Feminism | Posted by Vicki S on 01/19/2015
Lost Women of History: Maria Stewart, the First Black Feminist-Abolitionist in America
“Let our girls possess what amiable qualities of soul they may; let their characters be fair and spotless as innocence itself; let their natural taste and ingenuity be what they may; it is impossible for scarce an individual of them to rise above the condition of servants.” – Maria Stewart, The Limits of True Womanhood
Best remembered as the first recorded American-born woman to give a public speech in the United States in 1832, Maria Stewart should also be remembered as an incredible role model for her lifelong work as a black, female feminist-abolitionist at a time and in a society largely resistant to all of these ideas and identities.
Though she was born to free African-American parents in Hartford Connecticut in 1803, Maria Miller was orphaned by the age …
Feminism | Posted by Kylie V on 04/16/2014
Why We Must Speak Out
I love Sara Bareilles’ Brave. Who doesn’t love a message about overcoming fear in order to express one’s opinions?
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
But why is simply expressing who we are and what we think interpreted as brave? Why is this so controversial that we have to be afraid of opposition? We live in a culture where backlash has become extremely harsh, especially when it means challenging the white middle class straight status quo. More than ever we need inspiration from brilliant thinkers like the late great Audre Lorde, who challenged us to push past the …
Feminism | Posted by Max F on 11/13/2013
Why Teaching Teen Boys About Consent Should Be A Mandatory Part of Sex Ed
It started with a Facebook post. Last summer, a Facebook friend posed the question: “If you would teach your daughter about protection, then why wouldn’t you teach your son about respect?”After I read that, I realized that my high school’s sexual education class only taught us (and especially girls) what not to do. We were taught not to “put your drink down” and to “not drink something if it wasn’t made in front of you.” This information is valid, yet it begs the question: why are young adults only taught how to avoid other people’s behavior? For example, someone has to be the person tampering with somebody else’s drink in order to attempt assault, yet that person’s behavior isn’t directly addressed — we’re not explicitly taught not to lace somebody …
Feminism | Posted by Nicole J on 08/21/2013
It’s The Small Things That Count
What is passion? First, you discover something — maybe a sport, a hobby, or even a problem in your community. The “something” (whatever it is) snatches a bit of your soul. Without the “something,” you feel a little empty — you’re hooked. You can’t stop playing the sport, doing the hobby, or pondering solutions to the community issue. Passion drives us. It feels so good to do what you love.
My “something” is creating teddy bears and recruiting other bear-makers. Before you laugh at me, hear me out: in 2010, I was hospitalized for anorexia. The visiting hours in the eating disorder unit were limited. At night, I wished that the doctors would release me. I wanted to be home again. While I was in the hospital, I received stuffed …
Awareness, Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 10/31/2012
Stand With Malala
Malala Yousafzai has spent the last 3 years of her life in the pursuit of education and equality. As a result, she has spent the last 13 days in a hospital bed in Birmingham, England.
At 11 years old, Malala began blogging for the BBC. She ran an anonymous daily journal chronicling her struggles to get the education she deserved as a young Pakistani girl. When Malala’s blog became popular worldwide, her name was added to the byline. In 2011, Malala won both the International Peace Prize and the Pakistani Peace Prize. Malala’s maturity and wisdom served her well as she argued eloquently and passionately for girls’ educational rights in the Middle East and worldwide.
However, Malala’s open activism also made her a target. On October 9, a …
Feminism | Posted by Kate S on 04/13/2012
You Don’t Have To Walk In High Heels To Protect Me From Sexual Violence
Recently, there was a heated discussion over the International Women’s Rights Collective (IWRC) email thread. It started when a member posted an article from the Huffington Post about 50 members of a fraternity in Western Kentucky University raising awareness about violence against women by walking around the campus in five-inch red heels. And yesterday, there were great articles from the New York Times and the New Yorker about the inefficacy and fallacy of social media as a form of activism. So I’ve been thinking…
I have always been critical of “conscious-raising efforts,” partly from my own experience in high school. Immature attempts to send provocative emails with graphic pictures—the so-called fetishization of otherness, of victimhood—have taught me that these implications do matter. The point of organizing a hunger banquet, for …
Feminism | Posted by Julia O on 04/9/2012
Nujood Ali: A Real Life Heroine
Nujood Ali and Shada Nasser
The quote I have taped to the lower right hand corner of my bathroom mirror is “I no longer think about marriage.” Nujood Ali spoke those words after successfully gaining her divorce at the age of 10. She became the youngest divorcee ever, and sparked a worldwide awakening about the horrors child brides face and the injustice they experience.
Nujood’s father arranged a marriage for her when she was ten years old. The man she married was over 20 years older than her. Her husband and mother-in-law physically and mentally abused her. In Yemen, it’s legal for girls to wed at any age, but they cannot have sexual relations until the court deems them old enough. Nujood’s husband raped her repeatedly even though the …
Feminism | Posted by Melanie Butler on 12/7/2011
Are We Bonobos or Chimpanzees? Evolution and Occupy Wall Street
The Divine Feminine at Occupy Wall Street
Bonobos and chimpanzees, our closest animal relatives, are almost exactly the same type of monkey. They are so similar, in fact, they only became distinguished as separate species in 1929. But chimpanzee and bonobo societies are dramatically different. In chimpanzee culture, males dominate, sex is strictly for reproduction and violence and infanticide are common. Bonobo society, on the other hand, is remarkably peaceful and is characterized by an abundance of recreational sex and strong female bonding. This marked difference is inextricably linked to the relative levels of female interaction in each society. In chimpanzee habitats, where food is difficult to obtain, females spend their time isolated from one another, gathering food and caring for their offspring. Their seclusion leaves them susceptible to violence …