Feminism | Posted by Amber c on 08/31/2015

The Broken Concept of Virginity

Virginity is a destructive, heteronormative concept.

Society obsesses over the concept of virginity. Young girls are taught that they must meet standards of “purity” and “cleanliness” — standards that are determined by whether or not we have had sex yet. But placing so much importance on a social construct essentially designed to perpetuate a culture of slut-shaming and rape culture is dangerous to young girls’ health and well-being.

The truth is there is no medical or biological definition of virginity. The dictionary defines virginity as “the state of never having had sexual intercourse,” but this definition is largely meaningless. While the dominant understanding of “sexual intercourse” is penetrative sex, this ignores all of the people who have plenty of sex that isn’t penetrative. Can they not lose their virginity? How …

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Feminism | Posted by Cheyenne T on 07/6/2015

The Complexity of Being A Black Feminist in a Relationship

On losing your first love.

It’s hard being alone after having been with someone for a long time. It’s hard to detach from your first love, to not have that person on whom you can rely for comfort, happiness and safety. You miss falling in love every time you see that person — your best friend — walk towards you.

I recently found myself in this situation, alone after almost two years of partnership. My boyfriend was mother and father, friend and lover to me. Losing all of those people at once — and knowing that he lost the same — was heartbreaking. But knowing that he was one less black man and I one less black woman the other could protect was the most heartbreaking part of all.

I …

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Feminism | Posted by Louisa G on 05/21/2014

Why We Need To Stop Romanticizing Mental Illness Amongst Teen Girls

I realized recently that my generation has a strange fascination with the perception of mental illness, especially as it relates to teenage girls. I’ve noticed young women posting many quotes about mental illness on their Instagrams and Tumblrs — the sadder, the better, it seems. I think this increasing fascination with and performance of depression may stem from the media through the likes of movies and books where “broken” girls are seemingly put back together by the undying love of a man. This goes further than the typical boy-meets-girl cliché of an 80s movie and delves into the fantasy that someone with severe depression can be simply “fixed” by the right guy.

The infatuation people have with making mental illness something that can be seen as beautiful and even romantic …

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Feminism | Posted by Erica L on 05/31/2013

“Are You Sexually Active?” A Gay Girl Dealing With Heteronormative Doctors

Even in this day and age, my sex life stumps my doctor

Over the past few weeks, my schedule has been jammed with a clusterfuck of doctor’s appointments in an attempt to solve a stomach issue I’ve been dealing with for more than three years. I don’t typically shy away from doctors – I’m not the type to fear any unexpected diseases or cry over needles – but after a few appointments, I quickly grew tired of the answering the same question: “Are you sexually active?”

The answer is always, “Yes, with women only.” The response is always a blush, a stutter. Doctors’ hands always get clumsy; they are always unable to function in a coherent manner. Their notes always turn into scribbled gibberish.

I’ve always felt more painfully awkward …

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Feminism | Posted by Alec A on 10/4/2010

Redefining Masculinity

Newsweek: Man Up

Newsweek: Man Up

With all of this talk of the new woman, it only makes sense that society would begin to contemplate the new man. Newsweek attempted to transform a worn down male identity into a modern lifestyle. Though this may have been the goal of “Man Up!”, I felt personally insulted by this story. The message it sent to me was much less appealing, and frankly, quite narrow-minded.

According to this article, masculinity can only be defined within the domain of an archetypal American household. The modern man defines himself, as always, by his home, his wife, and his 2.3 children All the article suggests that men do is start to look after the kids some more. I have more faith in men than that.

To be a modern …

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Feminism | Posted by Danielle B on 09/13/2010

Purity Balls: Why is our viriginity anybody’s business but our own?

purity ring

purity ring

I’d be surprised if this is your first time hearing about

Purity Balls. The issue has been beaten to death – both by Christian conservatives who think they’re the keenest thing since toilet paper, and liberals like myself who think they’re a huge infringement on the rights of young girls – but if this truly is your first time hearing the (slightly suggestive) term, let me explain:

Purity Balls are pretty much like weddings. They’re held in big, fancy hotels with elegant finger foods, butlers with bad comb-overs, and the occasional violinist in the corner. But instead of a bride and groom coming together to pronounce their love to the world, the fathers and daughters attending these things make vows of their own. In well-rehearsed, cult-like chanting, …

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