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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Best and worst of this week’s headlines

This week’s best news — the release of “Barbie” — is just as major as Margot Robbie is in its opening scene. Safe to say, I did not regret seeing it for a second time since its release last Friday. “Oppenheimer” also debuted this past weekend, and the cast of what seemed like one million straight white men did not convince me to sympathize with the man who created the atomic bomb.

Outside of the theater, GW extended its health insurance requirement to all graduate students, which will leave some students paying more to GW. The DC Board of Elections also voted to allow a ballot initiative on ranked choice and open primaries last week, an initiative that could give a necessary voice to independent voters if it gains enough support.

Between fiction and reality, here are this week’s best and worst headlines:

Thumbs Up:

The DC Board of Elections unanimously approved an initiative asking voters if they prefer open primaries and ranked-choice voting, an initiative that will appear on the 2024 ballot if it receives 26,000 signatures. 

Independent voters deserve to vote in the same elections as everyone else, especially in D.C., where the Democratic primary is the unofficial mayoral election. Excluding independent voters because they have no allegiance to Democrats or Republicans strips voters of their full representation.

By showing the audience the unrealistic standards women try to live up to everyday in stark contrast to men who succeed merely by existing, “Barbie,” directed by Greta Gerwig, allows viewers to rethink the social constructs that govern us. The movie garnered the highest-grossing debut of 2023 and of any female director in the history of film, delivering a reminder that understanding the patriarchy helps take its power away.

My favorite character was Allan, a friend of Ken who has no duplicates and is often excluded for his abnormality. As a nonbinary person who is perceived as a woman, I strongly relate to Barbie’s harsh rejection of sexist oppression as well as Allan, who is neither Barbie nor Ken. Men, take notes. Unlearning the patriarchy isn’t fun but watching Barbie sure was.

Thumbs Down:

While you’re at the movies, save your money and avoid “Oppenheimer,” the story of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer who helped to create the atomic bombs used in World War II. While the film’s overwhelmingly white male cast was simply portraying the historical figures they played, the reality that this reflects our world’s past makes it worse. And, pocketing the extra cash you would otherwise spend on a movie ticket might help you if you forget to waive the GW Student Health Insurance Plan.

GW will automatically enroll all graduate students in SHIP, which provides students with prescription coverage after a $100 deductible, free contraceptives, and counseling and psychological services, starting this fall.

As someone with insurance that GW recognizes, I can waive University health care and save $2,700. For students who don’t have access to adequate insurance, the plan may be beneficial, but many students do not read the website posts or emails from GW that tells them they can waive SHIP and unnecessarily lose money.

Make sure you check your email to see if your insurance is valid, and we’ll be back with the best and worst of this week’s headlines next Friday.

Riley Goodfellow, a rising junior majoring in political science, is the contributing opinions editor.

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