Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 11/17/2016
Embracing Female Pleasure
Let’s talk about sex.
I love talking about sex with my girlfriends. Describing the intimate, raw, and sometimes awkward moments of our experiences with sex strengthens our bonds as women and as human beings. We talk about the lead up, the foreplay, the one-night stands, the sex-on-Saturday arrangement, the positions. We giggle, console each other, or just marvel at the differences in our experiences.
My best friend, who is 19 like me, and many of my other friends have not had sex. Their experience is a completely normal one. According to Her Campus’s Ultimate College Girl Survey 2012, which surveyed over 2,500 college women across the country, 43 percent of girls were still virgins at the time that they responded to the survey. Twenty-two percent lost their virginities between …
Feminism | Posted by Christina Wang on 10/11/2016
How I Fought For (And Won) Comprehensive Sex Ed
Students deserve better.
I attend a small private school in Westchester, New York, which is a fairly privileged and wealthy suburb of New York City. Yet despite this privilege, our school’s health curriculum remained outdated, heteronormative, and simply not that applicable or relatable to students. For example, we learned about relationship abuse by watching black-and-white videos that suggested only women could possibly be victims, and spent most of the class learning about physical health and good dietary choices. Although learning about the benefits of exercise is important to young people, spending so much time focusing on, say, the negative effects of cholesterol just wasn’t the critical, useful knowledge we needed to know at that point in our lives.
Last year, our school’s “All Genders and Sexualities Allied” club (our take …
Feminism | Posted by Kayleigh Bolingbroke on 10/10/2016
Overcoming Internalized Misogyny
“Wow, they’re beautiful,” I thought to myself at nine years old as I watched yet another music video by yet another girl group for the hundredth time. I admired these women, in all their scantily clad glory. I aspired to emulate their confidence, physical beauty, and the senses of entitlement and pride they seemed to feel about their own bodies. These pop sensations were my idols.
But at the age of thirteen, watching the same videos conjured words like “slut” and “tease” instead. I watched the women featured in Sugababes’ “Push the Button” gyrate their bodies over men like strippers, and deemed their movements vulgar. I pondered why these men, who were presented as so strong and influential, lusted after girls who made themselves so available, …
Feminism | Posted by Gabby C on 07/5/2016
Understanding The ‘B-Word': Embracing The Bisexual Identity
There are millions of women standing in the closet — a closet that’s threatening to burst open.
I was 17 when I first developed “feelings” for another woman, but it took me two more years to feel comfortable using the word “bisexual.” When I finally confessed this secret to my friends and family, they called my feelings a “phase” and said it would pass over time, which made me feel even more uncertain about my identity and uncomfortable with the idea of bisexuality.
In my college-level Human Sexuality course, my professor asked the class to describe the LGBTQA community and address each of the six commonly used sexual preferences. Only one student in the class of 30 raised their hand. The same ignorance and confusion that caused my …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma Havighorst on 05/18/2016
Comparing Kim Kardashian to Ayesha Curry Hurts Us All
Comparing Kim to other women hurts all of us.
Our society has long been obsessed with comparison. Girls are routinely pit against each other to “win” the supposed honor of being the “hottest” in the halls of their high schools. They’re even encouraged to put down their perceived competition to do so.
There are likely many reasons why young women feel encouraged to do this, but the way media gossip analyzes and criticizes female celebrities — and compares their talent and/or bodies to other celebrities — is a big one. It has become normalized for people (who don’t know these celebrities personally) to happily explain and/or rant about their actions, decisions and lives because the media makes them feel that they have the right to attack and shame people (specifically, …
Feminism | Posted by Aya on 04/1/2016
This Is What Happens When We Don’t Teach Teens Comprehensive Sex Education
We need better sex ed.
In February, President Obama took an important stand for sexual health in the United States: He eradicated funding for abstinence-only sex education in his 2017 budget proposal — a decision backed by countless studies, expert opinions and anecdotal accounts of just how ineffective this type of “education” is. But even on the (unfortunately) off chance that our Republican-dominated Congress passes this program — which has cost almost $2 billion in federal spending — the damage of abstinence-only sex education on my generation is already evident.
As a college freshman, I have witnessed and experienced many examples of such damaging effects firsthand. This can manifest in unfair and frustrating ways, like the “pleasure” or “orgasm” gap that results in women not getting off as …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Lexi V on 08/18/2015
How ‘The Bachelorette’ Proves Slut-Shaming Is Alive and Well
Ok, I’ll admit to watching an episode or two (or six) of The Bachelorette this season. For those who haven’t watched, the show focuses on one woman’s quest to find a perfect match among a group of male suitors. Like The Bachelor — the show on which this one is based — she eliminates men every week until she finds the right partner. As a feminist, I certainly have many issues with the show, but one of the biggest (and perhaps most prominent this past season in particular) is the intense slut-shaming the Bachelorette faced.
Slut shaming has been evident in past seasons, but when Kaitlyn Bristowe, the star of this past season, decided that she wanted to have sex with one of the contestants, she faced a …
Feminism | Posted by Eloise Bouton on 06/10/2015
It’s Hard to be a Topless Feminist in France
Many people probably think France is a feminist-friendly country. My experience as an activist with the international feminist organization Femen has taught me that this is not the case. I’ve found that fighting for equality is costly and protesting topless for women’s rights — as I have done — is not only unfairly considered exhibitionism, but has had a damaging effect on my life.
I joined Femen — a feminist organization whose members protest topless — in April, 2012. This organization was born in Ukraine but established a presence in Paris in September, 2012. The Paris branch has been led by Inna Shevchenko, but I helped build the group.
On December 2013, I posed topless at the Catholic Madeleine Church in Paris to support abortion rights. At the time, …