Nina Howe-Goldstein ’25
13th Century Nomadic Warlord; Girlboss
Way back in the dark days of 2020, I was an “election judge” at my local high school — which is to say, I was a poll worker. Deep in the blue suburbs of Washington, D.C., where everyone voted by mail and the stray few Republicans wrote in John Kasich for president, I was tasked with manning the check-in station from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., with two snacks and one lunch as my only interruptions from monotony. Election law was such that no voter ID was needed — in fact, if a voter offered their driver’s license, I was obliged to reject it. A grand total of 50 citizens passed by my humble folding desk over 13 hours.
By the time that I stumbled out into the cold night again, as the electoral college map still looked blindingly red and I craved McDonalds, I was only more excited to pull my phone from the glove box.
“Let me check on what my friends are posting!” I exclaimed from the warmth of my car. “My friends are smart. Surely they’ve come up with some genius ways to recognize the moment and support democracy.”
Reader, I was amazed. In 12 hours, my entire “Stories” tab on Instagram had been transformed into a collection of bonafide experts on electoral law — all boldly sharing important information with pastel-colored infographics, and not fucking it up at all. I witnessed nary a single misunderstanding of a provisional ballot or one’s right to vote with one, for example. And my suburban-D.C. teenage friends definitely knew that hundreds (if not thousands) of voters in swing states were watching their stories — rendering their “IF YOU’RE IN LINE, STAY IN LINE” posts absolutely critical. Maybe they all know a handful of Floridians who might change the course of history with their hanging chads, Bush vs. Gore style. Who was I to judge?
“Posting” is the boldest and most beautiful of the virtues — this is universally acknowledged — and 2020 was probably the peak of the art form. With Black Lives Matter protests sweeping the nation, it seemed as though the whole world was suddenly getting informed… which we all did sensitively, carefully, and without any dumb ideas whatsoever.
The most powerful weapon of an infographic is its intellectual rigor — which, we all know, is unimpeachable in quality. Nobody has ever spread misinformation through an infographic; nobody has ever shared one without verifying its contents just because it affirms their preexisting worldview! You, our brave poster, have absolutely nothing in common with the phenomenon of QAnon conspiracy theories spreading via the same Canva aesthetics as that #activist slideshow on Hispanic Heritage Month.
Furthermore, you as a poster are deeply self-sacrificing, and your commitment to social justice should be lauded. Because we absolutely do not curate bubbles in our social media presence, your reputation could very well suffer for the sharing of a post about intersectional feminism. It’s not at all performative — none of your friends share your worldview. Nobody else posts as well as you do. Nobody else is talking about this. Your friend’s lowkey-racist boyfriend is gonna have his mind blown when he hears about this fucking oil pipeline.
It seems as though I learn new and true things every day. When I see shared posts declaring that conservation of Ancient Egyptian art is actually a front to whitewash the figures through repainting, or am told that my Achilles tendon will surely be slashed by human traffickers as I walk across the Target parking lot, I know that my friends are not idiots, but rather devoted intellectuals committed to bringing down the whole problematic system via 24-hour reposts on Instagram.
That is why I wholeheartedly endorse “Posting Through It.” Because none of us follow each other on Instagram, if we would only unite our forces through the power of posting, we could surely change the world. When the “Amy Marcus-Newhall Rose Garden” turns out not to be the actual famed Scripps rose garden, but rather a decrepit 10-by-10 patch outside of Denison (you deserve better, queen), we shall post through it. When our beloved SAS event chair resigns after Halloween (surprise!) we shall post through it too. I already look forward to the allegations of sexism bringing both of these treasured Scripps girlbosses down — via pastel pink infographic, of course.
“The performance of moral righteousness on social media has NOT broken my generation’s brains,” I whisper every morning in the mirror. “We ARE educating each other. We are NOT just doing it to seem woke.”
Get posting, Scripps.
CORRECTION: In last month’s article, Nina delivered a heavy-handed, unnecessary critique of the September Deloitte DEI networking event held in the Motley. In doing so, she failed to appropriately make space for the voices of women, femme-aligned people, and CMS dudebros who might have been interested in affecting change by seizing these systems of wealth for 2SLGBTQIA+, BIPOC, FGLI, and other marginalized individuals. You can find her full apology video on YouTube — search “fuck you Deloitte you’ll never take me alive 10/30/2022.” The Scripps Voice sincerely apologizes for the diversion from our core values. The dissenter is being dealt with.
Image Source: Bulk SMS