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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Feminism | Posted by Ines R on 02/19/2016

The Real Reason Women Are Still Underrepresented In Leadership

It’s time to act.

My friend Sasha, a STEM major, is constantly asked what it’s like to be “a girl in science.” Her mother, who has had a successful and illustrious career in medicine, understands her daughter’s struggle all too well. When she was a resident, she told her daughter, she did not receive paid maternity leave and only took time off when she could. She watched men rise to the top of STEM fields for years and saw how their work was overstated while women’s was ignored. She therefore found her daughter’s experience disappointing but unsurprising.

Given the pervasiveness of both daily and lifelong sexist experiences like these, it’s perhaps unsurprising that women fail to rise to leadership positions — in STEM fields and beyond. A study released late …

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Feminism | Posted by Reilly W on 02/17/2016

How I Am Trying To Overcome A White Feminist Mindset

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No more white feminist squads.

As a straight, upper middle class, private school educated, white teenage girl, my first understanding of feminism was undeniably “white feminism.” This type of feminism is one that fails to address issues that don’t primarily apply to the most socioeconomically privileged people in the movement. I only focused on issues of inequality that directly and obviously effected me, bought into ideas about “saving” other women — like the all too common refrain that “Muslim women are oppressed by hijabs and need Western women’s help to liberate themselves!”— and considered Lena Dunham, Emma Watson and Tina Fey my primary feminist role models.

I’m hardly the first to perpetuate this mentality, either. White women have dominated feminism for years. They have done so not because they …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 02/10/2016

Why Beyoncé’s “Formation” Video Is So Important

Formation

Formation

This past Saturday, Beyoncé released the first new song from her upcoming album, entitled “Formation.” The song, and accompanying video, may be the most important works the star has released. If her 2013 eponymous album was the birth of her understanding of self empowerment and goal to empower other women, “Formation” indicates that she will only build on this mission and continue to forcefully declare her political views.

Many things make “Formation” special, but perhaps chief among them is Beyoncé’s evisceration of the respectability politics to which African American women are often subjected. The song can be interpreted as a much-needed declaration of defiance, both against the stereotypical, cultural expectations for African American women and against the idea that African-American women aren’t, and cannot be, leaders in …

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