Feminism | Posted by Kayleigh Bolingbroke on 10/10/2016
Overcoming Internalized Misogyny
“Wow, they’re beautiful,” I thought to myself at nine years old as I watched yet another music video by yet another girl group for the hundredth time. I admired these women, in all their scantily clad glory. I aspired to emulate their confidence, physical beauty, and the senses of entitlement and pride they seemed to feel about their own bodies. These pop sensations were my idols.
But at the age of thirteen, watching the same videos conjured words like “slut” and “tease” instead. I watched the women featured in Sugababes’ “Push the Button” gyrate their bodies over men like strippers, and deemed their movements vulgar. I pondered why these men, who were presented as so strong and influential, lusted after girls who made themselves so available, …
Feminism | Posted by Corinne Singer on 07/25/2016
An Open Letter To Principals Enforcing Sexist Dress Codes
To My Middle School Principal (And to School Administrators Alike),
I’ve observed from afar, with horror and disgust, as you’ve punished young girls for their school attire. Nearly every day my little brother comes home and shares that another girl has been interrupted, pulled out of class, and sent to the office only to be reprimanded for her clothing. While I understand the attempt to maintain a “serious academic environment,” you are completely butchering your execution of this goal.
Creating a focused, educational environment is a vision that is contingent upon the comfort and inclusion of all students. A truly thriving educational community is an inclusive community, which requires the full embrace of every member’s whole self. By demonizing developing girls and their bodies, you effectively reduce girls …
Feminism | Posted by Zoe R on 05/20/2016
How Social Media Has Shaped My Feminist Identity
At the age of 13, I discovered feminism. Like so many other girls, I found the movement on Tumblr — a platform that has gained a reputation for fostering radical views about equality and tolerance. Tumblr offered me a new world of opportunity and helped me realize I could demand more at a time when I felt particularly vulnerable.
My feminist community on Tumblr became a lifeline in what I found to be an often damaging social media landscape. Harmful ideals and expectations of beauty and femininity were shoved down my throat on Facebook, and the Internet in general often felt like it was full of criticism. It was all too easy to vulnerably compare myself to the inundation of idealized, carefully curated images and posts — from celebrities …
Feminism | Posted by Gabby C on 05/13/2016
Teen Girls Are Going To Keep Rebelling Against Sexist Dress Codes
The dress code poster, via ABC.
When girls wear short skirts, we call them “inappropriate.” When girls make bold decisions about their lives, we call them “vain.” When girls call themselves feminists, we call them “ugly.” When girls ask for justice in an unfair educational system, we call them “unheard.” But teen girls are refusing to tolerate any of the above any longer — one need look no further than the protests surrounding sexist dress codes for proof.
Most recently, high school seniors at Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, Arizona took action when a sexist cartoon about the school’s dress code was posted in their library. The cartoon essentially relayed the idea that when girls show off their legs and wear clothes that are too “revealing,” boys can’t focus …
Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 09/16/2015
Consent in the Age of High School Hookup Culture
A few weeks ago, I took my seat in the huge auditorium of my East Coast college preparatory boarding school for Proctor Training. The week-long event involved a series of workshops and lectures that train dormitory proctors how to address issues that may arise in the community over the course of the school year. We reviewed “no-grinding” dance rules, gendered dormitory visitation policies, and health center pamphlets — probably the same policies that have been upheld at countless college preparatory schools across the country for years.
But this time around, there was an elephant in the room: The Owen Labrie trial.
On August 28th, 18-year old St. Paul’s School senior Owen Labrie was found not guilty of felony sexual assault charges, but was convicted of having sex …
Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 08/26/2015
On Women’s Equality Day, Let’s Talk About White Feminism
Huffington Post’s ‘White Feminism’ Video
I used to be a White Feminist. As a white woman, I thought it was my only option. But, as a video produced by the Huffington Post and a thoughtful post by the young star Rowan Blanchard both explain, this doesn’t have to be the case.
White Feminism is activism that focuses on white women gaining the same rights as white men. It is, essentially, feminism that attempts to function without intersectionality and effectively ignores and disrespects the ways women of color and gender-nonconforming people experience oppression. It’s a type of feminism which is rapidly, and necessarily, becoming irrelevant.
I didn’t know all this, however, until I was fortunate enough to learn about it in high school. I was taught little about feminism in middle …
Feminism | Posted by Chelsea C on 08/19/2015
How I Took A Stand Against Catcalling
Chelsea’s anti-catcalling project
He whistles. “Hey beautiful, look at that ass. Damn, can’t you at least smile?”
I have faced plenty of unfair, gender-based double standards in my life. I’ve been told from a young age to never be alone in public. I’ve been forced to wear skirts down to my knees and shirts that cover my shoulders in school so as to not distract others. I’ve seen too many examples of the sexual objectification of women in the media and, of course, real life.
The double standard I’ve been dealing with most recently, though, is the way I feel I have put effort into dressing a certain way in order to avoid street harassment. Every morning as I’m getting ready to attend my summer classes in NYC, I have …
Feminism | Posted by Martha H on 07/22/2015
The Case for Criminalizing Street Harassment
Stop street harassment.
This is my thought process before leaving the house: I want to look nice and appreciate fashion, but also know that if I’m going to be on public transport or walking down the street, I must actively check my outfit to be sure it won’t subject me to catcalling.
As a politically-minded, strong person, I would ideally like to make my own choices about everything in my life, including what I wear. I would love to be able to rise above threatening perpetrators of harassment. But in reality, I do regulate my outfit to conform to society’s pressure and avoid the consequences of other’s behavior. I moderate my choices because I’m scared that I will not only get verbally harassed, but that this harassment could lead to …