Jessica Czarnogursky, Editor-in-Chief

Reputation. For our picture perfect, aesthetically consumed society, the word packs a decent punch whether we realize it or not. As college students, our reputation is what separates us from the rest of society. We are among the elite of those who decided to cast aside childhood frolicking and seek a more educated and mature future.

Once upon a time, this was a dream that only men were allowed to have. A fter two, arguably three waves of feminism though, we women have a shot at a future and a reputation as well. While we may have partially erased the idea that women cannot hold their own in life, glancing around at any group of females it is arguable that all of the suffering and fighting was in vain.

Picture for a moment a Saturday afternoon at Garden State Plaza. Beyond the gridlock and raised blood pressure lies the very basis of our culture, and what we have allowed the up and coming generation, and even our own, to morph into.

Teenage girls, barely a year into puberty, have already exposed more flesh and spewed more nonsensical babble than any female with some sort of gray matter between her ears should in her entire life. Take into account the language and speech of said teenage girls. “ Like, Oh my God”, and “Oh (insert random exploitative) I was so wasted last night, and I don’t remember anything. But I woke up in a bathtub, and I may have cheated on my boyfriend.”

Now while that example may explain our annoying little sisters or even our daughters, look at we ladies of supposed ‘maturity.’ Coming to college in sweat pants, cursing (quite loudly) about how your boyfriend is mad at you for hooking up with someone else does not make you cool. Dressing like your fourteen year old daughter when you know you are well on the way to the end of your ‘prime’ does not make you any more desirable either.

We women still have to fight tooth and and nail for everything except childbirth and our obligation to pay taxes. Despite the cliche, it is true that no potential employer is going to take you seriously when all of your proof of qualification is covered in the mounds of a stinking reputation, whether that be through Facebook or several terminations for inappropriate behavior.

Our reputation started way back when our ninth birthday brought a puppy and several gaps in our teeth. And despite the fact that there is not much we can do to fix writing on the bathroom stall in the eighth grade on a dare, we can surely fix ourselves now, and be of inspiration to those generations after us.

As women of 18 and older, take charge of your own life, and do not be afraid to take yourself and your reputation into your own hands. Become a student leader, or a leader in general, and find inspiration in your mother, grandmother, or old eighties movies. “Working Girl” gave inspiration to the women clad in power suits that took conference rooms by storm in the eighties. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts gave women the courage that rock and roll and an edge was perfectly acceptable for a girl, and the feminists of the sixties had men again believe that life really could not go on without them.

Above all else, take pride in yourself. A woman with confidence shines brighter than one who is content to sit in the background at a party and do nothing to make so much as a wrong breath. It is your confidence in yourself, your self worth, and your ability to make a difference in this world that allows that little girl to grow up to be a fierce and strong women, or the strong woman to again find herself.

Part of the problem with the rut we women have found ourselves in as an overall generation is a lack of confidence. With all of the tools and resources at our fingertips, there is no reason why we should be falling prey to a dictator boyfriend or a family life that has pretty much sunk us. There is also no excuse for the lack of intellect or self worth that has struck most American females, whether it be channeled through shrieking at Justin Bieber, or commenting on how we can’t remember why we woke up in a bathtub, and who we slept with five hours ago. It is that strong and confident woman that has the power to redefine the generational stigma, one success story at a time. No one says you have to break out the chastity belt, but a little self preservation has yet to be the cause of death.

While we may have long ago erased the idea of women being the weaker sex, we still deal with the double standard on a daily basis, and our reputation as a generation has done nothing to help that. When the mass majority of women are nothing more than silly little girls with figures, why should we expect society to take us seriously?  We are judged by our good looks, our witty comments, and just how many men have lined up outside our door. We have the potential and the accessibility to become so much more than the gaggle of teenagers screaming over a boy-band, or the mother who relived her youth in all the wrong ways. Speaking as a female, I believe that we can get back on track to becoming a generation of strong, fearless woman with ambition, confidence, and a legacy worth leaving behind.