Brasil: uma “Democracia Racial”?

Pedro Henrique Tauil

A perpetuação da ideia que o Brasil apresenta uma “democracia racial” acaba, dessa forma, impedindo que esse problema seja tratado com a devida seriedade pela sociedade brasileira.

O termo “democracia racial” advém da ideia de uma sociedade em que o indivíduo não sofreria nenhum impedimento em sua vida social, política e econômica baseado na “raça simbólica” que apresenta. Sendo assim, é contraditório que um país com um passado escravista tão presente em sua história, como o Brasil, tenha a percepção amplamente difundida que há essa “democracia racial” estabelecida na sociedade brasileira. Apesar disso, os defensores dessa ideia, que tem suas origens em uma corrente sociológica do início do século XX, apontam para a miscigenação da população brasileira como a principal evidência que não há racismo no Brasil. Segundo essa ideia, durante o período escravista, a relação entre escravo e senhor não teria uma natureza opressiva, mas cordial, apesar do trabalho forçado. Nesse sentido, a mistura entre europeus, africanos, indígenas, e seus descendentes, seria fruto de relações consensuais e de uma noção humanista de igualdade difundida em todas as camadas da sociedade colonial. Essa visão é evidentemente baseada em uma perspectiva idealizada da sociedade no período colonial da história brasileira. É conhecido que o Brasil Colônia foi fundado por meio da violência contra os povos nativos e desenvolvido a partir do amplo tráfico de africanos escravizados, ambos eventos que tiveram grande impacto na estrutura social da população brasileira. Mesmo com ocorrências eventuais de uniões consensuais, é aceito atualmente que a miscigenação brasileira foi produto de violência sexual contra mulheres indígenas e africanas escravizadas, o que refuta qualquer tentativa de apresentar essa miscigenação como fruto de uma relação “cordial”.

Em contraste com a narrativa romântica de ideais de igualdade difundidos na sociedade colonial, a população brasileira foi formada a partir de centenas de anos de opressão institucionalizada na forma da escravidão. Ademais, mesmo depois da escravidão houve políticas públicas que se embasavam em conceitos racistas, como a eugenia, que pregava a “superioridade genética” de pessoas brancas. Esse é o caso da grande campanha para a imigração de europeus que ocorreu durante a República Velha (1889 – 1930), mais especificamente entre 1890 e 1920. Nessa ocasião, mais de 50% das passagens em direção a São Paulo eram financiadas pelo governo estadual. Além disso, a falta de planejamento para o destino dos descendentes de africanos no período pós-abolição levou à exclusão econômica e social desse grupo, que acabou sofrendo com a pobreza e a miséria. Esses fatores foram ainda impulsionados pela falta de políticas sociais e a competição injusta no mercado de trabalho com os imigrantes europeus, favorecidos pelo racismo da sociedade brasileira. Essa exclusão, quando reforçada pelo Estado na forma das políticas higienistas da virada do século XIX para o XX, que visavam “limpar” os centros urbanos brasileiros, acabou criando bolsões de pobreza e miséria nos subúrbios das grandes metrópoles brasileiras, que viriam a ser as favelas.

As consequências herdadas do período escravista e das políticas racistas da República Velha não se limitam ao surgimento das favelas, fenômeno presente em todas as grandes metrópoles brasileiras. É possível verificar os efeitos que a exclusão categórica de indivíduos baseada na “raça simbólica”, já que a genética provou que não há diferenças significativas no DNA humano para sustentar a existência de “raças”, dura até hoje. Um exemplo disso é a concentração de renda entre os descendentes de europeus, apontada pela Síntese de Indicadores Sociais do IBGE em 2014. Também nesta pesquisa, foi mostrado que os indivíduos considerados “Pretos e Pardos” eram o grupo que possuía a renda mais baixa na sociedade brasileira. Isso em conjunto com a baixa qualidade do serviço público brasileiro, em especial a saúde e educação, gera uma desigualdade de oportunidades que é transgeracional. Apesar de a escravidão ter sido abolida há mais de 130 anos, os descendentes dos africanos escravizados ainda são prejudicados pelo racismo decorrente da estrutura em que a sociedade brasileira foi criada. A perpetuação da ideia que o Brasil apresenta uma “democracia racial” acaba, dessa forma, impedindo que esse problema seja tratado com a devida seriedade pela sociedade brasileira.

Por meio da análise do processo de formação da sociedade brasileira, sujeito à ideologia colonial e escravista, e pela verificação de evidências empíricas do prejuízo que essa formação causou ao grupo de “Pretos e Pardos”, que compõe a maioria da população brasileira, é possível garantir que não há nenhuma veracidade na afirmação que o Brasil é, atualmente, uma “democracia racial”. Contrariamente, o oposto pode ser visto, com a exclusão e opressão histórica desse grupo tendo consequências duradouras, que permeiam diversos aspectos da sociedade brasileira. Sendo assim, a noção que o Brasil é uma “democracia racial” deveria ser substituída pela consciência das desigualdades históricas presentes no país, que impedem a integração completa do “povo” brasileiro.

