Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Max K on 05/9/2014

Explaining the “Fake Geek Girl”

Girls like to game, too

A few days ago, a friend of mine came to me with an all too common complaint. She was trying to get into a predominantly male fandom and was being met with accusations of being a “Fake Geek Girl”. For the unfamiliar, a “Fake Geek Girl” is a girl who takes interest in nerdy things like video games and comic books for the attention, but doesn’t actually know anything about said interest. The problem is that this accusation seems to have no grounding in reality and has drawn the ire of many female gamers.

This raises an important question: if the Fake Geek Girl doesn’t exist, why is the accusation so common? To understand this trend, we must venture back in time all the way …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Annemarie McDaniel on 05/5/2014

America Voted for Laverne Cox, So Why Didn’t TIME Magazine Listen?

When I was in 12th grade, I asked my parents to buy me a subscription to TIME Magazine so I could learn more about current events before heading off to college. I still remember when the TIME 100 Most Influential came in the mail, and the glossy collage of famous faces on its cover.  I read every single bio inside, thinking to myself how I wanted to know the stories of such important and inspiring people. Two years later, TIME 100 has tried more and more to capture the attention of young audiences through social media. TIME’s online poll allowed users to vote for their favorites and then share their votes on Facebook or Twitter. Friends of mine who weren’t regular TIME readers were still tweeting and posting about …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Celeste Y on 04/28/2014

Lady Promposals: I’m Breaking the Prom Double Standard — Right Now

The art of the promposal

With my grade’s school day countdown approaching the twenties, obligatory end-of-high-school events are becoming very real, very quickly. Prom season feels like it has been coming for a lifetime and for some girls, it actually has. For those girls, it’s an exciting time. Dresses! Hair! Lipstick! Other things I’ve never been concerned with! In my opinion, however, the whole event has cast a dusky, dis-empowering and somewhat misogynist cloud over the final chapters of senior year.

For those of you who are unaware (adults) of modern day prom etiquette — it’s extravagant. A promposal is a self-explanatory invitation to prom. But they are usually and increasingly grand, romantic and often public gestures wherein boys ask girls to be their dates. They typically involve the spelling …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Darializa Avila-Chevalier on 04/24/2014

Choosing Not to Support Marginalization of Minority Groups Through Illustration

Illustration by Darializa Avila-Chevalier

As an artist for my college’s newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, I sometimes have to illustrate pieces laced with unrecognized privilege. I’ve drawn for articles that fetishize poverty in Spanish Harlem and pieces that depict the “Columbia experience” as entirely universal to its student body. I’ve also illustrated for authors who have complained that “their privilege excludes them from conversation.” As a result, I, a low-income, Afro-Latina, first-generation American woman, feel alienated in my own community. This is not to say that Spec’s contributors aim to drown out the voices of the marginalized—I believe most have good intentions and hope to create a forum of expression safe for all identities. But intention is irrelevant when people of marginalized identities feel the ever-present divide reinforced.

I love …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Paulina P on 04/2/2014

Body Shaming In College Health Services Needs to Stop

“So it says on your record that you have a history with an eating disorder.”

“Yes,” I sputtered. I know it’s true, but no matter how many times the nurse practitioners read it to me at Barnard College Student Health Services, it still feels uncomfortable.

“All right, well, we have a new policy where we have to weigh you once a year. I know we weighed you in the fall, but let’s just do it again.”

For years, these numbers ruled my world. Every day I would step on the scale, and that determined my worth—which is why in my second year of recovery, I refuse to weigh myself. In the fall, a nurse read the same medical history to me. She told me the same policy, and I stepped …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 03/22/2014

Saturday Vids: The Girls of Atomic City

I personally love uncovered stories of how women shaped history, which is why I’m adding The Girls of Atomic City to my reading list. The book covers how at the height of WWII, thousands of young girls – many in their teens – were recruited to the secret city of Oak Ridge, TN, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work.  Each girl was given a specific role and forbidden to ask about its ultimate goal or discuss with anyone else.  Kept in the dark, the girls were completely unaware what their individual roles were working together to accomplish until the atomic bomb was dropped. Denise Kiernan reveals the story behind the first Manhattan Project which began in NYC in 1942.

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Joneka P on 03/17/2014

Black Women Create: Highlighting Black Women in Film and TV

Many people underestimate the power that representation in the media can have for young girls, and especially young girls of color–but connecting with the experiences of another person and empathizing with their stories and lives is powerful.  Whenever we talk about why representation matters, I always think about this quote from actress Whoopi Goldberg:

“When I was nine years old Star Trek came on. I looked at it and I went screaming through the house, ‘Come here, mum, everybody, come quick, come quick, there’s a black lady on television and she ain’t no maid!’ I knew right then and there I could be anything I wanted to be.”

Now, though, television seems overwhelmingly white. It wasn’t always this way. I grew up watching shows like Good Times, A Different …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Christina T on 03/5/2014

Who Are You Calling A Feminist?

Feminism is confronting its “uncool” reputation all over again, but this time it’s the least likely candidates rejecting the movement: women. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift and others have all made statements indicating that they’re less than eager to take up the feminist mantle.

Quirky, trend-setting celebrity Lady Gaga, is a New York pop singer best known for performing in outfits akin to knickers and heels. Her appearance is aggressively sexual and in control, like many a male rock star. She has also attracted attention for her blatant rejection of feminism. In one interview she said: ”I’m not a feminist – I hail men, I love men. I celebrate American male culture, and beer, and bars and muscle cars.”

Taylor Swift, the ever popular singer/songwriter famous …

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