Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 08/26/2015
On Women’s Equality Day, Let’s Talk About White Feminism
Huffington Post’s ‘White Feminism’ Video
I used to be a White Feminist. As a white woman, I thought it was my only option. But, as a video produced by the Huffington Post and a thoughtful post by the young star Rowan Blanchard both explain, this doesn’t have to be the case.
White Feminism is activism that focuses on white women gaining the same rights as white men. It is, essentially, feminism that attempts to function without intersectionality and effectively ignores and disrespects the ways women of color and gender-nonconforming people experience oppression. It’s a type of feminism which is rapidly, and necessarily, becoming irrelevant.
I didn’t know all this, however, until I was fortunate enough to learn about it in high school. I was taught little about feminism in middle …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 08/11/2015
It’s 2015. Why Is Male Nudity Still Funny?
“There’s a big problem in Hollywood today,” Kevin Bacon says at the start of a recently released video. “In so many films and TV shows we see gratuitous female nudity, and that’s not okay.”
While raising this excellent point (albeit one feminists have made before) seems like a promising start, it quickly becomes clear that this is not an earnest message, but a satirical PSA.
“It’s not fair to actresses and it’s not fair to actors,” Bacon continues, “because we want to be naked, too. Gentlemen, it’s time to free the bacon.”
This video thus joins a legacy of efforts to capitalize on the pervasive double standard in the entertainment industry in which men’s naked bodies are funny while naked women are sexual objects to be exploited. While …
Feminism | Posted by Beatrice M on 08/4/2015
It’s Time To Stop Publicly Judging Women’s Bodies
Every form of public harassment has got to go
One evening last week, I stopped at home after work to change my clothes before dance class. It was a hot day and I wanted to shed my workplace-appropriate pants in favor of more comfortable attire before heading downtown. Wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and sandals, I boarded the subway.
Although there were plenty of open seats on the train, a man quickly sat down right next to me. Even though I was clearly listening to music, he decided to ask me a question. He asked how to transfer to a different train — was a typical one for tourists or people new to the city. I gave him a brief explanation and inserted my headphones back into my ears, thinking nothing …
Feminism | Posted by Christine L on 08/3/2015
Why I Stayed In an Abusive Relationship — and How I Finally Left
“Why doesn’t she just leave her abusive partner?”
It seems like a simple question and it’s one that’s often posed when people learn others are experiencing abuse. Leaving seems like the most obvious solution to outsiders. But as somebody who has experienced domestic violence, let me tell you: it’s not.
Before I met my abusive partner, I told my friends I’d never let a man hit me. I said I’d never stay in an abusive relationship. Nobody plans to be in an abusive relationship, but things happen. Abuse might first occur well after two people meet or fall in love. Abuse isn’t always so clear cut and can take many different forms.
Women especially are taught to pursue relationships and depend on our partners. I personally …
Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 07/30/2015
Black Women and Violence in America: #SayHerName
#SayHerName protest in Union Square, New York City.
In recent years, the media has arguably made the racial violence African Americans continue to experience in the post-Civil Rights era — especially at the hands of law enforcement — more visible than ever before. But while this increased coverage is commendable, it often overlooks the violence African American women specifically face, including their experience of double marginalization as the subordinate gender of an already belittled race.
Some cases of female victims of police brutality have notably, and rightfully, garnered media attention, including Natasha McKenna, a 37 year old woman who was restrained and violently tasered by 6 police officers until she died; Renisha McBride, who was shot by a white man after she crashed her car on a street in …
Feminism | Posted by Ines R on 07/29/2015
Why The Most Important Part of College for Women May Happen Outside the Classroom
Entering the working world for the summer.
We’re often taught that college is training for “real” life. The time we spend on campus and in class is supposed to prepare us for the rest of our lives. But I feel that my summer breaks have actually provided some of the most life-altering realizations of my college experience.
Summer break is a precious opportunity to explore meaningful personal and professional opportunities that are impossible to pursue in the midst of classes, tests, and typical collegiate socializing. Students can sample potential careers through internships and put the knowledge they’ve gained to practical use, all while feeling like true members of the working world, walking into huge offices and swiping badges at security.
But while such experiences can certainly be exciting, challenging and …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Natalie H on 07/9/2015
‘Miss USA’ Switched Networks, But Should It Be Retired Altogether?
Miss America 2014.
NBC recently dropped the Miss USA Pageant, but the pageant quickly found a new home with cable network REELZ. However, it seems like this could have been a good time to stop televising the pageant altogether — and probably should have been.
Although the pageant often highlights the fact that it provides scholarships to its contestants and is thus an academic opportunity, this argument is undeniably incompatible with the contest’s emphasis on beauty. If the pageant is truly a contest of academic achievement, appearance should not factor into whether or not participants receive a scholarship or have any chance to enter the so-called ‘academic’ competition in the first place. How does the way one’s body looks in a bikini relate to their academic capability?
What’s more, the …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 06/29/2015
“Hot Girls Wanted”: White Respectability and the Erasure of Men
Hot Girls Wanted — a new documentary produced by actress Rashida Jones — follows five amateur porn actresses between the ages of 18 to 25 and details their experiences filming porn and living together. While the documentary’s subjects spoke freely, it seems like the filmmakers still crafted the work based on their preconceived notions about porn: Namely, they chose to portray the young actresses as innocent, exploited victims. The film fails to present the possibility that these women have any agency, erases the experiences of women of color in the industry, and arguably most problematically of all allows the men that drive the demand for this industry to remain invisible.
The character whose narrative anchors the film, Tressa, exemplifies this victimized narrative. Tressa is coded as white (although …