Declan McKenna Art Piece

By Leo Landry

Declan McKenna is an English singer and songwriter. He is most well known for his album “What Do You Think About The Car,” which he released at the young age of 18. I was introduced to him by my older brother two years ago. I decided to draw the cover of the aforementioned album because it is my favorite work by him.

Moments of Happiness: EAB Moments’ Yellow September Project

By Fernanda Ferreira, EAB Moments’ Vice President

Moments of Happiness 1

“Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world”, said the famous french photographer Bruno Barbey. Photography is one of the most recent, yet extremely powerful, ways of expressing ourselves through art. As most of you probably – and hopefully – know, EAB Moments is EAB’s photography club. Not only that, but we also represent a group of students who document our school life through art and passion using photography. Our club serves the purpose of meaningfully eternizing the moments of our community.

Since art and emotion are almost intertwined, we feel the need to engage in some sort of motivational project every year during Yellow September. It’s the month in which each one of us can somewhat impact the lives of the ones who are merged into the darkness of mental illnesses and filled with hopelessness about their lives. It’s the month in which each one of us gathers to try preventing suicide and promoting life. Not only as artists but as humans, we feel the need to help each other in such an important cause.

This year, we have decided to take a different approach: instead of emotionally shocking our audience, we felt that we already had enough drama this year. Thus, we took a positive and inspirational approach. Our project Moments of Happiness aims at emphasizing the beauty of the most simple, yet meaningful things in our lives. Since we eternize moments using photography, we decided to ask people around the school to share with us a picture of something that made them feel happy with themselves and the world. We intended to evoke, even for a little moment, a positive insight, and to remind people of their moments of happiness.

Something as simple as a picture with you playing with your pets, or a beautiful sunset, reminds you of a reason to feel proud and filled with joy. Moments of happiness are never about expensive, rare, and extraordinary moments but, rather of subtle, daily events that make us realize how fascinating it is to be alive. How each and every moment is an opportunity to grow, to laugh, to be around your loved ones. This is what we should remind ourselves daily, but especially during Yellow September. If art can so easily move us emotionally, we believe that art can heal.

Please appreciate some of the Moments of Happiness that we have captured so far. Find much more on our Instagram page.

Moments of Hapiness 2

Sustainably Fashionable?

Maybe don’t shop till you drop…

By Veronica Streibel-May

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Above: See Cate Blanchett rock the same dress on two different occasions. From the Film Festival in 2018 to the Golden Globes Awards in 2014.  There is no such thing as “last season” when it’s simply recycling a stunning, timeless look. Reduce, reuse and recycle!

What does it mean?

I take a long glance at my closet and never do I stop and consider what it took for me to end up with these clothes in my possession. How spending 20 dollars resulted in way more than just losing money.

When we think of sustainability and the environment normally we don’t immediately connect this to our wardrobe choices. You may be questioning the relevance and as to how the clothes on your back could possibly be related to the insane wildfires in California. We live in a society where we can’t separate these things into separate categories anymore. With the environment being such a big topic of discussion in today’s modern world, we become more aware of every little factor. Fashion and design, production as well as its distribution plays a key role in this climate crisis.

Luckily, there is a way to take an ethical route when it comes to staying stylish and being environmentally conscious. Shopping from sustainable brands that use recycled materials and undertake ethical labour practices is a step in the right direction. A step into the future where we are eco-conscious and take into consideration the socio-economic aspects of the fashion industry. This is an enormous  industry and will continue to grow. We can do our part and make sure it’s at least sustainable.

Beginning to the End

We start with the production phase. So designing, the production of raw materials and of course the manufacturing. Splitting it up into two parts we look at the environmental aspect that refers to the way in which natural resources are being used throughout the whole process and choosing renewable energy sources throughout the clothing’s entire journey. Keeping in mind the air pollution while manufacturing and delivering these products as well.

The use of water and the devastating reality that a simple shirt on average requires 3,000 liters of water to produce. To compare, the average american uses roughly 60 liters for one shower. On a larger scale, in 2015 the whole fashion industry used 79 billion cubic meters of water- this translates to 32 Olympic-sized pools.These figures are predicted to increase by 50% over the next ten years while we keep in mind the earth’s water resources are already running low.  ⅔ of the world’s water use goes into clothes (mainly due to textile production), which is an insane amount.

The other half we need to look at is the economic lens and its major role in society and therefore also the idea of sustainable fashion. This considers the workers’ perspective and the ethics. Are they being paid reasonably? In what sort of conditions are they working?

