I am Gloria Steinem: A Gap Year Manifesto for Ivy League Students

Graphic by Laura Padilla-Castellanos

If you have to Google it, the answer is yes. I accumulated this knowledge in middle school, when my internet history was littered with a single question: Google, am I gay? 

There are only three interesting topics of discourse: 

  1. Queerness.
  2. Sexual liberation.
  3. James Franco’s performance in The Disaster Artist.

It is an empirical fact that plane rides are a good place to cry. Alternatively, if you want to cry but don’t have access to a plane, try Googling more things: Google, is RBG dead?

If you are an Ivy League queer woman, one of the following is eventually going to happen: 

  1. You will watch a lesbian film with a girl who loves your ‘exuberance’ and isn’t usually friends with women. Neither of you will be sure if it’s a date. 
  2. You will try to talk about last year’s devastating long-term relationship in group therapy. After it goes poorly, you will lessen the sting of crushing sexual insecurity with the fact that no one else in the circle is having sex at all. 
  3. You will fall in love with your best friend, a repressed Midwestern girl who created the Queer Studies major at Yale, plays on the women’s rugby team, and attends each and every co-op event as just an “ally.” 
  4. You will make out with an entrepreneur and feel bad when you lose her drone in the mail. 
  5. You will have sex with a man and not in a subversive way. 

Just don’t get pregnant. (Google, should I buy Plan B?) 

Yale is probably as bad as everyone says it is, but if you complain about it more than twice a week, you have just signaled to everyone that you are an asshole and also probably astronomically wealthy. The students are cool (except for the ones who are on Librex unironically). The dining hall food is great (except for the lack of gluten-free options). 

More general thoughts. Musicians should never write songs about being musicians. The same is not true about filmmakers: many great movies have been made about movie-making, including but not limited to James Franco’s The Disaster Artist. 

If I don’t text you back, I’m just overwhelmed and it says nothing about how I feel about you. 

If you don’t text me back, literally no worries but thank you so much for letting me know that you despise me. 

Musicians should also never publish their books of poetry. Patti Smith is an exception. Halsey is not.

After reading Halsey’s book of poetry, it’s possible you’ll have to Google again. Google, did Amy Coney Barrett get confirmed to the Supreme Court? 

Every dating app profile requires these four pictures: drunk pic, hot pic, wholesome pic, and face shot. If one of those four is missing, you’ll never find love. And if you’re a queer woman at an Ivy League, the pictures don’t matter. You will certainly not find love. 

Google, James Franco is dead. I’m having sex with men. My rights to abortion are being rapidly eroded. Should I get a Copper Progestin Intrauterine Device (IUD) that will last for ten years to protect my future and my reproductive health? 

Google, oh my god. Are you still there? 


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