Feminism | Posted by Amanda G on 03/7/2012

The Perils of Being A Feminist in the Dominican Republic

I’m currently a senior at my high school here in the Dominican Republic. I was born in the States and have lived overseas almost my entire life. I’m also Hispanic– both my parents and the rest of my family are Cuban. I think this is a great thing, a blessing even. We’re all pretty close, we’re bilingual, our food is delicious, we have friends all around the world, and now we have many opportunities that we wouldn’t have been granted if we hadn’t moved around. I’m extremely grateful.

Nevertheless (did you feel there was an impending catch?), if you’re also Hispanic or if you have had any exposure to Latino culture, you’ve probably witnessed the drawbacks of the close-mindedness and conventionalism that are evident in my culture, and maybe you’ve …

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Feminism | Posted by LodB on 02/22/2012

Doctors, Nurses And One Terrific Professor

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="145" caption="language matters"][/caption]

Recently, I was taking a course on linguistics, and we were discussing syntax. My professor asked the class– a room of roughly a hundred English students, mostly female– what pronoun to use when replacing the noun ‘boss’. It wasn’t a very serious question, but the response made him stop in his tracks. Over half the class had casually, but eagerly, called out ‘he’. It wasn’t until my astonished professor eyed us that everyone realised what they had said: that they had confirmed something we all thought to have been a thing of the past. There were nervous giggles and some shocked faces, including my own, because what’s so horrific is that I hadn’t realized it either.

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Feminism | Posted by Gina B on 01/2/2012

Here’s to 2012: My Year As A Feminist

I’ve never really been one for New Year’s resolutions. All the promises I’ve made to myself have either been forgotten two or three days into January or are things that I’ve rationalized not doing. For example one year’s resolution was to stop eating so much chocolate (I don’t know why I even thought about attempting that one – like it was even the slightest bit plausible). Another was to walk to/from the train station on the way to/from school or uni more instead of catching the bus (“but my bag’s always too heavy!”; “my lecture’s at 9 so I’d have to wake up really early!”). But there are one or two things that have been bothering me this year that I want to act on in 2012 – a resolution …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Peg T on 11/4/2011

School Crossing Signs

You’ve seen the signs I mean – silhouette figures of two children about to cross the road: one boy, one girl. (How do we tell? One’s wearing a skirt.) (That’d be the girl.) (Really, do most girls still wear skirts to school?)

So, yes, let’s emphasize sex. Boy and Girl. Ms. and Mr. Nothing else matters.

And nothing else is possible.

Note that the boy is taller. ‘Oh, but they are.’ Not at that age! Taller suggests older which suggests more mature, wiser. And just in case you miss this not-so-subtle suggestion of male authority, look, he has his hand on the little girl’s shoulder – guiding, protecting, patronizing. It will be there for the rest of her life.

Just to make sure of that, we have this social understanding …

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Feminism | Posted by Talia on 09/14/2011

Title IX and Teen Pregnancy

I recently attended a conference call through the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) titled “Know Your Rights: A Conference Call for Pregnant and Parenting Students.” It was moderated by Melanie Ross Levin, NWLC’s senior outreach manager, and the two presenters were Jeannette Pai-Espinosa (president of the National Crittenton Foundation) and Lara Kaufmann (NWLC’s senior counsel).

You can read my full notes here, or listen to the actual call here. In short, the conference call discussed the rights that pregnant and parenting women have with regard to education. Lara Kaufmann explained how Title IX protects students, faculty, and staff at schools with federal funding from sex discrimination and how it applies to pregnant and parenting students. Jeannette Pai-Espinosa introduced her organization, explaining how it provides trauma-informed services to …

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Feminism | Posted by Anna D on 08/19/2011

Go East, Young Woman

Ever since I made my decision to attend Wellesley College, I find myself having to defend it to most of my high school classmates. Many of them know nothing about the school, and when I tell them about it they ignore its academic reputation and amazing alumnae. To them, it is simply a women’s college. And since I’ve decided to go there, they have surmised that I must hate men, am a lesbian or am doomed to life as a crazy cat lady.

It gets tiresome hearing my classmates’ reasons why I shouldn’t go. One boy even told me, “You won’t know how to interact with men past the age of 18.” (Forget the fact that I will have male professors and will interact with some of the …

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Feminism | Posted by Talia on 06/9/2011

A Lesson In Equality From Adam and Eve

“So let’s learn about Shavuot,” my teacher said, and I dutifully began to take notes on the holiday. “Shavuot [which began Tuesday night] commemorates God giving the Torah to the Jews. When God was telling Moses to instruct the Jews how to prepare for Matan Torah [Giving of the Torah], God said to Moses, ‘So shall you say to Beit Yaakov [House of Jacob] and Bnei Yisrael [Children of Israel].’ Rashi says that Beit Yaakov refers to the women, while Bnei Yisrael refers to the men. Okay, great explanation. But why does it say the women first?

“A woman’s father has a fruit field, and it becomes part of her dowry. She gets married and her husband is out on the field, picking fruit. A guy passes by and wants …

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Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 05/30/2011

Feminism and Education: The Truth About Student Loans

I would argue that the most difficult thing about the entire process of higher level, collegiate education is not getting in, though that is what the public conversation at large is about. The most difficult, troubling part of higher education is paying for it once you do get in. Even with financial aid, even with other scholarships, so many people end up with crippling debt by the end of their college years.

These past few months, I’ve watched my class celebrate getting into college. Then I’ve watched everybody have an “Oh, shit” moment trying to figure out where the money is going to come from to fund the next four years of their life. I’ve watched brilliant people decide to go to schools they are beyond over-qualified for because they …

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