Feminism | Posted by Rice University Students on 05/2/2016
Teen Girls Need Access To Their Reproductive Rights And Health, Too
Teen girls need birth control access, too
The current feminist discourse surrounding women’s reproductive rights is crucial, especially considering that our access to these rights is dwindling and under constant attack. But it seems this conversation often fails to represent an important group: teen girls. While some lip service is paid to issues like mandatory parental consent for minors accessing birth control, it seems this demographic is often overlooked when it comes to their specific concerns about their reproductive rights. Activists can’t forget, however, that making birth control attainable for minors is an important part of this fight.
Many young women don’t realize how recently birth control-related rights were won in this nation. Birth control has been a constitutional right since Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965, but this landmark …
Feminism | Posted by Aya on 04/1/2016
This Is What Happens When We Don’t Teach Teens Comprehensive Sex Education
We need better sex ed.
In February, President Obama took an important stand for sexual health in the United States: He eradicated funding for abstinence-only sex education in his 2017 budget proposal — a decision backed by countless studies, expert opinions and anecdotal accounts of just how ineffective this type of “education” is. But even on the (unfortunately) off chance that our Republican-dominated Congress passes this program — which has cost almost $2 billion in federal spending — the damage of abstinence-only sex education on my generation is already evident.
As a college freshman, I have witnessed and experienced many examples of such damaging effects firsthand. This can manifest in unfair and frustrating ways, like the “pleasure” or “orgasm” gap that results in women not getting off as …
Feminism | Posted by Aya on 03/9/2016
Here’s The Truth About Hooking Up In College While Feminist
The scene of the crime.
Prior to college, I had absolutely no experience with casual hookups. I had heard about them all throughout high school, but all of my sexual experience occurred in a single serious high school relationship. Though that relationship was both sexually and emotionally fulfilling, it ended as soon as college began.
Between dealing with this break up and trying to form new relationships in a new environment, I started the first semester of my freshman year sexually frustrated and emotionally out of control. Casually hooking up with someone seemed like the perfect solution at the time.
I didn’t know how much I would regret that my first casual hookup ended up being with a boy we’ll call “Derek,” nor could I have known how much he …
Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 02/1/2016
Why We Need To Teach Students About Rape Culture
We need to educate students about rape culture.
Being an outspoken feminist in my high school has been a challenging experience. While many of my peers are aware of major social justice news and violations, like that surrounding Black Lives Matters and ISIS, far too many are still ignorant about the feminist movement or women’s rights more generally. This became particularly clear to me in a recent English class, as we discussed Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and rape culture’s effect on the main character.
Rape culture is “a complex set of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women,” Emilie Buchwald writes in her book Transforming a Rape Culture. “It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent,” she continues. “In …
Feminism | Posted by Amber0sine on 11/3/2015
The Importance of Comprehensive Sex Education in Faith Communities
Growing up, neither my parents nor anybody in my religious community spoke honestly about women’s sexual wants or needs. I was taught to follow a single rule: to remain pure until I got married and could satisfy my future husband’s sexual needs. To this day, my parents still regard sex as an act that happens only between a husband and wife and believe those who act otherwise are condemned to a lifetime of shame and damnation. While most of my peers had at least an inkling about what sex was by the time they reached adolescence, therefore, I remained uninformed.
That changed in fifth grade. My school held a seminar about “what happens when a girl becomes a woman.” We were handed permission slips and told to get …
Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 09/16/2015
Consent in the Age of High School Hookup Culture
A few weeks ago, I took my seat in the huge auditorium of my East Coast college preparatory boarding school for Proctor Training. The week-long event involved a series of workshops and lectures that train dormitory proctors how to address issues that may arise in the community over the course of the school year. We reviewed “no-grinding” dance rules, gendered dormitory visitation policies, and health center pamphlets — probably the same policies that have been upheld at countless college preparatory schools across the country for years.
But this time around, there was an elephant in the room: The Owen Labrie trial.
On August 28th, 18-year old St. Paul’s School senior Owen Labrie was found not guilty of felony sexual assault charges, but was convicted of having sex …
Pop-Culture | Posted by David G on 09/9/2015
The Everyday Sexism of Dating
In theory, dating can be an incredible opportunity for two individuals to model gender-based equality and mutual respect. In practice, however, women are still frequently degraded and regarded as submissive sexual objects — especially in heterosexual relationships.
Countless women anecdotally confirm this, but one need look no further for evidence than the viral Instagram account @tindernightmares. The account collects screenshots of real messages women have received from men on Tinder, which range from cringeworthy to downright disrespectful. While @tindernightmares appears to have been created to humorously expose the truly weird people who frequent dating sites and app, the creepy messages that often appear on the site actually highlight a much bigger problem women face today while dating: They’re still seen as sex objects and subordinate to men.
Tinder Nightmares: https://instagram.com/p/6v2ltOkITn/
Feminism | Posted by Jonathan Kalin on 09/1/2015
What Justin Bieber’s VMA Performance Can Teach Us About Modern Masculinity
At the end of his VMA performance on Sunday night, Justin Bieber began to cry. This image has already launched debates about his motivations and as someone who has spent the past 4 years immersed in a movement to end men’s violence against women by critically examining the destructive way men are socialized and the unhealthy standard of masculinity they’re trained to embody, I was fascinated by this moment. But the focus on what was essentially a few seconds of his performance overlooks the many other ways Bieber’s entire performance of his new single “What Do You Mean?” encapsulates the current experience of young heterosexual men in America in a largely unprecedented way.
First, Bieber models a complex attention to consent. I have spent the past