Feminism | Posted by Beatrice M on 11/12/2014

Can A High School Assembly Really Effect Change?

I’m a proud member of the Women’s Issues Club at my school (Horace Mann in New York City), which is dedicated to discussing gender equality. We recently helped organize a “Unity Assembly” for our peers, which was meant to celebrate students’ diversities and help us understand our own community. We discussed many issues (such as race, socioeconomic class, sexual identity, gender identity and gender equality) and also produced a video that featured different students and faculty members explaining why they need feminism.

I was encouraged that this video helped my peers better understand feminism based on their reactions. Many of my male classmates genuinely praised the Women’s Issues Club and were shocked by the facts about gender inequality presented in the video. For example, one of my friends told me …

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Feminism | Posted by Sophia C on 11/7/2014

Where Are the Women in Skate Parks?

A woman in skateboarding isn’t something you hear about often. It’s a male-dominated sport and this fact has ingrained a certain mindset in skating culture. Despite this, I have always been interested in skateboarding. My older cousins always skated and in high school I drifted towards “skater” kids because I always found them to be surprisingly smart and very accepting. However, a recent trip to my local skate park changed my view on the sport and some of the people who participate in it.

My friends invited me to come to the skate park after school and I was wary because every time I’ve been there, it’s been a little boring — I broke my old board and am terrible at bowl skating anyways. My friend Matt told me he …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 10/17/2014

Street Harassment: It’s Not A Compliment

It was a hot Los Angeles Saturday and I decided to walk my dog down my usually quiet residential street. I was sixteen at the time and wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Three men, probably in their late twenties, pulled up to the curb next to me in a black BMW sedan. The driver, who was wearing black Ray Ban sunglasses, opened his window. “Hey,” he said, raising his eyebrows at his friends. “We should check her for STDs before we f*ck her!”

He smirked and his friends laughed and hooted. I stood frozen. My mouth fell open slightly, in shock. The driver revved the engine and zoomed down the street. For a few minutes, I couldn’t move while my dog tugged anxiously at her leash. What just happened? …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Vicki S on 10/8/2014

Are “Empowered” Pop Stars Claiming Sexuality or Giving Into the Patriarchy?

Nicki Minaj in "Anaconda"

Typically, the heterosexual male gaze controls the depiction of women’s bodies and sexuality in pop culture. Music videos especially tend to enforce the idea that female sexuality is defined by what is pleasurable for men. However, some female artists have recently been trying to combat these conceptions about women’s bodies and sexualities in their music videos – to various degrees of success.

Nick Minaj’s new music video, Anaconda, which has an unapologetically sexual overtone, is a major recent attempt at this. Many have criticized the video for being too sexually charged, and support themselves with the claim that Minaj is forcing girls to sexualize themselves at such a young age. Despite this moral outrage, though, it’s evident that Minaj actually benefits young women by claiming …

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Feminism | Posted by Lana S on 10/1/2014

The Importance of Colored Feminism

Alice Walker: proponent of womanism

As a Latina living in a society in which white privilege is very real, I have come to understand the importance of colored feminism. It turns out that while the fight against racism and the feminist movement are similar movements in many ways, it’s important that the feminist movement lives up to these ideals and features the voices and perspectives of women of color.

There are many ways in which sexism and racism in this culture create unique situations that only women of color experience and these experiences deserve to be addressed. Take for example the various racist and sexist ways porn depicts women of color. Many people assume Latinas are “spicy” in bed and that Asian women are quiet and submissive because this is …

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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 …

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Awareness, Feminism | Posted by Trip E on 09/15/2014

#WhyIStayed: Understanding Domestic Violence

Janay and Ray Rice

On March 27th, 2014, former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was arrested and indicted for third-degree aggravated assault. He had punched his fiancee, Janay Palmer, in the face, knocking her unconscious. Shortly afterward the assault in February, a video of Ray Rice dragging Palmer out of an elevator was released by TMZ. I have not watched this video, or the one released on Monday, because of a tweet I was lucky enough to see on my feed:

Rice was suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season, and the criminal …

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Feminism | Posted by Ines R on 09/5/2014

On Young Women Traveling Alone

Lima, Peru: more than a stereotype

“Be careful, you’re just a girl!” I heard this phrase far too many times this summer as I prepared to leave for Brazil and Peru. Every Spring Break since I can remember I’ve traveled to Peru, and I’m unfortunately used to people’s stereotypical and prejudiced conceptions of Peruvian culture: I’m pretty sure many of my childhood friends thought that I rode llamas, wore tribal clothing and climbed mountains for the duration of my visits. But this summer, I couldn’t tell if people were skeptical because I was traveling alone as a woman, or if they were just scared of Latin America in general since they saw it as too exotic and dangerous. Regardless, because I am both a woman and Latin American it was …

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