Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 11/14/2014

Facts Don’t Lie: Teens Need Sex Ed and Access to Contraception

the IUD

Access to education is a fundamental right. But are all American students learning everything they need to know? The use of abstinence-only education in schools is archaic and absurd, and yet it’s a commonplace policy.

According to a 2012 Guttmacher study, approximately a quarter of teens between the age of 15 and 19 had received abstinence education without instruction on birth control between 2006 and 2008 and a significant amount of teens (46% of males and 33% of females) do not receive formal instruction about contraceptives before the first time they have sex. Thirty-seven states require sex education that includes abstinence while twenty-six states require abstinence to be stressed as the best method. The state of Mississippi has the highest rate of teen pregnancy and does …

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Feminism | Posted by Beatrice M on 11/12/2014

Can A High School Assembly Really Effect Change?

I’m a proud member of the Women’s Issues Club at my school (Horace Mann in New York City), which is dedicated to discussing gender equality. We recently helped organize a “Unity Assembly” for our peers, which was meant to celebrate students’ diversities and help us understand our own community. We discussed many issues (such as race, socioeconomic class, sexual identity, gender identity and gender equality) and also produced a video that featured different students and faculty members explaining why they need feminism.

I was encouraged that this video helped my peers better understand feminism based on their reactions. Many of my male classmates genuinely praised the Women’s Issues Club and were shocked by the facts about gender inequality presented in the video. For example, one of my friends told me …

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Feminism | Posted by Sophia C on 11/7/2014

Where Are the Women in Skate Parks?

A woman in skateboarding isn’t something you hear about often. It’s a male-dominated sport and this fact has ingrained a certain mindset in skating culture. Despite this, I have always been interested in skateboarding. My older cousins always skated and in high school I drifted towards “skater” kids because I always found them to be surprisingly smart and very accepting. However, a recent trip to my local skate park changed my view on the sport and some of the people who participate in it.

My friends invited me to come to the skate park after school and I was wary because every time I’ve been there, it’s been a little boring — I broke my old board and am terrible at bowl skating anyways. My friend Matt told me he …

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Feminism | Posted by Eliza V on 11/5/2014

HeForShe or SheForHe?

On September 20th, 2014, Emma Watson made a now viral speech at the UN HeForShe event.  The HeForShe campaign was set up by UN Women to activate and emphasize the importance of male involvement in the fight for gender equality. Watson’s speech was undoubtedly the most noted part of the event. She stated:

“In 1995, Hilary Clinton made a famous speech in Beijing about women’s rights. Sadly many of the things she wanted to change are still a reality today. But what stood out for me the most was that only 30 per cent of her audience were male. How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation? Men—I would like to take this opportunity

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Feminism | Posted by Vicki S on 11/3/2014

Texas and Its Abortion Laws: We Will Not Be Complacent About Our Reproductive Rights

On Thursday October 2nd, The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the state of Texas to enforce tough restrictions through the Texas House Bill 2 act. This act, which was released in 2013, includes changes such as requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles from where the abortion is completed, only allowing abortions in surgical centers, governing when abortion pills are taken, and banning abortions after 20 weeks.  In 2011, 46 of the 62 abortion providers were clinics and by 2013, only 22 clinics remained open. Through this prohibitive law, all but 8 abortion clinics were closed this month in Texas (the second most populous state in the country). Clinics currently remain in only a handful of areas, including San Antonio, Dallas, Fort …

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Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 10/24/2014

Why I Celebrated International Day of the Girl

Malala Yousafzai

I went to an all-girls’ school where I felt, first-hand, what it’s like to be nurtured, challenged, and encouraged. My thirteen years in a school that was deeply invested in girls armed me with resilience, self-care, and a generations-long support network of strong, smart, and successful women. I graduated high school in a class of 71 other girls who had grown into capable, remarkable women thanks to the diligence of a school that knew how important it was for us to become self-sufficient, empowered, critically thinking, globally minded, change-creating citizens of the world.

I looked out at my classmates and was awed, humbled by the little glimpse into the future I saw when I watched them turn their tassels. I saw, in a sea of graduates, women who …

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Feminism | Posted by Pippa B on 10/20/2014

Egg Freezing: Is This Silicon Valley Perk Really Empowering?

Last week, it was announced that Silicon Valley tech giants Facebook and Apple are offering coverage of egg freezing as part of female employees’ health benefits. A huge step, news outlets cried, towards equality for women in a heavily male-dominated industry. But is encouraging women to postpone having children really in the best interest of women?

To Facebook and Apple’s credit, each company offers a suite of benefits for women looking to start a family, ranging from coverage of fertility treatments to daycare. These benefits, in addition to free gourmet meals, lavish vacations, and sometimes even free housing, have been branded as a “War of Perks” through which tech companies entice prospective employees to join their team. There is a major difference, however, between free beer and frozen eggs …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 10/17/2014

Street Harassment: It’s Not A Compliment

It was a hot Los Angeles Saturday and I decided to walk my dog down my usually quiet residential street. I was sixteen at the time and wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Three men, probably in their late twenties, pulled up to the curb next to me in a black BMW sedan. The driver, who was wearing black Ray Ban sunglasses, opened his window. “Hey,” he said, raising his eyebrows at his friends. “We should check her for STDs before we f*ck her!”

He smirked and his friends laughed and hooted. I stood frozen. My mouth fell open slightly, in shock. The driver revved the engine and zoomed down the street. For a few minutes, I couldn’t move while my dog tugged anxiously at her leash. What just happened? …

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