Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 06/29/2015
“Hot Girls Wanted”: White Respectability and the Erasure of Men
Hot Girls Wanted — a new documentary produced by actress Rashida Jones — follows five amateur porn actresses between the ages of 18 to 25 and details their experiences filming porn and living together. While the documentary’s subjects spoke freely, it seems like the filmmakers still crafted the work based on their preconceived notions about porn: Namely, they chose to portray the young actresses as innocent, exploited victims. The film fails to present the possibility that these women have any agency, erases the experiences of women of color in the industry, and arguably most problematically of all allows the men that drive the demand for this industry to remain invisible.
The character whose narrative anchors the film, Tressa, exemplifies this victimized narrative. Tressa is coded as white (although …
Feminism | Posted by Sabrina N on 06/22/2015
Get #Cliterate: Overcoming Socially Constructed Ignorance
Think you know the clitoris? Brooklyn-based artist Sophia Wallace wants you to think again. In fact, she’s showing the world just how much they don’t know about this powerful organ through her multimedia project, Cliteracy, which combats the lies and myths surrounding the dominant social conception of female sexuality while encouraging people to educate and empower themselves.
The project is as diverse in method and medium as it is expansive. It includes an anatomically correct golden clitoris statute, an interactive clit rodeo, street art, billboards and a mural exploring sexual violence. There’s even an installation piece of “100 Natural Laws” of the clitoris, which range from “the world isn’t flat and women don’t orgasm from their vaginas” to “society idealizes male genitals while teaching girls that their …
Feminism | Posted by Stephanie L on 05/4/2015
When Exactly Do You Become A Woman?
What is ‘womanhood’ anyway?
When exactly do you become a woman? I’ve received a few different answers to this question that I think are worth exploring.
My elementary school nurse told me in fifth grade I would become a woman when my period came. But I take issue with the idea that something akin to the goriest scene of Texas Chainsaw Massacre playing on loop in your pants while feeling like your insides have staged a mutiny once a month means being a woman. And what does that say about menopause — that one’s womanhood expires at a certain age? Sorry, ladies, your time being a woman is over, thanks for playing! I don’t think so. I like to think that womanhood isn’t something that expires or something that …
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 …
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 …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Carolina G on 12/10/2014
Laci Green: The Feminist Best Friend You’ve Always Wanted
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 …
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 …
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,