Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 11/7/2016
Experiencing Racial Bias In Preschool
It starts early
When I was in preschool I hated my skin. While I had bronze skin, brown eyes, and brown hair, my friends in preschool looked different. Most of them had fair skin, blue eyes, and blond hair. I thought I could remedy this, could look more like them, by walking with my inner arms turned outwards because that skin was paler than the rest of me.
I remember seeing Snow White, a Disney Princess with “white” in her very name, at age 3. Snow white had brown eyes and dark hair like me, but her skin was so much lighter than mine. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Ariel also had pale skin like Snow White. I remember wishing that I could look more like a princess, and to me …
Feminism | Posted by Blythe Drucker on 10/11/2016
My Fight To End Sexist Harassment In Schools
In the summer of 2015, I discovered feminism. While I had previously been aware of the fight for gender equality, I had never really educated myself on the movement and its values. Like many others, I was aware of the stigma that clings to the word “feminist” but was not entirely aware of its actual definition. For that reason, I was not exactly jumping at the opportunity to brand myself with the title. But then, I spent ten days at Barnard College’s Young Women’s Leadership institute, and everything changed.
At YWLI, I was surrounded by young women who proudly fought for the feminist cause. At first, I was intimidated by their knowledge and worried that what little I knew about the movement was inadequate, yet that trepidation soon passed …
Feminism | Posted by Kayleigh Bolingbroke on 10/10/2016
Overcoming Internalized Misogyny
“Wow, they’re beautiful,” I thought to myself at nine years old as I watched yet another music video by yet another girl group for the hundredth time. I admired these women, in all their scantily clad glory. I aspired to emulate their confidence, physical beauty, and the senses of entitlement and pride they seemed to feel about their own bodies. These pop sensations were my idols.
But at the age of thirteen, watching the same videos conjured words like “slut” and “tease” instead. I watched the women featured in Sugababes’ “Push the Button” gyrate their bodies over men like strippers, and deemed their movements vulgar. I pondered why these men, who were presented as so strong and influential, lusted after girls who made themselves so available, …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Rachael Hanakowski on 10/3/2016
The Problem With Criticizing Emma Watson and Justin Trudeau’s Feminism
On September 29th, two influential individuals had a very public meeting of the minds: Justin Trudeau, current Prime Minister of Canada, and actor/activist Emma Watson. The two met in Parliament in Ottawa on September 28, 2016, ahead of the One Young World summit, and reportedly discussed their efforts regarding gender equality. But what should have been celebrated as a positive interaction that highlighted the work both of these public, influential figures are doing was interpreted far too cynically by too many — as a ploy for attention rather than a genuine conversation — which adds to an upsetting legacy of the way they have been treated under the spotlight. It also speaks to skepticism to which politicians are often subjected, which undermines their ability to lead with …
Feminism | Posted by Faatimah Solomon on 09/23/2016
The History Of Banning Black Women’s Hair
Amandla Stenberg wearing her hair natural
When I turned twelve, I started faithfully straightening my hair every single week. By the time I was fourteen years old, therefore, I had straightened my hair at least one hundred and four times. At least. But eventually my hair started falling out in large clumps and my mom demanded that I stop severely damaging my hair.
It was then that I began the emotionally draining process of learning how to love myself. I read countless books about feeling beautiful in your own skin and body, stuck a number of pictures of beautiful black women wearing their natural hair on the walls of my closet, and followed Instagram accounts that celebrated the beauty of having black curly hair. With time, I began to love …
Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 09/6/2016
The Burkini Ban And The Long Legacy Of Controlling Women’s Bodies
Imagine you are at the beach, sitting on the sand, and enjoying the sounds of waves crashing. Suddenly you are confronted by armed police officers. The police officers stand over you and demand that you remove some of your clothing. Although this may seem like an absurd and insulting request from a police officer, women have been forced to do just that — women have been asked to remove their beach attire along the French coast. But only a specific form of swimwear has been monitored by police: the “burkini,” a swimsuit that covers a woman’s entire body except for her face, hands, and feet.
The burkini — the name of which is a mix of the word “bikini” and “burqa,” a type of …
Feminism | Posted by Crystal O on 08/22/2016
How I Fit Into Mainstream Pride Events As A Queer Black Woman
I realized that I wasn’t straight when I was about 15 years old. Soon after, I got involved with my high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. During one of the club’s meetings, the steering committee chair of an organization called PFLAG (Parents, Friends, and Families of Lesbians of Gays) joined us as a guest speaker. That day proved to be a pivotal one for me. After the committee chair spoke, I attended a PFLAG meeting and became a member of their youth group: Rainbow Youth and Allies. I am now proud to facilitate this group.
Actually coming out, however, was a process that started after I had begun attending PFLAG. I was fairly open about my sexuality at school and was not shy to stand up for myself and for the …
Feminism | Posted by Vicki S on 08/10/2016
The Powerful Message of Mothers of the Movement
Mothers of the Movement.
On Tuesday, July 26th, several mothers of police brutality victims spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. United by the organization Mothers of the Movement, the women joined together to speak about their purpose as a coalition and show support for Hillary Clinton.
Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland, spoke first as audience members chanted “Black Lives Matter.” She commenced by talking about what it was like when her daughter was found hanging in her jail cell after an unlawful arrest one year ago. She went on to say the names of six other women who died in custody in the month of July of 2015, including Kindra Chapman, Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Raynette Turner, Ralkina Jones, Joyce Curnell, and …