Feminism | Posted by Alice W on 11/11/2013

Rape Culture Shock

I thought the toughest adjustment when it came to starting college would be the workload, or self discipline, or missing my friends and family. I was prepared for those challenges. What I didn’t expect was the anxiety that comes with wedging my fingernail into the groove of my pocket knife while walking home alone late at night.

Or looking over my shoulder on dark streets, to make sure that the guy who was just behind me isn’t following too closely.

Or getting my things and moving to another floor of the library after a guy sitting in a corner with a blank computer screen, is staring at me every time I glance over.

Or that sense of vulnerability when I’m in a study room at one a.m and I’m the …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Ally B and Emma M on 10/2/2013

A Response to “The 100 Things Every 20-Something Needs to Realize”

When we noticed the article “The 100 Things Every 20-Something Needs to Realize” being posted and reposted on Facebook last week by some of our favorite ladies, we thought we’d give it a look. We hoped we’d find an article riddled with inspirational truths for us 20-somethings at a time in our lives where we could all use a little advice– whether about our future career paths, falling in love, or just growing up in general.

We were disappointed to find, however, that what Paul Hudson had in mind when writing this article was less inspiration and more provocation.

Although some of the pieces of “advice” on his 100-point list were valid–his assertion of Facebook as a waste of time and his recommendation to start using your alarm clock, for …

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Feminism | Posted by Caroline A on 09/27/2013

Growing Up Through A Vaseline Covered Lens

I adore sex and I adore myself. By exploring my body as a teen, I experienced a personal revolution: I was suddenly able to see a new wealth of beauty in everything around me. Sex, it appeared to me, was the great mystery that united us: in present and through time. The way every historical period and culture saw sex differently is a testimony to our majesty as human beings, our endless appetite for connectivity and self- knowledge. I used to think that the sex-positive attitude I maintained was one shared by everybody, no matter what. But then I discovered mainstream porn.

I feel that the language of sexuality in the 21st century, especially as it relates to the mainstream, hardcore pornography industry, doesn’t live up to acceptable standards of …

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Feminism | Posted by Vanessa W on 09/25/2013

Dear Mrs. Hall: In Defense of Teenage Girls

Dear Mrs. Hall,

Do you remember what it feels like to be a teenage girl?

Do you remember what it feels like to question every fiber of your identity?

Your body, the hand grenade. Your body, the playground.

Perhaps being a mother of teenage sons has scrubbed your memory clean of the plights of girlhood, of that terrifying transition from controlled chaos to the free-fall of adulthood, of that magical land where you are expected to shed your frivolous fears and anxieties like dead skin, like a knight’s rusted suit of armor. Perhaps you never experienced many catastrophes. Perhaps your adolescence was a snapshot of wholesome, homespun Americana, equal parts privilege and determined obliviousness.

But in your world, are girls the proverbial Eve, or are they simply human beings?…

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Winnifred Bonjean-Alpart on 08/5/2013

The New Scarlet Letter

For the past seven years, I’ve been a member of The Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company – an ensemble of girls that meets weekly in downtown Manhattan to creatively explore girl-focused experiences through theater.  In 2012, we began developing our new play after realizing—frustratingly–the prevalence of the word “slut” in our conversations.

Every one of us had a close relationship with the word – we’d been called sluts or defined other girls as sluts.  A third of the group had experienced slut-shaming after an incident of sexual assault or aggression.  We all wanted to understand why it was so hard for us to be open about our sexuality without putting ourselves at “slut” risk.  And then Steubenville happened.  And the gang rapes in Delhi and Cairo.  Torrington happened

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 08/2/2013

6 Reasons “The To Do List” Is Great For Women

Aubrey Plaza and Rachel Bilson in "The To Do List"

As a movie lover, I’m used to being frustrated, insulted and bored with female characters. Truly, there are few things quite as annoying as being asked to ignore everything I know and believe to be true about women for two hours, as most movies ask me to do. Then a breath of fresh air in a sea of films featuring damsels in distress, and women who exist solely for the gratification of immature guys appeared on Friday night. It’s more formally being referred to as “The To Do List.”

This indie film centers around the story of Brandy Clark (played by Aubrey Plaza), a multidimensional female protagonist whose on-screen journey to sexual self-discovery revolves around her growth as …

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Feminism | Posted by Sara Wong on 07/24/2013

On Being ‘Friends With Benefits’

Not quite.

The tricky thing about friends with benefits is that the lines you painstakingly set up get blurred so quickly; before you know it, there are no longer any lines discerning black from white — it is all just a pale shade of grey. You question all your emotions and when you start doing that, nothing is simple anymore. You constantly have to stop and think — the spontaneity that was once so attractive disappears. As the feelings increase, so does the hesitancy. And for me, the only time I felt truly comfortable was during sex, because we did not need to say a word. Too bad sex can’t last forever.

He knew he was hurting me — or rather, that our arrangement was detrimental to me. I hated …

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Feminism | Posted by Emily E on 07/22/2013

Why I Shared my Abortion Story With North Carolina Law Makers

My voice was trembling when I spoke the words “I decided to choose abortion.” I was telling my personal story and expressing my opposition of House Bill 695, a bill that would shut down all but one abortion clinic in the state of North Carolina. It started to hit me that I was in front of lawmakers, anti-choicers, supporters and television cameras. My legs started to go numb and my hands started to shake. I had to remind myself to look every lawmaker that has voted against women in the eye. Before I knew it, I was thanking them for their time and walking to my seat.

Every woman’s situation is unique, but my story is this: I was eighteen years old, a senior in high school, and I was …

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