A Little F'd Up: Why Feminism Is Not A Dirty Word by Julie Zeilinger now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

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Feminism | Posted by Reilly W on 02/17/2016

How I Am Trying To Overcome A White Feminist Mindset

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No more white feminist squads.

As a straight, upper middle class, private school educated, white teenage girl, my first understanding of feminism was undeniably “white feminism.” This type of feminism is one that fails to address issues that don’t primarily apply to the most socioeconomically privileged people in the movement. I only focused on issues of inequality that directly and obviously effected me, bought into ideas about “saving” other women — like the all too common refrain that “Muslim women are oppressed by hijabs and need Western women’s help to liberate themselves!”— and considered Lena Dunham, Emma Watson and Tina Fey my primary feminist role models.

I’m hardly the first to perpetuate this mentality, either. White women have dominated feminism for years. They have done so not because they …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Saskia G on 02/15/2016

Are Diverse Barbies Really Progress?

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Diverse Barbies

I played with Barbies a lot as a little girl. I remember looking at the nude body of one plastic, blonde doll and marveling at her wrinkle-free knees, being baffled by her hard breasts, and wishing my waist could be as narrow as hers. I was only seven years old.

In late January, Mattel released a line of new, diverse Barbie dolls. These dolls now come in three body-types — “curvy,” “tall,” and “petite,” although the original model, complete with large bust and tiny waist, is still available — seven skin tones, twenty-two eye colors, and fourteen “face-sculpts.” Altogether, there are now thirty-three versions of Barbie.

It didn’t take long for the media to react to and pose explanations for this significant change. Writer Megan Garber, for instance, …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 02/12/2016

What Kesha’s Legal Win Means for Survivors of Sexual Assault

Kesha

We undeniably still live in a twisted, victim blaming rape culture. Women are shamed and doubted when they seek justice for their assaults and taught they must prevent their assault in the first place. Despite the many efforts of activists and allies to prove why this mentality is wrong, it persists — a reality singer-songwriter Kesha recently, publicly found firsthand.

In 2014, Kesha sued her producer, Dr. Luke, based on the claim that he repeatedly sexually assaulted her throughout their professional relationship. Dr. Luke sued the pop star back based on the claim that the singer tried to “extort him into voiding their contract.” Since then, Kesha’s career had been brought to a standstill. Her contract specifies that she is not to collaborate with anyone besides her producer …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 02/10/2016

Why Beyoncé’s “Formation” Video Is So Important

Formation

Formation

This past Saturday, Beyoncé released the first new song from her upcoming album, entitled “Formation.” The song, and accompanying video, may be the most important works the star has released. If her 2013 eponymous album was the birth of her understanding of self empowerment and goal to empower other women, “Formation” indicates that she will only build on this mission and continue to forcefully declare her political views.

Many things make “Formation” special, but perhaps chief among them is Beyoncé’s evisceration of the respectability politics to which African American women are often subjected. The song can be interpreted as a much-needed declaration of defiance, both against the stereotypical, cultural expectations for African American women and against the idea that African-American women aren’t, and cannot be, leaders in …

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Feminism | Posted by Siena R on 02/7/2016

This Is What It’s Really Like To Recover From An Eating Disorder

It’s not what you think.

I have anorexia. My first instinct was to at least shield you, random stranger on the Internet, from that truth, to ease you in. But there’s no way to put that gently. That’s not my reality. My reality is that I have been living with this mental illness since I was 14 and in my freshman year of high school.

Contrary to popular belief, this eating disorder isn’t just a “phase” or something that will go away once I “just eat.” Anorexia is not a choice nor is it directly or solely caused by images of excessively thin models and actresses in the media. Eating disorders are crippling mental illnesses. They can be genetically inherited from your parents or relatives, just like one inherits …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Liz L on 02/5/2016

How Grimes Is Daring Music Critics to Dismantle Hierarchies in Pop Music

Grimes

When I met Grimes — the project of  DIY musician, writer, performer, and producer Claire Boucher — after her recent Nashville concert, our first exchange was one of unabashed praise. “Your voice,” she said to me. “It is exceptional.”

As a grown woman with the distinctly high-pitched (frequently mimicked) speaking voice of a 3-year-old on Christmas morning, Grimes’ compliment was utterly validating. Naturally, I cried a little, thanked her a lot, and proceeded to truthfully share my gratitude for her work with the same utter sincerity that she presents within her own striking musical oeuvre.

Grimes is completely unapologetic in her art production and presentation of her own self-engineered pop stardom. The musician conjures visions of a sci-fi galactic queen warrior. She is a keen engineer of sound and …

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Feminism | Posted by Kinder L on 02/3/2016

These Are The LGBTQ+ Victories Already Achieved In 2016

2016 could be a game-changer.

2015 was undoubtedly an amazing year for progress in the LGBTQ+ community. Several countries legalized same-sex marriage, including the United States, and others extended adoption rights to same-sex couples as well. Multiple states elected LGBT politicians to office and legislation banning LGBT discrimination was endorsed by the President.

Of course, the community — which still faces disproportionate rates of homelessness and mental illness and poverty — has a long way to go before achieving equality. But even so, thanks in no small part to the many tireless advocates and allies supporting the cause, the movement has already achieved some incredible things this year.

One significant victory is the notable efforts of schools to be more inclusive of trans students. On January 13, for example, …

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Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 02/1/2016

Why We Need To Teach Students About Rape Culture

We need to educate students about rape culture.

Being an outspoken feminist in my high school has been a challenging experience. While many of my peers are aware of major social justice news and violations, like that surrounding Black Lives Matters and ISIS, far too many are still ignorant about the feminist movement or women’s rights more generally. This became particularly clear to me in a recent English class, as we discussed Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and rape culture’s effect on the main character.

Rape culture is “a complex set of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women,” Emilie Buchwald writes in her book Transforming a Rape Culture. “It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent,” she continues. “In …

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