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Masculine Pinsecurity

4.25.2017

By Matthew Clough

Nathan Clem has just signed an apartment lease for next year with his girlfriend, Rena Stair. After dating for nearly two years, they decided it was time to give living together a shot. He’s already been preparing for the move by collecting kitchen supplies, buying brand new bedsheets, even building a coffee table with one of his friends.

There’s just one more step he’s making in his preparations: getting a Pinterest account.

Clem, a junior from Baldwin City, Kansas, says his sister first showed him the app, and he thought it was a cool way to organize ideas, especially for planning home décor options and DIY projects. The app curates content for you from around the web based on topics you’ve indicated interest in. He was careful to not tell too many people he was using it, though. “I just thought, Pinterest is more for women and I didn’t want to seem too feminine,” he says. “It does carry a certain connotation.”

He’s not the only one who feels this way. According to a Pew Research Center study released at the end of 2016, 45 percent of online adult women use the virtual bulletin board site, while only 17 percent of online men do. This comes after statistics released by Pinterest that claim its male user base in the U.S. increased by 73 percent over the course of 2014.

Among college men, there’s a mix of reactions to Pinterest. Some say it’s a place for “arts and crafts bullshit” or “a platform for people who want to build personal fantasies.” But other men like Clem think it’s useful for everyone.

“Nathan came up to me, and he was kind of shy about it. He was like, ‘I don’t want to be weird or anything, but I think it’d be a really great idea if we shared house ideas with, like, Pinterest,’” Stair recalls. “At this point we had already decided we were going to live together next year,” Clem says. “I just thought it would be a good way to save ideas.”

Still, it’s clear that the concept of men using Pinterest has some taboo connotation. Simply searching “do men use Pinterest?” on Google yields a slew of articles about the site’s largely skewed demographics. But more interestingly, it also brings up the related searches “is Pinterest for guys too?” and “manteresting,” which is a website similar to Pinterest but with more sexy cars and hilarious videos, according to its Twitter. (Instead of “pinning” things to boards, you use manly nails.)

Perhaps more than anything, these searches convey an insecurity among men in using the virtual bulletin board. The most revealing thing about them is the perceived cultural necessity of assigning gender to things that are objectively genderless.

Hyunjin Seo, an associate professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Kansas who researches social media, says that the visual nature of Pinterest may be one reason more women are using it than men. “Think of the topics that more align with visual-based social media sites,” she says. “Fashion, food, travel and so on. There’s more women than men that share content on social media on these topics.”

The visual appearance of Pinterest itself may be part of the reason men shy away from it, although its design doesn’t necessarily cater directly to women. The site is plain white and upon logging in you’re greeted with a collage-like scattering of content. Manteresting, by comparison, looks essentially identical except for a black background. Houzz is a home design site that boasts slightly more male users than Pinterest; its design, like its content, is more architectural.

Instagram is interesting in that its interface is entirely visual-driven, yet according to Seo, the proportions of male and female users are very similar. Although women still outnumber men on the platform – 58 to 42 percent as of 2016, the gap is nowhere near as wide as it was several years ago, Seo said.

Some college men maintain that appearance has nothing to do with it. Conan Lee is a freshman from Overland Park, Kan., who studies illustration and uses the site for inspiration. “I have a sci-fi board and a fantasy board, for stuff like character design and concept art – ideas for drawing,” he says. Another student, Murphy Smith from Westwood, Kan., does not use the site but says “If I want something that seems to be similar to Pinterest, I just go to Reddit.” That site is significantly less structured in appearance than Pinterest.

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Regardless of appearance or perceptions, Clem remains adamant in the value of Pinterest. He and Stair have been organizing apartment decoration ideas and projects to take on together over the summer while they prepare for the big move. “I think people should use it no matter what society thinks,” he says.

 

 

WTF Is Up?! – Brazil impeaches president, things get stranger, and more!

9.02.2016

By Darby VanHoutan

WTF-Darby

I paid my first rent, remembered to eat three meals a day, and managed to stay informed this week. Now, here’s a few happenings from the world for all! WTF happened this week?

 

2017 – Full of Stranger Things

Many people remember where they were when Michael Jackson’s death was announced or President Obama announced the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. Me, on the other hand, I remember the exact moment I first saw Eleven – or Elle for short – on my television.

 

The Netflix original series Stranger Things debuted this summer, and the world has never been the same. The show follows some ~spooky~ happenings of adolescents living in a small town in Indiana. Don’t worry—I won’t give away any spoilers. Besides the fact that Barb is dead, Will was rescued from the upside-down, and Eleven has some sort of supernatural connection to the monster.

