Feminism | Posted by Cheyenne T on 07/6/2015

The Complexity of Being A Black Feminist in a Relationship

On losing your first love.

It’s hard being alone after having been with someone for a long time. It’s hard to detach from your first love, to not have that person on whom you can rely for comfort, happiness and safety. You miss falling in love every time you see that person — your best friend — walk towards you.

I recently found myself in this situation, alone after almost two years of partnership. My boyfriend was mother and father, friend and lover to me. Losing all of those people at once — and knowing that he lost the same — was heartbreaking. But knowing that he was one less black man and I one less black women the other could protect was the most heartbreaking part of all.

I …

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Feminism | Posted by Sonja S. on 04/20/2015

Why Are Your Needs More Important than Mine?

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Dating and double standards

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines double standards as “a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people or circumstances than to another; especially: a code of morals that applies more severe standards of sexual behavior to women than to men.” Double standards shouldn’t exist. Yet, they undeniably still do, especially when it comes to dating and relationships. It’s a reality with which I have plenty of firsthand experience.

One major dating double standard is the way girls are judged as too assertive or too needy when they ask for what they want in heterosexual relationships. We are constantly pressured to please our partners and put our desires aside. This was made clear to me recently when it came to talk …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Chloe H on 02/2/2015

The Real Reason Fifty Shades Of Grey Is Sexist

I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey on NPR when I was 15.  It was the tail end of the story, and all that I could glean was the name, that it was an immensely popular work of fiction, and that it was particularly popular among the elderly in nursing homes.  Priding myself in being a well-informed and well-read individual, I decided I should be reading this seemingly topical and influential book.  I pranced into Barnes and Noble on my high horse, bragging to my friend about how I was buying a very popular book to enhance my personal literature collection.  When I told her what the book was, she blushed and said her Mom wouldn’t let her read it.

“Why?” I asked, thoroughly confused.

“Because it’s… porn!” She …

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Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 08/8/2014

What Makes Asian-American Men ‘Undateable?’

When I look in the mirror, I do not see someone that I understand to be handsome by Western standards. I look mostly Asian, and like so many other heterosexual Asian males before me, I have internalized a lifetime of believing that my features, my face, my skin tone, in tandem, make me unattractive and undesirable.

- Noah Cho, “How I Learned to Feel Undesirable

Several studies have found Asian-American males to be the “least desirable” bachelors, a trend that may be exacerbated by a seeming across-the-board preference for dating Asian-American women by men of all races. The term Asian-American, in this case, covers a broad ethnic spectrum, including, but not limited to: “people who have origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East,

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Sabrina N on 07/2/2014

On Preachers Daughters and Purity Culture

I recently marathoned Preachers Daughters, a new Lifetime reality show. Season One follows the lives of three different girls — Taylor, Olivia and Kolby — who all have at least one parent who is a preacher. While all girls are subject to purity culture based on their family’s beliefs, each reacts to this culture differently. Taylor feels restricted and chooses to rebel; Olivia, who has a baby,  is now “on the right path”; Kolby attempts to live up to purity standards and even breaks up with a boyfriend in order to avoid future “temptation”. But while each girl follows a different path, they all show how purity culture can manifest destructively.

Although I was never involved with purity culture to the same extent as these girls, watching Taylor, Olivia …

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Feminism | Posted by Louisa G on 05/21/2014

Why We Need To Stop Romanticizing Mental Illness Amongst Teen Girls

I realized recently that my generation has a strange fascination with the perception of mental illness, especially as it relates to teenage girls. I’ve noticed young women posting many quotes about mental illness on their Instagrams and Tumblrs — the sadder, the better, it seems. I think this increasing fascination with and performance of depression may stem from the media through the likes of movies and books where “broken” girls are seemingly put back together by the undying love of a man. This goes further than the typical boy-meets-girl cliché of an 80s movie and delves into the fantasy that someone with severe depression can be simply “fixed” by the right guy.

The infatuation people have with making mental illness something that can be seen as beautiful and even romantic …

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Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 03/31/2014

Would You Change Your Name?

photo via Rebecca Orlandini

It all started after a commentator on Thought Catalog assumed I was married after reading one of my articles. Although the article focused on questions surrounding racial bias in college hook-up culture, there was a full-on discussion about my hyphenated last name, and how people “should never trust chicks with two last names.”

I couldn’t help but respond, just to clarify. I expressed how I am single, and that my last name is hyphenated because my mother wanted to keep her last name for professional reasons.

“Why is what she does for a living important? It’s a weird femmy move chicks do with the hyphen name. Some how they think it empowers them,” was the response.

This attitude led me to do some research on our …

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Feminism | Posted by Kate M on 02/28/2014

What Happens After You Lose Weight

seriously, just stop

seriously, just stop

I wouldn’t say that I was ever fat. I was always just overweight enough that girls would tell me I looked “fine” and guys wouldn’t tell me much of anything (because I guess my dazzling intellect and sense of humor wasn’t high on their priority list). As a feminist, I always tried to feel proud of my body. I really did want to accept it and love it for what it was. But that was easier said than done.

Last summer I lost about 15 pounds. When I came back to school in the Fall, I was showered with compliments. “How did you do it?” everybody asked. I told some that I hardly even noticed my weight loss and that I had no idea how …

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