Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 06/29/2015

“Hot Girls Wanted”: White Respectability and the Erasure of Men

Credit: Netflix

Hot Girls Wanted  — a new documentary produced by actress Rashida Jones — follows five amateur porn actresses between the ages of 18 to 25 and details their experiences filming porn and living together. While the documentary’s subjects spoke freely, it seems like the filmmakers still crafted the work based on their preconceived notions about porn: Namely, they chose to portray the young actresses as innocent, exploited victims. The film fails to present the possibility that these women have any agency, erases the experiences of women of color in the industry, and arguably most problematically of all allows the men that drive the demand for this industry to remain invisible.

The character whose narrative anchors the film, Tressa, exemplifies this victimized narrative. Tressa is coded as white (although …

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Feminism | Posted by Eloise Bouton on 06/10/2015

It’s Hard to be a Topless Feminist in France

Femen

Many people probably think France is a feminist-friendly country. My experience as an activist with the international feminist organization Femen has taught me that this is not the case. I’ve found that fighting for equality is costly and protesting topless for women’s rights — as I have done — is not only unfairly considered exhibitionism, but has had a damaging effect on my life.

I joined Femen — a feminist organization whose members protest topless — in April, 2012. This organization was born in Ukraine but established a presence in Paris in September, 2012. The Paris branch has been led by Inna Shevchenko, but I helped build the group.

On December 2013, I posed topless at the Catholic Madeleine Church in Paris to support abortion rights. At the time, …

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Feminism | Posted by Allie J. on 05/20/2015

Why Sexist Dress Codes Have Got To Go

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Stop policing my body.

Shopping for school clothes was a nightmare in high school. Attending a private Christian school with a strict dress code, I had a lot of rules to follow: No jeans, sweat pants, yoga pants, or anything tight, revealing, or body forming. Basically nothing that was in style or readily available in stores.

Yet despite following the dress code to the best of my ability, I was still told that my pants were too tight, my shirt too low, or my skirt too short. I vividly remember being taken aside one day on the way to chapel to kneel down and have my skirt measured with a ruler. It was humiliating. I was told my favorite Old Navy skirt was a quarter of an inch too short, …

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Feminism | Posted by Sonja S. on 04/20/2015

Why Are Your Needs More Important than Mine?

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Dating and double standards

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines double standards as “a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another; especially: a code of morals that applies more severe standards of sexual behavior to women than to men.” Double standards shouldn’t exist. Yet, they undeniably still do, especially when it comes to dating and relationships. It’s a reality with which I have plenty of firsthand experience.

One major dating double standard is the way girls are judged as too assertive or too needy when they ask for what they want in heterosexual relationships. We are constantly pressured to please our partners and put our desires aside. This was made clear to me recently when it came to talk …

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Feminism | Posted by Sarah Landrum on 03/4/2015

These 10 Forms of Sexism Are Why I Identify As A Feminist

To say sexism and gender-based discrimination don’t exist would be like claiming oceans aren’t wet. There are, in fact, many issues facing women of the present, and they need to be addressed. So thank you, feminism, for acknowledging the many problems facing women today.

Without feminism, these important topics — like victim blaming, unequal pay and abortion — would be silently slid under the rug and our world would be way worse off. So let’s face these obstacles head-on, like the strong and empowered individuals we are.

Body Image

The media sucks. Thanks to stick-thin models and Photoshopping to boot, women have come to covet dangerously thin bodies. We battle with it constantly, as acquiring these body types requires nothing short of starvation. When we consider that as many as …

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Feminism | Posted by Klee on 12/22/2014

On Sexism at Home

I have always tried to be the best person I can be. I’m 16, do well in my homeschooling, don’t drink or do drugs. I try to be as respectful as possible to everyone: I consider others, and treat others the way that I would want to be treated. I feel that I can take care of myself and stand up for what I believe in and what I want. Yet all of these things always seem to be overshadowed by the fact that I’m a girl.

When my brother and I were young, we thrived outside. If something was dangerous, like riding dirtbikes (one of our favorite things), count us in. So naturally we hated when our mom gave us more chores that kept us indoors, like loading the …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 09/24/2014

The Freedom of Topless Beaches

Why can't we go topless?

In popular culture, women’s breasts are often seen as the ultimate symbol of sex. Women are bombarded with a variety of consumeristic options to “improve” our breasts: we can buy numerous types of bras (gel, push up, “bomb shell”…the list goes on), which all seem designed to emphasize women’s breasts up to the point of actual exposure. It’s a thin line: women are encouraged to clearly demonstrate their cleavage, yet actually going topless is considered shameful and reserved for Playboy. In settings where men can acceptably go shirtless, like the beach, breasts “need” to be covered. But why do women “need” to constantly cover — yet simultaneously strategically expose — an ultimately benign aspect of our bodies?

This past August, I was fortunate enough to …

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Feminism | Posted by Arely L on 09/17/2014

Some Questions About Women and Sex

I’m sorry to say that I’ve witnessed far too many conversations in which my friends attack other girls for their sexual experiences. I have finally had enough of the way teen girls (or women of all ages, for that matter) who have sex are regarded with prejudice. There are four specific aspects of this cultural “logic” about women and sex that I particularly don’t understand.

1. Who decides what constitutes “too much” sex?

Why do people think they can determine the limits of how much sex a person can acceptably have? I don’t believe that anyone has the right to set such standards for other women or men. I enjoy my sexual freedom and don’t believe that other people’s sexual choices or ideas about sex should have any bearing on …

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