Pop-Culture | Posted by Farha K on 11/23/2016
It has been almost one hundred years since the Women’s Bureau was established in the Department of Labor. The Bureau aimed to promote the welfare of wage-earning women and for their rights to be respected in the workforce. But this progress was simultaneously, continuously threatened by the stereotype of the “good wife.” American men were expected to yearn for (and receive) the retro misogynistic fantasy of coming home to a spotless house, good meal, and an effortlessly beautiful woman.
I once thought that this blatantly sexist expectation of women had long been retired, but a recent pop-culture fad disproved this misconception and reinforced the reality that so many men still expect their wives to cook and clean for them: Namely, the social media-based “wifey” meme.
The “wifey” fad basically …
Feminism | Posted by Crystal Ogar on 11/21/2016
I’ve always been an emotional person. It’s something I haven’t been able to help, although at times I may have wanted to. Anger, passion, sensitivity, tears — it all naturally flows through me. I cry easily. And a lot. If I see someone else in pain, I’m angry (anger that’s often invalidated because I’m a black woman). It’s not something I’ve been able to control, although at times I have wanted to.
I grew up aware that being emotional has always been coded as “feminine” and attributed to people who exude so-called “feminine” qualities. This is most often associated with people who identify as women, but is also associated with men — almost always in the context of an insult. Men are not afforded the room to be …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma Havighorst on 07/14/2016
Does Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $” Music Video Have A Feminist Message?
The first time I heard Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $,” I genuinely thought it was a joke.
“Wow, Fergie’s just desperately trying to stay relevant,” my friend declared. I laughed in agreement. The song’s blatant auto-tuning, remixed dance track, and seemingly nonsensical lyrics made her observation obvious to me.
But then the same friend and I watched the song’s music video. The “M.I.L.F. $” video left us staring at the screen in shock, wondering how such a horrible song had somehow turned into a tongue-in-cheek, clever presentation of an arguably feminist message.
To break it down, the music video’s message is this: Yes, we are mothers. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t also work and make money and provide for our families. Though I had initially written …
Feminism | Posted by Stephanie L on 05/4/2015
When Exactly Do You Become A Woman?
What is ‘womanhood’ anyway?
When exactly do you become a woman? I’ve received a few different answers to this question that I think are worth exploring.
My elementary school nurse told me in fifth grade I would become a woman when my period came. But I take issue with the idea that something akin to the goriest scene of Texas Chainsaw Massacre playing on loop in your pants while feeling like your insides have staged a mutiny once a month means being a woman. And what does that say about menopause — that one’s womanhood expires at a certain age? Sorry, ladies, your time being a woman is over, thanks for playing! I don’t think so. I like to think that womanhood isn’t something that expires or something that …
Feminism | Posted by Karen Blakelock on 03/30/2015
Single Sex Environments Matter — For Girls and Boys Alike.
I am the proud graduate of an all-girls high school. While some of my peers sought boys out, spending time at our brother school down the road, I ended up having limited contact with the opposite sex, since I didn’t actively seek them out. And yet I have worked at an all-boys summer camp every year since I graduated. I think these experiences have given me insight into the nature of sisterhood, brotherhood, and how members of the same gender interact when the opposite sex isn’t present.
Many seem to believe that when in single-sex environments, girls form cliques, are catty, and like to talk about each other behind our backs. This is not true. Women in fact feel free to be bold, messy, and not care about …
Feminism | Posted by Rinzu Rajan on 02/13/2014
Why Women Are Still Expected To Be Domestic In India
Why is motherhood the only option?
A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend who is going to publish a novel next year. She is exuberant to have become a novelist and was excitedly telling me about the characters in her book. My heart swelled with pride when she told me that she plans to write a second novel, too, I remembered my own dreams of becoming a writer and my own abandoned manuscript. I asked her when she would write her second novel and she told me that she would do so during her first maternity leave, which left me befuddled. Am I the only aspiring writer who is still so torn about her life path? I might regret never becoming a mother, but if I turn …
Feminism | Posted by Talia on 09/4/2013
“I’m Not A Boy.”
Every Shabbat (Sabbath), I volunteer at the kids’ group at my shul (synagogue). After we finish the service, Shabbat lunch is served. Traditionally, kiddush is made over wine or grape juice before the meal begins. The rebbetzin (rabbi’s wife) who runs the group at my shul always has a kid make the kiddush. Although this brakha (blessing) is traditionally reserved for the patriarch of the family, the rebbetzin allows both boys and girls to say kiddush.
During the summertime, the number of participants at the group tends to dwindle. A few weeks ago, when there was a particularly small turnout, the rebbetzin was hard-pressed to find a kid willing to make kiddush. She approached her two younger grandsons, neither of whom wanted to say kiddush. She
Feminism | Posted by Alison L on 07/17/2013
The Job You Never Realized You Had
One time the engineering class at my all-girls high school (yes, my school was that awesome) went to a near-by all-boys school to hear a speaker give a presentation about entrepreneurship, financial independence and math/STEM related topics. At one point during the presentation he asked for the students who had jobs or work experience to raise their hands.
Almost all of the boys raised their hands… and almost none of the girls did.
It was a little jarring. Were girls lazier than boys? If we lacked job experience—what else did we lack? Is studying not enough? Is this why men have more opportunities and potentially better careers than women?
Before my thoughts spiraled into a full-fledged feminist identity crisis, my teacher turned to my classmates and shout-whispered to us, “Girls! …