Lately, I’ve been getting back into exploring YouTube channels, something I haven’t done since middle school when YouTube was everyone’s favorite after-school snack. In between studying for finals and baking those boxed Pillsbury cookies, I’ve been watching TedTalks, videos about psychedelic drugs, makeup tutorials, and Tiny Desk concerts. I’ve also found a YouTuber who I find so unnerving that I keep coming back for more. Her name is Classically Abby, or Abby Shapiro.

Sister to Ben Shapiro, Abby is his long haired, feminine counterpart. Viewers in the comments crack jokes like, “You’re not fooling me, Ben Shapiro in a wig.” Besides his squeaky little voice, the two of them look quite similar. Yet Abby Shapiro fills a niche that I am unfamiliar with — the conservative, old-fashioned woman. Or, as she calls herself, “conservative and classic.”

It’s not that Abby Shapiro is the only conservative woman in the world. There are plenty of others — like Candace Owens, a well-known political activist and author. But while Owens runs her own podcast, has worked for a conservative advocacy group, and has spoken at the White House, Shapiro is convinced that a woman’s place is strictly in the home. 

Little is known about her on the internet, except for the fact that she’s a classically trained vocalist and opera singer. The only place where she preaches her doctrine is on YouTube, where she sits in a well-manicured, aesthetically decorated room, talking about subjects she holds close to her heart. She isn’t an activist, nor is she publicly known for any political work. She’s a housewife with 86,000 subscribers on YouTube. 

Shapiro has a variety of videos about a variety of subjects, with titles like “5 Ways for Men to Attract a CLASSIC and CONSERVATIVE Woman!!/How to Meet Your Future Wife” and “How to Attract the Best Man For YOU!/Are you giving off all the right signals?” Many of her videos focus on the sanctity of marriage and the value of waiting until marriage to have sex. She also focuses on dressing modestly, with videos like “Amazon MODEST Swimsuit Haul/Trying on 7 different swimsuits that are modest AND affordable!” and “How To Dress Modestly and Still Look SMOKIN’ Hot/You don’t have to look frumpy to be modest,” among others, populating her channel. 

A few of her videos are explicitly politically charged. Her video “Being Conservative MATTERS/Fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way” features Shapiro sitting straight in a red dress with dark curls, staring down the camera and maintaining that “America needs conservatives to keep alive what this country stands for and what makes this country great, even as the mob and the elites will try to tell you that America has no right to exist at all.” In her video “CONSERVATIVE WOMEN, IT’S OUR TIME/Let’s take our culture back,” Shapiro says that being a conservative women is brave because “people will you tell you that you have internalized misogyny, that you don’t care about other women, that you’re not a real woman… but conservative women are the backbone of America.” She goes on to say that conservative women support their husbands and themselves, accompanied by a montage of footage from her wedding. 

But the thing about Abby Shapiro is that these videos are rare. What’s interesting is that while Ben Shapiro’s wife is a doctor, Abby Shapiro maintains that married women shouldn’t work. The rest of her videos focus on what it means to be a good woman, a good wife, and how to curate a good household. She has one called “5 Ways to Be A Better Wife,” which, after being met with criticism in the comments, was followed by “5 Ways to Be A Better Husband.” Similarly, the response to her video “Ladies, Stop Hooking Up” caused her to make “Men: Stop Hooking Up.” She has a weekly video called “The Scoop,” in which she breaks down some current cultural happenings, like Harry Styles wearing a dress — to which she said that “men wearing dresses is trash.” 

I keep coming back to Abby Shapiro because her opinions are so different from mine that I can’t stop consuming them. I have some strange, compelling desire to understand where her beliefs come from. Why should a beautiful, talented, and educated woman be confined in the home? Why should a woman only get drunk with her husband in the privacy of her own home? Why should a woman dress modestly at the gym and cover her butt with a long shirt if she’s wearing leggings? These are only a few of the questions that Shapiro can answer for you.



This is a Rush Rhees Library appreciation post

I am no architecture student, but the blend of Doric columns — borrowed from classical Greece — with the red brick of the mid-20th century makes it feel like a modern temple.

CT Cooks: Louise’s baked oatmeal

Let’s be real. Oatmeal gets a bad rap. I, like many of you, once thought of it as a weird, bland, mushy thing that was exclusively for old people.

RCCL changes name to better reflect department’s goals

As part of its recent rebranding process, The Rochester Center for Community Leadership (RCCL) changed its name last month to the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) in an effort to accurately reflect what the Center does. The name change coincides with RCCL’s 15th anniversary.