Feminism | Posted by Eloise Bouton on 06/10/2015
It’s Hard to be a Topless Feminist in France
Many people probably think France is a feminist-friendly country. My experience as an activist with the international feminist organization Femen has taught me that this is not the case. I’ve found that fighting for equality is costly and protesting topless for women’s rights — as I have done — is not only unfairly considered exhibitionism, but has had a damaging effect on my life.
I joined Femen — a feminist organization whose members protest topless — in April, 2012. This organization was born in Ukraine but established a presence in Paris in September, 2012. The Paris branch has been led by Inna Shevchenko, but I helped build the group.
On December 2013, I posed topless at the Catholic Madeleine Church in Paris to support abortion rights. At the time, …
Feminism | Posted by Marianne I on 05/26/2015
These Ten Tumblr Posts Were My Feminist Education
I wasn’t introduced to the notion of feminism, the discussion of equal rights or the culture of slut shaming until recently. I’ve never had a classroom debate about whether or not men should be called feminists and I didn’t know much about racial profiling.
My knowledge lagged, that is, until I got a Tumblr account. It seems that few educators tolerate electronic devices in the classroom, but the fact is I’ve learned so much from this massive media feed. I’ve learned that no matter where you come from — no matter what gender, age, race, or other identity — there are thousands of feminist Tumblr posts that will likely resonate.
These posts vary: Some are funny and joyful, others serious and educational. But so many represent the issues …
Feminism | Posted by Celeste Y on 02/9/2015
I remember sitting in a circle of girls on the playground. One girl, I’ll call her Sarah, showed us that she could fold her tongue. I didn’t know how to fold my tongue, but I lied and told my other grade school peers that I could. Sarah declared that she didn’t believe me. I could “talk the talk”, she taunted, but I couldn’t “walk the walk.” I insisted that I could and I just didn’t want to show them. But, Sarah’s logic was sound. Even if I could fold my tongue, saying I did and not showing them was just as good as not knowing how.
It’s important to write about feminism, about equality among genders. I’ve done so many times and I’ve really relished in the recent outpour …
Feminism | Posted by Malkie K on 02/4/2015
Feminists: It’s Time To Act
Over the past six months, we have certainly seen positive change when it comes to feminist progress. For example, in September of last year, the California State Senate unanimously voted to enact ‘Yes Means Yes’ legislation, which states that to engage in any sexual activity both parties must be making “an affirmative, unambiguous and conscious decision.” Though women predominantly lobbied for this decision, countless men undoubtedly got on board to make this a legal reality.
But, despite progress, there’s still evidence of ignorance. There are the Cee Lo Green‘s of the world who claim things like, “If she was unconscious, how could she say no?” It’s the same mentality that allows Urban Dictionary to add the word “Manism,” which is defined as “The unilateral law …
Feminism | Posted by Katie Koestner on 05/7/2014
An Open Letter to TBTN Event Holders
I was 18 years old when I joined you. Many of you had been holding Take Back the Night events in rain or snow, amid hecklers, for years. Some of you were already making your way to radical, already past liberal. Some of you were done with patriarchy. Separatists. Some of you had carried broomsticks with tampons affixed on top. You had dyed your dormroom bedsheets black so that you could march as witches through campus. I didn’t know how much I would adore your gumption.
Some of you were not yet born. Maybe you found TBTN when a night/day kicked you in the gut-heart-head. You heard about us and showed up to see what this TBTN thing was, to see if you fit in.
It was the …
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 …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Anya J on 01/15/2014
Why Girls Want American Girl to Commit To Diversity
When I was younger, I owned an American Girl doll, like many girls my age. I wasn’t as big a fan as some girls, but I really loved the books that went with each doll. I read all the stories that were in my elementary school’s library, and I still remember the different cultures and periods in history that I was introduced to by these stories of original creative, brave, and dynamic girls.
That’s why I was surprised when my friend Avery Tyson, who is twelve years old and a huge fan of the American Girl series, approached me to ask for support writing a petition to ask American Girl to include more diverse dolls. I remembered American Girl as being one of the only companies that made a …
Feminism | Posted by Max F on 11/13/2013
Why Teaching Teen Boys About Consent Should Be A Mandatory Part of Sex Ed
It started with a Facebook post. Last summer, a Facebook friend posed the question: “If you would teach your daughter about protection, then why wouldn’t you teach your son about respect?”After I read that, I realized that my high school’s sexual education class only taught us (and especially girls) what not to do. We were taught not to “put your drink down” and to “not drink something if it wasn’t made in front of you.” This information is valid, yet it begs the question: why are young adults only taught how to avoid other people’s behavior? For example, someone has to be the person tampering with somebody else’s drink in order to attempt assault, yet that person’s behavior isn’t directly addressed — we’re not explicitly taught not to lace somebody …