After companies have done their part by being sustainable, now we look at the consumer. That’s us. What do we do? The way we use or reuse clothes. That part is our responsibility.

The 5 Ways to Sustainability

  1. Green and clean during the entirety of the clothes’ lives.
  2. High quality that is intended and made made to last
  3. Fair and ethical. This refers to the human working conditions and that animal rights were valued.
  4. Repair and upcycle. Changing it and making it something else once you’re “done” with the clothes. Or sewing up a rip before disposing of the clothing.
  5. Vintage / second hand. Being reused and getting more use out of these products before they’re truly destroyed.

The Problem: Fast Fashion

It’s easy to fall into this rabbit hole that these ‘fast fashion’ brands create for us consumers. They offer trendy pieces at low prices. What more could we want? These clothes are not made to last. The fabrics and materials which these companies are using, more than 60 % of these fabrics are synthetics (which we get from fossil fuels). Meaning that once you throw away that T-shirt from H&M that only lasted a few months it will end up in the landfill or possibly the ocean where it will outlive the oldest vampire. These microfibres do not decay so these articles of clothing are literally immortal. Imagine what people would think when they looked at the hideous trends from 2020 and laugh because they were never able to decompose.

There’s more: textile dyes are highly toxic (for both humans as well as animals) causing disease or perhaps carcinogenic. So it contributes to environmental degradation alongside unfair labour which is inhuman for workers due to the potential dangers. In China, certain rivers have been classified as “too polluted for human contact” because of these chemical toxins. Believe it or not textile dyeing is the second largest contributor to water pollution, after agriculture. Especially in developing countries, this is a huge issue.

The Trick

BEWARE. Marketing is half the battle when it comes to fashion companies selling themselves to the younger generation. They claim to produce a line of clothing that uses only “organic” cotton and recycled polyester. In essence they falsely advertise themselves as green and sustainable. H&M being an example of this with their clothing line named “Conscious”, claiming to be environmentally friendly. However this is not the case as they too will use 20,000 liters of water to produce one men’s “green” long sleeved shirt. They get away with this label as the definition of green is so broad. Having one line that is rumoured to be sustainable is a trap for consumers as they get lost on the website and end up back in the “normal” section. These brands lure customers in with these terms yet still do nothing of value for the environment. Make sure to do your research beforehand.

Here are some options:

The Reality

Quantity matters. They say quality over quantity and this applies to the fashion industry with no exceptions. How much you buy with each trip to the mall has a real impact. Short answer: buy less. This may sound brutal to our shopaholics and especially now during these trying times where online shopping has become a best friend. Sacrifice is crucial if we want to make a real change. Question the true necessity of having an overflowing closet. With this fragile planet facing so many other issues, let this be your contribution.

Sources

What Is Sustainable Fashion?

Fashion companies use greenwashing to lie to consumers

https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/back-to-basics-natural-fabrics-sept/index.html

https://greendreamer.com/journal/what-is-sustainable-fashion

https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/common-myths-about-ethical-and-sustainable-fashion-sept/index.html

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2452072119300413

https://www.whowhatwear.com/affordable-sustainable-fashion-brands/slide31

https://www.theconsciouschallenge.org/ecologicalfootprintbibleoverview/water-clothing

https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/fashion-beauty/article/2146342/seven-celebrities-who-dare-rewear-recycling-brings-touch

Surreal Seemingness in The Things They Carried: The Horrifying, Beautiful Death of Curt Lemon

By Lucy Landry

The beauty of the scene draws the reader in, making one ask “real, or not real?” once more, as they become more aware of the absurd essence of war.

In Tim O’Brien’s memoir The Things They Carried, it is difficult to discern what is real and what is not. What appears to happen in O’Brien’s Vietnam War timeline is not always what exactly happens, even if it feels so to O’Brien and his fellow soldiers. O’Brien seeks this idea out in his work as he writes, “In any true war story…. there is always that surreal seemingness, which makes the story seem untrue, but which in fact represents the hard and exact truth as it seemed” (O’Brien 67-68). The traumatic events O’Brien describes are true to some extent, but the author claims that, in war stories, particularly true ones, what happened is hard to differentiate from what seemed to happen. O’Brien creates this war-clouded vision for his readers. He looks to mirror his own experience of not being able to tell if what he knows and holds from war is fact. A prominent example of this reflection of the bizarre, grotesque essence of war is in the event of Curt Lemon’s death, where O’Brien utilizes descriptive language, juxtaposition, and antiphrasis.

