Feminism | Posted by Ashley Johnson on 03/7/2017
Embracing My Blackness At Predominantly White Institutions
My schools have all been predominately white
I wouldn’t say that I necessarily felt white growing up, but I never felt all that black, either. I wasn’t raised to feel in any way less than my white counterparts, but at the same time, my parents never taught or encouraged me to identify strongly with being black. We never had a history lesson on blackness in my home or any in-depth conversations about Dr. King on his birthday. We weren’t part of a black community: we didn’t go to church regularly and were mostly isolated from our extended family—we never had the Tyler Perry-esque big, jolly reunions I saw black families have on TV and in the movies. Rather, my siblings and I were raised to believe that we were, in …
Feminism | Posted by Vicki S on 01/4/2017
On the Ground: An Interview With The Founders of Columbia University’s First South Asian Feminism(s) Alliance
The Founders of SAFA
In the fall semester of 2015, the first ever South Asian Feminism(s) Alliance (SAFA) was introduced to Columbia University. SAFA founders and Barnard alumnae Sarika Kumar, Mallika Walia, and Kaavya Mahajan created the group to unite students on campus to engage in discussions and community action against sexism, misogyny, and patriarchy in the South Asian community.
In spring of 2015, CU Sewa, an on-campus, social justice-oriented group in line with the Sikh tradition Sewa partnered with the Muslim Students Association, the Organization of Pakistani Students, and the Indian Students at Columbia University to coordinate the panel “Transnational Feminism in South Asia: An embodiment of contradictions.” The event featured panelists including Aradhana Sharma, Afiya Zia, and spoken word artists Rupi …
Feminism | Posted by Anonymous on 04/8/2015
My Mixed Race Features Are Not Pieces of a Puzzle
I identify as mixed-race
What Are You?
I find myself being asked that question more often than I like to admit. It takes many forms, broken down and built back up again, that same old question rattling around in my head like a single penny in a tin can. It makes so much noise, demanding attention. It’s a person’s desperate attempt to make sense of my loose curls, almond shaped eyes and light complexion. That strong human instinct to organize and categorize, coming from the depths of a person’s consciousness, causing many people to squint and nod their head as they try to piece my features together like a puzzle.
Telling people this makes most people smile as they are finally able to put me in a category. …
Feminism | Posted by aneuman on 02/3/2014
On Being Incorporated
The term incorporated is often used to describe an organization or business that has become legalized and made official. People can become incorporated as well, as in the cases of celebrities putting trademarks on their names, their public identities as part brand, part person. For better or worse (definitely worse), regular individuals are now incorporating themselves, young girls in particular. We are spending much if not all of our leisure time doing so, whether we realize it or not, and we lack the celebrity’s excuse of doing it for money.
Example: I am a girl going off to college. I meet some nice people in the first few weeks there, but nothing seems solid yet, there is no reaffirming stamp on my place in this foreign environment. I need to …
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Danielle P on 08/15/2012
I Am More Than Just A Girl. I Am Human.
I was lucky enough to have been raised by open minded women. Never once did the idea that girls are only supposed to be a certain way come up. Early on I learned that girls and boys are equals. I was treated as such up until middle school when all of a sudden it seemed like people had to define their gender. Sexist jokes all of a sudden became funny and I was supposed to laugh at a joke that degraded me. I was required to like make up and dress like the girls in hip-hop videos. I was no longer a person, but rather A Girl and I had to follow a whole new set of rules. Suddenly, I was defined by my gender and I had to wonder …
Feminism | Posted by Oliver L on 04/4/2011
I’m A Boy
My interest in feminism could have started when my mom told me that people “aren’t weird, they’re just different.” It could have started when I was teased in elementary school for having braces or in high school for having overbite. It could have been those journalism classes or seeing how Native people in my high school were treated by my peers. Maybe it was because I had to come out as queer and then again, as a transgender man.
Hell, for all I know it started because I watched the Beatles animated film “The Yellow Submarine” every day with my brother when I was nine. All of those happy people dancing, becoming frozen because some Blue Meanie didn’t like music. Unjust, I tell you! I grew up listening to the …