Feminism | Posted by Faatimah Solomon on 09/23/2016
The History Of Banning Black Women’s Hair
Amandla Stenberg wearing her hair natural
When I turned twelve, I started faithfully straightening my hair every single week. By the time I was fourteen years old, therefore, I had straightened my hair at least one hundred and four times. At least. But eventually my hair started falling out in large clumps and my mom demanded that I stop severely damaging my hair.
It was then that I began the emotionally draining process of learning how to love myself. I read countless books about feeling beautiful in your own skin and body, stuck a number of pictures of beautiful black women wearing their natural hair on the walls of my closet, and followed Instagram accounts that celebrated the beauty of having black curly hair. With time, I began to love …
Feminism | Posted by Gabby Catalano on 09/7/2016
Combating Inequality In Mental Health Care
We need to talk about unequal access to mental healthcare.
“There are far, far better things ahead than anything we leave behind.”
These words, originally written by C.S. Lewis, are painted on a wall in my apartment. My bedroom has become a sanctuary of spiritual healing and redemption: I practice yoga and meditative exercises while burning incense and floral candles. I boil water for tea in the kitchen and grow my own herbs and spices for recipes. I play soft rock and smooth jazz music aloud to create a warm, soothing space in my home. My home is where I run when I need a break from the complications of life and it’s where I thank myself for waking up every morning and leaving the past behind.
Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 09/6/2016
The Burkini Ban And The Long Legacy Of Controlling Women’s Bodies
Imagine you are at the beach, sitting on the sand, and enjoying the sounds of waves crashing. Suddenly you are confronted by armed police officers. The police officers stand over you and demand that you remove some of your clothing. Although this may seem like an absurd and insulting request from a police officer, women have been forced to do just that — women have been asked to remove their beach attire along the French coast. But only a specific form of swimwear has been monitored by police: the “burkini,” a swimsuit that covers a woman’s entire body except for her face, hands, and feet.
The burkini — the name of which is a mix of the word “bikini” and “burqa,” a type of …
Feminism | Posted by David G on 08/8/2016
Qandeel Baloch’s Death Proves Misogyny Is Still Lethal
“I believe I am a modern day feminist,” Pakistani internet celebrity Qandeel Baloch wrote the day before her death, according to the Huffington Post. “I believe in equality. I need not to choose what type of women should be. I don’t think there is any need to label ourselves just for sake of society. I am just a women with free thoughts free mindset and I LOVE THE WAY I AM.”
On July 15th, Baloch was murdered by her brother, who confessed to killing her because she didn’t “stay home and follow traditions.” To be sure, Baloch was by no means a stereotypical paragon of “traditional” femininity. That she knew this, and was even proud of this, was evident from messages such as her aforementioned statement about …
Feminism | Posted by Rachael H on 08/3/2016
I Am More Than My Disability
For three years, I lived alone with my mother. She worked long hours and was never really in a fit state for a conversation when she came home, so I kept myself company by writing stories. I typed line after line in a frenzy — words flew from my fingertips.
I especially liked the art of developing my characters. I felt like the master of a chessboard of my own making, willing the players to move in the directions I determined. In a way, writing fictional characters was a personal escape: I could create ideal people without broken pasts — characters that exuded perfection (not the arrogant kind, but rather the admirable).
Or so I thought. It never occurred to me that my creative outlet, writing, could actually be something …
Feminism | Posted by Karla Majdancic on 07/22/2016
What Young People Need To Know About Brexit
When I heard about the UK referendum that took place in June, I thought the possibility of the UK leaving the EU must be a joke. I expected the population to vote to stay in the EU and I wasn’t alone. But the citizens of the UK decided to exit, shocking and shaking the world, and sparking a great deal of uncertainty by doing so. While the news of this event has mostly focused on the resulting political fallout and worldwide economic tumult, Brexit will also have a profound influence on a group the mainstream media rarely covers: the record number of refugees worldwide.
For the past year, Europe has been profoundly affected by a widespread refugee crisis. This crisis was primarily sparked by a civil war…
Feminism | Posted by Lauren D on 06/30/2016
Being An Ally Is About More Than Your Own Identity
It’s about action, too.
In the wake of the Orlando mass shooting and throughout this month of LGBTQPIA+ pride, I have seen an immense presence of online support and love for the LGBTQPIA+ community — support for which I am incredibly grateful. But I have also seen a number of perhaps well-intended, yet ultimately offensive, comments from self-identified “allies” — the majority of whom are apparently white, cisgender, or heterosexual/heteromantic. In this time of both tragedy and pride, it seems useful to discuss what it really means to be an ally.
Allyship is not just an identity — it requires action. An ally to the the LGBTQPIA+ community is someone who uses their cishet privilege to lift up the silenced voices in that community. Allies are allies because they do …
Feminism | Posted by Karla Majdancic on 06/21/2016
Praise Young Girls For Being ‘Smart,’ Not ‘Pretty’
We’re still sending young girls restrictive, gendered messages.
For a long time, whenever I pictured an engineer I automatically imagined a guy who looked something like Mark Zuckerberg. I never imagined an engineer could be someone who looks like me. There are likely many causes for my assumption, but perhaps the most influential is the way our society still socializes girls to choose and strive for being beautiful over being intelligent.
Girls who choose to pursue science are perpetually viewed as nerdy loners — as anti-social, undesirable, and uninteresting. These stereotypes are perpetuated by the gender norms at the heart of our societal expectations for girls, which are furthered by the media to which we’re exposed while growing up.
Take, for example, my favorite TV show as a child: Scooby …