Feminism | Posted by David G on 10/7/2015
‘Til It Happens to You: In Staunch Support of Campus Sexual Assault Survivors
“Til It Happens To You”
The Hunting Ground is an unabashed and damning portrayal of the still crucial and widespread problem of rape culture on college campuses. In fact, an estimated 20 to 25% of women in higher educational institutions may experience attempted or completed rape over the course of their college career according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
But these numbers often obscure what this experience is like on an intimate, human level. The fact is, real women experience this — real women like Lady Gaga. In a 2014 interview with Howard Stern, the performer revealed that she wrote the track “Swine,” which is included on the album ARTPOP, to express the degradation she felt after she was sexually assaulted at 19 years old. When she …
Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 10/5/2015
Why We Still Need A Woman On The $20 Bill
I took a seat on a vinyl chair next to my father in the event room of the American Legion in Weehawken, New Jersey. Weehawken is an urban township across the Hudson River from New York City, and its greatest claim to fame is that Alexander Hamilton, the founder of the National Bank and first Secretary of the Treasury, was shot there in a duel by Aaron Burr in 1804.
I have lived in Weehawken my entire life. I have attended duel reenactments and visited the rock against which Hamilton supposedly slumped after being hit. On this year’s anniversary of the July 11th duel, there was even a lecture on Hamilton and Burr’s relationship and the nature of dueling in general.
I opened a brochure that had been …
Feminism | Posted by Cheyenne T on 10/2/2015
What I Learned From Hearing Angela Davis Speak
A few weeks ago, I sat in the Chapel at Vassar College, surrounded by a multitude of individuals with varying intersectional identities and causes, listening to feminist scholar Angela Davis speak. The talk — entitled “Our Feminisms: From #occupy to #sayhername” — touched upon a variety of relevant issues, ranging from the Israel-Palestine conflict to #SayHerName to #BlackLivesMatter. Davis used black feminist theory to string many social justice movements together, arguing that our feminisms, whether state-sanctioned or not, are interwoven and have the potential to be transnational.
While the talk touched on many important points, a few particularly stuck with me. The first was that in order to revolutionize state systems and achieve true liberation, we need to dismantle, redefine and ultimately reimagine the systems on which they …
Feminism | Posted by Daphne S on 09/30/2015
Why We Need More Women Leaders
The Republican candidates
I recently came across a great piece of advice from the inimitable Mindy Kaling: Your image in high school, she observed, usually has very little to do with your success later in life. In fact, they’re usually inversely related. “Do what I did, which is stay in school and be a respectful and hardworking wallflower,” she wrote.
I completely agree with this and wish more young women strove toward lofty career goals rather than popular prom dates. To be fair, nerdiness has evolved quite a bit over the last few decades and it seems that popularity is no longer completely incompatible with being an honors student or valedictorian. But we can still progress, especially when it comes to leadership. The truth is, as much as feminists …
Feminism | Posted by Kinder L on 09/23/2015
Why ‘Free The Nipple’ Is An Important Feminist Movement
“It’s just an excuse for sluts to be naked all the time.”
This was my mother’s response to my attempt to explain the importance of the Free the Nipple movement. Although I disagree, I also know that the discussion surrounding the inequality at the heart of public nudity laws and the stigma that surrounds exposed female nipples is one that has been heightened more than ever before in recent years.
No matter the movement’s relative newness, however, I’m still baffled by the fact that the female body is still seen as inappropriate and worthy of censorship. We are all born with nipples, so why must half the population live in a censored world where their nipples are unacceptable while the other half has the right to expose them as …
Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 09/16/2015
Consent in the Age of High School Hookup Culture
A few weeks ago, I took my seat in the huge auditorium of my East Coast college preparatory boarding school for Proctor Training. The week-long event involved a series of workshops and lectures that train dormitory proctors how to address issues that may arise in the community over the course of the school year. We reviewed “no-grinding” dance rules, gendered dormitory visitation policies, and health center pamphlets — probably the same policies that have been upheld at countless college preparatory schools across the country for years.
But this time around, there was an elephant in the room: The Owen Labrie trial.
On August 28th, 18-year old St. Paul’s School senior Owen Labrie was found not guilty of felony sexual assault charges, but was convicted of having sex …
Feminism | Posted by Aph Ko on 09/14/2015
Are “No Makeup” Campaigns Really Empowering?
Though it appeared in Vanity Fair last year, a photo for which Kate Winslet posed sans makeup recently inspired a social media-based no-makeup selfie campaign. Fans were encouraged to post their own natural selfies to Winslet’s Facebook page and people participated in droves.
I get why many are applauding this effort to expose the fact that without professional help, idealized celebrities look human, too. Makeup can (and should) be fun, but we currently uphold cultural standards that require women to embody an unattainable and ridiculous standard of beauty. In fact, walking outside without any makeup on can actually feel unnatural and even stressful for many women. I know I’ve personally felt like I need to wear make up to look “human” lest people ask questions like, “Are you …
Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 09/11/2015
Why We Can’t Simply Ban Microaggressions On Campuses
“Where are you really from?”
“What are you?”
“You don’t look Latina.”
“Microaggressions” are “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color,” according to Buzzfeed. Though they have certainly persisted for some time, it seems there is a more recent, growing movement to push back on this phenomenon: Many colleges and universities specifically have been working towards addressing and eradicating them.
But considering that microaggresions aren’t isolated actions but a form of racism, banning them may be ineffective. As one study published by the Teachers College at Columbia University found, racism is “more likely than ever to be disguised and covert” and has evolved from the “old fashioned form” …