 

The most exciting part is that Netflix announced via Twitter on Wednesday that it has been confirmed for a second season that will come out in 2017. Unlike me, Netflix really didn’t give away any clues besides some 80’s-esque thriller music and words like “Palace”, “Storm”, “Pollywog”, etc. Good News! Only three months until 2017.

 

Brazil Seeking Leader

This past Wednesday while the rest of world was partaking in some dollar-night-like festivities, the Brazilian Senate impeached their president. The first female president of the country, Dilma Rousseff, was suspended this past May to await trial, and as of Wednesday, has been removed for the rest of her term.

 

This impeachment comes at the closing of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games and, in summation, was due to what the Brazilian Senate saw as Rousseff covering up the country’s growing economic and social issues. The final vote in the Senate was 61 in favor of the impeachment and 20 opposed.

 

Rousseff’s Vice-President Michel Temer is currently serving as interim president, will remain in the position until the end of the term in 2018.

 

Willow Smith gets Shady

Ever since Willow Smith whipped her hair in 2010, I’ve been infatuated. The latest move by the daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, is serving as the ambassador to Chanel’s AW16 eyewear campaign. The entire campaign, shot in black and white, features the model/actress/singer sporting….sunglasses. No virgin to starring in high end fashion campaigns, Smith has also modeled for Marc Jacobs and more.

 

Chanel creative director and all-around mastermind Karl Lagerfeld photographed the entire campaign which can be viewed here → AW16 Campaign.

 

One Big Explosion for Mankind

Facebook’s first ever communications satellite was set to launch this coming Saturday. The satellite, attached to sexily-named rocket SpaceX Falcon 9, would have extended internet access across 14 countries in Africa. However, during a static fire test this Thursday the rocket exploded. (I feel you, rocket) The explosion destroyed the rocket along with the entire payload, satellite included. Luckily, the rocket was unmanned and there were no civilians injured at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station where it resided.

 

Don’t worry SpaceX, just like college students tell themselves every day – this too shall pass.

WTF Is Happening in Europe – An Update on Brexit

6.24.2016

By: Darby VanHoutan

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This summer has definitely been one full of political tension and issues that hit home for too many people. Across the pond in Britain, millions of citizens turned out just yesterday to vote on a decision that will change the lives of not only the European Union but everyone around the world.

The United Kingdom held a referendum on Thursday (referendum: a general vote by the people on a single political question that has been given to them for direct decision) to decide whether Britain would stay in or leave the EU. The “leave” campaign won with 52% to the “stay” campaigns 48%. As the results from this voting piled in, the value of the euro dropped significantly to its lowest level since the 1980’s. In the hours since the voting, Britain has lost a total of 350 billion euro (this converts to about $389,304,995,370.39). This morning after receiving the news, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would resign by October. Cameron served as a leader of the “stay” campaign and an important voice in the debate. According to his speech, Cameron made the decision to step down because he feels that he would not be the right person to lead the people of Britain to their next destination.

Why did this happen? The reasons behind the “leave” campaign were promises such as restrictions on immigration, more money for an independent United Kingdom, better handling of crises, and other issues within the country. These issues include things such as lack of trust in people like the Prime Minister, the UK’s relationship with Europe, and the big names that backed the “leave” campaign. These names included that of Michael Gove and Boris Johnson (the head runner for replacing Cameron). Another thing worth noting is the different turnout of people at the polls on Thursday. There was a 25 percent turnout of people aged 18-25 and a 61 percent turnout of people 65 and up. Ironically, this decision made by a majority of older citizens, will be the issue for the newer generations instead to handle.

Currently, the EU is a 27-member block, being knocked down from 28 after Britain is the first country to exit. However, this referendum does not stand alone. This decision is causing traction and debated in other countries in the EU such as Scotland who voted to remain in the EU on Thursday.

What does this mean? Although the news on the decision is not even a day old, the ripples from Britain’s vote will surely last for decades. This decision shows that the United Kingdom is now independent from Europe and more right-winged than ever. This decision will change traveling from Britain to members of the EU and vice-versa. Technically, this decision isn’t a legally-binding one but it isn’t likely that the British government will ignore its voters. Within the vote was also the fact that there won’t be any ~major~ changes in the next two years. This is because it will take about this long for the remaining 27 members and the independent Britain to decide things like how to maintain trade, travel, etc.

 

WTF Is Up?! A Life-Changing Baby Picture, Damn Daniel and more!

