Feminism | Posted by Crystal Ogar on 11/21/2016
I’ve always been an emotional person. It’s something I haven’t been able to help, although at times I may have wanted to. Anger, passion, sensitivity, tears — it all naturally flows through me. I cry easily. And a lot. If I see someone else in pain, I’m angry (anger that’s often invalidated because I’m a black woman). It’s not something I’ve been able to control, although at times I have wanted to.
I grew up aware that being emotional has always been coded as “feminine” and attributed to people who exude so-called “feminine” qualities. This is most often associated with people who identify as women, but is also associated with men — almost always in the context of an insult. Men are not afforded the room to be …
Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 04/15/2016
Why “Housewife” Should Not Be A Dirty Word
Is “housewife” a dirty word?
As the daughter of a full-time mom, the word “housewife” elicits mixed feelings. On the one hand, as a Latina feminist, I am aware of how our patriarchal society governs women’s roles and relegates them to traditional domesticity. On the other, though, I have watched my mother endure burns, scratches and arthritic pain to do the back-breaking work that supports her household — and can’t help but admire and appreciate her work ethic. I was offended and even a bit hurt, therefore, to learn that Dictionary.com defines “housewife” as a term that is “sometimes offensive.”
To be fair, this designation perhaps makes sense based on the relatively recent historical legacy established by the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Being a housewife was largely …
Feminism | Posted by Hannah H on 06/14/2013
Tomboy Exceptionalism: “I’m Not Like The Other Girls”
I grew up a tomboy. That meant no dresses, no dolls, and even biting my kindergarten boyfriend who dared to give me a party favour bag at his birthday that was princess themed. It meant playing in the mud, wearing clothes from the boy’s section at Old Navy, and (most importantly) being tough, rough, and powerful. I wasn’t “like the other girls” — I wanted the boys to value and play with me, rather than try and look up my skirt when I jumped from the monkey bars as they did with my friend Lauren.
So I got to play in their reindeer games because, as a tomboy, I was free from gender expectations that devalued me as a women. I wasn’t a threat because I wasn’t “ like the …
Feminism | Posted by Brianna B on 03/29/2013
Pink Or Blue: It’s Up To You
Feminism and feminity - they don't have to be opposites!
“It’s a boy.” My soon-to-be father beamed.
“How do you know?” My young, twenty-two year old mother asked, rubbing her growing belly.
“I just know,” he stated so full of confidence in his twenty-three years of wisdom. My naïve mother nodded, and just like that began the preparation for her son, her soon to be born baby boy. The nursery was painted a pale shade of blue and every outfit perfectly complemented the decor. Brandon Joseph would have an abundance of teddy bears, plush footballs, and a wardrobe in green, yellow, and blue hues.
Needless to say, my parents were shocked upon my arrival into the world. The confusion over the reveal of my gender was only further complicated by …
Feminism | Posted by Erin F on 12/26/2012
Ever since I was 11 years old, I’ve always been femme, to some extent. The extent of my femme depends really on my overall well-being. The better I feel, the more femme I am. The more makeup I put on, the better clothes I wear, the more I take care of my hair.
I remember when I first started getting interested in feminism, when I was about 15, I was going through a really tough period of my life. I was depressed and was at my least femme. At that point, I also thought that beauty and fashion were patriarchal constructs designed to subordinate women and I stayed as far away from looking femme as I possibly could. I became angry and would always think to myself “why don’t men …
Feminism | Posted by Georgia L on 11/19/2012
The Red Menace?
When it comes to competitiveness, I am the winner. I choose to be ridiculously competitive about certain things, and my fight to beat everyone else is bloody, bitter, and vaguely worrying. Of all the things I’ve fought hardest to win though, puberty was maybe not one that you’d expect. I wanted to grow up faster than all my friends, and I wanted it badly.
Maybe that’s why I never understood – and still don’t understand – the negativity that menstruation seems to evoke. Periods, to me, seem messy, annoying, and slightly nerve-racking. However, they’re also to thank for, oh, you know, just the entirety of the human race.
When it comes to the perception of menstruation, one could argue that our attitude towards it has almost regressed. In Ancient Greece …
Feminism | Posted by Erin F on 08/20/2012
The Confines of Masculinity
Gender is a complex social construction that has been developed for centuries. Yet many people still do not understand the differences between sex and gender, or that gender is not as simple as whether you have a penis or a vagina. With the onset of industrialization and capitalism, this problem has gotten even worse, as objects are gendered as well as people.
The way this process works is ideas, clothing, traits, and even personal preferences are characterized as masculine or feminine. These labels themselves are constructed through social norms and societal expectations. This assignment is vital, as it then isolates said idea to its category, where it’s status is then determined. More often than not, masculine traits are valued and feminine traits are devalued. It is through this …
Feminism | Posted by Danielle P on 08/15/2012
I Am More Than Just A Girl. I Am Human.
I was lucky enough to have been raised by open minded women. Never once did the idea that girls are only supposed to be a certain way come up. Early on I learned that girls and boys are equals. I was treated as such up until middle school when all of a sudden it seemed like people had to define their gender. Sexist jokes all of a sudden became funny and I was supposed to laugh at a joke that degraded me. I was required to like make up and dress like the girls in hip-hop videos. I was no longer a person, but rather A Girl and I had to follow a whole new set of rules. Suddenly, I was defined by my gender and I had to wonder …