vertical Lines" was released in Sept. 2010, and anyone who has been to one of her many shows on and around campus knows that she brings a wonderful energy and sweet sincerity to every one of her performances. Aument is currently touring the Northeast with her band, and has made a promising start to her early music career, already having shared the stage with the likes of Dawes, Erin McCarley, The Spring Standards, Sharon Van Etten and Ari Heist.

So come on out Medusa readers, and show your support for these wonderful and talented women! It’s going to be a great night of incredible music presented by three fantastic performers. I promise, you don’t want to miss it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Is Rape Funny? (Don't Worry, the Answer is No)


It's come to a time where political correctness has everybody watching what they say, except for one group of people- comedians. Yet why should they be exempt from the same standards everyone else abides by when some things
just aren't funny? Luckily we're not the only ones who think serious matters such as rape aren't a laughing matter. Check out this website and share it with your friends so that next time someone tries to make a joke about rape, you can kindly direct them here and tell them to shove off:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spoken Like a True Feminist...Continued!

Like what you saw in Medusa? Want to check out more of these incredible writers work? Check out these links. And if you don't recognize the names, well then you'll just have to check out the most recent issue of Medusa first now won't you!

Check out Olson's work here:

Check out Gibson's poems "I Do" and "For Eli" here:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Oh hey! Medusa Issue #4 is oot and aboot!
Download it here!
Drop us a line at

I love you very much,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gender by Andrea Stopa

Red stains in my underwear,
I woke up to a mess.
I cry to my mother
who gives me a pad and tells me everything will be ok,
that that's life.
But I don't really believe her.
Because she doesn't really believe herself.

Once a month
I will bleed for my gender
I will bleed to be a woman
I will bleed for my baby-making purpose
So that man can recreate
And what about that?
Squeezing a cranium the size of a melon past my pelvis out into the world?
I will stretch and tear to let life out of me,
But I am the weaker sex.
I am the one who is here to serve.
To make dinner after a long day at work.
To give comfort to the kiddies and give pleasure to my hubbie to give nothing to myself because
like that giving tree,
I give give give,
that's just how it is is is.

Wear pink, play with dolls, kiss a boy, hold his hand,
Wear mascara, blush your cheeks, don't say fuck, find a man
Cross your legs, lose some weight, buy a bra, get a date

Raise your hand, wait your turn, be a lady, let him win
No means yes, lead him on, give a kiss, let him in
Tone your arms, stand up straight, lift your ass, shrink your waist

But make sure all this stress never creases your face!

Get a house with a fence, and a man that gets paid
Get a mother-in-law, have some babies to raise
But don't lose your career! Just juggle and fake it
And blame PMS when you're starting to hate it.

Tears in her eyes,
I woke up to a mess.
She cries on my shoulder
I tell her I will kill that bastard, that it wasn't her fault.
That everything will be okay.
But I know she doesn't really believe me,
I don't really believe me.
He robbed her
Of her freedom
Of her innocence
her smile.
She bled because she was a woman
She bled because TV makes violence the norm
And she won't cry out because chances are her story won't hold up in court.
She will live her life running form ghosts, from the monsters in the night
Because he had an urge
That she couldn't fight.
But she is the weaker sex,
The one who's not worth as much pay in the boardroom but has to pay everyday for a choice
she didn't make.
What will it take?
What will it take.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Calling All Feminists!

This is Emmery here, you may have seen my name a couple of times on this wonderful website before as a contributing writer but guess what? Now I’m here to stay. That’s right, you’re talking to your new blog editor for Medusa Magazine’s wonderful world of blogging! I figured I would say hello and let you all know who I am because, lovely readers, I’m going to need your help. See this blog is a great way for all of us who love the magazine to voice our fabulous feminist opinions and share some really awesome and important stories in a more informal setting. And I highly doubt that all of you want to read everything from my point of view for the rest of your lives so, I’d love if you’d give me a hand. I want to hear what you have to say. Send me story ideas, things you want to write about, things you want me to write about, and let’s do our best to make it happen. I hope you’re as excited about this as I am, and I look forward to hearing from you all. Let’s get this party started! Just shoot an email to with your ideas and suggestions! I can't wait to hear from you all!