Feminism | Posted by Karla Majdancic on 06/21/2016
Praise Young Girls For Being ‘Smart,’ Not ‘Pretty’
We’re still sending young girls restrictive, gendered messages.
For a long time, whenever I pictured an engineer I automatically imagined a guy who looked something like Mark Zuckerberg. I never imagined an engineer could be someone who looks like me. There are likely many causes for my assumption, but perhaps the most influential is the way our society still socializes girls to choose and strive for being beautiful over being intelligent.
Girls who choose to pursue science are perpetually viewed as nerdy loners — as anti-social, undesirable, and uninteresting. These stereotypes are perpetuated by the gender norms at the heart of our societal expectations for girls, which are furthered by the media to which we’re exposed while growing up.
Take, for example, my favorite TV show as a child: Scooby …
Feminism | Posted by Kinder L on 06/10/2016
#Fitspo: Inspirational or Harmful?
Whether you’re a Tumblr fanatic, an avid Twitter user, or Instagram-obsessed like I am, it’s probably safe to assume you’ve seen posts captioned with the hashtag “#fitspiration” come across your News Feed at some point. #Fitspiration, or “#fitspo,” began to emerge on social media over the past few years, supposedly to inspire others (specifically women) to achieve fitness regimes. On the surface, #fitspo may seem like the ideal hashtag to empower women and encourage them to embrace a healthy, active lifestyle. But, for many, it actually comes at a cost.
As someone who has suffered from an eating disorder in the past, I can definitely attest to feeling terrible as I scroll past these “motivational” pictures. The images themselves — of ripped abs, toned legs and slim physiques…
Feminism | Posted by Samantha B on 06/9/2016
The Truth About Gender Bias On The Internet
Are search engines biased?
Siri does not know how to respond to the question “I have been sexually assaulted.” When searching for abortion clinics on Apple Maps, one is instead shown adoption clinics. Finding a clinic or pharmacy that has Viagra is apparently easier than finding one with birth control.
Many view the Internet as an unbiased, objective, tool. But in actuality, the Internet is influenced by gender bias. This is especially true when it comes to search engines — our guides to exploring the vast Internet, which shape what we see and act as gatekeepers to often vital information. Many see search engines as reflective of an “objective” reality of facts (if there even is such a reality), but they are actually composed of structures and codes that …
Feminism | Posted by David G on 06/7/2016
The Stanford Rape Case Exemplifies The Privilege At The Heart of Rape Culture
Brock Turner, a top swimmer at Stanford who raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster after a party, was sentenced to six months in county jail on Thursday. The presiding judge felt that a full sentence “would have a severe impact” on Turner, discounting the severe impact his victim described at his sentencing. This ruling sparked national outrage, which only grew after a letter Turner’s father had written diminishing his son’s crime and demanding probation was published.
Tl;dr, there is so, so much wrong with the Stanford rape case. While the backlash against Turner and his father has been swift and vicious, both the sentence Turner received, as well as his father’s response to it, exemplify the privilege that perpetuates rape culture.
Let’s be honest …
Feminism | Posted by Rachael H on 05/23/2016
Is A Digital Tool The Key To Addressing Campus Sexual Assault?
We need to address campus sexual assault.
The stark reality of the high rate of sexual assault on college campuses is nothing new, and neither is college administrations’ resistance to addressing it. Far too many students continue to seek support from their respective universities after they are assaulted on campus, but still fail to achieve any sense of justice. Survivors’ accounts of their assaults are scrutinized to the point of re-victimization and perpetrators still face inadequate consequences.
I’ve seen this firsthand. I know many female students at my own Canadian university who felt no sense of justice after reporting their sexual assaults to campus administrators. For example, concerns about seeing their perpetrator on campus were neither heard nor addressed. Multiple students instead received rather dismissive feedback along the lines of: …
Feminism | Posted by Danika K on 04/29/2016
Why The Gender Gap In STEM Fields Still Exists
We need more women in STEM.
Women make up roughly 50 percent of the U.S. workforce, yet comprise only about 25 percent of American STEM workers — numbers that have even stagnated in recent years. Although some might claim this under-representation is due to a lack of academic accomplishment, women actually earn 41 percent of all STEM PhD degrees. So where’s the disconnect?
The real problem seems to be what happens after graduation: Women don’t always choose to go into, or stay in, STEM careers. Women are statistically more likely than men to leave a career in science, technology, engineering, or math within one year of employment — nearly half of all women leave their STEM careers within months of starting, according to one study. As a result, …
Feminism | Posted by Mai D on 04/27/2016
The Truth About Having “Bad” Hair
One brand of hair relaxer.
I am a young Senegalese woman with “kinky” hair — specifically, type 4A/4B according to Andre Walker’s hair chart — and I have heard every comment in the book about it. Since preschool I have been told I have “bad hair” by everyone from Dominican hair stylists to my African family members who have constantly begged me to relax it in order to look “proper” and “decent.” No matter the specific critique, my hair has always been deemed wrong by others.
My older, female cousins were the first to influence my hair. I grew up with three older brothers and my mother usually kept my hair braided so neither of us had to think too much about it. At the ripe age of eight, however, …
Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 03/30/2016
What Volunteering In The South Taught Me About My Own Prejudice
Not all Southerners perpetuate a legacy of racism.
This year I decided to participate in a spring break program called the Collegiate Challenge, which offered students the opportunity to partner with our university’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity and spend a week building houses for low income families. This year’s build site was Lake Sumpter, Florida — a small town in central Florida, about two hours outside of Orlando. Although I had been to Miami once before, this was my first experience in a more rural, southern environment and, to be honest, I went into the trip with a lot of assumptions and prejudices.
Before I traveled to the state, I knew that Donald Trump had won the Florida primaries and that the governor of Florida had endorsed him. …