Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 08/25/2014

‘Do My Boobs Make Me Look Slutty?’ And Other Busty Girl Problems

We must, we must, we must increase our bust. The bigger, the better, the tighter the sweater, the boys will like us.

This is the jingle my friends taught me in the gym locker room in the fifth grade. Many of them had learned the literary rhyme from their mothers and friends, without knowing it actually came from the New York Times bestseller Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. If only we knew that, in the years to come, we would soon discover that trying to “increase our bust” or even just being “blessed” with large breasts might actually cause us more pain than pleasure.

To this day, I still haven’t encountered a guy who knows how to take off a bra my size. I have this crazy idea …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe P on 08/22/2014

The Dangers of Internalized Misogyny

We need feminism now more than ever for many reasons, but rampant internalized misogyny — which often goes unnoticed and, in some situations, is even understood as social norms – is as good a reason as any.

Culturally, we seem to have just accepted that “sex sells.” But the media, advertising and other cultural institutions “sell sex” largely by demeaning women and causing them to feel ashamed about their bodies. For example, American Apparel is known for its sexually exploitive advertising and marketing. Take the sock and stocking section of their website. The female stocking model is portrayed doing an uncomfortable-looking acrobatic move with her thigh highs, while the male model merely wears socks on his feet. Images like these allow viewers to internalize ideas about women as passive …

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Feminism | Posted by Alice W on 08/20/2014

An Open Letter to Adults: What Young Activists Need From You

Dear Adult,

So, you have teens in your life that you want to support and encourage to be the best, bravest, raddest activists they can be. But teens are a little scary, confusing and intimidating. I know the feeling. I once taught a class of seventh graders and was totally intimidated by the girls with shiny hair and nice clothes. Even though I was eighteen and they were twelve at the time, I still felt like a nervous pre-teen trying to make friends with the popular girls. But I promise it doesn’t have to be scary or difficult to help teens get involved in activist work: in fact, wanting to help and connect with a teenager at all means you’re probably halfway there already. But there are some things you’ll …

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Feminism | Posted by Vicki S on 08/18/2014

Why I Need Feminism: Overcoming My Self-Loathing

As a kid I was very chubby and sturdy, but that all changed once puberty kicked in. People wondered if I went on a diet to lose weight when I was younger, but my eating habits hadn’t changed. This complacency didn’t last for very long, though. As I entered high school, I realized that I began to look at my body a lot and focus on my weight more than before. These percolating thoughts soon impregnated themselves deep into views on my body and self-esteem.

In October, I was already considered thin for my 5’5″ frame, but by the end of December, I made it my New Years’ resolution to lose 10lbs. In my head, I was just going to cut down on what I ate. Of course, this easily …

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Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 08/13/2014

Talk the Talk: On Being A Role Model

Lately, I have been swept up in the flurry of beautiful videos detailing why what we say to young girls matters – videos from companies like Always and Verizon. Videos that remind me why I am thankful every day to have attended an all-girls school that planted the seeds of early feminism.

I am, perhaps, more attuned to these videos right now. I spend my summer months on staff at a performing arts day camp at which I was a camper for most of my life. Our camp teaches its staff skills in child development and social work. Staff members recall their time as campers and recount how little things their counselors said – cheering them on in rehearsal, congratulating them after a performance, encouraging them in a game …

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Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 08/8/2014

What Makes Asian-American Men ‘Undateable?’

When I look in the mirror, I do not see someone that I understand to be handsome by Western standards. I look mostly Asian, and like so many other heterosexual Asian males before me, I have internalized a lifetime of believing that my features, my face, my skin tone, in tandem, make me unattractive and undesirable.

- Noah Cho, “How I Learned to Feel Undesirable

Several studies have found Asian-American males to be the “least desirable” bachelors, a trend that may be exacerbated by a seeming across-the-board preference for dating Asian-American women by men of all races. The term Asian-American, in this case, covers a broad ethnic spectrum, including, but not limited to: “people who have origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East,

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Feminism | Posted by Annemarie McDaniel on 08/6/2014

Why The Sexism at Texas Boys State 2014 Is Not Okay

What do astronaut Neil Armstrong, President Bill Clinton, basketball star Michael Jordan, and singer Bon Jovi all have in common? When they were juniors in high school, they all attended a prestigious but little-known program called Boys State. That’s just the beginning of the incredibly long list of famous Boys State alumni, and alumnae from its sister program, Girls State, are just as impressive.

In just a few days at the summer Boys State and Girls State program, high school students run for office, write legislation, draft court opinions, publish newspapers, and more. Usually this is a very fulfilling experience, but this year, at Texas’ Boys State, one delegate’s entire campaign speech was just the words “Cold beer and titties.” Campaign photos featured swimsuit models with the political party’s …

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Feminism | Posted by Pippa B on 08/4/2014

The Feminist Case for Home Economics

Home Economics, renamed Family and Consumer Sciences in 1994, had its heyday in the mid-1900s. It was taught in almost all schools and offered as a major in college. Unfortunately, despite being conceived as a way to validate the work that stay-at-home mothers (or homemakers) were doing, it was vilified as a degree in glorified housekeeping and began to disappear towards the turn of the century. Today, while as many as 80% of high school students (including boys and girls) are enrolled in Home Ec. classes, the completion of such classes has declined 38% nationwide.

My mandatory Home Ec. classes served me well. They taught my classmates and me useful skills like how to use a sewing machine, embroider, and cook. They have also drawn more scrutiny than any …

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