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

Credit: Tumblr

Credit: Tumblr

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 …

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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 …

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Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 12/15/2014

On Growth Mindset: A Thank You Letter To The School That Got It Right

Laurel School

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 …

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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.

A …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 12/5/2014

Lost Women of History: Boudicca

Boudicca

Editor’s note: I have always been a strong proponent of making education about, celebration of, and respect for history a significant part of the feminist movement. The entire first chapter of A Little F’d Up: Why Feminism Is Not A Dirty Word is actually a broad overview of the incredible women who came before us. Trailblazing women are routinely left out of the history books and, beyond this being insulting to their brave and historic work and memory, it can often lead to young women today failing to realize just how far we’ve come in a relatively short period of time. So, in that spirit, we’re starting a series on the FBomb devoted to remembering some of these figures.

“…a terrible disaster occurred in Britain. Two cities were sacked, …

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Feminism | Posted by Lana S on 11/26/2014

What Are You Teaching Your Children?

Sometimes I walk into my high school and realize that the young boys and girls who surround me will grow up and have children of their own. Just like we learn from our parents, so will our future children learn from us.

That’s when I panic.

There’s one kid in my class who particularly worries me a lot. He is sixteen years old and preaches equality because he’s a self proclaimed “punk rocker” yet still talks shit about women. What’s worse, he genuinely believes in what he says. I don’t think he is trying to be a bad person when he says he truly believes that rape is not just the attacker’s fault, but the victim’s as well. Someone – maybe his father, maybe another influential adult – taught him …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 11/14/2014

Facts Don’t Lie: Teens Need Sex Ed and Access to Contraception

the IUD

Access to education is a fundamental right. But are all American students learning everything they need to know? The use of abstinence-only education in schools is archaic and absurd, and yet it’s a commonplace policy.

According to a 2012 Guttmacher study, approximately a quarter of teens between the age of 15 and 19 had received abstinence education without instruction on birth control between 2006 and 2008 and a significant amount of teens (46% of males and 33% of females) do not receive formal instruction about contraceptives before the first time they have sex. Thirty-seven states require sex education that includes abstinence while twenty-six states require abstinence to be stressed as the best method. The state of Mississippi has the highest rate of teen pregnancy and does …

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Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 10/24/2014

Why I Celebrated International Day of the Girl

Malala Yousafzai

I went to an all-girls’ school where I felt, first-hand, what it’s like to be nurtured, challenged, and encouraged. My thirteen years in a school that was deeply invested in girls armed me with resilience, self-care, and a generations-long support network of strong, smart, and successful women. I graduated high school in a class of 71 other girls who had grown into capable, remarkable women thanks to the diligence of a school that knew how important it was for us to become self-sufficient, empowered, critically thinking, globally minded, change-creating citizens of the world.

I looked out at my classmates and was awed, humbled by the little glimpse into the future I saw when I watched them turn their tassels. I saw, in a sea of graduates, women who …

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