Feminism | Posted by Francesca on 09/10/2014

So She Did: The Female Mentor That Changed My Life

I always expected that I’d spend my last summer before starting college binge-watching TV, eating pizza, and dealing with anxiety about my freshman year.  Instead, I ended up exploring my recent acquaintance with the feminist movement through an internship with So She Did, an organization related to women’s empowerment. I decided to join the organization because it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a different perspective on feminism and my own ideas about empowerment. Sure enough, working there resulted in one of the best and most interesting summers of my life.

So She Did focuses on a positive and personalized understanding of feminism: it emphasizes individual improvement by showing young women how to say no, how to make a great first impression, how to conquer their fears and …

More >

Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 09/3/2014

In Support of Self Defense Classes

Campus sexual assault is a harrowing issue: approximately one in five college women will experience attempted or completed rape while at school. Lawmakers of the American House and Senate have recently announced two bipartisan bills that are meant to combat campus sexual assault by promoting increased transparency and response.  Increasing transparency about the prevalent reality of sexual assault is certainly important, as it could help to reduce societal taboos about discussing the issue and show victims that they are not alone.  However, despite this potential legal progress, I – a college-bound woman — am rationally wary of the current reality of campus sexual assault.

College is supposed to be a place where female and male students alike are able to learn and grow as people. Ideally, women should be able …

More >

Pop-Culture | Posted by Ines R on 08/15/2014

Stop Tweeting That and Start Living It

It is almost impossible to deny that millennials are obsessed with documenting everything. We think that something funny we see at Target, or a friend’s drunken rant at a party, or just a quick selfie must be shared with the world. Can you prove you were really within arm’s reach of Beyonce if you didn’t take a picture? It’s everywhere, from screenshots to Snapchats, one could see it as sharing joy or laughter with others. But in all sincerity, most Facebook posts or Snapchat stories are just a way to say, “Look at all the amazing and fun things I do, I am cool, and don’t you just wish you were me?”

I don’t say this in a patronizing way. Look at my camera roll and there are thousands of …

More >

Feminism | Posted by Alice W on 06/30/2014

Why Colleges Need To Fund Sexual Health Counseling

UNC

Like many (if not most) teens across the country, my high school health textbook had almost no practical sex ed information. It had a abstinence contract, pages and pages on why we should wait and one little box on the failure rates of birth control. At the end of my senior year I realized few of my friends knew the correct way to put on a condom and had to hold a covert workshop during school.

The health education policies in North Carolina, where I’m from, make it impossible for us to learn about sex in an honest, healthy way in high school. For many, college is the first time they get real sex education. And yet, come next year, the University of North Carolina’s sexual health counseling may …

More >

Pop-Culture | Posted by Chloe H on 06/2/2014

*Trigger Warning* Why Aren’t Women Safe in College and the Military?

While women in the United States still undeniably have a long way to go before we achieve equality, we have made progress in various realms. For example, in terms of education, Oberlin College of Ohio became the first American college to admit women in 1833. In 1948, Congress passed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act granting women permanent military status and veterans benefits. Both of these acts indicated unprecedented opportunities for women to influence and contribute to the country in a way in which they’d been previously barred.

And influence and contribute they have: American women have done fantastic things to serve their country and people as college graduates and soldiers. However, equality on paper is hardly the same thing as equality in real life. One of the largest obstacles …

More >

Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 05/15/2014

What Young Women Really Need to Know About College

I went off to college my freshman year under the impression that I was headed towards the greatest experience of my life. Hastily-constructed college movies full of crappy dialogue and 30-year-old actors with perfect faces and bodies cast as 18-year-old freshmen had completely swayed my idea of what to expect, leading me to believe that instead of a liberal arts school in Manhattan, I was actually bound for some version of an orgy interspersed with classes like “The Sociological Impact of Mercantilism in Western Europe: 1600-1750″ (you know, practical, useful information that would directly impact and inform a later career). But it soon became clear that despite such unilaterally manic depictions of the college experience, it was in fact a far more complex transition, and one that was deceptively challenging …

More >

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 …

More >

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 …

More >