Feminism | Posted by Leanne Yuen on 11/28/2016
Fighting Asian American Stereotypes
It’s time to end the stereotypes once and for all
There’s a common myth that Asian Americans do not experience racism on as grand a level as do other people of color. While many Eastern Asians experience light skin privilege, and violations like police brutality do disproportionately affect African Americans, there is still an urgent need to fight for Asian American rights in this nation, too.
Let’s take the numerous stereotypes that persist about Asian Americans. The most common ones maintain that Asians are fond of rice, proficient in the maths and sciences (and have parents who force them to enter those fields professionally), and prone to being quiet and submissive. How can these stereotypes be offensive or damaging? Many seem to wonder. There’s nothing wrong with liking rice, acing …
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Dayton Uttinger on 10/24/2016
The Problem With Saying Someone “Looks Like A Lesbian”
My style has nothing to do with my sexuality.
Apparently, if you cut off half of your hair, start playing rugby, spearhead a LGBTQA group on campus, begin obsessing over Orange is the New Black, and break up with your boyfriend all within the span of a year, people think you’re a lesbian. After each of these developments, I registered my mother’s raised eyebrows, my friends’ giggles, and questions like, “You know you look like a lesbian, right?”
Not that I expected any differently. I knew that my lifestyle (and style itself) was conforming to lesbian stereotypes every step of the way. I’d figured that out for myself after being hit on several times by other women (although, to be fair, half the social events I attended during college …
Feminism | Posted by Lauren D on 07/20/2016
Is Unilever’s Vow To End Sexism In Their Ads A True Victory?
They’re trying to change.
Recent research suggested what many feminists have already spoken up about in the past: Only 2% of Unilever ads “portray intelligent women.” Unilever — the global corporation behind many famous brands such as Dove, Axe, Lynx, and Lipton — recently announced that they will reconsider using demeaning portrayals of women and sexism to sell their products. Instead of exploiting women’s insecurities, the company promised to instead promote images of intelligent women rather and declared that their goal is to #UNSTEREOTYPE women through the advertisements of every brand of their corporation.
Many experts have connected the prevalence of such destructive ads created by brands across the board to the rise in young girls’ negative body image. For example, activist Jean Kilbourne has noted that the average American …
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 Karla Majdancic on 06/21/2016
Praise Young Girls For Being ‘Smart,’ Not ‘Pretty’
We’re still sending young girls restrictive, gendered messages.
For a long time, whenever I pictured an engineer I automatically imagined a guy who looked something like Mark Zuckerberg. I never imagined an engineer could be someone who looks like me. There are likely many causes for my assumption, but perhaps the most influential is the way our society still socializes girls to choose and strive for being beautiful over being intelligent.
Girls who choose to pursue science are perpetually viewed as nerdy loners — as anti-social, undesirable, and uninteresting. These stereotypes are perpetuated by the gender norms at the heart of our societal expectations for girls, which are furthered by the media to which we’re exposed while growing up.
Take, for example, my favorite TV show as a child: Scooby …
Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 04/15/2016
Why “Housewife” Should Not Be A Dirty Word
Is “housewife” a dirty word?
As the daughter of a full-time mom, the word “housewife” elicits mixed feelings. On the one hand, as a Latina feminist, I am aware of how our patriarchal society governs women’s roles and relegates them to traditional domesticity. On the other, though, I have watched my mother endure burns, scratches and arthritic pain to do the back-breaking work that supports her household — and can’t help but admire and appreciate her work ethic. I was offended and even a bit hurt, therefore, to learn that Dictionary.com defines “housewife” as a term that is “sometimes offensive.”
To be fair, this designation perhaps makes sense based on the relatively recent historical legacy established by the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Being a housewife was largely …