Feminism | Posted by Annemarie McDaniel on 08/6/2014

Why The Sexism at Texas Boys State 2014 Is Not Okay

Texas Boys State

What do astronaut Neil Armstrong, President Bill Clinton, basketball star Michael Jordan, and singer Bon Jovi all have in common? When they were juniors in high school, they all attended a prestigious but little-known program called Boys State. That’s just the beginning of the incredibly long list of famous Boys State alumni, and alumnae from its sister program, Girls State, are just as impressive.

In just a few days at the summer Boys State and Girls State program, high school students run for office, write legislation, draft court opinions, publish newspapers, and more. Usually this is a very fulfilling experience, but this year, at Texas’ Boys State, one delegate’s entire campaign speech was just the words “Cold beer and titties.” Campaign photos featured swimsuit models with …

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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 | Posted by Angela B on 06/27/2014

How I Lost My Voice

My single-sex elementary school class

I went to a weird elementary school. It was a hybrid between co-educational and single sex classrooms. The idea was that as children grow older, the differences between the ways boys and girls learned beomce more distinct: kindergartners and first graders had co-ed classes, but from second grade to 8th grade, the classes were split into single sex classrooms. At seven and eight this never seemed strange to me, and I assumed all schools followed this model, until at soccer practice a girl on my team was telling a story about how a boy in her class was trying to convince everyone that Spiderman was the best superhero. I asked her what a boy was doing in her classroom, earning laughter from my teammates …

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Feminism | Posted by Julia B on 04/14/2014

Not “Crazy,” Just Dedicated

When girls are young, Cinderella tells them “dreams really do come true.” As we get older, that philosophy changes and we learn that life isn’t actually a fairytale. You have to work hard in order to achieve something great, and even then it doesn’t always happen.  For me, ballet started as a fairytale and transformed into a whole lot of hard work. And I love it.

Like any professional-in-training, I spend about 20 hours per week training for what I dream of doing: becoming a professional ballet dancer. I don’t know if I’ll succeed (because the ballet world is extremely, extremely competitive), but either way I want to be able to say that I worked as hard as I possibly could.

People have said that I “have no life” outside …

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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 Julia B on 12/16/2013

The Art of Recreating Yourself

I’ve always made “New Years Resolutions” and “School Year Resolutions.” Sometimes, “Summer Vacation Resolutions.” The idea of change has always appealed to me, and that includes feeling the need to change myself. I always felt really guilty for feeling that way, probably from always hearing about how I was “fine just the way I am,” from my parents and teachers.

My resolutions were never about losing weight, getting a boyfriend, or being “cool.” They were always about things I wanted to be, things I wanted to do, and ways I wanted to act because I thought it would make me happy. Does that mean I have bad self esteem? Maybe somewhat. Or maybe it means that I’m a teenager, and most teenagers don’t really know what we’re doing or who …

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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 Arely L on 11/25/2013

The Wrong Kind Of Protection

Just one of the double standards I face: girls can't be gamers

I am being raised in a Catholic household by parents who have always set very different standards for me than they have for my brother. For example, while my brother was allowed to go out alone at 12, I still have a hard time going out at 16. My parents have explained to me that I am in more danger of being hurt than my brother because I am a girl and need to be kept safe. While I initially dismissed my anger and accepted this explanation, I now realize that instead of limiting my social activity and autonomy, instead of trying to blindly protect me, they should have exposed me to the realities of the world.

What …

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