Feminism | Posted by Martine K on 06/1/2015

What You Need To Know About The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act

Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act

On April 22nd, after nearly six weeks of delay, the Senate finally passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. This bill will provide harsher penalties for perpetrators of trafficking, hold patrons of human trafficking (also known as “johns”), accountable for their crimes, and identify and treat those harmed by trafficking as victims rather than criminals. The bill will also create a special fund for victims gathered from perpetrators’ fines (rather than taxes).

Although many expected the bill to pass unanimously in March, Senate Democrats found a provision that compelled them to withdraw support. This provision included language from the Hyde Amendment, which decrees that taxpayer dollars may not be used to fund abortions, except in cases proven to be rape, and would …

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Feminism | Posted by Emma M on 05/27/2015

What Happens When Women Publicly Stand Up For Themselves

Rima Karaki

Women are disrespected far too often. They’re frequently interrupted, talked over, or directly insulted. So, it is particularly satisfying — even cathartic — when a woman publicly takes a stand against this treatment.

Influential Lebanese TV host Rima Karaki recently did just that. A BuzzFeed article titled Badass Journalist Shuts A Man Down After He Says It’s Beneath Him to Be Interviewed By A Woman featured Karaki’s brilliant take down of a rude, insulting scholar named Hani Al-Seba’i who ordered her to be silent. “I run the show,” she reminded him before ultimately cutting off Al-Seba’i’s transmission.

I was floored by Karaki’s compelling and brave actions — especially considering that she acted in a culture which tends to uphold traditional gender roles.I am a Classics major and am …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Morgan K on 05/15/2015

Margaret Keane and the Countless Invisible Female Artists

A Keane painting

A Keane painting

Our generation may not be too familiar with the haunting “Keane Eyes” which were ubiquitous in the 1950s and 60s. Those dark, doe-eyed figures found their way into print and media, living rooms and coffee shops countrywide. But it wasn’t until Tim Burton brought light to the reality in his biographical drama Big Eyes that the truth about those paintings supposedly created by Walter Keane was made clear to young people.

Margaret Keane – Walter’s wife – spent years painting the “Big Eyed Waifs.” The artist’s husband convinced her that using his name would increase the paintings’ popularity. But as the fame of the paintings — as well as Walter himself — grew, so did Margaret’s anger and isolation. She finally reached a breaking point and came

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Feminism | Posted by Caroline V on 05/8/2015

Even If They Don’t Ask, Do Tell.

Ban silence.

I’ve always thought of myself as a very strong, independent, and at times, outspoken young woman. I was confident in my voice and in myself, certain that I would never find myself in a situation with anyone, boy or a girl, that I couldn’t handle. I was always taught that no one should have the power to make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. But then, my freshman year of college, I experienced something that called this into question.

Hook-up culture in my college, like colleges everywhere, is prominent and over the years I have seen it effect our attitudes and expectations of sexual relationships. But in my experience, unseen, unspoken and especially nuanced forms of violence that are hidden within relationships are more prevalent than the …

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Feminism | Posted by Maddie J on 05/6/2015

The Truth About Being A Woman On The Internet

The ugly truth about the Internet.

The Internet is incredible. Our generation has seemingly limitless access to information and can connect with people anywhere in the world in an unprecedented way. It has given people the opportunity to have a voice with which to speak their minds to a potentially huge audience and has enabled people to find their purpose in life. The Internet creates opportunities for learning, discovering, meeting, and helping others: In fact, according to the inventor of the World Wide Web himself, Tim Berners-Lee the Internet was created for everyone — as a place for all, no matter their race, gender identity or sexual orientation.

But while the Internet is ideally a place of equality, it has in practice also enabled some to hurt, mislead, and exploit. …

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Feminism | Posted by Stephanie L on 05/4/2015

When Exactly Do You Become A Woman?

What is ‘womanhood’ anyway?

When exactly do you become a woman? I’ve received a few different answers to this question that I think are worth exploring.

My elementary school nurse told me in fifth grade I would become a woman when my period came. But I take issue with the idea that something akin to the goriest scene of Texas Chainsaw Massacre playing on loop in your pants while feeling like your insides have staged a mutiny once a month means being a woman. And what does that say about menopause — that one’s womanhood expires at a certain age? Sorry, ladies, your time being a woman is over, thanks for playing! I don’t think so. I like to think that womanhood isn’t something that expires or something that …

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Feminism | Posted by Ines R on 05/1/2015

Can Anyone Be The ‘Perfect’ Feminist?

None of us can be Rosie all the time

Do you ever feel like you owe something to second wave feminists? I do and often think of these women who changed the world before I act. I wonder if someone who lived through some of the most revolutionary moments of the 20th century would approve of my choices. Even when I give advice to friends, I may preface my suggestion with a phrase like, “I think the feminist thing to do is…”

But what if my natural instinct is not in line with a traditional, feminist response? If the whole idea of feminism is that women are equal to men, shouldn’t the “most feminist” action be whatever feels right to that individual woman? Isn’t that how men determine how they …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Bridget L on 04/29/2015

Where Are The Jewish and Queer Students at Hogwarts?

Hogwarts

I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter. I grew up reading the books, have seen each film countless times, and dressed up as Hermione for many Halloweens. But while I’ll always love the series, I also recognize that it’s not flawless.

Last December, JK Rowling revealed that there were Jewish students at Hogwarts, and even provided readers with an example: Anthony Goldstein. This revelation prompted others to question whether or not there were LGBT students at Hogwarts as well. In a Twitter chat, Rowling addressed this by stating “But of course,” there were LGBT youth at Hogwarts.

I find these revelations problematic for a couple reasons. First is the fact Anthony Goldstein was only a background character without any distinguishing character traits for the duration of the series. …

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