Feminism | Posted by Claudia A. on 06/8/2015
The Case For Comprehensive, Positive Sex Education
Growing up, I was neither educated nor had positive conversations about sex. It was a taboo topic in my family. My mother especially refused to discuss it (even when I brought it up) and my father completely ignored the topic altogether. The closest we ever came to discussing it was when I would head out of the house with my boyfriend and my mom would remark: “Rebequita, no seas estupida” (Rebecca, don’t be stupid) or “Rebequita, no te dejes tocar” (Rebecca, don’t let yourself be touched). It was as if she expected me to somehow know everything about sex without ever talking about it.
My parents should have had this conversation with me, though, because my school wasn’t any better. My sex ed classes did not acknowledge that …
Feminism | Posted by Emily Lindin on 02/23/2015
On “Just Wanting Attention,” Slut Shaming, and Why We Shouldn’t Apologize
I hear from a lot of girls who are struggling through the hell that is being labeled a “slut” in middle school or high school. Often, they just want to know that they’re not alone. Sometimes, they want to share their experiences with me and even publicly, through The UnSlut Project.
I love hearing from these girls – after all, they are the very reason I started this project by posting my own middle school diaries online back in 2013. But I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in their messages: Many girls will begin their emails with a disclaimer along the lines of, “I’m not looking for attention, but…” or “I know you might think I just want attention, but…” and it always makes me cringe.
Here they are, bravely …
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Trip E on 11/19/2014
Dear Dad: Let’s Try This Again
The author and her father
This article is a response to Pippa Biddle’s call to action in her piece “Dear Sisters,” published last week on Ryot.com.
To whom it may concern (hey, Dad):
The summer after my freshman year at Exeter, you slammed me into the fridge by my neck because I mouthed off to you about doing dishes. You may remember this as the day I climbed out of my bedroom window with a change of clothes and my laptop in a bookbag, and stopped living with you.
I remember it as the day Mom pulled me into better lighting in my aunt’s living room so she could take pictures of the finger-shaped bruises you’d left on my neck. They were strikingly similar to the ones …
Feminism | Posted by Arely L on 09/17/2014
Some Questions About Women and Sex
I’m sorry to say that I’ve witnessed far too many conversations in which my friends attack other girls for their sexual experiences. I have finally had enough of the way teen girls (or women of all ages, for that matter) who have sex are regarded with prejudice. There are four specific aspects of this cultural “logic” about women and sex that I particularly don’t understand.
1. Who decides what constitutes “too much” sex?
Why do people think they can determine the limits of how much sex a person can acceptably have? I don’t believe that anyone has the right to set such standards for other women or men. I enjoy my sexual freedom and don’t believe that other people’s sexual choices or ideas about sex should have any bearing on …
Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 07/7/2014
What’s Your ‘Weapon Of Choice?’
American photographer Richard Johnson brings attention to the invisible effects of verbal abuse in his series, "Weapon of Choice." (Weapon of Choice - Hurtwords.com / Facebook)
It was not your typical walk of shame, like the kind you see in high school movies after someone loses their virginity. Instead, it was me, an athletic-looking African-American girl, sobbing my way downtown, just on the border of USC and gang territory.
A fellow Trojan, who I had been talking to for a year, had originally said I could stay over at his place.
“I don’t care what I said. I lied.”
“It’s 4 am and we are in South Central LA, you are just going to kick me out… Can’t I just sleep on your floor?”
“What are you still doing …
Awareness, Feminism | Posted by Julie Z on 07/4/2014
What Young Feminists Need To Know About The Hobby Lobby Ruling
As a rising college senior, I’ve already been inundated with cautionary tales of being female while working in corporate America. Now, thanks to the recent Hobby Lobby ruling, my generation of women can add potentially working for companies whose rights are valued above our own and the blatant undermining of our health and reproductive freedom to the list of our future professional rewards.
Monday’s Hobby Lobby ruling solidifies the reality of the war on women in this country, indisputably highlighting the way in which sexism is still rampant in American society in several ways.
First and foremost, the decision reveals that persistent, blatant ignorance about women’s bodies has infiltrated the law of the land. The Hobby Lobby suit incorrectly conflates birth control with pregnancy termination by objecting to insurance …
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 …