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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Feminism | Posted by Erica L on 05/31/2013

“Are You Sexually Active?” A Gay Girl Dealing With Heteronormative Doctors

Even in this day and age, my sex life stumps my doctor

Over the past few weeks, my schedule has been jammed with a clusterfuck of doctor’s appointments in an attempt to solve a stomach issue I’ve been dealing with for more than three years. I don’t typically shy away from doctors – I’m not the type to fear any unexpected diseases or cry over needles – but after a few appointments, I quickly grew tired of the answering the same question: “Are you sexually active?”

The answer is always, “Yes, with women only.” The response is always a blush, a stutter. Doctors’ hands always get clumsy; they are always unable to function in a coherent manner. Their notes always turn into scribbled gibberish.

I’ve always felt more painfully awkward …

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Feminism | Posted by Mareike S on 11/26/2012

Buying Condoms

why am I so embarassed to buy condoms?

I guess the title already gives you a good idea what this post will be about, but bare with me while I explain how exactly I got to writing this post and chose this title.

You could say I’m a grown woman. I’m a few years older than my country’s legal age, I live in my own flat several hundred kilometers away from my parents and, yes, if I’m not in a committed relationship, I sometimes hook up with a guy if he’s my type and things click.

Now, I’m on the pill (which luckily is really, really easy to get if you live in Germany or anywhere else in Europe as far as I know), but there’s no one-night stands without …

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Feminism | Posted by Sarah C on 09/28/2012

Let’s Talk About (Solo) Sex

masturbation is healthy!

Masturbation. Up until I was 17 years old, the word alone sent shivers down my spine – and not the fun type. I was petrified of my body and the pleasure I knew it could bring me. I saw touching oneself as a disgusting and deplorable act and thought only the most deviant of people would do it. Well, not actually, only the most deviant WOMEN would do it. Male masturbation seemed like a fact of life to me. I had many guy-friends who talked openly about porn, lotion, dirty socks etc, and I never thought anything of it, but the prospect of women masturbating made me sick.

Despite my aversions to self-pleasure, I still wanted sexual release. I was just as horny as any teenage boy, …

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Feminism | Posted by Chris X on 09/19/2012

On The Seriousness of Sexual Assault

Recently a girl in my area was walking to her car after sports practice with a boy with whom she was on good terms. She had flirted with him a little at a previous football game and he figured that meant she wanted to hook up with him. Earlier in the day, she had told him she might be interested in starting something, but on the walk back to her car she decided that she did not want to do anything sexual with this boy and told him so when he brought it up again.

While she was putting her bags in the trunk of her car, the boy opened the side door of her car and got in. He wouldn’t move and she thought he was just trying to …

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