Feminism | Posted by Paris A on 07/14/2014

Why We Need Women’s Studies Classes in High School

My high school feminism class holding their “Who Needs Feminism” signs (photo credit: Noel Diggs).

For years I, like most of my peers, always struggled to answer the question “why do we still need feminism?” But ever since I took a class about feminism my Junior year of high school, I can’t and won’t go back to my previous ignorance about the movement. Now, because of that class, I can readily give a general but accurate answer: I need feminism because I cannot live without it.

This feminism class led me to reflect a lot on what it means to be a teenage girl in this world. Ever since I was practically shoved chest-first into puberty, I have felt the effects of the way women and girls are sexualized and …

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Celeste Y on 04/28/2014

Lady Promposals: I’m Breaking the Prom Double Standard — Right Now

The art of the promposal

With my grade’s school day countdown approaching the twenties, obligatory end-of-high-school events are becoming very real, very quickly. Prom season feels like it has been coming for a lifetime and for some girls, it actually has. For those girls, it’s an exciting time. Dresses! Hair! Lipstick! Other things I’ve never been concerned with! In my opinion, however, the whole event has cast a dusky, dis-empowering and somewhat misogynist cloud over the final chapters of senior year.

For those of you who are unaware (adults) of modern day prom etiquette — it’s extravagant. A promposal is a self-explanatory invitation to prom. But they are usually and increasingly grand, romantic and often public gestures wherein boys ask girls to be their dates. They typically involve the spelling …

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Feminism | Posted by Kennedy H on 03/24/2014

What Feminism Really Means

While teens, adults and even celebrities alike dare to mistakenly claim that feminism means  loathing men and believing that women are worth more than men, I believe that feminism is simply about equality: it’s about the power to be strong, confident and aspire to be anything and do anything independently.

Even though feminist activists have fought for equality for years, it’s clear equality has yet to be achieved. One of the most obvious and pervasive examples is the portrayal of women in the media: advertisements overwhelmingly undermine women and the media generally insists on portraying women as sex objects. How many ads have you seen where a woman is half naked (if not completely naked) without any contextual relation to the product being sold? Another example is the classic double …

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Feminism | Posted by Hannah on 01/13/2014

Feminism Has Changed Me: Claiming My Black Latina Identity

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Hannah and her feminist classmates

Throughout the last few weeks, I have been introduced to a powerful movement called feminism. I have never been as inspired and motivated to use my voice than I am right now. The more that I have been reading about amazing feminists like Cherrie Moraga and Audre Lorde, the more I  ask myself, how can I use my voice and actions to involve myself in a feminist way of life?

In my feminism class we wrote essays about how the different variables of our life like race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect and make up our lives. Writing my own intersectionality essay gave me the chance to reflect on the complexity of my life. As a black Latina, my life is very complicated and …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 12/9/2013

The Problem With Mean Girls

The vast majority of us are familiar with the movie Mean Girls (written by the amazing Tina Fey). Although the film has the quintessential embellishments of most chick flicks, it also sheds light on the difficulty teenage girls face not just with their parents or boys, but with each other, even with their “best” friends. But you hardly need to watch Mean Girls to witness or experience female aggression. According to a recent New York Times Article, “The existence of female competition may seem obvious to anyone who has been in a high-school cafeteria or a singles bar, but analyzing it has been difficult because it tends be more subtle and indirect (and a lot less violent) than the male variety.” We all know that this sinister ambiance is …

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Feminism | Posted by Brukea on 09/18/2013

I Need Feminism Because I Am Blind Without It

The feminist fight is one that the general public tends to sweep under the carpet.

In other words, the feminist movement is often overlooked as a useless fight. Far too many people believe that the women’s fight is over.

Speaking from the perspective of a 17-year-old male, I believe that it is not hatred towards women or a belief that they should be in a lower status or portrayed in a certain manner that keeps us from moving forward, but rather a lack of knowledge for the actual causes being fought for in the feminist movement and the long-lasting effects these issues have in society.

Taking a feminist studies and activism class in high school opened my eyes to domestic as well as international issues that devastate our world. These …

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Feminism | Posted by Amy A on 08/16/2013

Dress Codes: Stepping Stones To Rape Culture

At some point in their school careers, almost every girl I know has encountered some trouble with a dress code: her skirt was too short, her pants were too tight, or her straps were too thin. Though dress codes run the gamut from a few loose guidelines to a strict uniform, there are always instances of students breaking those codes. But here’s the problem with dress codes: almost every girl I know has been called out at least once for their attire, but I don’t know any boys who have. It’s the girls who see the prom dress of their dreams, but worry that they will not be able to wear it because of the length. It’s the girls who suffer through humidity and heat at the end of the …

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Feminism | Posted by Rachel B on 06/26/2013

Will Girls Really Rise?

I recently watched the documentary film “Girl Rising” with my high school (of about 80 students) and subsequently helped to lead a forum to discuss it. The movie artistically illustrates the stories of nine girls in the developing world who overcame seemingly insurmountable barriers to get an education that culturally only their male counterparts are entitled to. Their struggles included extreme poverty, bonded servitude, sexual harassment, rape, physical abuse and gender discrimination just for starters. Most of the stories ended positively with the girls overcoming their oppressive situations and making better lives for themselves, but others, such as the girl from Afghanistan, did not fare as well. The bravery these girls exhibited by speaking out (they could be killed for this effrontery) should be lauded.

Once the movie …

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