Pop-Culture | Posted by Zoe G on 04/6/2016

This is Why We Need To Stop Asking Celebrities If They’re Feminists

Enough is enough.

It seems that one of the most common questions journalists ask female celebrities these days is, “Are you a feminist?” Considering that feminism was essentially a dirty word in the mainstream media for years, the fact that major publications have been posing the question at all seems like progress. But this “progressive” question actually points to some pressing issues with contemporary feminist discourse — namely the way in which feminism seems to have shifted from being a collective political movement to an individual identity and media buzzword

Celebrities have two options when they’re asked “are you a feminist?”: They can say “yes,” and get a pat on the back for being politically learned, or they can say “no” and risk being branded ungrateful, ignorant, or just dumb. …

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Feminism | Posted by Rachael H on 04/4/2016

Growing Pains: What Growing Up With Cerebral Palsy Taught Me About Life

What I learned from my operation.

Like so many others my age, at 14 I desperately wanted to be just like everyone else. But unlike most of my peers, I had spent 14 years trapped inside of a body that wouldn’t let me move. I was born with cerebral palsy and had dealt with mobility issues my entire life. These issues included spasticity in my legs due to improper neuron reception — an experience that led me to believe I would never live pain-free.

When the spasticity got even worse as I started to go through growth spurts, however, doctors told me I could have orthopedic surgeries to release the tension in my muscles. I chose to have them. I couldn’t be free while my muscles were in a constant …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 03/30/2016

What Volunteering In The South Taught Me About My Own Prejudice

Not all Southerners perpetuate a legacy of racism.

This year I decided to participate in a spring break program called the Collegiate Challenge, which offered students the opportunity to partner with our university’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity and spend a week building houses for low income families. This year’s build site was Lake Sumpter, Florida — a small town in central Florida, about two hours outside of Orlando. Although I had been to Miami once before, this was my first experience in a more rural, southern environment and, to be honest, I went into the trip with a lot of assumptions and prejudices.

Before I traveled to the state, I knew that Donald Trump had won the Florida primaries and that the governor of Florida had endorsed him. …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 03/23/2016

What Kesha’s Sexual Assault Case Reveals About The Trauma of Shame

#FreeKesha

In 2014, Kesha sued her producer, Dr. Luke, for allegedly sexual assaulting her. More specifically, she sued for freedom from a contract that bound her to only producing music with her assailant. Her decision to do so added fuel to the already growing fire that is the current conversation about rape culture. One of the world’s biggest pop stars publicly admitted she had gone through something that’s still very much stigmatized in today’s society and even risked her career to fight for herself and countless other survivors by extension.

Much of the conversation surrounding this case has focused on the trauma of sexual assault itself, and rightfully so. But it seems Kesha’s experience highlights another aspect of the experience of assault: the trauma of shame. Shaming and blaming women …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 03/18/2016

Why President Obama’s Decision to Call Out Online Harassment Is So Important

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Obama giving his Women History Month speech.

President Obama could have discussed any number of pressing issues during his recent speech given in honor of Women’s History Month. A significant portion of his speech, however, was devoted to an issue about which feminists have been speaking out for years, but which is frequently dismissed by those in power: online harassment.

Feminist bloggers, women sports reporters, and others are “speaking out bravely about their experiences, even when they know they’ll be attacked for it,” Obama said on Wednesday. “And by telling their stories, by you telling your stories, women are lifting others out of the shadows and raising our collective consciousness about a problem that affects all of us.”

The numbers back Obama up. According to a recent Pew study, 25% …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 03/4/2016

This Burn Survivor’s Story Proves Wearing Makeup Can Truly Be Empowering

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Shalom Nchom

I have never met a woman who isn’t plagued by insecurities about her appearance. It seems so much easier to pinpoint the qualities you lack or dislike instead of those you have and admire. I’ll admit, the first thoughts I have about my own appearance on any given day are usually negative. I frustrate myself to no end by critiquing everything from the breakouts on my face to the uncomfortable tightness of my jeans.

Many women develop coping mechanisms that allow them to cope with this ongoing battle against their perceived shortcomings. Shalom Nchom, who is known as “Shalom Blac” on YouTube, did just that. At 9 years old, Nchom had an accident with frying oil at her family’s store that left her with severe burns. …

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Feminism | Posted by Aph Ko on 03/2/2016

The Feminist Case for Veganism

Veganism is feminist.

As someone who has been involved in feminist activism for years, I’ve observed that animal oppression is often a polarizing subject between vegan and non-vegan feminists. But it doesn’t have to be. Veganism can and should also be viewed as a complex issue that is part of a much broader cultural standard of objectifying and dehumanizing certain bodies under the patriarchy.

The hostility along vegan lines in the feminist movement seems to happen for a few reasons. For one, feminists are busy trying to attain rights for themselves and some are put off by their interpretation of animal rights activists as having a pretty hostile, single-issue approach to their work. Others feel like that vegan feminists’ attempt to tell others what they “should” be advocating for is

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Feminism | Posted by Olivia D on 02/26/2016

Why We Need A More Complex Understanding Of Who Can Be An Abuser

I’ve never had a true “best friend.” Don’t get me wrong, I had female friends in high school. I admired and cared about all of my teammates on my cross-country team and considered my Girl Scout troop members friends. But as I’ve grown into a college-age woman and proud feminist, I’ve realized that while I enjoyed spending time with all of these individuals, I struggled to really connect with any of them. I’ve had to face the fact that I have intimacy issues — they’re just not the type of heterosexist, romantic intimacy issues that are most often culturally acknowledged.

My discomfort has only been evident in my relationships with women. As a heterosexual woman, I’ve had no trouble opening up to men in romantic relationships. But most of my …

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