Feminism | Posted by Faatimah Solomon on 05/16/2017

Learning To Love Myself As A Black Woman

Credit: Faatimah Solomon

Credit: Faatimah Solomon

“Why are you so fat?”

I froze for a second, confused. “What do you mean?” I asked, puzzled.

“I mean you’re fat and ugly,” she said, as if that were the most obvious thing in the world.

I was in seventh grade, a twelve-year-old pudgy, buck-toothed, frizzy-haired, acne-prone girl totally oblivious to my supposed physical flaws and shortcomings. I lived in my own sheltered bubble. I went to school, did homework when I got back home, and then played in the backyard with our neighbor’s kid. I went to the library with my mother a lot. Perhaps most informatively, though, I lacked exposure to most media. I watched TV only once a week and seldom watched movies (except for the occasional viewing of Dumbo). This fostered

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Feminism | Posted by Angela Liu on 05/12/2017

Did The Election Narrow the Leadership Ambition Gap for Women in Politics?

A new wave of women are running for office.

In the months since Trump’s election, people across the country (and world) have been galvanized to take action. Thousands marched in support of women, science, and the environment. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union saw spikes in donations. Late-night comedians like Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, and Chelsea Handler have focused monologue after monologue on the absurdity of Donald Trump’s presidency. And over 11,000 women want to run for office.

As of this past April, that’s how many women had reached out to Emily’s List, a progressive organization dedicated to electing Democratic women, to let them know that they were interested in running for office. To put that in perspective, Emily’s List received just 900 such requests in …

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Feminism | Posted by Gabby Catalano on 05/10/2017

“Pretty” Is A Dangerous Word

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The sting of “pretty”

Our society very clearly communicates that pretty is everything. Pretty is skipping breakfast. Pretty is counting calories. Pretty is losing weight (and not gaining it back). Pretty is being told by friends that “you look so skinny.”

I know the sting of pretty. My body dissatisfaction and extreme dieting started at the age of 10, when my friend’s mom told me that I shouldn’t wear sweatpants because they made my thighs look large. As a fourth grader, I equated “large” to fat, ugly, and “unpretty.” From then on, whether it was trying on a smaller dress than I knew I could fit into, adding filters to my Instagram photos, constantly weighing myself, or comparing my body to my peers, I always found myself questioning my …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Graves on 05/8/2017

Why I Chose A Women’s College

Smith College

On May 1st, I signed my life away to the college where I will spend the next four years of my life. When I nervously pressed “submit” on the acceptance form a few days ago, I expected a grand display of fireworks, or at least some sign that I had made the “right” choice. Instead, I found my mom was still hovering over my shoulder and little else had changed.

Perhaps I expected that finally making this decision would feel more satisfying since the process leading up to it was so challenging. After receiving 17 acceptance letters and another notifying me that I had made it on the wait list, I narrowed down my options to two schools: Rice University, a top-20 nationally ranked research university in my …

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Feminism | Posted by Angela Liu on 04/26/2017

On The Power Of Sisterhood

Female mentorship matters.

Female mentorship matters.

Since I began to swim competitively at the age of eight, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t competing against other women. I competed against the other girls to be better, faster, and stronger. For years, I’ve spent practices challenging myself to swim faster than the other girls in my lane and, at swim meets, lined up behind the starting blocks alongside seven other girls, each more determined and laser-focused than the next.

Yet while my female teammates have been some of my fiercest competitors, they’ve also been some of my best friends. Through the grueling sets of laps, early morning practices, and championship races, my female teammates have undoubtedly been my strongest sources of support. After a bad race at a meet, I could always …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 04/21/2017

The Sexism Of Summer Internships

Workplace discrimination starts early

Workplace discrimination starts early

Almost every college student I know seems aware they should have at least one internship under their belt before graduating. So, as a current sophomore at UC Berkeley, I also started diligently applying for summer internships in February. I see an internship as a way to gain valuable work experience, make professional connections, and build my resume. Unfortunately, the quest to find a Bay Area internship has been incredibly stressful and disheartening—and has highlighted challenges that I will soon face as a young woman entering the workforce.

For a month, I spent hours scrolling through postings on Handshake (UC Berkeley’s platform for professional recruitment), LinkedIn, and Google. I scoured for internships I found interesting, for which I was qualified, and that were paid. The more time …

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Feminism | Posted by Camryn Garrett on 04/17/2017

An Interview With Sexual Health Activist Ella Dawson

Photo credit: Kim Hoyos Media

Photo credit: Kim Hoyos Media

Over the past two years, feminist social media manager and writer Ella Dawson has received widespread recognition for her work crushing the stigma of STDs. She has been called the “internet’s foremost herpes essayist,” and has even been recognized by Hillary Clinton. In honor of April being STD Awareness month, Dawson recently spoke to the FBomb about sex miseducation, the stigma against STDs, and her own experience with all of the above.

 

The FBomb: You’ve been proclaimed “the queen of herpes” by your followers and have even given a TED talk about the work that led to such recognition. Can you tell us about the experiences that led up to this talk?

Ella Dawson: I was diagnosed with herpes a few …

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Feminism | Posted by Corinne Singer on 04/14/2017

A Love Letter on Disability: Stop Feeling Sorry For Us. Start Fighting For Us.

Stop feeling sorry for us.

Stop feeling sorry for us.

The onset of my disabilities began at 13 and I have been unable to engage in regular physical activities for years. Early on, I braced myself for a lifetime of chronic back dysfunctions compounded by the equally debilitating realities of depression and anxiety. The transition into my status as “disabled” and later to my status as “part-time wheelchair user” has been endlessly complex. I went from having a body that people celebrated—a body that fulfilled cultural obsessions with physical strength and performativity—to having a body that was rejected.

The precise moment at which my body became a “problem” will remain with me forever. It was when my first back specialist informed me that I had fractured multiple parts of my lumbar spine— not because of …

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