In The Things They Carried, O’Brien paints Curt Lemon to be an aggressively masculine man who always looked to show off to his fellow soldiers, even going to the point of having a healthy tooth pulled out to “renew” his image when the other soldiers began to see him as cowardly. However, Lemon is shown in an entirely different light during the telling of his death. O’Brien employs the use of descriptive, vivid words to transform a horrifying event into a beautiful scene. He writes, “I remember the smell of moss… up in the canopy there were tiny white blossoms… all around us where those ragged green mountains… I glanced behind me and watched Lemon step from the shade into bright sunlight” (O’Brien 67). O’Brien sets the scene for his reader: the air carries the scent of moss and up in the treetops grow small, white blossoms, all surrounded by jagged, green mountains. Lemon enters, clothed in the sunlight, and is lifted up into the treetops to mingle with the tiny flowers. O’Brien’s descriptive language creates an illusion for the readers as he looks to mirror his same experience and feelings in war. What O’Brien illustrates is exactly what seemed to have happened in the moment. Although what is described might not be factually correct, and it wasn’t the sunlight that took Lemon up, it was what appeared to have occurred to O’Brien. To see the difference between it and the detonator killing Lemon would be especially difficult for him. The language in this scene causes the reader to experience the bizarre and ugly nature of war as they witness a common and beautiful death.

To be able to completely render the effect of the almost unreal nature of war onto his readers, O’Brien uses juxtaposition. He writes, “Up in the sunlight there were tiny white blossoms, but no sunlight at all, and I remember the shadows spreading out under the trees…the way the sunlight came around him and lifted him up and sucked him high into a tree full of moss and vines and white blossoms” (O’Brien 67). Here, O’Brien shifts his perspective. At the beginning, the scene is painted with no sunlight. As the narrative moves closer to Lemon’s death, sunlight suddenly appears and it drips off of Lemon. Lemon is completely wrapped in it and is thrown up into the trees from its force. To be carried from such a dismal scene of shadows and tiredness to a scene of play and glow is especially effective. It creates a contrast for the reader that allows the death to stand out. It’s almost as if Lemon’s death sparked an “awakening” in the dark jungle that caused light to enter. This creates the haze over the question of “real, or not real?” within the reader.

O’Brien completes the extraordinary task of forming a death into something beautiful when he retells the demise of his comrade, Lemon. With antiphrasis, O’Brien uses language opposite that of those common to death. Lemon’s death is written as, “His face was suddenly brown and shining. A handsome kid really… when he died it was almost beautiful, the way the sunlight came around him and lifted him up and sucked him high into a tree full of moss and vines and white blossoms” (O’Brien 67). O’Brien directly calls the soldier’s death “beautiful” – something not typically understood in a person’s passing. Lemon himself is shown as a beautiful figure as well, having tan skin, a slim waist, and a face that glows in the sun. Even what he was blown into is shown in a pretty light: the trees are covered in moss and vines and white flowers. The scene is made so carefully and so attractive that the reader almost wants it to be true. The way death is described as something pretty highlights the absolute horror of war. The beauty of the scene draws the reader in, making one ask “real, or not real?” once more, as they become more aware of the absurd essence of war.

Curt Lemon’s death is created in a bizarre and almost unearthly way. What is a brutal death is shaped into something beautiful and to be in awe at. This is how O’Brien experienced Lemon’s end, whether it be factual or not. Using descriptive language, juxtaposition, and antiphrasis, O’Brien allows the reader to experience and understand the surreal seemingness of war through Lemon’s “beautiful” death.

The Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy

What is the future of clean energy?

By Joao T. Corbett

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What is Nuclear Energy?

Before entering the discussion on the merits of nuclear energy, it is imperative to have a basic understanding of the science, and history behind it. After the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, people believed that the power used in the bomb could be diverted into the production of clean, and cheap energy. The only problem was that the research for power plants had not been yet developed, and the money needed for their production was in short stock. This problem continued into the latter half of the 20th century until the Yom Kippur War in the middle east drove up the price of oil. This ushered in a decade of large investments in nuclear energy. The reactor chosen for this task was the relatively basic light water reactor. 

This reactor works by using an artificial nuclear fission reaction to heat up water which then spins a turbine, thus creating energy. The main fuel for this reactor is the very unstable Uranium 235. Within the reactor core, neutrons are catapulted at Uranium 235 atoms until they split into smaller, more stable elements releasing large amounts of energy in the process. 

