Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma Havighorst on 07/14/2016

Does Fergie’s “M.I.L.F. $” Music Video Have A Feminist Message?

M.I.L.F. $

M.I.L.F. $

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 …

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Feminism | Posted by Gabby C on 07/5/2016

Understanding The ‘B-Word': Embracing The Bisexual Identity

Words matter.

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 …

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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, …

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Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 05/11/2016

It’s 2016. Let’s Talk To Teen Girls About Sex.

Credit: Sex, Etc.

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 …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Bryan Pierce on 05/6/2016

Why I Created A Gay, Male Superhero

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 10.24.56 AM

Indigo Dax

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 …

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Feminism | Posted by Rice University Students on 05/2/2016

Teen Girls Need Access To Their Reproductive Rights And Health, Too

Teen girls need birth control access, too

The current feminist discourse surrounding women’s reproductive rights is crucial, especially considering that our access to these rights is dwindling and under constant attack. But it seems this conversation often fails to represent an important group: teen girls. While some lip service is paid to issues like mandatory parental consent for minors accessing birth control, it seems this demographic is often overlooked when it comes to their specific concerns about their reproductive rights. Activists can’t forget, however, that making birth control attainable for minors is an important part of this fight.

Many young women don’t realize how recently birth control-related rights were won in this nation. Birth control has been a constitutional right since Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965, but this landmark …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Sabrina N on 04/11/2016

What Kim Kardashian’s Nude Selfie Reveals About The Way We View Female Sexuality

Kim Kardashian

In March, Kim Kardashian West posted a nude selfie on Instagram. As has come to be expected whenever a woman (especially a high-profile woman) does something with her body, people had a lot to say about it. While general backlash was perhaps expected, however, the number of women who shamed Kardashian was surprising to many — and on International Women’s Day, of all days. From Bette Middler’s straight-up degradation to Chloe Grace Moretz’s (slightly) more subtle condescension and shaming, Kardashian’s lighthearted selfie quickly evolved into something much bigger: a debate about female sexuality and what constitutes “good” feminism.

What we say when we talk about female bodies is often not what we really mean. When people say that Kardashian shouldn’t pose naked, they’re implying that Kardashian, a …

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Feminism | Posted by Aya on 04/1/2016

This Is What Happens When We Don’t Teach Teens Comprehensive Sex Education

We need better sex ed.

We need better sex ed.

In February, President Obama took an important stand for sexual health in the United States: He eradicated funding for abstinence-only sex education in his 2017 budget proposal — a decision backed by countless studies, expert opinions and anecdotal accounts of just how ineffective this type of “education” is. But even on the (unfortunately) off chance that our Republican-dominated Congress passes this program — which has cost almost $2 billion in federal spending — the damage of abstinence-only sex education on my generation is already evident.

As a college freshman, I have witnessed and experienced many examples of such damaging effects firsthand. This can manifest in unfair and frustrating ways, like the “pleasure” or “orgasm” gap that results in women not getting off as …

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