Feminism | Posted by Corinne Singer on 07/25/2016
An Open Letter To Principals Enforcing Sexist Dress Codes
To My Middle School Principal (And to School Administrators Alike),
I’ve observed from afar, with horror and disgust, as you’ve punished young girls for their school attire. Nearly every day my little brother comes home and shares that another girl has been interrupted, pulled out of class, and sent to the office only to be reprimanded for her clothing. While I understand the attempt to maintain a “serious academic environment,” you are completely butchering your execution of this goal.
Creating a focused, educational environment is a vision that is contingent upon the comfort and inclusion of all students. A truly thriving educational community is an inclusive community, which requires the full embrace of every member’s whole self. By demonizing developing girls and their bodies, you effectively reduce girls …
Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 07/15/2016
Serena Williams and Gabby Douglas Are Proving Black Girls Are Magic
There is absolutely no question that racism still persists in the United States today. While examples of this systemic reality abound — from racism in the criminal justice system to the disproportionate punishment of black girls in schools and beyond — one need look no further for evidence than this past week, which saw the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille. In fact, the police have killed at least 136 black people in 2016 alone, according to the Guardian.
Perhaps now more than ever, therefore, it’s important for young, black Americans to have exposure to black people succeeding despite the many systemic barriers in their way. This seems especially important for women of color, who are so often erased even from discussions of liberation. …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma Havighorst on 07/14/2016
Does Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $” Music Video Have A Feminist Message?
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 …
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Lauren D on 06/30/2016
Being An Ally Is About More Than Your Own Identity
It’s about action, too.
In the wake of the Orlando mass shooting and throughout this month of LGBTQPIA+ pride, I have seen an immense presence of online support and love for the LGBTQPIA+ community — support for which I am incredibly grateful. But I have also seen a number of perhaps well-intended, yet ultimately offensive, comments from self-identified “allies” — the majority of whom are apparently white, cisgender, or heterosexual/heteromantic. In this time of both tragedy and pride, it seems useful to discuss what it really means to be an ally.
Allyship is not just an identity — it requires action. An ally to the the LGBTQPIA+ community is someone who uses their cishet privilege to lift up the silenced voices in that community. Allies are allies because they do …
Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 06/27/2016
What The SCOTUS Abortion Decision Means — And Why It Matters
The Supreme Court actually ruled in favor of choice.
On March 2nd, the Supreme Court heard the case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which has been called the most important abortion case heard in this generation’s lifetime. Today, on June 27th, the Court ruled to invalidate Texas abortion restrictions in a 5-3 decision.
But what exactly does this case, and this ruling, mean? Because we still don’t live in an educational climate in which young women receive an in-depth education about crucial things like reproductive rights in school, here’s the run-down on what this Supreme Court case was really about, why it matters, and where we’re going from here.
The Abortion Rights Landscape.
Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures a woman can have in the United States …
Feminism | Posted by Karla Majdancic on 06/21/2016
Praise Young Girls For Being ‘Smart,’ Not ‘Pretty’
We’re still sending young girls restrictive, gendered messages.
For a long time, whenever I pictured an engineer I automatically imagined a guy who looked something like Mark Zuckerberg. I never imagined an engineer could be someone who looks like me. There are likely many causes for my assumption, but perhaps the most influential is the way our society still socializes girls to choose and strive for being beautiful over being intelligent.
Girls who choose to pursue science are perpetually viewed as nerdy loners — as anti-social, undesirable, and uninteresting. These stereotypes are perpetuated by the gender norms at the heart of our societal expectations for girls, which are furthered by the media to which we’re exposed while growing up.
Take, for example, my favorite TV show as a child: Scooby …
Feminism | Posted by Aya on 06/17/2016
How The Stanford Survivor Helped Me Understand My Own Assault
Rape doesn’t just happen at Stanford.
TW: This article contains discussion and description of sexual assault.
In January of 2015, 20-year-old, former Stanford University student Brock Allen Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster outside a frat party. In March of 2016, Turner was charged with three felonies of sexual assault. Prosecutors asked for a 6 year sentence, but he received only 6 months of jail time — and will likely serve even less.
But, despite this injustice, something truly beneficial emerged from this case: Buzzfeed reporter Kate Baker published the survivor’s letter to her attacker, which the anonymous woman had read out loud in court. Reading this letter gave me, and likely countless other survivors, a sense of solidarity with this case: like Emily Doe, I, …