Although this age saw a considerable increase in Nuclear energy and a heightened amount of investment, it was cut short by two major accidents that occurred within these plants. The first of these was the three-mile Island accident in Pennsylvania, the USA, and the Chernobyl disaster in Soviet-occupied Ukraine. The catastrophes resulted in a mass public disillusionment with nuclear energy resulting in a drastic decrease in funding, and less funding for the research. Today, only ten percent of the world’s energy is produced by about 439 nuclear plants in thirty-one countries. This number is mostly comprised of the aforementioned light water reactor

Cons

Critics of Nuclear energy either believe that nuclear energy is far too dangerous for human exploitation and that its cons vastly outweigh its benefits. The argument against nuclear energy can be relegated to three main reasons. The first of these is the potential for the development of nuclear weapons, in the name of clean energy. The fact is that it is extremely difficult to develop nuclear power plants, without developing nuclear bombs. It is also nearly impossible to distinguish nuclear energy projects from nuclear bomb projects. This worry has already been proven true when countries like Pakistan, India, South Africa, Israel, and North Korea were able to develop weapons in the name of energy. These weapons, if fallen into the wrong hands, could potentially cause the end of human life on earth. The second of these arguments is in regard to the deadly waste produced by nuclear power plants. This waste is not only radioactive but also contains extremely dangerous elements such as plutonium. A milligram can kill a fully grown man, and a few kilograms can make an atom bomb. It is no surprise that this waste is very difficult to dispose of, and of the 31 countries producing waste, only Finland has a permanent, effective institution that takes care of the waste. The final argument is that nuclear reactors are far too dangerous, and have already taken thousands of lives, and rendered large areas uninhabitable for decades. 

Pros

Supporters of nuclear energy believe that the benefits of nuclear energy far outweigh its drawbacks. The argument in nuclear energy can also be condensed into three main reasons. The first of these reasons is based upon a 2013 study conducted by NASA which concluded that nuclear energy saved about 1.8 million lives between 1976, and 2009. All this might seem rather strange, due to nuclear energy’s many accidents, it is important to account for the type of waste produced by nuclear power. Nuclear waste, though extremely dangerous, is a controllable by-product, which can be stored. This is not the same case for the bi-products of other energy sources which are simply pumped into the atmosphere. This reduction in atmospheric pollution has resulted in a considerable decrease in lung cancer, and other conditions derived from said pollution. The second reason further expands upon the previous and is that in relation to CO2 emissions, nuclear energy is the cleanest source of energy. It produces very little emission which not only saves lives but also reduces the effects of climate change and its consequences. Nuclear energy is also the only reliable clean source of energy that can constantly produce energy without being reliant upon controllable factors. The third reason is simply that nuclear energy is an ever-expanding field of research, and most of the reactors of today use outdated technologies employed in the 1970s. An example of this includes the thorium reactor which uses thorium instead of Uranium 235 for its fuel. It is very difficult to make nuclear weapons from thorium, and it produces 200 times the energy and less than half of its waste. Another advancement is the recyclability of nuclear waste, which could potentially eliminate the waste problem altogether.

Sources

Char, N L, and B J Csik. “Nuclear Power Development: History and Outlook.” IAEA, IAEA,1987,www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/publications/magazines/bulletin/bull29-3/29304781925.pdf. 

Kharecha, Pushker, and James Hansen. “Coal and Gas Are Far More Harmful than Nuclear Power – Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet.” NASA, NASA, 5 Nov. 2015, climate.nasa.gov/news/903/coal-and-gas-are-far-more-harmful-than-nuclear-power/. 

Zarubin, Bobby. Introduction To Light Water Reactors, 7 Mar. 2016, large.stanford.edu/courses/2015/ph241/zarubin1/. 

*Special mention to Kurzgesagt nuclear energy series, below are links to each of the videos in series.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVbLlnmxIbY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEYbgyL5n1g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcOFV4y5z8c

Are We in The Midst of The Next Mass-Extinction Event?

By Austin Monestel

If we go extinct, what animals will follow after us? Who knows, maybe a species smarter than us? A species that has all of our virtues and little of our flaws.

Imagine a world filled with only grassy plains and towering trees. Imagine living in this world, being oblivious to the world around you. Now imagine a bright flash of light, the Earth rumbles beneath your feet as the ground splashes like water. This was what happened to the dinosaurs and all the other animals on the planet about 65 million years ago. After a meteor hit the Earth, it created a chain reaction that killed 75% of all life on Earth at the time. We know about this because a crater 150 km in diameter still remains buried underneath the country of Mexico. This was only one of the five mass extinction events in the history of life on Earth. The names of all these events are: The Ordovician mass extinction, The Devonian mass extinction, The Permian mass extinction, The Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction, and the Cretaceous mass extinction. Ironically, the Cretaceous mass extinction (the one that killed the dinosaurs) is the most famous event yet it’s not even the deadliest mass extinction event. The deadliest extinction event was one that killed 96% of all life on Earth. One that had so much death that it even has the nickname “The Great Dying.” This was the dreaded Permian extinction. Okay that’s pretty terrifying, but what if I told you that a sixth corridor is being built in the Halls of Extinction? What if I told you that the next “Dying” is closer than you think? 

