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The Roman Empire: A Woman’s Perspective on Tiktok’s Newest Fad

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Carleton chapter.

One can argue that unlike men, women are not constantly thinking about masculinity, power and domination. We have too much on our minds to worry about the complexities of what happened thousands of years ago. The reasons in which men randomly think about this range from normal, and peculiar to quite absurd. This means something as simple as seeing roads, wine, or even concrete can lead them on this spiral of this advanced period of time. Aspects of Roman history are engulfed with these attributes, along with the gladiators that are often romanticized by Western minds. The reason for this can be that oftentimes men, due to the patriarchy, are conditioned toward power and heroism which they tend to to fantasize about.

Women are rarely associated with a time period where feminism and power go hand in hand. When learning history the things that stick with us are usually the things that may have scared yet intrigued us as kids. We learned that we could be persecuted for our religious beliefs, the way we talked, the clothes out our back, the colour of our skin and the gender we associated with along with a slew of other things. When learning these things we as women begin to see ourselves the way the world saw us, as minorities who are susceptible to gendered violence. It is likely that when men learned about these same things they internalized the fact that these issues don’t affect them. History can strengthened the belief that they have nothing to worry about as we live in a patriarchal society that caters to them alone.

Women are indoctrinated with fear and become familiar with the possibility of being murdered or assaulted. Our simple everyday things are always tinged with a little bit of extra precaution. We create mental checklist to ensure our survival for everyday tasks, such going running outside with headphones. We always have our heads on a swivel, constantly glancing behind us every ten seconds in fear of someone being behind you. Never park beside vans, especially white ones, get in a car and immediately lock it and check the backseats, keys in hand as a weapon, and don’t forget to text your friends when you get home safe. The safeguards that are ingrained into us have become second nature because of the repetition in which we use them. It is why true crime has such a mass following of women behind it, making sure to find new ways to stay ahead of the possibility of being hunted and or persecuted for simply being a woman. This is all rooted in our version of the Roman Empire:  The Salem Witch Trials.

You may believe that it is actually Princess Diana, astrology, patriarchy, kidnappings or even the Titanic that keep women preoccupied, and I would not disagree, but these ideas all essentially having one thing in common: aspects of the Salem Witch Trials. Princess Diana was known as the rebel princess, engaging in activities that would effectively get women of the 1600s persecuted. The Trials and Titanic are both tragic events that saw people killed and had a profound impact not only on the past but on the world today.

This period of time like the Roman Empire is so intriguing because the modern-day things we do and see today wouldn’t have us bat an eye but would leave women in 1600s at risk of being put on trial. Any scar you may have, the crystals you own and the cat you love would all put you under suspicion, and don’t you dare know your big 3 and look at the stars for any sort of guidance. Even aspects of yourself you can’t control could be deemed “witchy,” such as having a birthmark or even a physical illness. 

Despite this, you still may think I may be wrong and you see Zayn leaving one direction or the dynamic between Phoebe Bridgers, Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar Jones as the true woman’s Roman Empire. Obviously, like most things in life, these ideas is subjective opinion based on the vast experiences one endures throughout their life. But I ask if pop culture topics will be relevant in ten years time compared to The Salem Witch Trials and it’s everlasting legacy?

Hey, my name is La’Kayla Brown and I’m a English major with a minor in law at Carleton University. I am a strong believer and advocate for equality, social justice, mental health and climate change. I fervently highlight methods methods in which to get the community and my peers involved in the injustices were exposed to around the world. I started out with a major in law but changed to English during the Covid-19 pandemic in my third year. During that time, I used it as a means of reflection and made the decision to go with my gut and major in English. I've always loved to read and write essays, and because I'm constantly viewed as dramatic, the drama courses I was taking helped me express myself, come out of my shell more, and develop the friendships and mental practices I have today. Most of my free time is spent either reading, writing poetry, rewatching comfort movies and shows as well as learning about anything to do with astrology! I’m traditionally seen as a homebody but on the rare occasion you can find me out and about I’m usually be seen with friends, checking out local vendors in the market or tuning into a good song. I spend the most of my free time reading, writing poetry, rewatching feel-good movies and TV series, and learning anything I can about astrology! I've always been thought of as a homebody, but on the rare occasion that you may get me out and about, I'm generally with friends, checking out the local vendors at the market, or listening to good music.