Feminism | Posted by Ines R on 09/5/2014
On Young Women Traveling Alone
Lima, Peru: more than a stereotype
“Be careful, you’re just a girl!” I heard this phrase far too many times this summer as I prepared to leave for Brazil and Peru. Every Spring Break since I can remember I’ve traveled to Peru, and I’m unfortunately used to people’s stereotypical and prejudiced conceptions of Peruvian culture: I’m pretty sure many of my childhood friends thought that I rode llamas, wore tribal clothing and climbed mountains for the duration of my visits. But this summer, I couldn’t tell if people were skeptical because I was traveling alone as a woman, or if they were just scared of Latin America in general since they saw it as too exotic and dangerous. Regardless, because I am both a woman and Latin American it was …
Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 09/3/2014
In Support of Self Defense Classes
Campus sexual assault is a harrowing issue: approximately one in five college women will experience attempted or completed rape while at school. Lawmakers of the American House and Senate have recently announced two bipartisan bills that are meant to combat campus sexual assault by promoting increased transparency and response. Increasing transparency about the prevalent reality of sexual assault is certainly important, as it could help to reduce societal taboos about discussing the issue and show victims that they are not alone. However, despite this potential legal progress, I – a college-bound woman — am rationally wary of the current reality of campus sexual assault.
College is supposed to be a place where female and male students alike are able to learn and grow as people. Ideally, women should be able …
Feminism | Posted by Jackson B on 09/1/2014
Women in the Church
“The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.” — 1 Corinthians 14:34, from the New American Standard Bible
Early in my Christian faith, I decided that I had a particular right to question the Bible. I readily accept some elements, of course — specifically those words that are printed in red. But the verse above is one of many that doesn’t sit well with me. Especially after spending the past year as a pianist at a small, country Southern church ministered by — you guessed it — a woman, I now question 1 Corinthians 14:34 more than I ever did in the past.
One of the building blocks of the Christian …
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 …
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Alice W on 08/20/2014
An Open Letter to Adults: What Young Activists Need From You
Inspire young activists like these girls!
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. …
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 08/13/2014
Talk the Talk: On Being A Role Model
Always' "Like A Girl" Commercial
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, …