Okay, enough fear! Now let’s get to the science! First, we need to define a mass extinction. The scientific consensus is that a mass extinction is an event or multiple events that cause a great number of animals to go extinct. Some articles even say that a mass extinction is an event or multiple that cause 75% or more of the current species to go extinct. However the majority don’t really have a specific number and instead focus on a definition that a great number of the animals went extinct over a short period of time. It’s important to understand that a mass extinction isn’t caused by only meteors like the Cretaceous extinction. In fact, any event that causes a great number of animals to go extinct can be considered a mass extinction. For example, the Permian was thought to be caused by a large number of volcanic eruptions which released a lot of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere and caused the climate to heat up. In addition, the volcanic eruptions also caused toxic chemicals to be released into the air and water which severely poisoned the Earth. Now that we understand what a mass extinction is we can look at how the world around us is following a pattern that leads to a potential mass extinction event.

So right about now you’re probably wondering how we could be in a mass extinction event? Well, it’s mostly our fault. Turns out, it hasn’t taken humans too long to mess up the Earth’s ecosystem. Believe it or not, homo sapiens (Humans) have only been on the Earth for around 200,000 years. To put that into perspective, dinosaurs roamed the Earth for 175 million years before they went extinct. Within 200,000 years we managed to make all sorts of animals go extinct such as the wooly mammoth, the wooly rhino, carrier pigeons, dodo birds, and many more. We even caused our distant ancestors, the Neanderthals, to go extinct. You’re probably thinking that we may have caused some animals to go extinct but that’s no reason to call it a mass extinction. The reality is that so many more animals will go extinct in the upcoming decades. We’ve already found that roughly ½ of land animals have lost 80% of their habitat. A good example of this is the lion habitat. The lions used to be found in the majority of Africa, the Middle East, and even up to Southern Europe. Now, lions are only found in select places of Central and Southern Africa. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) found that 38% of the species assessed are currently threatened with extinction. The majority of these animals are threatened due to human encroachment such as deforestation, overhunting, and toxic pollution. Some scientists say there may be a possibility of ever so slightly turning it around but that, unless we humans get our overpopulation under control, a “biological annihilation” is very likely. “The time to act is very short. It will, sadly, take a long time to humanely begin the population shrinkage required if civilisation is to long survive, but much could be done on the consumption front and with ‘band aids’ – wildlife reserves, diversity protection laws – in the meantime,” Prof. Gerardo Ceballos said in an interview with Guardian News. On the other hand, some scientists say that we’re in the beginning of a mass extinction event and can still easily turn it around. The worst part is, humans may even be on the chopping block. If this “biological annihilation” occurs and a massive amount of wildlife go extinct, then starvation rates may spike as people die of hunger. When this happens the population will be decimated and may even go extinct. In addition, as trees are cut down for human use the amount of carbon dioxide will increase causing the air to become toxic and a climate change similar to the Permian extinction will occur. This climate change will cause fresh water to evaporate as droughts become much more frequent.

That’s pretty scary, but there is a good side to everything, and mass extinction events are no exception to this rule. Mass extinction events may cause a large number of animals to go extinct, but you can also think of it as wiping the slate clean. Often, after a mass extinction event, new animals are given the opportunity to evolve. Before the Cretaceous meteor event, the first mammals were very primitive. They were rat-like ancestors that burrowed deep underground to avoid predators. However when the meteor hit, the first mammals were able to endure due to their ability to burrow and control internal body temperature. After the rubble settled, the first mammals crawled out of their holes to a world that was theirs. Those mammals eventually evolved into primates and then evolved into us. We would probably not exist if it weren’t for the meteor killing our worst predators. Now just think, if we go extinct, what animals will follow after us? Who knows, maybe a species smarter than us? A species that has all of our virtues and little of our flaws. They would probably be able to dig up our fossils. They would probably even figure out that we were advanced by the synthetic plastics that would most likely still exist by then. They would be very confused.

Domestic Violence: The “Shadow Pandemic”

By Helena Barros

The current COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly had a global impact on countless areas of our society, such as health, economy, education, behavior, security, and others. One of these outcomes of the Coronavirus was entitled by the United Nations as the ‘shadow pandemic’: domestic abuse. 

Illustration from The Brazilian Report regarding domestic abuse

Above: Illustration from The Brazilian Report regarding domestic abuse.

The Concern

It is estimated that up to 70% of women are affected on a worldwide scale by the ‘pandemic’ in question in the span of their lifetimes. On the grounds of this, the virus’ outbreak striking the world in 2020 and demanding billions to be locked down with their families was untold women’s worst nightmare, for in order to avoid the pandemic’s contamination, they would have to face another one at home. As of June, within approximately 2 to 3 months of quarantine, domestic violence had a global increase of 20% on the report of United Nations Women. 

