Feminism | Posted by Julia B on 04/14/2014

Not “Crazy,” Just Dedicated

When girls are young, Cinderella tells them “dreams really do come true.” As we get older, that philosophy changes and we learn that life isn’t actually a fairytale. You have to work hard in order to achieve something great, and even then it doesn’t always happen.  For me, ballet started as a fairytale and transformed into a whole lot of hard work. And I love it.

Like any professional-in-training, I spend about 20 hours per week training for what I dream of doing: becoming a professional ballet dancer. I don’t know if I’ll succeed (because the ballet world is extremely, extremely competitive), but either way I want to be able to say that I worked as hard as I possibly could.

People have said that I “have no life” outside …

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Feminism | Posted by Beatrice M on 04/9/2014

Are We Sexually Equal?

Women have made great strides towards social, political and economic equality in the past decades, but where do we stand in terms of sexual equality? Humans are sexual creatures who all want to explore our sexuality, but society undeniably still influences many women and men to view sex differently.

While medical advancements, like the invention of the pill, have radically transformed women’s sexual autonomy, there are still a number of cultural forces that suppress women’s sexuality. Women are still sexually exploited in the media and there are still societal pressures that encourage us to think of men as overly sexual creatures and women as demure and untouchable. Rigid purity standards and sexual double standards continue to demonize women for having sex and women also still face greater repercussions for sexual …

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Feminism | Posted by Kennedy H on 03/24/2014

What Feminism Really Means

While teens, adults and even celebrities alike dare to mistakenly claim that feminism means  loathing men and believing that women are worth more than men, I believe that feminism is simply about equality: it’s about the power to be strong, confident and aspire to be anything and do anything independently.

Even though feminist activists have fought for equality for years, it’s clear equality has yet to be achieved. One of the most obvious and pervasive examples is the portrayal of women in the media: advertisements overwhelmingly undermine women and the media generally insists on portraying women as sex objects. How many ads have you seen where a woman is half naked (if not completely naked) without any contextual relation to the product being sold? Another example is the classic double …

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Feminism | Posted by Rinzu Rajan on 02/13/2014

Why Women Are Still Expected To Be Domestic In India

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend who is going to publish a novel next year. She is exuberant to have become a novelist and was excitedly telling me about the characters in her book. My heart swelled with pride when she told me that she plans to write a second novel, too, I remembered my own dreams of becoming a writer and my own abandoned manuscript. I asked her when she would write her second novel and she told me that she would do so during her first maternity leave, which left me befuddled. Am I the only aspiring writer who is still so torn about her life path? I might regret never becoming a mother, but if I turn my back on motherhood in favor …

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Feminism | Posted by Arely L on 11/25/2013

The Wrong Kind Of Protection

I am being raised in a Catholic household by parents who have always set very different standards for me than they have for my brother. For example, while my brother was allowed to go out alone at 12, I still have a hard time going out at 16. My parents have explained to me that I am in more danger of being hurt than my brother because I am a girl and need to be kept safe. While I initially dismissed my anger and accepted this explanation, I now realize that instead of limiting my social activity and autonomy, instead of trying to blindly protect me, they should have exposed me to the realities of the world.

What my parents don’t realize is that, first of all, I’m plenty capable …

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Feminism | Posted by Vanessa W on 09/25/2013

Dear Mrs. Hall: In Defense of Teenage Girls

Dear Mrs. Hall,

Do you remember what it feels like to be a teenage girl?

Do you remember what it feels like to question every fiber of your identity?

Your body, the hand grenade. Your body, the playground.

Perhaps being a mother of teenage sons has scrubbed your memory clean of the plights of girlhood, of that terrifying transition from controlled chaos to the free-fall of adulthood, of that magical land where you are expected to shed your frivolous fears and anxieties like dead skin, like a knight’s rusted suit of armor. Perhaps you never experienced many catastrophes. Perhaps your adolescence was a snapshot of wholesome, homespun Americana, equal parts privilege and determined obliviousness.

But in your world, are girls the proverbial Eve, or are they simply human beings?…

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Winnifred Bonjean-Alpart on 08/5/2013

The New Scarlet Letter

For the past seven years, I’ve been a member of The Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company – an ensemble of girls that meets weekly in downtown Manhattan to creatively explore girl-focused experiences through theater.  In 2012, we began developing our new play after realizing—frustratingly–the prevalence of the word “slut” in our conversations.

Every one of us had a close relationship with the word – we’d been called sluts or defined other girls as sluts.  A third of the group had experienced slut-shaming after an incident of sexual assault or aggression.  We all wanted to understand why it was so hard for us to be open about our sexuality without putting ourselves at “slut” risk.  And then Steubenville happened.  And the gang rapes in Delhi and Cairo.  Torrington happened

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Feminism | Posted by Camille B on 04/5/2013

The Story of the Creepy Freshman

Last night I attended the Spring Dance at my (catholic, all-girls) school. I went with a guy named Enrique Iglesias.* He is a very nice guy, and by that I mean he knows how to effectively interact with other human beings and therefore instead of babysitting him I was free to just have fun. And that’s exactly what I did. I danced and danced…and danced. Now to be completely honest I have no rhythm whatsoever. But I do love to dance even if it is just failing my arms like a drunken chimpanzee.

As I was getting down on the dance floor a prepubescent freshman started grinding on me. Again, I just want to emphasize that I dance like an inebriated primate so I have to question hhis initial attraction. …

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