Feminism | Posted by Amber c on 08/31/2015
The Broken Concept of Virginity
Virginity is a destructive, heteronormative concept.
Society obsesses over the concept of virginity. Young girls are taught that they must meet standards of “purity” and “cleanliness” — standards that are determined by whether or not we have had sex yet. But placing so much importance on a social construct essentially designed to perpetuate a culture of slut-shaming and rape culture is dangerous to young girls’ health and well-being.
The truth is there is no medical or biological definition of virginity. The dictionary defines virginity as “the state of never having had sexual intercourse,” but this definition is largely meaningless. While the dominant understanding of “sexual intercourse” is penetrative sex, this ignores all of the people who have plenty of sex that isn’t penetrative. Can they not lose their virginity? How …
Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 08/26/2015
On Women’s Equality Day, Let’s Talk About White Feminism
Huffington Post’s ‘White Feminism’ Video
I used to be a White Feminist. As a white woman, I thought it was my only option. But, as a video produced by the Huffington Post and a thoughtful post by the young star Rowan Blanchard both explain, this doesn’t have to be the case.
White Feminism is activism that focuses on white women gaining the same rights as white men. It is, essentially, feminism that attempts to function without intersectionality and effectively ignores and disrespects the ways women of color and gender-nonconforming people experience oppression. It’s a type of feminism which is rapidly, and necessarily, becoming irrelevant.
I didn’t know all this, however, until I was fortunate enough to learn about it in high school. I was taught little about feminism in middle …
Feminism | Posted by Chelsea C on 08/19/2015
How I Took A Stand Against Catcalling
Chelsea’s anti-catcalling project
He whistles. “Hey beautiful, look at that ass. Damn, can’t you at least smile?”
I have faced plenty of unfair, gender-based double standards in my life. I’ve been told from a young age to never be alone in public. I’ve been forced to wear skirts down to my knees and shirts that cover my shoulders in school so as to not distract others. I’ve seen too many examples of the sexual objectification of women in the media and, of course, real life.
The double standard I’ve been dealing with most recently, though, is the way I feel I have put effort into dressing a certain way in order to avoid street harassment. Every morning as I’m getting ready to attend my summer classes in NYC, I have …
Feminism | Posted by Madison L on 08/17/2015
The Surprising Effect of Low Wage Work on Reproductive Rights and Health
Many people think a low-wage worker is a young adult making minimum wage to earn a bit of pocket money or save up for college. While these workers make up some of the low-wage workforce, the vast majority of workers do not fit that mold. Nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, over half are over the age of 25, and most do not have a spouse’s income to rely on, according to the National Women’s Law Center.
Low wage work has myriad effects on a woman’s life, including the decreased ability to get an education, spend time with family and friends, budget money properly to gain financial security, and to attend to personal health. This last point, though crucial, is particularly under-discussed, yet there are many ways …
Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 08/10/2015
Why We Need To Be Careful About Emphasizing Women’s Progress in STEM
Intel / YouTube
I saw it in middle school, and later in high school: If the girls in my class didn’t excel in science, no body was surprised, since girls are never expected to excel in the subject. But if they received a low grade on a paper in English or History, they faced far harsher backlash than did any male student who had also done poorly.
This double standard — that girls will excel in the humanities, and boys in the sciences — has roots in an antiquated past and has ramifications for the future. In my experience in the United States, values in schools and in families still largely align with the Colonial or Victorian idea — adopted from European court and estate cultures – that girls should …
Feminism | Posted by Beatrice M on 08/4/2015
It’s Time To Stop Publicly Judging Women’s Bodies
Every form of public harassment has got to go
One evening last week, I stopped at home after work to change my clothes before dance class. It was a hot day and I wanted to shed my workplace-appropriate pants in favor of more comfortable attire before heading downtown. Wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and sandals, I boarded the subway.
Although there were plenty of open seats on the train, a man quickly sat down right next to me. Even though I was clearly listening to music, he decided to ask me a question. He asked how to transfer to a different train — was a typical one for tourists or people new to the city. I gave him a brief explanation and inserted my headphones back into my ears, thinking nothing …
Feminism | Posted by Christine L on 08/3/2015
Why I Stayed In an Abusive Relationship — and How I Finally Left
“Why doesn’t she just leave her abusive partner?”
It seems like a simple question and it’s one that’s often posed when people learn others are experiencing abuse. Leaving seems like the most obvious solution to outsiders. But as somebody who has experienced domestic violence, let me tell you: it’s not.
Before I met my abusive partner, I told my friends I’d never let a man hit me. I said I’d never stay in an abusive relationship. Nobody plans to be in an abusive relationship, but things happen. Abuse might first occur well after two people meet or fall in love. Abuse isn’t always so clear cut and can take many different forms.
Women especially are taught to pursue relationships and depend on our partners. I personally …
Feminism | Posted by Ines R on 07/29/2015
Why The Most Important Part of College for Women May Happen Outside the Classroom
Entering the working world for the summer.
We’re often taught that college is training for “real” life. The time we spend on campus and in class is supposed to prepare us for the rest of our lives. But I feel that my summer breaks have actually provided some of the most life-altering realizations of my college experience.
Summer break is a precious opportunity to explore meaningful personal and professional opportunities that are impossible to pursue in the midst of classes, tests, and typical collegiate socializing. Students can sample potential careers through internships and put the knowledge they’ve gained to practical use, all while feeling like true members of the working world, walking into huge offices and swiping badges at security.
But while such experiences can certainly be exciting, challenging and …