Pop-Culture | Posted by Bridget L on 04/29/2015

Where Are The Jewish and Queer Students at Hogwarts?


I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter. I grew up reading the books, have seen each film countless times, and dressed up as Hermione for many Halloweens. But while I’ll always love the series, I also recognize that it’s not flawless.

Last December, JK Rowling revealed that there were Jewish students at Hogwarts, and even provided readers with an example: Anthony Goldstein. This revelation prompted others to question whether or not there were LGBT students at Hogwarts as well. In a Twitter chat, Rowling addressed this by stating “But of course,” there were LGBT youth at Hogwarts.

I find these revelations problematic for a couple reasons. First is the fact Anthony Goldstein was only a background character without any distinguishing character traits for the duration of the series. …

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Feminism | Posted by Katarina F on 01/5/2015

Feminism In Slovenia: Behind Closed Doors


“You’re a feminist?”

That’s the most frequently asked question when you reveal your “secret identity” to someone in Slovenia. In the Slovenian “urban” dictionary, feminism is defined as being a hater of men, a woman that howls at you when you open the door for her, a woman who insists on paying because otherwise she feels her very independence is threatened. People utter the word “feminist” as if it were an insult.

To most Slovenes, being a feminist equates to being a radical. The truth is, being different in Slovenia is still stomach-twisting for some people no matter if that difference means you’re a feminist, atheist, Muslim, homosexual, foreigner or anything else. While women here are (mostly) paid equal to men and while in 2013 we appointed our …

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Feminism | Posted by Meggan Watterson on 04/1/2013

A More Meaty Mary

I would always hesitate before opening the door to St. Elizabeth’s Infant Hospital because once inside, the rest of the world would cease to exist. Nothing else could compete with the presence I met once I entered. St. E’s, a Catholic Charities organization in San Francisco, was a place of mother’s milk and indigestible pain, a place for the excluded—the controversial population of pregnant teens and teen moms.

An icon of the Virgin Mary was perched on top of the refrigerator in the staff lounge. Her four-foot plastic frame was so light that she teetered every time a child-care counselor or Sister of Charity opened the refrigerator door to retrieve their lunch from inside.

She was the “classic Virgin,” I was told—the Mary most readily found in small enclaves in …

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Feminism | Posted by Gina S on 09/5/2012

A Take On the U.S. Presidential Election from Across the Pond

I am not someone who attacks others for their personal beliefs. I do not openly ridicule people for having a specific belief system…unless that belief becomes a law by which I am forced to live my life.

I’m sure you’ve all been hearing about the current hot topic of women’s reproductive rights in the American presidential race. I’m sure you’ve gathered that there are many Republicans who are in favour of not only making some types of contraceptives illegal, but also banning abortion, despite whether the pregnancy was due to rape and/or incest — and I hope you’re angry about it. I consider myself lucky to live in the UK, because while our government is in no way perfect, they’re not telling me what to do with my body, either.

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Feminism | Posted by Talia on 08/27/2012

Orthodox Judaism and the LGBT+ Community

Homosexuality and orthodoxy: A contradiction?

As well as being a feminist, I am an Orthodox Jew. While I had always been active in gay rights advocacy through my feminism, I never really thought about how Orthodox individuals who are LGBT+ grapple with their sexuality. I recently did some research into this. Considering that the religious right, including the mainstream Orthodox Jewish community, is known for its anti-gay stance, it may seem surprising that there are observant Jews who also identify as LGBT+. However, they do exist.

Over the past two decades, observant LGBT+ Jews have organized in order to petition for increased recognition and inclusion within the Orthodox Jewish community. In 1994, the Gay and Lesbian Yeshiva Day School Alumni Association (GLYDSA) was established as a social group for Orthodox …

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Feminism | Posted by Alli B on 06/13/2011

I’m Bi and Super Fly!

bisexual pride

bisexual pride

What does being bisexual actually mean?

Thats the question I’ve asked myself for years, and last month I finally got an answer: I am bisexual and that’s okay!  I finally realized that I am sexually and emotionally attracted to both sexes and have been ever since the age of 13, if not younger. The thing is, I was taught by the media and by my religion that those feelings were wrong, that you were either gay, straight or lying.

I grew up confused. How could I like girls as much as I like boys?  Though I was never homophobic, I was taught that bisexuals were different; they were slutty girls who just wanted attention to make their conservative parents angry. Good girls aren’t bisexual because it’s a choice …

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Feminism | Posted by Vittoria F on 05/9/2011

The Catholic Church and Education

I live in a catholic country (Italy), in a small town and I go to a catholic and very conservative school.

I am not very religious and, most importantly, I am a feminist. This means I don’t agree with my religion teacher (who is a priest) most of the time, but at least he’s prepared to listen. Religion doesn’t interfere with our academic education, but we do get educated in a Catholic environment: Latin choir, masses, prayers in the morning, that sort of thing. I usually look forward to compulsory religion lessons on Tuesdays, not because I’m particularly passionate about the subject, but for the chance of interesting discussions, where I can express my own feminist views on certain subjects we talk about: abortion, birth control, homosexuality, divorce etc.

So …

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Feminism | Posted by Aurora on 01/4/2011

I Got an IUD at 16

birth control

birth control

I am sitting in a gynecologist’s waiting room next to my mother. It’s the first time I’ve ever been to one, and I don’t feel very welcome. Pregnant women and other patients all sit quietly, reading their magazines. Or pretending to. Every few moments, they look up from their reading material to give me a disapproving glance. I shift uncomfortably. I can tell they are judging me, and my mother too, for bringing me there.

Maybe I should tell you how I got there.

I got my first kiss a few weeks before I turned 16. I got my first serious boyfriend as well. It wasn’t that I’d never been asked out, just that I never really cared enough to take anyone up on the offer. I preferred …

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