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 …

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Feminism | Posted by Sara Wong on 07/24/2013

On Being ‘Friends With Benefits’

The tricky thing about friends with benefits is that the lines you painstakingly set up get blurred so quickly; before you know it, there are no longer any lines discerning black from white — it is all just a pale shade of grey. You question all your emotions and when you start doing that, nothing is simple anymore. You constantly have to stop and think — the spontaneity that was once so attractive disappears. As the feelings increase, so does the hesitancy. And for me, the only time I felt truly comfortable was during sex, because we did not need to say a word. Too bad sex can’t last forever.

He knew he was hurting me — or rather, that our arrangement was detrimental to me. I hated the fact …

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Feminism | Posted by Talia on 06/7/2013

In Defense of “Freshperson”

Next Fall, I’ll be enrolling in my first year of college. I’ll be a freshman – a concept that’s giving me pause not just because I’m questioning the existentialist quality of being a freshman, but because of the word itself. Why must I be a freshman?

According to dictionary.com, the word “freshman” comes from the words fresh (as in new) and man (as in not woman), and has been used to refer to first year university students since the 1590s. This term is clearly a relic of ye olden dayes (or, for some schools, a few decades ago) when higher education was a realm solely accessibly to (usually rich, upper class, white, able-bodied) men. Although we have abolished or significantly limited the usage of numerous gender-insensitive …

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Feminism | Posted by Lara S. Kaufman on 01/21/2013

Dear Schools, Please Stop Discriminating Based on Pregnancy. Thanks, Title IX

Imagine you’re an honors student at a community college. You’re doing great: you’ve got a merit-based scholarship and you’re enjoying your classes. You’re also pregnant and excited to welcome the new addition to your family.

Being the conscientious student that you are, you approach your professors as soon as classes start, tell them that you’re due near the end of the semester, and ask that if you miss any tests due to a pregnancy-related absence you be allowed to make them up. You even offer to provide a doctor’s note. Three of your professors congratulate you, and tell you that of course this won’t be a problem.

But one of your professors says she will not excuse any such leave or allow work missed to be made up, even if …

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Feminism | Posted by Bryan N on 07/9/2012

The Role Of Men In The Fight Against Sexism

There has been something I have been wanting to get off my chest for a while. As a man active in the fight against sexism in every form, I find myself looking back to my days in high school, middle school, and sometimes even elementary school. I think about how men are programmed constantly by society from a very young age.

Growing up as a teenage boy, I entered the sadly common environment where sexism prescribes that we prove our masculinity through violent behavior. Even in elementary school I would feel quite marginalized by my male peers who were into sports and being “tough.” As we got into the 5th and 6th grades “jokes” about women became more common, and disgusting things were said. l preferred the arts and writing …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 04/30/2012

The Women’s College Experience

Over the past few weeks, there has been an influx of accepted students on Barnard’s campus. I’ve tried to talk to as many as possible, successfully resisting the urge to desperately grab them and urge them to get as much sleep as possible before Fall, and instead asking them if they have any questions about what it’s like to go to Barnard. Time and time again, these prospective students mentioned their trepidation about the idea of attending a women’s college — which is something I totally understand.

When I initially began the college application process, I had absolutely no interest in attending a single sex institution. In fact, I knew exactly what I wanted in a school. I wanted to go to a small liberal arts school in New York …

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Feminism | Posted by Bre K on 04/27/2012

One In Five Women

There you are at three in the morning, sprawled out on someone else’s bed in a foreign room that smells like sex. Your body doesn’t even feel like yours — it feels like you’re standing over yourself, watching something happen to you. You’re not quite able to explain what’s going on. Confused. Dissembled. Disgusted. Shocked. So many feelings you can’t quite put together to equate to that word. And yet there it is: Rape. It finally pops up into your head three weeks later after you come back from Thanksgiving break — your first break during your first term in college.

No this wasn’t me. This was an 18-year-old freshmen living a couple doors down from me. Let’s say her name is Barbara.

The worst part is Barbara and I …

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Feminism | Posted by Kate S on 03/23/2012

Why We Need To Stop Being Politely Active

The International Women’s Rights Collective (IWRC) went to the third annual Women in the World Summit last weekend. The Summit, as I expected, was built on post-imperialistic rhetoric where women from the third world countries were victims and it was our job as privileged women from the West to rescue them via the power of capitalism. That said, the amazing women leaders, survivors, and activists accounted for the sponsors’ ignorant rhetoric. Topics of the panel included forced marriage, sex trafficking, glass ceiling, and media among others.

My favorite moments from the panel somehow came together when Shelby Knox (who, despite being one of the younger panelists, was a TOTAL BOSS) responded to the question of why this generation of young women is not as active in the movement as its …

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