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 …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma Havighorst on 07/14/2016

Does Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $” Music Video Have A Feminist Message?

M.I.L.F. $

M.I.L.F. $

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 …

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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

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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 …

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Creative | Posted by Shannon H on 04/8/2016

The Binary

With our first breaths we are packaged and

itemized. We are placed on a conveyer belt and

processed through our adjacent existences

of Pink and Blue.

And I wonder what my colour is,

as a person who is both, and neither,

and nothing, and everything.

Sometimes I think that it must be White.

I feel as though if I close my eyes

I will be absorbed into that nebulous space

where I am supposed to exist.

My brother and sister sit on opposite sides of the same room;

I look at them and see that I am neither.

I do not belong in this space,

and in this realization the void has never felt so harrowing.

From within quiet rooms I hear whispers

about my hair and clothes, and I…

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 03/30/2016

What Volunteering In The South Taught Me About My Own Prejudice

Not all Southerners perpetuate a legacy of racism.

This year I decided to participate in a spring break program called the Collegiate Challenge, which offered students the opportunity to partner with our university’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity and spend a week building houses for low income families. This year’s build site was Lake Sumpter, Florida — a small town in central Florida, about two hours outside of Orlando. Although I had been to Miami once before, this was my first experience in a more rural, southern environment and, to be honest, I went into the trip with a lot of assumptions and prejudices.

Before I traveled to the state, I knew that Donald Trump had won the Florida primaries and that the governor of Florida had endorsed him. …

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Feminism | Posted by Eliza V on 07/14/2015

The Importance of Embracing Change

Sydney, Australia

When I was sixteen my parents and I packed up and moved from Australia to New York. I left behind my school, the place I grew up, some friends, and many family members. It was a big change, but one that I welcomed.

At the time I felt like I had hit a dead end at school and needed change. My grades were average at best and I didn’t feel passionate about anything. I didn’t have many friends and felt like I had seen all that life had to offer, even though I was only sixteen. I somehow knew that this couldn’t be true, that there had to be something more. My dad’s decision to take a job in New York, and the corresponding possibility of finding something …

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Feminism | Posted by Erin C. on 05/18/2015

Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes About Mental Illness

The stereotypical image of depression

Close your eyes for a second and think about depression. What comes to mind? Chances are, it’s a girl (maybe with her head in her hands). Perhaps she appears as a dark silhouette, curled up in the fetal position? She probably looks sad.

That image hardly matched my experience. In my life that somebody was just an ordinary boy. He would make his friends roll on the floor with laughter every day. He never failed to put a smile on my face.

But one September, he went away to England to study abroad. Unable to find support and happiness there, he died by suicide. Until then, I had no idea one of my closest friends was clinically depressed.

Everyone occasionally gets “the blues,” but when …

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