Feminism | Posted by Lexi V on 08/5/2015
We Need To Stop Trying to Convince Girls They’re Beautiful
I was lucky enough to have a healthy body image for most of my childhood. I consistently played on various soccer and basketball teams, and between going to practice and scrambling to finish my homework, I did not have a spare moment to think about whether I was too skinny or not skinny enough. I cared about my strength and speed, not my looks.
This past year, however, I have thought more about my appearance than ever before. Last August I sustained my fourth concussion and was forbidden from exercising. For four months, I did little more than sit on my couch and ended up gaining a significant amount of weight. I always preached that everybody is beautiful no matter what, but suddenly found myself horrified that I was …
Feminism | Posted by Beatrice M on 08/4/2015
It’s Time To Stop Publicly Judging Women’s Bodies
Every form of public harassment has got to go
One evening last week, I stopped at home after work to change my clothes before dance class. It was a hot day and I wanted to shed my workplace-appropriate pants in favor of more comfortable attire before heading downtown. Wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and sandals, I boarded the subway.
Although there were plenty of open seats on the train, a man quickly sat down right next to me. Even though I was clearly listening to music, he decided to ask me a question. He asked how to transfer to a different train — was a typical one for tourists or people new to the city. I gave him a brief explanation and inserted my headphones back into my ears, thinking nothing …
Feminism | Posted by Christine L on 08/3/2015
Why I Stayed In an Abusive Relationship — and How I Finally Left
“Why doesn’t she just leave her abusive partner?”
It seems like a simple question and it’s one that’s often posed when people learn others are experiencing abuse. Leaving seems like the most obvious solution to outsiders. But as somebody who has experienced domestic violence, let me tell you: it’s not.
Before I met my abusive partner, I told my friends I’d never let a man hit me. I said I’d never stay in an abusive relationship. Nobody plans to be in an abusive relationship, but things happen. Abuse might first occur well after two people meet or fall in love. Abuse isn’t always so clear cut and can take many different forms.
Women especially are taught to pursue relationships and depend on our partners. I personally …
Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 07/30/2015
Black Women and Violence in America: #SayHerName
#SayHerName protest in Union Square, New York City.
In recent years, the media has arguably made the racial violence African Americans continue to experience in the post-Civil Rights era — especially at the hands of law enforcement — more visible than ever before. But while this increased coverage is commendable, it often overlooks the violence African American women specifically face, including their experience of double marginalization as the subordinate gender of an already belittled race.
Some cases of female victims of police brutality have notably, and rightfully, garnered media attention, including Natasha McKenna, a 37 year old woman who was restrained and violently tasered by 6 police officers until she died; Renisha McBride, who was shot by a white man after she crashed her car on a street in …
Feminism | Posted by Ines R on 07/29/2015
Why The Most Important Part of College for Women May Happen Outside the Classroom
Entering the working world for the summer.
We’re often taught that college is training for “real” life. The time we spend on campus and in class is supposed to prepare us for the rest of our lives. But I feel that my summer breaks have actually provided some of the most life-altering realizations of my college experience.
Summer break is a precious opportunity to explore meaningful personal and professional opportunities that are impossible to pursue in the midst of classes, tests, and typical collegiate socializing. Students can sample potential careers through internships and put the knowledge they’ve gained to practical use, all while feeling like true members of the working world, walking into huge offices and swiping badges at security.
But while such experiences can certainly be exciting, challenging and …
Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 07/28/2015
Stand Up. Speak Up. Rise Up: The #GirlsLead15 Girl Up Leadership Summit
Stand Up. Speak Up. Rise Up.
A hush quickly fell over the crowd of girls surrounding me. While everyone was craning their necks for a better view, I had only one thought: “This is so. freaking. cool.” A second later, the group erupted into applause. The First Lady took the podium.
Michelle Obama’s inspiring speech occurred on the second day of the organization Girl Up’s three-day-long Leadership Summit in Washington D.C., and she was just one of many exciting speakers. 225 passionate attendees gathered from across the country (and world) to hear from members of the U.S. government and UN agencies as well as representatives from major media outlets and corporations. We engaged in hands-on workshops and even stormed Capitol Hill on Lobby Day. I gained much from this experience, …
Feminism | Posted by David G on 07/23/2015
Why We Must Listen to Syrian Refugee Women
Syrian refugee children.
Since 2011, Syria has been embroiled in a civil war. Millions of people have been displaced — the majority of whom have fled to Jordan and Lebanon — and over 220,000 have been killed so far, according to the organization Mercy Corps.
Like other conflicts, this violence has uniquely impacted women — a reality that the International Rescue Committee recognized and specifically studied. Their examination of Syrian, female refugees’ experiences was published in a 2014 report, which notes that of the 3 million Syrians who have fled for Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq or Turkey, 4 out of 5 are women or children. 60% of women surveyed expressed feelings of insecurity and 1 in 3 women said they were too scared or overwhelmed to leave home at …
Feminism | Posted by Martha H on 07/22/2015
The Case for Criminalizing Street Harassment
Stop street harassment.
This is my thought process before leaving the house: I want to look nice and appreciate fashion, but also know that if I’m going to be on public transport or walking down the street, I must actively check my outfit to be sure it won’t subject me to catcalling.
As a politically-minded, strong person, I would ideally like to make my own choices about everything in my life, including what I wear. I would love to be able to rise above threatening perpetrators of harassment. But in reality, I do regulate my outfit to conform to society’s pressure and avoid the consequences of other’s behavior. I moderate my choices because I’m scared that I will not only get verbally harassed, but that this harassment could lead to …