Feminism | Posted by Charles Clymer on 05/8/2013

A Letter To My Future Son

A friend of mine has a young son. She recently asked me, and other men, to write a letter to our sons who exist or have yet to be born that she could show to her own child, someday. This is my letter.

Dear Son,

If you’re reading this, you are now set to embark on a journey into that wonderful, stressful, often-sticky phase we call “young adulthood”.

I want you to know that my love for you, my personal stake in your existence, could never be adequately measured.

As you have grown over the last 18 years, all I have ever sought to do is give you the best possible start on happiness in life and to respect and love others as equals.

You are a man in our …

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Feminism | Posted by Amanda P on 06/29/2012

On Street Harassment

I vividly remember the first time I ever experienced street harassment. I was on my way to class and saw in the distance a group of young men drinking and carrying on in a very loud and obnoxious manner. A young woman, who was a great distance ahead of me, lowered her head, tightened the grip on her shoulder bag, and walked by as quickly as possible. As I approached, their attention quickly turned to me and they shouted, “HEY…HEY, YOU…HEY…!” Now, ladies and gentlemen, I could have easily lowered my head and just ignored these comments but it’s hardly in my nature not to respond to such idiocy. I didn’t even have to say anything — my mere middle finger in the air sent these three young men into …

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Articles | Posted by Julie Z on 06/6/2012

An Interview with Michael Kimmel

Michael Kimmel is among the leading researchers and writers on men and masculinity in the world today. The author or editor of more than twenty volumes, his books include Changing Men: New Directions in Research on Men and Masculinity (1987), Men Confront Pornography (1990), The Politics of Manhood (1996), The Gender of Desire (2005), The History of Men (2005) and more recently Guyland (2008) and The Guy’s Guide to Feminism (2011).

I hadn’t really thought much about the difficulties guys face in our culture before I read Guyland by Michael Kimmel. I had focused so much energy on figuring out the societal pressures placed on girls that Kimmel’s account of what it means to grow up and be male was completely eye-opening. It confirmed to me just how much men

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Talia on 04/20/2012

The Color Pink

I volunteer at the children’s service at my synagogue on Shabbat (the Sabbath). Every week, the kids walk around with kid-sized Torahs, some of which are stuffed toys. The Torahs are red, yellow, blue, and purple and were bought in the past few years, so they all look new and are in pretty good condition, but there’s one pink one, that is about twice my age. It’s very faded, a little corroded looking, and has been sewed more times than I can remember to keep the stuffing from falling out. Despite the clear quality disparity, all hell breaks loose every Shabbat when the little girls come running to grab the pink Torah before anyone else can catch up. And yes, innumerable tears have been shed and many fights have ensued …

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Feminism | Posted by Aimee B on 04/11/2012

Growing Up A Tomboy

I never thought much of gender construction as a child. I just knew what I wanted to wear, how my hair should be cut, and what interested me. Did I want to proudly wear my new matching dragon shirt and short set? Yes. Did I want to play the more physical and male dominated games? Yes. Breaking through the conventions of the female stereotype was never problematic for me until I was around eight years old and moved to a new town.

It was nerve racking. I was suddenly over-aware of my “boyish” appearance, worried about how and if my peers would accept me. My mother accompanied my sister and me to our new classrooms, mine being the first. The teacher met us outside of the classroom, hugged my sister, …

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Feminism | Posted by LodB on 02/22/2012

Doctors, Nurses And One Terrific Professor

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="145" caption="language matters"][/caption]

Recently, I was taking a course on linguistics, and we were discussing syntax. My professor asked the class– a room of roughly a hundred English students, mostly female– what pronoun to use when replacing the noun ‘boss’. It wasn’t a very serious question, but the response made him stop in his tracks. Over half the class had casually, but eagerly, called out ‘he’. It wasn’t until my astonished professor eyed us that everyone realised what they had said: that they had confirmed something we all thought to have been a thing of the past. There were nervous giggles and some shocked faces, including my own, because what’s so horrific is that I hadn’t realized it either.

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Feminism | Posted by Talia on 02/10/2012

Thoughts On Gender-Neutral Speech

As I was doing my AP Psychology homework about the psychology of language recently, I came across some interesting studies about the effect of using gender-neutral speech.

Janet Hyde, a professor of psychology and women’s studies at University of Wisconsin – Madison, conducted a study in 1984 where she asked children to finish stories for which she gave them a first line, like “When a kid goes to school, ___ often feels excited on the first day.” When Dr. Hyde used the word he in the blank, almost all of the kids’ stories were about boys. When she used he or she, about a third of the stories were about girls. This effect is not only present in children, but has also been seen in similar studies with adolescents and …

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Feminism | Posted by Megan E on 02/6/2012

Transgender: An Overview

Many people don’t know what being transgender means. I, not being transgendered, don’t fully understand every aspect of it either but my fiancée is in the middle of transitioning so I want to express what I do know. Here is some information I’ve gathered about people transitioning from one gender to another.

Being transgender means feeling that you are a different gender than your physical biology. It means that a person does not see themselves as the biological gender they were born into. In other words they do not feel that their gender matches their sex (their body parts). Some people (like my sociology professor) refer to a person transitioning as “man to woman” or “woman to man” because (as he describes it) people transitioning are only transitioning their gender, …

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