Feminism | Posted by Dessi E on 09/26/2014
On Being Formerly Afraid of Feminism
I used to be scared I would be “brainwashed” into being a feminist. I never believed the stereotype that feminists are all lesbians who meet in dark places to discuss the abomination that is the male gender and their evil plots to eradicate them. But I always sensed there was a stigma surrounding the movement and feared wasting energy “getting angry about women’s rights” because I thought it would be “time-consuming.” I thought becoming a feminist would require me to shout my opinion every single second of the day and join rallies and form petitions.
But then I discovered feminism on Tumblr. Soon after, I watched the documentary Miss Representation and knew as soon as I clicked “play” that it would change everything. I watched with great interest and, when …
Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 09/24/2014
The Freedom of Topless Beaches
Why can't we go topless?
In popular culture, women’s breasts are often seen as the ultimate symbol of sex. Women are bombarded with a variety of consumeristic options to “improve” our breasts: we can buy numerous types of bras (gel, push up, “bomb shell”…the list goes on), which all seem designed to emphasize women’s breasts up to the point of actual exposure. It’s a thin line: women are encouraged to clearly demonstrate their cleavage, yet actually going topless is considered shameful and reserved for Playboy. In settings where men can acceptably go shirtless, like the beach, breasts “need” to be covered. But why do women “need” to constantly cover — yet simultaneously strategically expose — an ultimately benign aspect of our bodies?
This past August, I was fortunate enough to …
Feminism | Posted by Eliza V on 09/19/2014
My Non-Feminist Sister
I like to think that feminism is becoming a topic of household discussion now. Celebrities are increasingly claiming the feminist label, sexist media depictions are causing more of an uproar and feminism itself seems to be appearing in the news now more than in recent years. This is all very well and good, but it certainly doesn’t change the fact that there are still people who want nothing to do with feminism.
This can be very hard to deal with for people who do identify as feminists, especially if those people happen to be in your family. While it’s (unfortunately) probably not uncommon to have a family member who is against feminism, it’s an especially difficult situation when that person is in your immediate family and somebody you’re otherwise close …
Feminism | Posted by Arely L on 09/17/2014
Some Questions About Women and Sex
I’m sorry to say that I’ve witnessed far too many conversations in which my friends attack other girls for their sexual experiences. I have finally had enough of the way teen girls (or women of all ages, for that matter) who have sex are regarded with prejudice. There are four specific aspects of this cultural “logic” about women and sex that I particularly don’t understand.
1. Who decides what constitutes “too much” sex?
Why do people think they can determine the limits of how much sex a person can acceptably have? I don’t believe that anyone has the right to set such standards for other women or men. I enjoy my sexual freedom and don’t believe that other people’s sexual choices or ideas about sex should have any bearing on …
Awareness, Feminism | Posted by Trip E on 09/15/2014
#WhyIStayed: Understanding Domestic Violence
Janay and Ray Rice
On March 27th, 2014, former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was arrested and indicted for third-degree aggravated assault. He had punched his fiancee, Janay Palmer, in the face, knocking her unconscious. Shortly afterward the assault in February, a video of Ray Rice dragging Palmer out of an elevator was released by TMZ. I have not watched this video, or the one released on Monday, because of a tweet I was lucky enough to see on my feed:
Rice was suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season, and the criminal …
Feminism | Posted by Francesca on 09/10/2014
So She Did: The Female Mentor That Changed My Life
I always expected that I’d spend my last summer before starting college binge-watching TV, eating pizza, and dealing with anxiety about my freshman year. Instead, I ended up exploring my recent acquaintance with the feminist movement through an internship with So She Did, an organization related to women’s empowerment. I decided to join the organization because it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a different perspective on feminism and my own ideas about empowerment. Sure enough, working there resulted in one of the best and most interesting summers of my life.
So She Did focuses on a positive and personalized understanding of feminism: it emphasizes individual improvement by showing young women how to say no, how to make a great first impression, how to conquer their fears and …
Feminism | Posted by Tanvi S on 09/8/2014
The LGBTQ Movement Is About More Than Marriage Equality
Many activists have brought attention to the fact that the LGBTQ movement – or at least the public perception of it is — is too focused on marriage. It seems that the media has almost made the entire social movement synonymous with same-sex marriage, which distracts from the vast array of other problems that the LGBTQ community faces. There are plenty of other issues that this movement addresses and the media must do a better job of focusing on those fights as well.
For example, violence against trans and queer people (especially trans and queer people of color) is on the rise. Homelessness and poverty disproportionately affect the LGBTQ community for a variety of reasons including employment discrimination, lack of health care, and housing discrimination. LGBTQ youth are bullied in …
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 …