Feminism | Posted by Beatrice M on 11/12/2014

Can A High School Assembly Really Effect Change?

I’m a proud member of the Women’s Issues Club at my school (Horace Mann in New York City), which is dedicated to discussing gender equality. We recently helped organize a “Unity Assembly” for our peers, which was meant to celebrate students’ diversities and help us understand our own community. We discussed many issues (such as race, socioeconomic class, sexual identity, gender identity and gender equality) and also produced a video that featured different students and faculty members explaining why they need feminism.

I was encouraged that this video helped my peers better understand feminism based on their reactions. Many of my male classmates genuinely praised the Women’s Issues Club and were shocked by the facts about gender inequality presented in the video. For example, one of my friends told me …

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Feminism | Posted by Colleen L on 02/13/2012

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours

what does feminism look like today?

In its formative days (in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and then in the 1960s and ‘70s), feminism was, above all, about promoting equal social and political citizenship for women. Contemporary feminism – the “third wave” – is, like today’s world, far more complex than its predecessors. It’s not just about equality anymore (though this is and always will be an issue). To me, today’s feminism is less about getting equal pay and spouting catchy phrases (“down with the patriarchy!”) and more about fostering a world in which women, men, and transgendered people all have the opportunity to live healthy, happy lives as whole and fully valued human beings. To me, feminism is about turning current concepts of gender, sexuality, rape, and …

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Feminism | Posted by Holly Grigg-Spall on 12/12/2011

Ms-guided: I Was A Teen On Drugs

what do you really know about the Pill?

what do you really know about the Pill?

When I was 17 years-old I was put on the birth control pill. I had painful, heavy periods that would get me out of gym class, but that wasn’t the only reason I was taken to the doctor. My mum, who became an adult in the 1960s, just as the Pill was introduced as a tool for female liberation, was afraid I would get pregnant. Not that I had a boyfriend, or even had sex – and, in fact, I wouldn’t for another four years. It was just the responsible thing to do, the right thing to do, and I swallowed that, quite literally, without question. I had no idea how the Pill worked, nor even how my own body worked. Aside …

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Feminism | Posted by Hannah R on 09/19/2011

Youth and Feminism: Ignorance Is Bliss

Emmeline Pankhurst, anyone? ANYONE?

Emmeline Pankhurst, anyone? ANYONE?

Today’s youth culture encourages females and males alike to embrace their sexuality and allows a freedom of expression. But it seems this freedom of sexual expression has ended up glamorising the idea that females are nothing more than sexual objects. Or at least, it seems that’s what girls our age think.

I have to wonder – how have girls our age not heard of the efforts made by Emmeline Pankhurst and the Suffragettes at the beginning of the 20th century? Or the women’s liberation protest demonstration at the 1969 Miss World beauty contest?  I have discovered that there are very few teenage girls out there who fully comprehend the feminist movement and its effects on society, and, more importantly, its hopes and aspirations for the future …

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Feminism | Posted by Katherine C on 07/27/2011

A Feminist Image In The Eye Of The Beholder

"Beyond Betty"

"Beyond Betty"

I don’t remember how I set out to do this painting. What I do know is that it was the first non-commissioned artwork I’ve sold, and that is was my first explicitly feminist-based painting that got any attention.

Beyond Betty, named after Betty Freidan, author of the second-wave feminist classic The Feminine Mystique, was exhibied twice at a local retirement community gallery- once as part of a group show for high school seniors, and once as part of my International Baccalaureate candidate show. In the small town where I live, people who had seen it came up to me in the street and, even more frequently, at church. “What were you trying to say?” “Is it making fun of Christianity?” “Is it about eating disorders?” “Is it …

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Feminism | Posted by Sabina S on 07/6/2011

Blast From The Past

I thought we were done with this...

I thought we were done with this...

I was at my friend’s house working on a project for school. It was getting late so her mum made us dinner. At the table, my friend’s dad was ordering her mum around and asking for things to be brought to him. Now, it was all in good fun, but it still bugged me a little bit because it reminded me of the times that Betty Friedan discusses in “Feminine Mystique.” And then, to make matters worse, my friend’s mum started talking about how she just lost her job. While we were eating, she started complaining about her lack of employment. Then she concluded that now that she is unemployed she MUST resume the housewife roll. She proceeded to name off a laundry …

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Awareness, Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 03/24/2011

The Affordable Care Act: Feminism Moving Forward

The Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act

One of the reasons many girls today don’t identify as feminists is because there are quite a few of us who are convinced that men and women are totally equal. The 1970′s took care of all of our political and social battles, teens reason, looking to mothers who work to the same degree and prestige as their fathers and male classmates who they largely equal or surpass in intelligence. What exactly are feminists fighting for, they might wonder, and write us off as never-satisfied perpetual complainers.

Well. Even if we completely disregard the fact that this standpoint can really only occur to girls of first-world countries, and within those countries to girls of middle-upper classes, there are still a lot of political and economic disparities that …

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Feminism | Posted by Anna D on 02/3/2011

How To Be a High School Feminist

Hell! I mean, High School!

Hell! I mean, High School!

On our way to high school recently, I asked my friend, “Do you consider yourself a feminist?”

After a slight hesitation, she responded, “Well, I support women’s rights and all, but I’m no bra burner.”

Besides the fact that the bra-burning story is apocryphal, I was surprised by her answer. Is that what feminism meant to this smart girl?

As I’ve discovered what feminism means to me over the past couple years, I am repeatedly shocked by what others think of the movement. One highly accomplished woman I know declared that feminism was dead. Another scoffed when I said I was interested in attending a women’s college. Why is there so much animosity toward such a simple, important ideal—that women deserve equal rights?

The answer …

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