Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 09/3/2015

The Truth About Gamergate and Online Harassment

“GTFO” directed by Shannon Sun-Higginson

Despite composing the majority of video game players, women are frequently attacked within the gaming community. Though it has persisted for years, this horrifying treatment entered the public consciousness in a largely unprecedented way a year ago with the rise of Gamergate.

“Gamergate,” is “ostensibly concerned with ethics in game journalism and with protecting the ‘gamer’ identity” but in actuality “isn’t much more than a tone-deaf rabble of angry obsessives with a misguided understanding of journalistic ethics,” according to Gawker. Specifically, public female figures in the gaming community — like Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu among others — received rape and death threats and some were even driven from their homes. And the harassment has hardly abated in the intervening months.

“The …

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Feminism | Posted by Maram E on 09/2/2015

Why the Conversation About Domestic Violence Needs to Change

Domestic violence awareness is crucial.

“Why does she stay?”

It’s a question outsiders continue to ask about those in abusive relationships. The situation may seem black and white to many: If someone is assaulting you, then you should leave them. In reality, however, domestic violence is not this simple. Rather than ask “why does she stay,” we need to re-frame the conversation by asking “why does someone abuse a woman they claim to love?”

1 out of 4 women will experience domestic violence during their lifetime — a number that’s likely even higher considering that as many as 70 percent of domestic violence cases go unreported — and women between the ages of 20 and 24 are at the greatest risk. Many are aware of the physical consequences of this …

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Feminism | Posted by Jonathan Kalin on 09/1/2015

What Justin Bieber’s VMA Performance Can Teach Us About Modern Masculinity

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

At the end of his VMA performance on Sunday night, Justin Bieber began to cry. This image has already launched debates about his motivations and as someone who has spent the past 4 years immersed in a movement to end men’s violence against women by critically examining the destructive way men are socialized and the unhealthy standard of masculinity they’re trained to embody, I was fascinated by this moment. But the focus on what was essentially a few seconds of his performance overlooks the many other ways Bieber’s entire performance of his new single “What Do You Mean?” encapsulates the current experience of young heterosexual men in America in a largely unprecedented way.

First, Bieber models a complex attention to consent. I have spent the past

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Feminism | Posted by Amber c on 08/31/2015

The Broken Concept of Virginity

Virginity is a destructive, heteronormative concept.

Society obsesses over the concept of virginity. Young girls are taught that they must meet standards of “purity” and “cleanliness” — standards that are determined by whether or not we have had sex yet. But placing so much importance on a social construct essentially designed to perpetuate a culture of slut-shaming and rape culture is dangerous to young girls’ health and well-being.

The truth is there is no medical or biological definition of virginity. The dictionary defines virginity as “the state of never having had sexual intercourse,” but this definition is largely meaningless. While the dominant understanding of “sexual intercourse” is penetrative sex, this ignores all of the people who have plenty of sex that isn’t penetrative. Can they not lose their virginity? How …

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Feminism | Posted by Jenna N on 08/27/2015

On Male-Dominated Spaces and Internalized Sexism

The subtle sexism of being a woman in male-dominated college classes.

The spring semester of my freshmen year of college, I took a class called “Intro to Political Theory.” I was obsessed with the syllabus (Kant and Marx make my head hurt in all the right ways) and more than ready to start studying the topics I was most passionate about after a painful semester of Bio 101 (I will never touch another microscope as long as I live). But on the first day, as I walked in bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and equipped with a fresh notebook, I noticed something: the majority of the class, including the professor, was male.

I thought I was prepared for this; it’s no secret that politics is an incredibly male-dominated field. But as a student …

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Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 08/26/2015

On Women’s Equality Day, Let’s Talk About White Feminism

Huffington Post's 'White Feminism' Video

Huffington Post’s ‘White Feminism’ Video

I used to be a White Feminist. As a white woman, I thought it was my only option. But, as a video produced by the Huffington Post and a thoughtful post by the young star Rowan Blanchard both explain, this doesn’t have to be the case.

White Feminism is activism that focuses on white women gaining the same rights as white men. It is, essentially, feminism that attempts to function without intersectionality and effectively ignores and disrespects the ways women of color and gender-nonconforming people experience oppression. It’s a type of feminism which is rapidly, and necessarily, becoming irrelevant.
I didn’t know all this, however, until I was fortunate enough to learn about it in high school. I was taught little about feminism in middle …

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Feminism | Posted by Amber B on 08/24/2015

What You Need To Know About the Planned Parenthood Controversy

We need to support Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood is a reproductive health care provider that is “dedicated to offering men, women, and teens high-quality, affordable medical care,” according to its website. The organization also “believes in the fundamental right of each individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility … regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence.” The organization provides many vital services, like contraception, breast exams, cancer treatments, and treatments for STIs/STDs. They also provide abortions.

Pro-life supporters, particularly Republican politicians and representatives, have historically vehemently opposed the organization for this reason. Recently, however, some proposed a bill to eliminate federal funding for the organization — a bill that just barely failed to get the 60 votes needed …

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Feminism | Posted by Chelsea C on 08/19/2015

How I Took A Stand Against Catcalling

Chelsea's anti-catcalling project

Chelsea’s anti-catcalling project

He whistles. “Hey beautiful, look at that ass. Damn, can’t you at least smile?”

I have faced plenty of unfair, gender-based double standards in my life. I’ve been told from a young age to never be alone in public. I’ve been forced to wear skirts down to my knees and shirts that cover my shoulders in school so as to not distract others. I’ve seen too many examples of the sexual objectification of women in the media and, of course, real life.

The double standard I’ve been dealing with most recently, though, is the way I feel I have put effort into dressing a certain way in order to avoid street harassment. Every morning as I’m getting ready to attend my summer classes in NYC, I have …

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