Pop-Culture | Posted by Rachael Hanakowski on 10/3/2016

The Problem With Criticizing Emma Watson and Justin Trudeau’s Feminism

Credit: YouTube

Credit: YouTube

On September 29th, two influential individuals had a very public meeting of the minds: Justin Trudeau, current Prime Minister of Canada, and actor/activist Emma Watson. The two met in Parliament in Ottawa on September 28, 2016, ahead of the One Young World summit, and reportedly discussed their efforts regarding gender equality. But what should have been celebrated as a positive interaction that highlighted the work both of these public, influential figures are doing was interpreted far too cynically by too many — as a ploy for attention rather than a genuine conversation — which adds to an upsetting legacy of the way they have been treated under the spotlight. It also speaks to skepticism to which politicians are often subjected, which undermines their ability to lead with …

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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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Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 03/25/2015

Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling and the Importance of Live Panels

I’m a fan of both Lena Dunham and Mindy Kaling. Yet I found myself somewhat surprised by just how impressive I found both women while recently watching their contributions to a Sundance live panel moderated by Emily Nussbaum via YouTube. I tried to pinpoint why exactly I was so taken with the extent to which I found both women endearingly self-aware, thoughtful and humble.

Perhaps, I finally realized, it had something to do with the panel format itself. Instead of answering the typical lazily sexist questions both women are frequently asked — like about existing as a female in Hollywood or what it was like to work with [insert male co-star here] — these talented individuals were given open platforms to discuss substantive issues they actually care about. Dunham, Kaling …

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Feminism | Posted by Martine K on 01/21/2015

The Case Against ‘Fad’ Feminism

Although feminism was once ignorantly considered a radical subculture full of man-hating, bra-burning lesbians, the movement has now arguably been integrated into mainstream culture. Pop culture icons like Beyoncé, Emma Watson, and Taylor Swift are encouraged and even pressured to identify with the “f-word” and to furthermore serve as feminist role models for young girls everywhere. While it’s encouraging that immensely successful women are publicly identifying as feminist and, by doing so, inspiring their fans to embrace the term as well, it’s important to remember that feminism is so much more than a trend. We must not forget that feminism is a social movement and, as such, requires much more than just a willingness to identify with the label.

Feminism might be about believing that men and women …

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Feminism | Posted by Vicki S on 01/19/2015

Lost Women of History: Maria Stewart, the First Black Feminist-Abolitionist in America

“Let our girls possess what amiable qualities of soul they may; let their characters be fair and spotless as innocence itself; let their natural taste and ingenuity be what they may; it is impossible for scarce an individual of them to rise above the condition of servants.” – Maria Stewart, The Limits of True Womanhood

Best remembered as the first recorded American-born woman to give a public speech in the United States in 1832, Maria Stewart should also be remembered as an incredible role model for her lifelong work as a black, female feminist-abolitionist at a time and in a society largely resistant to all of these ideas and identities.

Though she was born to free African-American parents in Hartford Connecticut in 1803, Maria Miller was orphaned by the age …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 12/5/2014

Lost Women of History: Boudicca


Editor’s note: I have always been a strong proponent of making education about, celebration of, and respect for history a significant part of the feminist movement. The entire first chapter of A Little F’d Up: Why Feminism Is Not A Dirty Word is actually a broad overview of the incredible women who came before us. Trailblazing women are routinely left out of the history books and, beyond this being insulting to their brave and historic work and memory, it can often lead to young women today failing to realize just how far we’ve come in a relatively short period of time. So, in that spirit, we’re starting a series on the FBomb devoted to remembering some of these figures.

“…a terrible disaster occurred in Britain. Two cities were sacked, …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 06/24/2013

The Indomitable Female Fortress: Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I

When I think of Elizabeth I, Queen of England from 1558 to 1603, I think of a beguiling and Machiavellian woman who, against all odds, led her country to a golden age while battling against the acute disadvantage of being a woman. Even in the United States, we have never had a female president while Elizabeth I managed to become the sole monarch of England without a husband. What I find most extraordinary is that in a time when gender inequality was widely accepted, Elizabeth I was able to control her subjects despite being a woman. To me, Elizabeth I seems to be a symbol of feminism because she became one of the most influential figures of the Western world as an entirely autonomous woman. Elizabeth I …

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Feminism | Posted by Julia O on 04/9/2012

Nujood Ali: A Real Life Heroine

Nujood Ali and Shada Nasser

The quote I have taped to the lower right hand corner of my bathroom mirror is “I no longer think about marriage.” Nujood Ali spoke those words after successfully gaining her divorce at the age of 10. She became the youngest divorcee ever, and sparked a worldwide awakening about the horrors child brides face and the injustice they experience.

Nujood’s father arranged a marriage for her when she was ten years old. The man she married was over 20 years older than her. Her husband and mother-in-law physically and mentally abused her. In Yemen, it’s legal for girls to wed at any age, but they cannot have sexual relations until the court deems them old enough. Nujood’s husband raped her repeatedly even though the …

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