Naturally, this is not an issue surged in the modern day, as it has been perpetuated in our society for centuries. However, the lawful attempt of protecting the victim is indeed current, taking in consideration that the law officially punishing domestic abusers was only effectuated in 1994 (United States) and 2006 (Brazil) and has still not been duly effective. The RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) has stated that less than 0.5 percent of people who commit sexual assault are convicted of their crime. 

The ineffectiveness of the system causes large demotivation for women to seek justice, allowing millions of predators to walk free of charge. In general, 60 percent of victims remain silent about the abuse, rising to 77 percent in cases from the United States. The RAINN claims that the number one reason for the unreported instances was fear of retaliation, as the probability of failed conviction is nearly 90%, raising the chances of the recurrency of the event or worse attempts of revenge. 

Although the number of reported cases increased with the disease’s circumstances, intercession from the police and arbitration from the judicial system has been proven even less successful during this required period. Furthermore, the increase of abuse at home has not undermined that of the public areas, and especially through digital platforms. 

Aftermath

The repercussions of this monstrous affair to survivors may include several types of physical, emotional, and psychological damage. Sexually transmitted infections, undesired pregnancy, dissociation, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and depression are among the most recurrent. Externally, events of such may bring even more outraging impacts to the victim’s relations, for they are often judged and doubted by surrounders of assorted proximity. 

Even with a generally reduced chance of accusation, the imposed social distancing has caused health services, social services, helplines, and judicial treatment to restrain support to the victims.

EAB’s Response

Before an issue of such, our school will not be silenced. The National Honors Society chapter at EAB has an upcoming project containing a drive for the women’s shelter meant to prevent the prolongation of the ‘shadow pandemic’ among our society. Soon, further information will be shared with the community elucidating the contributions you can make to survivors of domestic abuse.

Works Cited

“The Criminal Justice System: Statistics.” RAINN, http://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system.

“The Shadow Pandemic: Violence against women during COVID-19.” UN Women, http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/in-focus-gender-equality-in-covid-19-response/violence-against-women-during-covid-19. 

NWSL Challenge Cup

By Elisa Uccello 

Besides the awe-striking performance of the teams inside the soccer field, these athletes are also stars in the battlefield for equality.

NWSL

In spite of the immense progress of the feminist movement in the last century, female athletes are still consistently subjected to gender discrimination. The lack of coverage and investment in women’s soccer contribute to restraining its development, but isn’t enough to prevent thousands of astonishingly talented women from pursuing their passion. The USA’s National Women’s Soccer League is, hitherto, one of few professional women’s leagues in the world. Besides the awe-striking performance of the teams inside the soccer field, these athletes are also stars in the battlefield for equality.

The NWSL was established in 2012 after the previous female league (Women’s Professional Soccer) folded in April of that year. It originally consisted of eight teams: Chicago Red Stars, Boston Breakers, Western New York Flash, Seattle Reign, Portland Thorns, Kansas City, New Jersey Sky Blue, and Washington Spirit. The minimum salary was no more than six thousand dollars per year and the majority of the teams didn’t have a home stadium.

Eight years after its foundation, the league has seen significant improvements. The minimum salary is now twenty thousand, all teams have home stadiums and training facilities, the average attendance per game has doubled, and major companies have started to invest in the women’s game. The Boston Breakers and FC Kansas City folded, New York Flash moved to North Carolina to form the NC Courage, and the MLS teams Orlando City, Real Salt Lake, and Houston Dynamo have founded women’s sides, Orlando Pride, Utah Royals and Houston Dash. The league now consists of nine teams, with two expansion plans ahead.

Challenge Cup 

Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the regular NWSL season had to be cancelled and, for almost three months, the players had to train inside their homes. As the pandemic progressed and the American government failed to combat it, the teams had to measure risks and calculate step by step their return to the field. By May, players were training individually in club facilities. A few weeks later, small group training was introduced. Finally they were able to get back with the team, being tested twice a week and doing their part as to respect quarantine requirements.

In early June Lisa Baird, NWSL commissioner, released the plan for the first and only edition of the NWSL Challenge Cup. It was a month long tournament offered by businessman and owner of the Utah Royals, Dell Loy Hansen, and with partnerships with major companies such as Google, Budweiser, Nike, P&G, and CBS. All the teams went to the so-called NWSL bubble; a complex of fields and housing in Salt Lake City where the players, staff, photographers, and administrators stayed isolated for the duration of the tournament. Everyone in the bubble had to undergo regular testing, successfully summing up over 2100 negative tests by the final whistle. 

