Feminism | Posted by Aviva B on 07/8/2015

We Need To Talk About The True Definition of Sexual Assault

We need to take sexual assault seriously.

*Trigger warning*

I have been sexually assaulted twice, although I didn’t recognize either event as such at the time.

The first time, I was 18, asleep next to my boyfriend. I had passed out almost instantaneously after a long day of skiing, but my boyfriend claimed that he “didn’t notice.”

Two years later, a stranger cornered me while I was studying abroad in Mexico. I suddenly felt his hand underneath my dress, his thumb pressing into me aggressively.

In both cases I felt violated, but wasn’t raped. I am a strong, independent woman and take pride in my disciplined ability to conquer anything. Which is why even when it came to sexual assault, I was in denial about experiencing anything resembling weakness.

“…

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Feminism | Posted by Hannah B on 07/2/2015

The Problem With The Supposed Feminist ‘Comeback’

Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road

Much lip service has been paid to feminism’s supposed comeback — especially in terms of more authentic representations of women in pop culture. Charlize Theron’s recent portrayal of the badass protagonist Furiosa Mad Max: Fury Road, for example, simultaneously inspired feminists while incensing various “Male Rights” groups across the country. Broad City has been lauded for its pithy dialogue and mold-breaking portrayal of female friendships. But though this proliferation of strong, multifaceted women taking over billboards and box-offices is encouraging, though comedians like Amy Schumer and writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie certainly deserve the attention they’re receiving, we cannot ignore the fact that these successes don’t erase the persistent reality of global misogyny.

The truth is, this so-called feminist revival is occurring …

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Feminism | Posted by Kathleen M on 07/1/2015

A Young Feminist’s Thoughts On ‘The Hunting Ground’

In theaters now.

“Two of us were sexually assaulted before class even started,” activist Annie Clark says in the recently released documentary The Hunting Ground. “I thought if I told [administrators] they would take action, but the only action they took was against me.”

This sentiment summarizes the overarching theme of this film, which examines sexual assault on college campuses. This is director Kirby Dick’s second attempt at illuminating the institutional cover-ups of violence against women: His first is a documentary on sexual assault in the military entitled The Invisible War. I suspected this film would be just as heart-wrenching and found that, especially as a college student, the film effected me more profoundly.

I was well aware of most of the statistics that appeared on the screen, …

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Feminism | Posted by Lexi V on 06/30/2015

Why A 10-Year-Old Paraguayan Girl Not Being Able to Access Abortion Terrifies Me

We must continue to fight.

Like many other privileged American kids, my biggest concerns at ten years old were whether or not I could finish my homework before soccer practice or if my dad was going to buy me the new marine biology Barbie. In Paraguay, a ten-year-old girl is being forced to carry her stepfather’s child.

The story of this girl (who I’ll henceforth refer to as “E”) showed up in my Facebook newsfeed a few months ago. I remember reading one article about the situation and feeling upset but then — to be totally honest — pushed it out of my head (which I tend to believe is what many of us do after reading news stories that are as upsetting as this one).

Then a few weeks …

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Feminism | Posted by Alexis T on 06/25/2015

10 Lessons For Young Feminists

love-feminism-larger

This is what I’ve learned.

I was a teen in the ’90s, and heavily influenced by Riot Grrrl feminism. Everything was DIY, dress how you want, and live with a militant independence. My feminism was raw, precocious, and wild. Now that I’m over 30, married, and have a son, I have a gift: I can look back at everything I experienced and see how it has made me the person I am today. I know a few more things now than I did when I was in high school or college student and, as a slightly older feminist, I wanted to share with you ten lessons I’ve learned about being a powerful woman.

10. You need to trust others — even though it’s often the people closest to you …

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Feminism | Posted by Martine K on 06/1/2015

What You Need To Know About The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act

Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act

On April 22nd, after nearly six weeks of delay, the Senate finally passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. This bill will provide harsher penalties for perpetrators of trafficking, hold patrons of human trafficking (also known as “johns”), accountable for their crimes, and identify and treat those harmed by trafficking as victims rather than criminals. The bill will also create a special fund for victims gathered from perpetrators’ fines (rather than taxes).

Although many expected the bill to pass unanimously in March, Senate Democrats found a provision that compelled them to withdraw support. This provision included language from the Hyde Amendment, which decrees that taxpayer dollars may not be used to fund abortions, except in cases proven to be rape, and would …

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Feminism | Posted by Abby S. on 05/22/2015

The Major Problems With How We Discuss Men and Sexual Assault

"Men

“But men get raped, too.”

Trigger Warning: In this post, I will be writing about rape and sexual assault, particularly in the case of female survivors and male aggressors. As a heterosexual, cisgender female, this is the dynamic of sexual assault about which I know the most, but it’s necessary to acknowledge that rape also occurs in ways other than this dynamic.

“But men get raped, too.”

All too often, I hear these five words used as a way to shut down discussions about rape and rape culture. I’ve heard them from men and women alike, and while this statement in and of itself is certainly true, I have a problem with using this fact as a supposed answer to the equally valid reality of rampant violence against women.…

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Feminism | Posted by Caroline V on 05/8/2015

Even If They Don’t Ask, Do Tell.

Ban silence.

I’ve always thought of myself as a very strong, independent, and at times, outspoken young woman. I was confident in my voice and in myself, certain that I would never find myself in a situation with anyone, boy or a girl, that I couldn’t handle. I was always taught that no one should have the power to make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. But then, my freshman year of college, I experienced something that called this into question.

Hook-up culture in my college, like colleges everywhere, is prominent and over the years I have seen it effect our attitudes and expectations of sexual relationships. But in my experience, unseen, unspoken and especially nuanced forms of violence that are hidden within relationships are more prevalent than the …

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