2.26.2016

By Darby VanHoutan

WTF-Darby

Earlier this week I mistook gouda cheese for yogurt and learned that gouda cheese is gross and that I need to wear my glasses more often. Other than that I rate this week 10/10, WTF else is up!?

Is Saint West an actual saint?

Babies are interesting creatures. They come in all shapes and sizes and only about 23% of the babies I see DON’T freak me out. However, recently Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West blessed the world with their second beautiful offspring which makes me want to roll it up in a Chipotle burrito and eat it, in the most flattering way possible. Kardashian-West gave birth to her son Saint on December 5, 2015 but it was only this week when the world first saw the delicious Saint West. Kim posted the first picture of Saint on Monday February 22 on both her app and for us cheap peasants to view, on Twitter.

Saint was decked out in a white onesie with his yummy little arms raised above his head. The picture was released on her late father, Robert Kardashian’s, birthday. On her app, Kim also wrote along with the picture “Today is my dad’s birthday. I know there is nothing more in the world that he would have wanted than to meet his grandchildren. So I wanted to share this pic of Saint with you all”. The release of this picture brings about two questions: (1) Will I ever stop using words like ‘delicious’ and ‘yummy’ to describe the scrumptious little baby? (2) Where can I get one?

Taylor Swift contributes $250,000 to #FreeKesha

Over ten years ago singer Kesha signed a contract with producer Dr. Luke and Sony Records. In 2014 Kesha filed a civil suit claiming that Dr. Luke drugged, sexually assaulted, and on many occasions verbally abused her. On Friday February 19 the New York State Supreme Court denied the singer’s request for an injunction that would allow her to make music elsewhere while the sexual assault case continues. The contract states that Kesha must release six albums before her contract is up and so far she has made two (Animal and Warrior). This means that if the singer wishes to continue releasing music, she has to do it working for the man she says raped her. Whether a person sides with the New York State Supreme Court or Kesha, it is quite obvious that the concept of being legally bound to an abuser is hard and sad to imagine. Many celebrities like Taylor Swift, Adele, Zedd, and other have defended Kesha. Swift donated $250,000 in support of Kesha. While accepting an award at the Brit Award on Wednesday evening singer Adele showed support by saying “I’d also like to take this moment to publicly support Kesha.” On Thursday singer and producer Zedd sent a tweet offering support to help produce music for her, being one of the only men to support her publicly. Along with celebrities, people all around the world are using the hashtag #FreeKesha to show their support. Kesha also broke her silence on the issue in an Instagram post on Wednesday with the caption ending with “I love you all so much. a statement too large for this format is coming….”

Damn! ….. Daniel I wish I would have thought of that first

I was a firm believer that I hadn’t been sucked into the “damn, Daniel!” worm-hole this week. This was until I unintentionally shouted “DAMN, DANIEL” at some poor defenseless stranger wearing white Vans on the bus on Tuesday. Unless you are focused enough to not use social media or have just been asleep for five days you’ve heard about the viral video (which is a 30 second long edited collection of Snapchats) where a boy named Josh Holz admires his friend Daniel Lara’s outfits, and most importantly, his white Vans. In the video, Holz repeatedly films Lara while saying “damn, Daniel” and “Back at it again with the white Vans” and my personal favorite “spicy man, spicy.” The tweet currently has 330,000 retweets and 440,000 favorites and landed the two boys a visit to the Ellen Degeneres Show on Tuesday. Here, Holz and Lara commented on things like the marriage proposals and (maybe only week long) fame they have received. Daniel Lara also received a lifetime supply of Vans while on Ellen. Check mate Daniel and Josh, I wish I would have thought of it. Also, lucky for everyone in the entire world youtube account titled Bomb Squad Records made a remix to the video called “Damn Daniel – Bombs Away Remix” and it. is. lit.

Why It’s more than just Apple vs. the FBI

The FBI and the well-known tech company Apple are in the middle of, to put it simply, a huge, gi-normous, important, unprecedented, and messy fight over encryption. This fight started after the iPhone belonging to one of the shooters from the San Bernardino terrorist attack was discovered by police during the investigation. Since both shooters are dead and they destroyed all other electronics, the iPhone is an important piece of evidence to the FBI. However, after a person has entered the wrong passcode into an iPhone ten times, it erases all data. This led to the FBI asking Apple to break into the iPhone. After Apple refused the request, the FBI issued a court order forcing them to do so. Basically, the FBI is wants the tech geniuses at Apple to write a new software that will allow the FBI access into the shooter’s iPhone.

FBI Side: The FBI is expected to defend their court order by explaining that they are simply asking for access to the phone of a terrorist so that they can collect information. They are saying that the information that they collect could be valuable in the future and that Apple refusing them access is not right.