Eight teams participated in this cup since Orlando Pride had to forego after a number of players tested positive a week prior to the tournament. This is how the tournament went: in the first round, all teams played four games receiving three points for a win, one for a draw and zero for a defeat. The criteria for point ties was goal differential and then goals scored. After the first round ranking was complete, the play offs consisted of the top scorer of the first round, which was, unsurprisingly, the NC Courage, that won the league in 2018 and 2019, against the last placed team of the first round, which was the Portland Thorns. The second (Washington Spirit) played against the seventh (OL Reign), the third (Sky Blue FC) played against the sixth (Chicago Red Stars), and the fourth (Houston Dash) played against the fifth (Utah Royals). From there on it was win or go home.

Ironically, the only team that was eliminated in regular time was the number one, NC Courage, in an exciting 1-0 match-up. Houston Dash, Sky Blue, and Chicago Red Stars advanced after penalty shootouts. The Red Stars beat Sky Blue on a tight 4-3 match-up, and captain Rachel Daly scored the game winner for the Dash against the Thorns, taking them to their first ever tournament final. 

The Houston Dash faced the Chicago Red Stars in the championship game at Rio Tinto Stadium, July 26th. Less than five minutes into the game, Dash midfielder Kristie Mewis was fouled inside the area, earning a shot from the penalty spot that was converted by Canadian international Sophie Schmidt. The match was tight all throughout, and only in stoppage time was Shea Groom able to make it 2-0 and guarantee the first ever club trophy for the Houston Dash. England national team player Rachel Daly was voted the MVP of the tournament and took home the golden boot after scoring three goals and assisting twice. The NWSL was the first professional sport league to get back in the United States and successfully hold a corona free tournament.

Vintage Clothing: Understand The Hype

Fashion is always fluctuating. But what explains the industry obsession with the past? 

By Fernanda Ferreira 

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Meghan, the ex Duchess of Sussex, was at several times spotted on vintage clothing or accessories. Not only her but also the phenomenon family the Kardashians, which are known for their highly expensive outfits, are often seen on some pieces from earlier ages. Vintage clothing is indeed trending now more than it has ever before. One of the world’s greatest stylists Coco Channel once stated: “Fashion comes and goes, but style lasts forever.” Why does fashion come and go? Why is there an obsession with the past?

Vintage is a word that has a wide variety of definitions. Specifically, when it comes to fashion, it is a quite personal concept since what is considered vintage by someone born in the 70s is not that same as what a Millenium would consider. Fashion experts Scarlet Eden and Stella McClure would refer to any piece that is dated more than twenty years as vintage. Others would consider anything from the past century as vintage. The general idea can be summarized in two main traits of this type of clothes: uncommon and second-handed. Those traits touch on deeper and current issues, mainly sustainability and originality. 

The socio-environmental relevance 

Screen Shot 2020-03-04 at 7.32.57 PMAs consumers become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of fast fashion, they are looking for a more sustainable way to shop. This is the perfect timing when thrift stores and all the vintage fashion arrives at the scene. According to ThredUp’s annual resale report, last year, 64% of women were willing to buy pre-owned pieces compared with 45% in 2016. This represents a behavioral change that begins a necessary revolution in the industry that mostly harms our planet: the fashion industry. Choosing to buy pre-owned vintage clothes is extremely relevant to the 21st-century reality and represents a total match to the growing eco-friendly mindset in the fashion field.

Unique, original and hyped: 

Vintage clothing became highly popular in the past few years more than it has ever been before. Brands such as Brandy Melville – known for its particular vintage style – or even huge fast fashions such as H&M or Forever21 are showcasing mainly pieces that are just like the ones worn decades ago. However, the classic vintage clothes, sold in old thrift stores, are pieces that actually belonged to someone else before. Those types of stores usually sell only one piece of each cloth, making it extremely original. Yet, even though vintage is now more accessible and less unique, it still represents a peculiar and authentic style. As issues such as identity, self-esteem, diversity, and ancestry are currently appearing on (mainly) women’s daily basis, being original is key. 

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Even more, there is the hot word of the moment: hype. It is a slang term that comes from the word hyperbole, and it relates an exaggerate promotion and publicity of some product or idea, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. 

Not only in the vintage field, but Fashion, in general, has felt the impact of the hype concept. So many brands are now doing “product drops”, according to Fashion United, as a sale strategy, that it has even become a culture.

In vintage fashion, the hype is more related to its strong popularization which can be attributed to social media influence and affordability. Social media directly impacts popular demand. If any It girl, for instance, Bella Hadid, is spotted on the 5th Avenue on Floss heels, the next day a thousand 17-year-old teenagers will be desperate to have it. With that, popular and affordable brands – the fast-fashion- start producing more of it, which makes other consumers start buying it, creating a cyclical process until it becomes a real trend – just as it’s happening right now. 

VINTAGE CLOTHING INFOGRAPHIC

From its aesthetic hype to its environmental importance, the vintage style popularization is changing the Fashion industry, apparently for good.