Feminism | Posted by Alice W on 06/30/2014
Why Colleges Need To Fund Sexual Health Counseling
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Maya B on 03/3/2014
10 Reasons I Love Lady College
As I look back at my first semester of college, I’ve come to realize that I made the perfect decision for me. It’s comforting that after a year of college application hell that I got into and actually really love the school I’m at. I love it for a lot of reasons, but one of these is definitely that I’m at an all women’s college (for lack of a better, all identity inclusive term). I’m not going to pretend that Lady College is for everyone, or that all women’s colleges are the same, but here are 10 things that I found that I love about being at my Lady College:
1. Gender doesn’t decide who talks in class. In high school, I used to feel like either teachers would …
Awareness, Feminism | Posted by Ty S on 02/10/2014
Help the Obama Administration Fight Sexual Assault On College Campuses
Universities have a responsibility to protect students from violence, discrimination, harassment, and assault. When something violent happens to students on or off campus, universities have a responsibility to handle these cases in an appropriate way that keeps the campus community and the victim safe. Given this extremely basic responsibility that schools owe to their tuition-paying students, it’s incredible how frequently students’ rights are violated after reporting sexual assault. It’s incredible how incapable universities have been at protecting students who have been assaulted. It’s incredible how often victims of sexual assault also become victims of illegal institutionalized rape apologism.
In response to these universities’ failures to protect victims, there’s been a wave of students bringing their cases to the federal level. Victims across the country have been reporting their universities’ illegal …
Feminism | Posted by Alice W on 11/11/2013
Rape Culture Shock
I thought the toughest adjustment when it came to starting college would be the workload, or self discipline, or missing my friends and family. I was prepared for those challenges. What I didn’t expect was the anxiety that comes with wedging my fingernail into the groove of my pocket knife while walking home alone late at night.
Or looking over my shoulder on dark streets, to make sure that the guy who was just behind me isn’t following too closely.
Or getting my things and moving to another floor of the library after a guy sitting in a corner with a blank computer screen, is staring at me every time I glance over.
Or that sense of vulnerability when I’m in a study room at one a.m and I’m the …