Feminism | Posted by Julia Bluhm and Izzy Labbe on 09/9/2016

The Power Of Intergenerational Activism

Julia Bluhm and Izzy Labbe

Julia Bluhm and Izzy Labbe

We are former SPARK Movement activists and Hardy Girls Healthy Women Girls Advisory Board members. In 2012 we served key roles in SPARK’s Seventeen Magazine action that garnered over 86,000 petition signatures and pushed the magazine to revise its policies on digitally altering the appearances of its models. We’re writing this blog in celebration of Powered By Girl, an ~awesome~ new book by our good friend Lyn Mikel Brown. Lyn was the guiding force for our introduction to intergenerational feminist activism at the age of thirteen.

Julia: We became involved with activism when we joined SPARK Movement as bloggers on topics such as body image and sexualization in the media. We were thirteen years old then, but we were surrounded by bloggers …

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Feminism | Posted by Gabby Catalano on 09/7/2016

Combating Inequality In Mental Health Care

We need to talk about unequal access to mental healthcare.

There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.”

These words, originally written by C.S. Lewis, are painted on a wall in my apartment. My bedroom has become a sanctuary of spiritual healing and redemption: I practice yoga and meditative exercises while burning incense and floral candles. I boil water for tea in the kitchen and grow my own herbs and spices for recipes. I play soft rock and smooth jazz music aloud to create a warm, soothing space in my home. My home is where I run when I need a break from the complications of life and it’s where I thank myself for waking up every morning and leaving the past behind.

I …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 09/6/2016

The Burkini Ban And The Long Legacy Of Controlling Women’s Bodies

The burkini

Imagine you are at the beach, sitting on the sand, and enjoying the sounds of waves crashing.  Suddenly you are confronted by armed police officers.  The police officers stand over you and demand that you remove some of your clothing.  Although this may seem like an absurd and insulting request from a police officer, women have been forced to do just that — women have been asked to remove their beach attire along the French coast.  But only a specific form of swimwear has been monitored by police: the “burkini,” a swimsuit that covers a woman’s entire body except for her face, hands, and feet.

The burkini — the name of which is a mix of the word “bikini” and “burqa, a type of …

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Feminism | Posted by Reilly W on 09/1/2016

The Truth About Safe Spaces and Trigger Warnings

UChicago got trigger warnings and safe spaces wrong.

This past week, the University of Chicago sent a letter to incoming freshmen that stated they would not support “trigger warnings” or “safe spaces” at the school. Instead of making the topic a discussion, a conversation, a process, they made it a rule book. Universities should, of course, be spaces of enthusiastic debate and a mosaic of different views. But this debate begs the question: Where does the line between freedom of speech and infringing on somebody else’s right to that freedom lie?

This letter not only insults the intelligence of these students, but also blatantly misunderstands the entire concepts it seeks to destroy. UChicago students — like college students around the country — are intellectually curious and dynamic. We know that …

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Feminism | Posted by David G on 08/29/2016

An Interview With Agunda Okeyo

This Thursday only!

This Thursday only!

Agunda Okeyo is, above all, an activist. While her work spans from the writing desk to the director’s chair, all of her projects have a unifying focus: raising awareness about feminism and the neo-civil rights movement.

One of the more famous events she organizes is “Sisters of Comedy,” a comedy show that features comediennes of color and which is hosted at comedy club Caroline’s in New York, the city she calls home. Established in 2014, the show also centers around a different, socially relevant theme each year. It’s especially important because it grants a voice to women of color in show business, proving to the comedy world that women of color can (of course) be funny and fill theater seats.

Ms. Okeyo spoke to us …

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Feminism | Posted by Carley Towne on 08/26/2016

This Women’s Equality Day, Let’s Remain Vigilant

Today is Women’s Equality Day

August 26th is Women’s Equality Day. First designated by Congresswoman Bella Abzug (D-NY20) in 1971, the day marks the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which formally granted women the right to vote. Over the decades, however, Women’s Equality Day has transformed into a celebration of not only the 19th Amendment, but also the continued struggle for equality and fairness that women of all backgrounds and ages across the United States face.

First, we would be doing Representative Abzug, appropriately nicknamed “Battling Bella,” and women everywhere a disfavor if we celebrated the passage of the 19th Amendment without recognizing its complex history. The 19th Amendment was not a victory for all women and to celebrate it as such is historically inaccurate and exclusionary: …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Karla Majdancic on 08/24/2016

Being A Swifty Who Rejects White Feminism

Taylor Swift

Hi, my name is Karla, and I have been a die hard Swifty for as long as I can remember. I pre-ordered all of Swift’s albums, We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together was one of my favorite shower songs, I’ve cried ceaselessly to Dear John while in the midst of boy troubles (and, um, every time I hear it), and I could kick your butt at I Knew You Were Trouble karaoke. But I have re-evaluated my feelings toward the singer this year after examining her behavior — specifically, her persistent tendency of perpetuating white feminism.

White Feminism does not describe all feminists that happen to be white, but rather describes a version of feminism that assumes white (and almost always cisgender, straight, able-bodied, thin, middle-to-upper class) …

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Feminism | Posted by Crystal O on 08/22/2016

How I Fit Into Mainstream Pride Events As A Queer Black Woman

Pride

I realized that I wasn’t straight when I was about 15 years old. Soon after, I got involved with my high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. During one of the club’s meetings, the steering committee chair of an organization called PFLAG (Parents, Friends, and Families of Lesbians of Gays) joined us as a guest speaker. That day proved to be a pivotal one for me. After the committee chair spoke, I attended a PFLAG meeting and became a member of their youth group: Rainbow Youth and Allies. I am now proud to facilitate this group.

Actually coming out, however, was a process that started after I had begun attending PFLAG. I was fairly open about my sexuality at school and was not shy to stand up for myself and for the …

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