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! …
Feminism | Posted by Erin F on 08/20/2012
The Confines of Masculinity
Gender is a complex social construction that has been developed for centuries. Yet many people still do not understand the differences between sex and gender, or that gender is not as simple as whether you have a penis or a vagina. With the onset of industrialization and capitalism, this problem has gotten even worse, as objects are gendered as well as people.
The way this process works is ideas, clothing, traits, and even personal preferences are characterized as masculine or feminine. These labels themselves are constructed through social norms and societal expectations. This assignment is vital, as it then isolates said idea to its category, where it’s status is then determined. More often than not, masculine traits are valued and feminine traits are devalued. It is through this …
Feminism | Posted by Amanda G on 03/7/2012
The Perils of Being A Feminist in the Dominican Republic
I’m currently a senior at my high school here in the Dominican Republic. I was born in the States and have lived overseas almost my entire life. I’m also Hispanic– both my parents and the rest of my family are Cuban. I think this is a great thing, a blessing even. We’re all pretty close, we’re bilingual, our food is delicious, we have friends all around the world, and now we have many opportunities that we wouldn’t have been granted if we hadn’t moved around. I’m extremely grateful.
Nevertheless (did you feel there was an impending catch?), if you’re also Hispanic or if you have had any exposure to Latino culture, you’ve probably witnessed the drawbacks of the close-mindedness and conventionalism that are evident in my culture, and maybe you’ve …
Feminism | Posted by Ashley B on 01/25/2012
Let Me Buy You Dinner
“Let me buy you dinner,” he said with a smile. He looked at me with confidence. He was close to me in age, and handsome. His actions were presumably innocent. On the surface, there was no reason for me to refuse. He thought he was simply asking me on a date, but it implied a deeper meaning.
He didn’t phrase his proposal as a question, but I still had a choice. I could say yes and smile endearingly; I could take the sandwich he wanted to buy me and thank him for his generosity. But I knew that if I wanted to live with myself, the answer would be no. I could not carry on as a hypocrite. I could not relinquish my self-respect for a sandwich.
“Why?” I …