A Little F'd Up: Why Feminism Is Not A Dirty Word by Julie Zeilinger now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Feminism | Posted by Meg H on 06/17/2015
What exactly are we medicating?
As the end of my senior year of high school drew to a close, my life began to change — not because I was starting a new chapter in my life, but because I was beginning a two-year struggle with what I would later find out was undiagnosed depression. During those two years, I suffered daily, endlessly questioning what had changed. Why was I no longer the upbeat, bright, and conscientious child that I had been for most of my life? Concerned for my well-being, my family alternated between the fear that they were losing their oldest daughter and frustration at my obstinate lack of energy and ambition. My relationships with friends and other people I loved suffered.
During my sophomore year of college, my …
Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 06/16/2015
In her 2014 TED Talk, Khadija Gbla expresses the cultural friction she felt between two very different definitions of what it means to be “empowered.” Gbla recounts her experience growing up in Sierra Leone, a country where, like in Nigeria, female genital mutilation is a deeply valued cultural practice. Her mother, she recalls, insisted that she undergo the procedure in order to curb promiscuity, increase her marriageability, and more fully realize her womanhood.
Female Genital Mutilation is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia. The data on physical and psychological consequences is horrifying. An inter-agency statement issued by the WHO and UNICEF, among others, states that when “seen from a human rights perspective, …
Feminism | Posted by Kinder L on 06/15/2015
As a film student and aspiring screenwriter, I understand that it is a comedian’s job to joke about current issues and events. But I believe there is a fine line between “art” and belittlement and that nobody’s dignity should be sacrificed for a performance.
Gender identity, for example, is an important issue that should not be mocked or belittled. And yet a number of comedians recently made transphobic jokes about Caitlyn Jenner’s transition. Actor and singer Jamie Foxx, for example, claimed at the iHeart Radio Music Awards that of the many “ground breaking performances here tonight,” Jenner would “be doing a his-and-her duet all by himself.” The next day at the Justin Beiber roast, Kevin Hart also made a disparaging remark about Jenner — in the presence of …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Holly L on 06/12/2015
Where are the women on stage?
Music festival season is just beginning, and with it comes yet another reminder that women still have a long way to go before we achieve equality. Although there are plenty of female acts to choose from, and they clearly deliver when included — some even argued the female acts stole the show at SXSW, for example — one need only look at lineup posters to see the persistent imbalance of men to women at these festivals.
This is not a new phenomenon: Men have long outnumbered women when it comes to festival lineups and headline performers are almost always male. Among the most popular British music festivals last summer, for example, all but one festival completely excluded female acts — and that single female …
Feminism | Posted by Eloise Bouton on 06/10/2015
Many people probably think France is a feminist-friendly country. My experience as an activist with the international feminist organization Femen has taught me that this is not the case. I’ve found that fighting for equality is costly and protesting topless for women’s rights — as I have done — is not only unfairly considered exhibitionism, but has had a damaging effect on my life.
I joined Femen — a feminist organization whose members protest topless — in April, 2012. This organization was born in Ukraine but established a presence in Paris in September, 2012. The Paris branch has been led by Inna Shevchenko, but I helped build the group.
On December 2013, I posed topless at the Catholic Madeleine Church in Paris to support abortion rights. At the time, …
Feminism | Posted by Claudia A. on 06/8/2015
Growing up, I was neither educated nor had positive conversations about sex. It was a taboo topic in my family. My mother especially refused to discuss it (even when I brought it up) and my father completely ignored the topic altogether. The closest we ever came to discussing it was when I would head out of the house with my boyfriend and my mom would remark: “Rebequita, no seas estupida” (Rebecca, don’t be stupid) or “Rebequita, no te dejes tocar” (Rebecca, don’t let yourself be touched). It was as if she expected me to somehow know everything about sex without ever talking about it.
My parents should have had this conversation with me, though, because my school wasn’t any better. My sex ed classes did not acknowledge that …
Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 06/5/2015
There are plenty of reasons why far too many of the 1 in 5 teens who have mental health disorders don’t receive treatment. The stigma and shame that surround the disorder — especially as it pertains to gender stereotypes about mental health — is certainly a major factor. So are various cultural beliefs about mental illness: In fact, minorities are less likely to use mental health services than their white counterparts. Then there are the myriad personal factors, such as complex relationships with parents or other authority figures. The list goes on.
But no matter the reason, there’s an emerging alternative treatment that harnesses the power of connectivity and community to addresses these under-discussed causes. It’s called “peer support” and medical professionals and teens alike are embracing …
Feminism | Posted by Molly H on 06/3/2015
An Abercrombie model
Academics, parenting blogs, and activists have protested the media’s inappropriate and gross hypersexualization of girls. Nearly every TV commercial I watch or department store I visit reminds me of this — Target has a bra section for girls pre-teen girls, most of whom have yet to develop breasts, just to name one example. It’s a major problem in plain sight.
While it’s true that girls are probably sexualized in the media at a much higher rate than boys, a recent Buzzfeed article revealed how Abercrombie and Hollister are rejecting sexualization of all. In a statement made on April 24th, Abercrombie announced that they will remove all types of sexualization from their advertising and promotional events by July 2015 — including the hypersexualized, shirtless men they …