Feminism | Posted by Emily Lindin on 02/23/2015

On “Just Wanting Attention,” Slut Shaming, and Why We Shouldn’t Apologize

I hear from a lot of girls who are struggling through the hell that is being labeled a “slut” in middle school or high school. Often, they just want to know that they’re not alone. Sometimes, they want to share their experiences with me and even publicly, through The UnSlut Project.

I love hearing from these girls – after all, they are the very reason I started this project by posting my own middle school diaries online back in 2013. But I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in their messages: Many girls will begin their emails with a disclaimer along the lines of, “I’m not looking for attention, but…” or “I know you might think I just want attention, but…” and it always makes me cringe.

Here they are, bravely …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Chloe H on 02/2/2015

The Real Reason Fifty Shades Of Grey Is Sexist

I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey on NPR when I was 15.  It was the tail end of the story, and all that I could glean was the name, that it was an immensely popular work of fiction, and that it was particularly popular among the elderly in nursing homes.  Priding myself in being a well-informed and well-read individual, I decided I should be reading this seemingly topical and influential book.  I pranced into Barnes and Noble on my high horse, bragging to my friend about how I was buying a very popular book to enhance my personal literature collection.  When I told her what the book was, she blushed and said her Mom wouldn’t let her read it.

“Why?” I asked, thoroughly confused.

“Because it’s… porn!” She …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 12/10/2014

Laci Green: The Feminist Best Friend You’ve Always Wanted

Laci Green

If you haven’t already heard of Laci Green, your life is about to change. The 25-year-old sex positivity educator and vlogger is the awesome, feminist big sister you’ve always wanted. And all of her content is just a click away.

Following the success of Laci’s personal Youtube channel, which recently reached 1.17 million subscribers, the self described “sexuality geek” has partnered with MTV to create a new Youtube series called “Braless.” This channel, much like Laci’s personal one, will discuss gender and sexuality issues, but through the lens of pop culture. So far, she has discussed twerking and sexism, censorship on television, and Ferguson. By using real-world examples that are familiar to the MTV audience to approach these topics, Laci is able to …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Eliza V on 10/6/2014

The Naked Celebrity Photos Aren’t A “Scandal” — They’re A Crime

Jennifer Lawrence: one of the hacked celebrities

When I first read that 100 celebrity women were hacked and their private photos stolen then distributed online, the incident was framed as a scandal. The first article I read ridiculed the women whose privacy was violated for being so stupid as to have nude photo of themselves on their personal devices and blamed them for the incident. It questioned how they would show their faces in public and, of course, the word “slut” was thrown around quite a bit. It wasn’t until I read an article written by Scott Mendelson on Forbes that regarded what had happened as a sex crime that I fully appreciated the magnitude of this event.

Many people seem to argue that this crime would have been prevented …

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Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 08/8/2014

What Makes Asian-American Men ‘Undateable?’

When I look in the mirror, I do not see someone that I understand to be handsome by Western standards. I look mostly Asian, and like so many other heterosexual Asian males before me, I have internalized a lifetime of believing that my features, my face, my skin tone, in tandem, make me unattractive and undesirable.

- Noah Cho, “How I Learned to Feel Undesirable

Several studies have found Asian-American males to be the “least desirable” bachelors, a trend that may be exacerbated by a seeming across-the-board preference for dating Asian-American women by men of all races. The term Asian-American, in this case, covers a broad ethnic spectrum, including, but not limited to: “people who have origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East,

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 07/16/2014

Orphan Black: The Feminist Show You Need To Watch

While we are arguably currently experiencing the golden age of TV, thanks to shows like Orange is the New Black, Mad Men, The Game of Thrones, and House of Cards, we are also inundated by shameful, “reality” crap. With so many options, either for exciting, interesting television or mind-numbing selections best used as background noise (for me, it’s “Say Yes to the Dress”. Not even a little bit guilty), it’s hard to know what’s worth spending time on. I’m here to break it down for you.

Orphan Black is the show everyone should be watching. Not only does this show blow the Bechdel test out of the water, but it’s thought-provoking, darkly funny, science-fiction-y in a way that non-geeks can enjoy, and it handles topics that our society cannot …

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Feminism | Posted by Paris A on 07/14/2014

Why We Need Women’s Studies Classes in High School

My high school feminism class holding their “Who Needs Feminism” signs (photo credit: Noel Diggs).

For years I, like most of my peers, always struggled to answer the question “why do we still need feminism?” But ever since I took a class about feminism my Junior year of high school, I can’t and won’t go back to my previous ignorance about the movement. Now, because of that class, I can readily give a general but accurate answer: I need feminism because I cannot live without it.

This feminism class led me to reflect a lot on what it means to be a teenage girl in this world. Ever since I was practically shoved chest-first into puberty, I have felt the effects of the way women and girls are sexualized and …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Sabrina N on 07/2/2014

On Preachers Daughters and Purity Culture

I recently marathoned Preachers Daughters, a new Lifetime reality show. Season One follows the lives of three different girls — Taylor, Olivia and Kolby — who all have at least one parent who is a preacher. While all girls are subject to purity culture based on their family’s beliefs, each reacts to this culture differently. Taylor feels restricted and chooses to rebel; Olivia, who has a baby,  is now “on the right path”; Kolby attempts to live up to purity standards and even breaks up with a boyfriend in order to avoid future “temptation”. But while each girl follows a different path, they all show how purity culture can manifest destructively.

Although I was never involved with purity culture to the same extent as these girls, watching Taylor, Olivia …

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