Feminism | Posted by Dayton Uttinger on 10/24/2016
The Problem With Saying Someone “Looks Like A Lesbian”
My style has nothing to do with my sexuality.
Apparently, if you cut off half of your hair, start playing rugby, spearhead a LGBTQA group on campus, begin obsessing over Orange is the New Black, and break up with your boyfriend all within the span of a year, people think you’re a lesbian. After each of these developments, I registered my mother’s raised eyebrows, my friends’ giggles, and questions like, “You know you look like a lesbian, right?”
Not that I expected any differently. I knew that my lifestyle (and style itself) was conforming to lesbian stereotypes every step of the way. I’d figured that out for myself after being hit on several times by other women (although, to be fair, half the social events I attended during college …
Feminism | Posted by Christina Wang on 10/11/2016
How I Fought For (And Won) Comprehensive Sex Ed
Students deserve better.
I attend a small private school in Westchester, New York, which is a fairly privileged and wealthy suburb of New York City. Yet despite this privilege, our school’s health curriculum remained outdated, heteronormative, and simply not that applicable or relatable to students. For example, we learned about relationship abuse by watching black-and-white videos that suggested only women could possibly be victims, and spent most of the class learning about physical health and good dietary choices. Although learning about the benefits of exercise is important to young people, spending so much time focusing on, say, the negative effects of cholesterol just wasn’t the critical, useful knowledge we needed to know at that point in our lives.
Last year, our school’s “All Genders and Sexualities Allied” club (our take …
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 Emma Havighorst on 07/14/2016
Does Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $” Music Video Have A Feminist Message?
The first time I heard Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $,” I genuinely thought it was a joke.
“Wow, Fergie’s just desperately trying to stay relevant,” my friend declared. I laughed in agreement. The song’s blatant auto-tuning, remixed dance track, and seemingly nonsensical lyrics made her observation obvious to me.
But then the same friend and I watched the song’s music video. The “M.I.L.F. $” video left us staring at the screen in shock, wondering how such a horrible song had somehow turned into a tongue-in-cheek, clever presentation of an arguably feminist message.
To break it down, the music video’s message is this: Yes, we are mothers. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t also work and make money and provide for our families. Though I had initially written …
Feminism | Posted by Gabby C on 07/5/2016
Understanding The ‘B-Word': Embracing The Bisexual Identity
There are millions of women standing in the closet — a closet that’s threatening to burst open.
I was 17 when I first developed “feelings” for another woman, but it took me two more years to feel comfortable using the word “bisexual.” When I finally confessed this secret to my friends and family, they called my feelings a “phase” and said it would pass over time, which made me feel even more uncertain about my identity and uncomfortable with the idea of bisexuality.
In my college-level Human Sexuality course, my professor asked the class to describe the LGBTQA community and address each of the six commonly used sexual preferences. Only one student in the class of 30 raised their hand. The same ignorance and confusion that caused my …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma Havighorst on 05/18/2016
Comparing Kim Kardashian to Ayesha Curry Hurts Us All
Comparing Kim to other women hurts all of us.
Our society has long been obsessed with comparison. Girls are routinely pit against each other to “win” the supposed honor of being the “hottest” in the halls of their high schools. They’re even encouraged to put down their perceived competition to do so.
There are likely many reasons why young women feel encouraged to do this, but the way media gossip analyzes and criticizes female celebrities — and compares their talent and/or bodies to other celebrities — is a big one. It has become normalized for people (who don’t know these celebrities personally) to happily explain and/or rant about their actions, decisions and lives because the media makes them feel that they have the right to attack and shame people (specifically, …
Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 05/11/2016
It’s 2016. Let’s Talk To Teen Girls About Sex.
Credit: Sex, Etc.
It’s 2016 and talking about girls’ sexuality is still taboo. Despite the tremendous strides the feminist movement has made, the idea that sex is an important part of a teenage girl’s life and development is still considered radical, and female sexuality remains rooted in outdated gender roles. This contributes to a detrimental cultural reality in which young girls are unfamiliar with the many ways they can express their sexual agency, consent and displeasure and in which teenage girls who do exert their sexual agency or take control of their own sexual desires are stigmatized.
Refusing to embrace teenage girls’ sexuality is likely part of society’s larger tendency to strictly delineate and control teenage girls’ identities. Young women are still expected to acquiesce their sexual desires in order …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Bryan Pierce on 05/6/2016
Why I Created A Gay, Male Superhero
As a gay man, I know how much I owe women for the equal opportunities I have, and do, enjoy. When I was bullied by other boys schools, I always found female friends to nurture and care for me. I came out to women even when I was still afraid to admit my identity out loud to myself. Women have made the difference in our last Democratic presidential victory, and are therefore a major reason we’ve seen advancements for the LGBT community in this nation. Mainstream culture still undeniably belittles and even rejects any behavior that can be considered feminine — an experience gay men and women alike understand.
Growing up, I was constantly looking for my place in the world. I couldn’t wait to leave behind my …