Letter from the Editor – Issue 5

November 29, 2021

When I first found out the theme of this edition of the Sundial magazine was focusing on women, I let out a “hell yeah.”

Almost instantly, Kait Lavo, the Sundial photo editor, and I began bouncing article ideas off of one another: women’s sexuality, an explainer on mansplaining, highlighting women-owned businesses in the area.

Carolyn Burt, Social Media Editor for The Daily Sundial. Photo Kailyn Lavo.

One topic in our conversation that stood out to me was how women are taught things men often don’t have to worry about. How to hold your keys in your hand in case someone approaches you, to only have one earbud in if you’re going on a run around your neighborhood, sharing your location every time you get in an Uber and making sure to text those you shared it with once you’ve exited the vehicle.

I take immense pride in the fact that my parents raised my brother and I the same, not limiting what our interests could be based on our gender. We both played sports, took dance classes, spent road trips battling Pokemon on our GameBoys. But even though we were raised the same, my brother was never taught these ways to protect himself.

He doesn’t stress if he’s in a leadership role that people will undermine him for his gender or perceive his bluntness for bitchiness. He doesn’t have to worry about covering his drink at a party because someone nearby might slip something into it while he’s not looking. He’s never known the same fear when he walks down the street alone at night to his car.

A few years ago, I was first introduced to boxing as a fun form of cardio. I started going to a boxing gym regularly and it has become one of my favorite stress relievers. It makes me feel strong and that I can defend myself.

But as the sun has begun to rise later, my 7 a.m. class has had a darker start to the day. Thirty minutes before I feel empowered that I can take on the world, I am terrified as I walk from my apartment to my car, worried that there might be an unwanted visitor hidden by my parking spot.

It’s a feeling too many women can relate to because we know how easily we can be the next headline, Citizen app notification or missing person report.

This is the reality of the world we live in — where women are harassed, abused and abducted. Unfortunately, this serious issue cannot be changed overnight. I hope that the issues we tackle within this edition bring light to the many struggles women face in their day to day lives and in doing so we’re able to better inform our CSUN community how to look out for one another.

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