Feminism | Posted by Mai D on 04/27/2016
The Truth About Having “Bad” Hair
One brand of hair relaxer.
I am a young Senegalese woman with “kinky” hair — specifically, type 4A/4B according to Andre Walker’s hair chart — and I have heard every comment in the book about it. Since preschool I have been told I have “bad hair” by everyone from Dominican hair stylists to my African family members who have constantly begged me to relax it in order to look “proper” and “decent.” No matter the specific critique, my hair has always been deemed wrong by others.
My older, female cousins were the first to influence my hair. I grew up with three older brothers and my mother usually kept my hair braided so neither of us had to think too much about it. At the ripe age of eight, however, …
Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 03/16/2016
We Need To Talk About The Flint Water Crisis and Environmental Racism
Flint’s contaminated water.
Mainstream America just got a wake-up call about the importance of pushing back on environmental racism and it came from an unexpected source: Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
On February 25th, Clinton delivered a Super Tuesday speech to a mostly black crowd at the Woodside Church in Flint, Michigan. The speech was her second given in the city and the presidential hopeful took the opportunity to frame the city’s recent water crisis as a social justice issue. Clinton called Flint “a community that’s been knocked down, but refused to be knocked out” and highlighted efforts of local unions and schools to obtain clean water for their neighbors. She also demanded $600 million from the federal government to solve the water crisis. Clinton added that “we’ve come too far …
Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 02/22/2016
This Is How “Misogynoir” Affects Black Campus Sexual Assault Survivors
HBCU Spelman College
The term “misogynoir” — a fusion of the words misogyny and “noir,” the French word for black — was coined by the queer, black feminist Moya Bailey in 2010 and refers to the intersection of sexism and racism black women face.
“We allow and encourage abusers of Black women to thrive, yet somehow the conversation turns to the spoiling of nostalgia or stripping of earned success,” founder and editor-in-chief of ForHarriet Kimberly Foster argued in a 2015 article. This is “an old story: a Black man’s triumph is more important than a Black woman’s body,” she added.
There is plenty of evidence of the specific misogyny and violence black women face, but it is particularly evident in terms of how survivors of sexual assault …
Feminism | Posted by Reilly W on 02/17/2016
How I Am Trying To Overcome A White Feminist Mindset
No more white feminist squads.
As a straight, upper middle class, private school educated, white teenage girl, my first understanding of feminism was undeniably “white feminism.” This type of feminism is one that fails to address issues that don’t primarily apply to the most socioeconomically privileged people in the movement. I only focused on issues of inequality that directly and obviously effected me, bought into ideas about “saving” other women — like the all too common refrain that “Muslim women are oppressed by hijabs and need Western women’s help to liberate themselves!”— and considered Lena Dunham, Emma Watson and Tina Fey my primary feminist role models.
I’m hardly the first to perpetuate this mentality, either. White women have dominated feminism for years. They have done so not because they …
Feminism | Posted by David G on 01/6/2016
What The Reaction To Sandra Bland’s Case Reveals About White Feminism
Sandra Bland, an African-American woman arrested for failing to use her turn signal, was found dead in her jail cell three days after her arrest in July. On Wednesday, December 23, a Texas grand jury presiding over the case decided not to indict anyone in relation to Bland’s death and protesters — who had previously called for justice in this case — began anew.
Yet a seemingly important group that should presumably also oppose this injustice has seemed to remain quiet: mainstream feminist groups. While activists associated with groups like #BlackLivesMatter have lined the streets, groups focused on gender equality seem to view the issue of police brutality as one related to race and therefore irrelevant. The choice to do so is not just problematic in relation to Sandra …
Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 12/18/2015
The Alleged Racism at a Yale Fraternity Reveals A Much Bigger Problem
A SAE fraternity house.
In November, Yale University’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon was accused of denying girls of color entrance into one of their parties. Racial tension was already brewing on Yale’s campus at the time as one university official had recently, controversially responded to evidence of some students’ racist Halloween costumes. Yale recently concluded that girls of color were not denied from the party after all and that some people were turned away because the party was overcrowded. But this incident was all-too believable because it easily fit into a broader trend already evident at fraternities across the country.
While the original Facebook post that exposed the SAE incident is apparently fabricated, it received close to 2,000 likes as well as a plethora of comments from other Facebook
Feminism | Posted by Aph Ko on 12/14/2015
Why Afrofuturism Is a Black Feminist Praxis
Janelle Monae frequently uses Aphrofuturism in her work.
The most suffocating thing about being a black girl in a white supremacist, patriarchal world is the constant reminder that I’m not allowed to define myself. The media constantly reinforces this by failing to imagine black people as anything other than historical slave bodies in the white imagination. I’ve always wanted to imagine and create new social worlds where I could be my own agent, where every second of my life wasn’t a quest to fight white supremacist representations of my body. It turns out I’m not the only one: An entire movement is devoted to this very concept, and it’s called “Afrofuturism.”
Coined in a 1993 essay titled “Black to the Future” by Mark Derry, Afrofuturism centers on the black experience …
Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 09/11/2015
Why We Can’t Simply Ban Microaggressions On Campuses
“Where are you really from?”
“What are you?”
“You don’t look Latina.”
“Microaggressions” are “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color,” according to Buzzfeed. Though they have certainly persisted for some time, it seems there is a more recent, growing movement to push back on this phenomenon: Many colleges and universities specifically have been working towards addressing and eradicating them.
But considering that microaggresions aren’t isolated actions but a form of racism, banning them may be ineffective. As one study published by the Teachers College at Columbia University found, racism is “more likely than ever to be disguised and covert” and has evolved from the “old fashioned form” …