Pop-Culture | Posted by Alice W on 05/27/2014

Why Sansa Stark Doesn’t Owe You Anything

I’m hesitant to trust people who call Game of Thrones’ Sansa Stark whiney, basic, boring and weak. How someone feels about Sansa Stark tells me a lot about how they think about women.

Sansa Stark is the eldest daughter of the once powerful House Stark. She’s watched her own father be beheaded, had her fiancee point a loaded crossbow at her while knights ripped off her clothes — all in the first season. Since then she has been forced to marry into the family who had her mother and brother killed. And many fans of the show hate her.

Sure, she is not the most sassy or kickass woman in Westeros, where Game of Thrones takes place. Daenerys is badass, beautiful, taking what is hers with fire and blood. …

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Feminism | Posted by Louisa G on 05/21/2014

Why We Need To Stop Romanticizing Mental Illness Amongst Teen Girls

I realized recently that my generation has a strange fascination with the perception of mental illness, especially as it relates to teenage girls. I’ve noticed young women posting many quotes about mental illness on their Instagrams and Tumblrs — the sadder, the better, it seems. I think this increasing fascination with and performance of depression may stem from the media through the likes of movies and books where “broken” girls are seemingly put back together by the undying love of a man. This goes further than the typical boy-meets-girl cliché of an 80s movie and delves into the fantasy that someone with severe depression can be simply “fixed” by the right guy.

The infatuation people have with making mental illness something that can be seen as beautiful and even romantic …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Eliza V on 05/19/2014

The Fault In This Star

Shailene Woodley certainly seems to be a star on the rise. She has starred in numerous successful teen movies in the past year alone, such as The Spectacular Now, Divergent and the soon to be released and much anticipated, The Fault in Our Stars. These roles and previous interviews had led me to conclude that she’s a great advocate for the current feminist movement and a marvelous role model for younger girls. She cares about the environment, she doesn’t seem totally obsessed with her appearance and she’s a driven, successful young actress. So, I was a bit taken aback when I read an article where she clearly stated that she did not identify as a feminist.

However, what shocked me was not just that she didn’t adopt the …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Darializa Avila-Chevalier on 04/24/2014

Choosing Not to Support Marginalization of Minority Groups Through Illustration

As an artist for my college’s newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, I sometimes have to illustrate pieces laced with unrecognized privilege. I’ve drawn for articles that fetishize poverty in Spanish Harlem and pieces that depict the “Columbia experience” as entirely universal to its student body. I’ve also illustrated for authors who have complained that “their privilege excludes them from conversation.” As a result, I, a low-income, Afro-Latina, first-generation American woman, feel alienated in my own community. This is not to say that Spec’s contributors aim to drown out the voices of the marginalized—I believe most have good intentions and hope to create a forum of expression safe for all identities. But intention is irrelevant when people of marginalized identities feel the ever-present divide reinforced.

I love illustrating for Spectator, …

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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 04/22/2014

Exciting News: The FBomb Is Joining the Women’s Media Center

Discovering the world of feminist blogging was an experience of simultaneous relief and isolation: just as Second Wave feminists have described the way consciousness raising allowed them to realize that their frustration with and opposition to sexism wasn’t individual insanity but a collective imperative, feminist blogging allowed me – and certainly countless others – to find comfort in the collective of like-minded people thinking critically about and combating inequality. But at the same time that I found such reprieve online, my lived reality was mired in ideologies that existed in ambivalence and direct contradiction to those ideals.

It was this paradox that led me to start the FBomb. I wanted to bridge the gap between my peers who hadn’t been exposed to feminism and those searching for like-minded people who …

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Feminism | Posted by Kylie V on 04/16/2014

Why We Must Speak Out

I love Sara Bareilles’ Brave. Who doesn’t love a message about overcoming fear in order to express one’s opinions?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

But why is simply expressing who we are and what we think interpreted as brave? Why is this so controversial that we have to be afraid of opposition? We live in a culture where backlash has become extremely harsh, especially when it means challenging the white middle class straight status quo. More than ever we need inspiration from brilliant thinkers like the late great Audre Lorde, who challenged us to push past the …

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Feminism | Posted by Julia B on 04/14/2014

Not “Crazy,” Just Dedicated

When girls are young, Cinderella tells them “dreams really do come true.” As we get older, that philosophy changes and we learn that life isn’t actually a fairytale. You have to work hard in order to achieve something great, and even then it doesn’t always happen.  For me, ballet started as a fairytale and transformed into a whole lot of hard work. And I love it.

Like any professional-in-training, I spend about 20 hours per week training for what I dream of doing: becoming a professional ballet dancer. I don’t know if I’ll succeed (because the ballet world is extremely, extremely competitive), but either way I want to be able to say that I worked as hard as I possibly could.

People have said that I “have no life” outside …

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Feminism | Posted by Beatrice M on 04/9/2014

Are We Sexually Equal?

Women have made great strides towards social, political and economic equality in the past decades, but where do we stand in terms of sexual equality? Humans are sexual creatures who all want to explore our sexuality, but society undeniably still influences many women and men to view sex differently.

While medical advancements, like the invention of the pill, have radically transformed women’s sexual autonomy, there are still a number of cultural forces that suppress women’s sexuality. Women are still sexually exploited in the media and there are still societal pressures that encourage us to think of men as overly sexual creatures and women as demure and untouchable. Rigid purity standards and sexual double standards continue to demonize women for having sex and women also still face greater repercussions for sexual …

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