Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma Havighorst on 07/14/2016

Does Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $” Music Video Have A Feminist Message?

M.I.L.F. $

M.I.L.F. $

The first time I heard Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $,” I genuinely thought it was a joke.

“Wow, Fergie’s just desperately trying to stay relevant,” my friend declared. I laughed in agreement. The song’s blatant auto-tuning, remixed dance track, and seemingly nonsensical lyrics made her observation obvious to me.

But then the same friend and I watched the song’s music video. The “M.I.L.F. $” video left us staring at the screen in shock, wondering how such a horrible song had somehow turned into a tongue-in-cheek, clever presentation of an arguably feminist message.

To break it down, the music video’s message is this: Yes, we are mothers. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t also work and make money and provide for our families. Though I had initially written …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Sabrina N on 04/11/2016

What Kim Kardashian’s Nude Selfie Reveals About The Way We View Female Sexuality

Kim Kardashian

In March, Kim Kardashian West posted a nude selfie on Instagram. As has come to be expected whenever a woman (especially a high-profile woman) does something with her body, people had a lot to say about it. While general backlash was perhaps expected, however, the number of women who shamed Kardashian was surprising to many — and on International Women’s Day, of all days. From Bette Middler’s straight-up degradation to Chloe Grace Moretz’s (slightly) more subtle condescension and shaming, Kardashian’s lighthearted selfie quickly evolved into something much bigger: a debate about female sexuality and what constitutes “good” feminism.

What we say when we talk about female bodies is often not what we really mean. When people say that Kardashian shouldn’t pose naked, they’re implying that Kardashian, a …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 03/4/2016

This Burn Survivor’s Story Proves Wearing Makeup Can Truly Be Empowering

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 2.49.36 PM

Shalom Nchom

I have never met a woman who isn’t plagued by insecurities about her appearance. It seems so much easier to pinpoint the qualities you lack or dislike instead of those you have and admire. I’ll admit, the first thoughts I have about my own appearance on any given day are usually negative. I frustrate myself to no end by critiquing everything from the breakouts on my face to the uncomfortable tightness of my jeans.

Many women develop coping mechanisms that allow them to cope with this ongoing battle against their perceived shortcomings. Shalom Nchom, who is known as “Shalom Blac” on YouTube, did just that. At 9 years old, Nchom had an accident with frying oil at her family’s store that left her with severe burns. …

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Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 07/28/2015

Stand Up. Speak Up. Rise Up: The #GirlsLead15 Girl Up Leadership Summit

Stand Up. Speak Up. Rise Up.

Stand Up. Speak Up. Rise Up.

A hush quickly fell over the crowd of girls surrounding me. While everyone was craning their necks for a better view, I had only one thought: “This is so. freaking. cool.” A second later, the group erupted into applause. The First Lady took the podium.

Michelle Obama’s inspiring speech occurred on the second day of the organization Girl Up’s three-day-long Leadership Summit in Washington D.C., and she was just one of many exciting speakers. 225 passionate attendees gathered from across the country (and world) to hear from members of the U.S. government and UN agencies as well as representatives from major media outlets and corporations. We engaged in hands-on workshops and even stormed Capitol Hill on Lobby Day. I gained much from this experience, …

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Feminism | Posted by Alexis T on 06/25/2015

10 Lessons For Young Feminists

love-feminism-larger

This is what I’ve learned.

I was a teen in the ’90s, and heavily influenced by Riot Grrrl feminism. Everything was DIY, dress how you want, and live with a militant independence. My feminism was raw, precocious, and wild. Now that I’m over 30, married, and have a son, I have a gift: I can look back at everything I experienced and see how it has made me the person I am today. I know a few more things now than I did when I was in high school or college student and, as a slightly older feminist, I wanted to share with you ten lessons I’ve learned about being a powerful woman.

10. You need to trust others — even though it’s often the people closest to you …

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Feminism | Posted by Sarah Landrum on 06/24/2015

5 Ways to Shut Down Sexist Comments at School and Work

Sexism in schools has got to end.

Although we have made a lot of progress towards achieving gender equality, there is still much work to be done. One still-pervasive form of sexism women face is being subjected to sexist comments while doing everyday activities. 87 percent of female respondents to one survey, for example, reported having received a sexist comment, and 45 percent said they have received these comments in public at least 25 times over the course of their lifetimes. And, unfortunately, few environments are free from these remarks — women hear them everywhere, including educational environments and/or workplaces.

Ultimately, we need to create a society in which individuals know better than to make sexist comments in the first place. But, as we work towards that goal, here are …

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Feminism | Posted by Dylan M on 01/23/2015

The Feminist Reflections of a Recent College Grad

While I have always felt passionate about advocating for equal rights and opportunities for all people, I didn’t find my feminism until my Junior year of college. After having several personal experiences that made me examine the way I had been treated by others, myself, and society, I found my voice and started to use it productively to try and spark change.

Looking back, though, I wish I could have found my feminism sooner. If I had, I think I could have been more empathetic and compassionate in my approach to a lot of situations I experienced as a freshman in college. I may not be able to change my own past, but I hope that I can shape the experiences of others by sharing my own. Here are a …

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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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