Apple Side: Apple is expected to defend their refusal by explaining that encryption and coding are protected under the First Amendment, and that a court can’t force them to write a completely new version of their software. People at Apple are also saying that this won’t be just one phone, but eventually versatile for all phones, removing any sense of security.

The first deadline for the case is today, February 26, when Apple must file a response to the court regarding why they will now unlock the phone. Click here to see a timeline of the case, provided by CNN.

WTF Is Up?! Celebrity meltdowns, the death of the 2016 Presidential Election, and more.

2.19.2016

By Darby VanHoutan

WTF-Darby

I whole-heartedly believed that I was going to tap out of this week. For a moment I considered lying down on Jayhawk Blvd. and letting a bus run me over, but I made it. You made it. WTF else is up?!

I’m gonna let you finish but – Kanye West is going through some things.

Do you remember when Britney Spears shaved her head and attacked some paparazzi in 2007? We all look back now and think “It’s okay Britney, we all go through some things.” Well, it’s all happening again, with a little less head shaving and a lot more Kanye West. Kanye West’s public breakdown seemed to begin when people heard West’s song “Famous” on his new album The Life of Pablo (the album name changed many times from Swish to Waves to this). The lyrics in this song that angered people to the point of even tweeting (gasp!) about it were “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ Why? I made that bitch famous.” This started an uprising from Taylor fans and others. West then turned to Twitter earlier this week saying he was $53 million in debt and then asking Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook for a loan of $1 billion. Along with these tweets, Kanye has continued throughout the week saying things like “I love love love white people but you don’t understand what it means to be the great grandson of ex slaves and make it this far,” “This [West’s album] was made with love. Only God can judge me. So I only expect love back!!!,” “Money doesn’t make me who I am…,” etc. We all have these problems Kanye, a quick loan of $1 billion isn’t much and everyone understands.

Taylor Swift made an important acceptance speech – but more importantly her Grammy dress was –hEaRt EyE eMoJiS –

Sweet and beautiful Taylor Swift can do no wrong. I firmly believe that Taylor Swift was sent down from Heaven with angels carrying her. In recent news regarding Swift however, she wore an amazing Atelier Versace two-piece dress to the 2016 Grammys and gave a subtweet-filled acceptance speech after receiving Best Album of the Year on Monday. The star’s dress was made up of a coral bandeau on top and a fuchsia bubble skirt on bottom with shorts underneath (admire it here), really driving home the fact that Taylor Swift can wear a skort in 2016 even if no one else can. She was wearing this dress when she accepted her Grammy for Best Album of the Year, and gave a speech very obviously pointing in Kanye West’s direction. In her acceptance speech Swift stated “There are going to be people along the way that try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame” which was Swift’s way of saying “Kanye West didn’t make me famous,” but much more glamorous.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia dies – and RIP to the 2016 election

On Saturday morning, when you were all sleeping off the punch from the night before, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia was found dead in Shafter, Texas. Scalia was a leading conservative justice on the highest court in the United States. I’ll give you a quick rundown. The United States Supreme Court is the most powerful court in the country and has a total of 9 justices serving on it. These justices are a mixture of democrats, republicans, men, women, etc. These justices decide the cases that become law for the United States and set standards for society as a whole.

After Scalia’s death, the Supreme Court has only eight justices. No offense to Scalia and no disrespect to his death (that has been said was caused by natural causes and isn’t requiring an autopsy), but this is bad timing. This ninth  justice spot has to be filled by the President appointing one. However, the United States is in the middle of a presidential election and everyone has very different opinions. Some people are saying that the spot should be left open and the next president should have the responsibility of filling it, even though President Obama still has eleven months left in office. In summation, Scalia’s death just made the 2016 presidential election much more interesting.

Sports Illustrated gets curvy

If you haven’t done it already, it is officially time to embrace your curves. American model Ashley Graham definitely is. Graham is making history as Sports Illustrated’s first “plus-size” (aka average sized) swimsuit cover model. Graham has certainly come a long way after having a Lane Bryant lingerie ad she modeled in cut by ABC, and not quite making it for last year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. However, this year Graham is starring as a cover model in one of Sports Illustrated’s three covers (the other two cover models are Haley Clauson and Ronda Rousey). The magazine spread was shot in locations like Tahiti, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and others. Maybe next year they’ll bring the shoot to Lawrence, Kansas. Maybe next year “plus-size” will also just be a normal model because if bombshell Ashley Graham is plus-size, then I want to be plus-size too.

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