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 …
Feminism | Posted by David G on 08/8/2016
Qandeel Baloch’s Death Proves Misogyny Is Still Lethal
“I believe I am a modern day feminist,” Pakistani internet celebrity Qandeel Baloch wrote the day before her death, according to the Huffington Post. “I believe in equality. I need not to choose what type of women should be. I don’t think there is any need to label ourselves just for sake of society. I am just a women with free thoughts free mindset and I LOVE THE WAY I AM.”
On July 15th, Baloch was murdered by her brother, who confessed to killing her because she didn’t “stay home and follow traditions.” To be sure, Baloch was by no means a stereotypical paragon of “traditional” femininity. That she knew this, and was even proud of this, was evident from messages such as her aforementioned statement about …
Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 07/15/2016
Serena Williams and Gabby Douglas Are Proving Black Girls Are Magic
There is absolutely no question that racism still persists in the United States today. While examples of this systemic reality abound — from racism in the criminal justice system to the disproportionate punishment of black girls in schools and beyond — one need look no further for evidence than this past week, which saw the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille. In fact, the police have killed at least 136 black people in 2016 alone, according to the Guardian.
Perhaps now more than ever, therefore, it’s important for young, black Americans to have exposure to black people succeeding despite the many systemic barriers in their way. This seems especially important for women of color, who are so often erased even from discussions of liberation. …
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 …