Feminism | Posted by Faatimah Solomon on 09/23/2016
The History Of Banning Black Women’s Hair
Amandla Stenberg wearing her hair natural
When I turned twelve, I started faithfully straightening my hair every single week. By the time I was fourteen years old, therefore, I had straightened my hair at least one hundred and four times. At least. But eventually my hair started falling out in large clumps and my mom demanded that I stop severely damaging my hair.
It was then that I began the emotionally draining process of learning how to love myself. I read countless books about feeling beautiful in your own skin and body, stuck a number of pictures of beautiful black women wearing their natural hair on the walls of my closet, and followed Instagram accounts that celebrated the beauty of having black curly hair. With time, I began to love …
Feminism | Posted by Crystal O on 08/22/2016
How I Fit Into Mainstream Pride Events As A Queer Black Woman
I realized that I wasn’t straight when I was about 15 years old. Soon after, I got involved with my high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. During one of the club’s meetings, the steering committee chair of an organization called PFLAG (Parents, Friends, and Families of Lesbians of Gays) joined us as a guest speaker. That day proved to be a pivotal one for me. After the committee chair spoke, I attended a PFLAG meeting and became a member of their youth group: Rainbow Youth and Allies. I am now proud to facilitate this group.
Actually coming out, however, was a process that started after I had begun attending PFLAG. I was fairly open about my sexuality at school and was not shy to stand up for myself and for the …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Angela Liu on 08/17/2016
Why Proper Representation Matters: The Invisible Minority in Pop Culture
Maybe not so great.
I have never had a hero who looked quite like me. Growing up, my favorite shows on Disney Channel included Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place – shows with complex, interesting female characters, but which also had predominantly white casts. Like millions of other young girls, I rooted for Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez: – I laughed at their jokes, celebrated their successes, and felt for them when they fell. Like millions of other young girls of color, however, I had no role models who looked like I did.
I was sitting down with my family at dinner recently when a CNN notification popped up on my phone, alerting me that Matt Damon had been cast in a new film called The Great Wall. …
Feminism | Posted by Vicki S on 08/10/2016
The Powerful Message of Mothers of the Movement
Mothers of the Movement.
On Tuesday, July 26th, several mothers of police brutality victims spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. United by the organization Mothers of the Movement, the women joined together to speak about their purpose as a coalition and show support for Hillary Clinton.
Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland, spoke first as audience members chanted “Black Lives Matter.” She commenced by talking about what it was like when her daughter was found hanging in her jail cell after an unlawful arrest one year ago. She went on to say the names of six other women who died in custody in the month of July of 2015, including Kindra Chapman, Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Raynette Turner, Ralkina Jones, Joyce Curnell, and …
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 …