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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Awareness, Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 07/4/2014

What Young Feminists Need To Know About The Hobby Lobby Ruling

As a rising college senior, I’ve already been inundated with cautionary tales of being female while working in corporate America. Now, thanks to the recent Hobby Lobby ruling, my generation of women can add potentially working for companies whose rights are valued above our own and the blatant undermining of our health and reproductive freedom to the list of our future professional rewards.

Monday’s Hobby Lobby ruling solidifies the reality of the war on women in this country, indisputably highlighting the way in which sexism is still rampant in American society in several ways.

First and foremost, the decision reveals that persistent, blatant ignorance about women’s bodies has infiltrated the law of the land. The Hobby Lobby suit incorrectly conflates birth control with pregnancy termination by objecting to insurance …

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Feminism | Posted by Angela B on 06/27/2014

How I Lost My Voice

My single-sex elementary school class

I went to a weird elementary school. It was a hybrid between co-educational and single sex classrooms. The idea was that as children grow older, the differences between the ways boys and girls learned beomce more distinct: kindergartners and first graders had co-ed classes, but from second grade to 8th grade, the classes were split into single sex classrooms. At seven and eight this never seemed strange to me, and I assumed all schools followed this model, until at soccer practice a girl on my team was telling a story about how a boy in her class was trying to convince everyone that Spiderman was the best superhero. I asked her what a boy was doing in her classroom, earning laughter from my teammates …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Max K on 05/9/2014

Explaining the “Fake Geek Girl”

Girls like to game, too

A few days ago, a friend of mine came to me with an all too common complaint. She was trying to get into a predominantly male fandom and was being met with accusations of being a “Fake Geek Girl”. For the unfamiliar, a “Fake Geek Girl” is a girl who takes interest in nerdy things like video games and comic books for the attention, but doesn’t actually know anything about said interest. The problem is that this accusation seems to have no grounding in reality and has drawn the ire of many female gamers.

This raises an important question: if the Fake Geek Girl doesn’t exist, why is the accusation so common? To understand this trend, we must venture back in time all the way …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Celeste Y on 04/28/2014

Lady Promposals: I’m Breaking the Prom Double Standard — Right Now

The art of the promposal

With my grade’s school day countdown approaching the twenties, obligatory end-of-high-school events are becoming very real, very quickly. Prom season feels like it has been coming for a lifetime and for some girls, it actually has. For those girls, it’s an exciting time. Dresses! Hair! Lipstick! Other things I’ve never been concerned with! In my opinion, however, the whole event has cast a dusky, dis-empowering and somewhat misogynist cloud over the final chapters of senior year.

For those of you who are unaware (adults) of modern day prom etiquette — it’s extravagant. A promposal is a self-explanatory invitation to prom. But they are usually and increasingly grand, romantic and often public gestures wherein boys ask girls to be their dates. They typically involve the spelling …

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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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