Feminism | Posted by Kadin Burnett on 02/28/2017
#DearBetsy: Protect Title IX
Betsy DeVos’s appointment as the United States Secretary of Education is monumentally problematic. DeVos has no background in education: in fact, her appointment will be her first job held in the field of education. DeVos did not attend public school, yet will have the authority to make decisions that affect 100,000 public schools and 90% of school-aged children in the country. Even her alma mater, Calvin College, went to lengths to pen an open letter explaining why DeVos was unfit for her position.
Betsy DeVos doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of education advocates and sexual assault activists because she has committed to radical measures of reform, however. Rather, she is feared because she has been totally incapable of putting forward anything more substantive than an irritatingly murky …
Feminism | Posted by Tessa S on 10/28/2015
The Truth About Gender Discrimination In School
Gender discrimination persists in high school.
I have seen evidence of gender-based discrimination in school since I was in fourth grade. I saw my teachers favor boys over girls and was constantly given less attention than my male classmates. I was told this was because I was “smart,” wasn’t a trouble maker, and yes, because I was a girl. My fourth grade teacher never helped me with my homework because he was too busy handling four disruptive boys in my class. All of these things taught me that boys deserved more attention than girls in class. It even ended up significantly impacting my education: I soon fell behind in a few subjects because teachers were always to busy to help me and assumed I was grasping them because I wasn’t …
Feminism | Posted by Jenna N on 08/27/2015
On Male-Dominated Spaces and Internalized Sexism
The subtle sexism of being a woman in male-dominated college classes.
The spring semester of my freshmen year of college, I took a class called “Intro to Political Theory.” I was obsessed with the syllabus (Kant and Marx make my head hurt in all the right ways) and more than ready to start studying the topics I was most passionate about after a painful semester of Bio 101 (I will never touch another microscope as long as I live). But on the first day, as I walked in bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and equipped with a fresh notebook, I noticed something: the majority of the class, including the professor, was male.
I thought I was prepared for this; it’s no secret that politics is an incredibly male-dominated field. But as a student …
Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 08/26/2015
On Women’s Equality Day, Let’s Talk About White Feminism
Huffington Post’s ‘White Feminism’ Video
I used to be a White Feminist. As a white woman, I thought it was my only option. But, as a video produced by the Huffington Post and a thoughtful post by the young star Rowan Blanchard both explain, this doesn’t have to be the case.
White Feminism is activism that focuses on white women gaining the same rights as white men. It is, essentially, feminism that attempts to function without intersectionality and effectively ignores and disrespects the ways women of color and gender-nonconforming people experience oppression. It’s a type of feminism which is rapidly, and necessarily, becoming irrelevant.
I didn’t know all this, however, until I was fortunate enough to learn about it in high school. I was taught little about feminism in middle …
Feminism | Posted by Brittany Brathwaite and Kimberly Huggins on 04/10/2015
8 Things You Can Do To Empower Young People This National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Today is the 3rd National Youth HIV and AIDS Awareness Day — a meaningful day for us as an adolescent health educator and feminist youth worker. But we weren’t always as aware or passionate about educating young adults about safe sex and, today, we are reminded of the experiences that led us to this work.
It started at 17, when I (Brittany) was asked by an educator if I was at risk for HIV. I shrugged and confidently replied, “Of course not!” Little did I know that I was. I’d had unprotected sex before because I didn’t have adequate knowledge about safe sex at the time. I got tested for the first time that day and it truly changed my life. Getting tested gave me the power to …
Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 02/18/2015
The Case for a Gender Studies Requirement
Earlier this Fall, as leaves fell all over my college’s campus, something bubbled under the surface and all over Yik Yak, the popular anonymous Twitter-like app. It began as a series of “yaks” attacking our campus Women’s Center, and quickly escalated to full-on attacks on women. The yaks were terrifying and deeply, deeply disturbing — not only because of their anonymity, vulgarity, and harshness, which were all scary in their own right, but also because they opened our eyes.
They were decidedly unfunny, but many were passed off as misguided jokes. We said “this would never happen here,” and “people here don’t feel this way.” I said, “I’ve never felt unsafe before,” and “who could be here and be this sexist?” We pride ourselves on the tenets of our …
Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 12/15/2014
On Growth Mindset: A Thank You Letter To The School That Got It Right
When Laurel School and I met for the first time, I was terrified. I was too shy to speak, too anxious to let go of my parents. I spent the summer before school began feeling worried. My parents, in turn, were worried about me being worried. So, my soon-to-be kindergarten teachers decided to lend a hand.
They invited me to their classroom – which, in a month or so, would be my classroom. It wasn’t ready for students yet. It needed decorating, they said. They wondered if I might want to help. So, I went.
My Mom and I met my teachers, who, in the heat of late July, lovingly hung posters on the walls and filled shelves with books. I tested markers and threw away the ones …
Feminism | Posted by Celeste Y on 12/8/2014
On Having Exclusively White, Male Professors
Academia was introduced to me as an essential part of life at a young age. I have been lucky enough to have been educated in environments in which curiosity was encouraged – a value that has shaped my life in and out of classrooms. I think this explains many things about my self-conception and the way I do things, like the perhaps unnecessarily diligent approach I take to reading (such as, most recently, Amy Poehler’s wonderful book). Admittedly, I attack many books with my highlighter regardless of whether or not I’ll be tested on their content. For me, my school and out-of-school life have been two sides of the same coin: a coin which my parents and I are willingly spending on a higher form of education this year.