Feminism | Posted by Gabby Catalano on 09/21/2016
We Need To Stop Sexualizing And Policing Women Who Have Curvy Bodies
Patrice Brown, a fourth-grade teacher in Atlanta who is known for being at the center of the hashtag #TeacherBae, is being criticized in the media — not for her body of work, but rather her body at work. Specifically people are calling Brown’s wardrobe “unacceptable” and too “sexy.”
First off, though her clothes themselves should be irrelevant to her job performance, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Brown’s work attire. A quick look at her Instagram page reveals that Brown’s typical dress seems like it would hold up to any standard dress code. She wears skirts and dresses that are knee-length and high-necked, usually paired with flats or heels, and sometimes a work blazer. In every photo taken of her at school, her neckline is above her collarbone …
Feminism | Posted by Gabby C on 08/2/2016
Invading A Woman’s Personal Privacy Should Be Illegal
Taking nonconsensual photos is unacceptable.
Despite a popular myth to the contrary, what a woman chooses to wear is hardly the only factor that contributes to her public objectification — objectification that often overtly violates women’s consent. For example, many women have experienced strangers not only objectifying them based on the length of their skirts, but have (knowingly or not) been subjected to others looking up their skirts and even taking photos up them, too.
As of July 2016, this unfortunate phenomenon became completely legal in Georgia. On July 20th, The Georgia Court of Appeals asserted that the state’s invasion of privacy laws doesn’t account for taking a photo up a woman’s skirt (known as the “upskirt” photo) unless she’s “behind closed doors,” like in a bathroom or bedroom.
Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 10/19/2015
Nick Jonas: Increasing the “Levels” of Objectification
The music video for “Blurred Lines” marked an important moment in our culture — not because of the (highly sexist) video itself, but because feminist and anti-racist critiques of the video were widely celebrated. Parodies of the music video highlighted the asymmetrical power dynamic between the clothed men and topless women, which in turn demonstrated how feminists were using digital media to resist patriarchal depictions of women. It seemed sexist men in particular had learned a valuable lesson: Women want to be more than topless, nameless, voiceless blow up dolls when included in men’s projects. It felt like our society was finally “getting” feminism.
Then I watched the new music video for Nick Jonas’ song “Levels.” The song seemed fun, catchy and a bit sensual, so I …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 07/27/2015
Rihanna’s ‘BBHMM’ Video and Our Resistance To Black Women’s Subjectivity
Rihanna performing BBHMM live at the 2015 iHeart Radio Music Awards.
As anyone even mildly interested in pop culture likely knows, Rihanna recently dropped a new music video for her song Bitch Better Have My Money. I found the video itself interesting, but honestly found the critiques of it even more so. Many of these critiques demonstrate that mainstream culture still doesn’t know how to meaningfully engage with black women and the popularity of the work they create. Specifically, it seems that critics of black, female artists try to understand their work through the lens of static theories that reiterate racist tropes, and which produce prescriptive, limiting understandings of their work. We’ve seen this with panic over Beyoncé’s feminism, shock in response to Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda album cover, …
Feminism | Posted by Molly H on 06/3/2015
Abercrombie and Ditch? Why Abercrombie and Hollister Are Ditching Sexualization
An Abercrombie model
Academics, parenting blogs, and activists have protested the media’s inappropriate and gross hypersexualization of girls. Nearly every TV commercial I watch or department store I visit reminds me of this — Target has a bra section for girls pre-teen girls, most of whom have yet to develop breasts, just to name one example. It’s a major problem in plain sight.
While it’s true that girls are probably sexualized in the media at a much higher rate than boys, a recent Buzzfeed article revealed how Abercrombie and Hollister are rejecting sexualization of all. In a statement made on April 24th, Abercrombie announced that they will remove all types of sexualization from their advertising and promotional events by July 2015 — including the hypersexualized, shirtless men they …
Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 10/17/2014
Street Harassment: It’s Not A Compliment
It was a hot Los Angeles Saturday and I decided to walk my dog down my usually quiet residential street. I was sixteen at the time and wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Three men, probably in their late twenties, pulled up to the curb next to me in a black BMW sedan. The driver, who was wearing black Ray Ban sunglasses, opened his window. “Hey,” he said, raising his eyebrows at his friends. “We should check her for STDs before we f*ck her!”
He smirked and his friends laughed and hooted. I stood frozen. My mouth fell open slightly, in shock. The driver revved the engine and zoomed down the street. For a few minutes, I couldn’t move while my dog tugged anxiously at her leash. What just happened? …
Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 09/24/2014
The Freedom of Topless Beaches
Why can't we go topless?
In popular culture, women’s breasts are often seen as the ultimate symbol of sex. Women are bombarded with a variety of consumeristic options to “improve” our breasts: we can buy numerous types of bras (gel, push up, “bomb shell”…the list goes on), which all seem designed to emphasize women’s breasts up to the point of actual exposure. It’s a thin line: women are encouraged to clearly demonstrate their cleavage, yet actually going topless is considered shameful and reserved for Playboy. In settings where men can acceptably go shirtless, like the beach, breasts “need” to be covered. But why do women “need” to constantly cover — yet simultaneously strategically expose — an ultimately benign aspect of our bodies?
This past August, I was fortunate enough to …
Feminism | Posted by Ines R on 07/9/2014
Sexism and Soccer Balls
The other day my friend asked me if I thought a true feminist can support the World Cup. Until this year, I probably would have immediately answered yes: I just associated the World Cup with a somewhat rarefied joy and excitement. Over the years, I have loved witnessing the passion other countries have for their nation’s team and choosing a team to root for with my family (we usually just hop onto the bandwagon of the favored champions since our country, Peru, has not been in the World Cup since 1982). But this year — maybe because I’m older, maybe because it seems more obvious than ever before — I’ve noticed various sexist dynamics surrounding the World Cup.
The World Cup has had a significant impact on women’s lives all …