Feminism | Posted by Aya on 03/9/2016

Here’s The Truth About Hooking Up In College While Feminist

The scene of the crime.

Prior to college, I had absolutely no experience with casual hookups. I had heard about them all throughout high school, but all of my sexual experience occurred in a single serious high school relationship. Though that relationship was both sexually and emotionally fulfilling, it ended as soon as college began.

Between dealing with this break up and trying to form new relationships in a new environment, I started the first semester of my freshman year sexually frustrated and emotionally out of control. Casually hooking up with someone seemed like the perfect solution at the time.

I didn’t know how much I would regret that my first casual hookup ended up being with a boy we’ll call “Derek,” nor could I have known how much he …

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Creative | Posted by Jo E on 01/22/2016

Bisexuality Isn’t Real, My Ass.

Somehow she ended up sitting next to me on the couch as the five of us snuggled. Three of us ended up on the L shaped couch, the other two on the floor. And there she was. Next to me, sitting back after she had gotten the movie—“The Shining”—set up on her TV.

It didn’t take long for me to forget about my discomfort and focus on the movie, which was good, and not so scary that I couldn’t watch. But then she grabbed my arm and pulled it around her, lying her body back against my chest, and I could smell how nice she smelled — she was obsessed with nice-smelling lotions and hair sprays. I tried not to let her feel the tension that she inspired in my …

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Feminism | Posted by Amber0sine on 11/3/2015

The Importance of Comprehensive Sex Education in Faith Communities

Sex, Etc.

Sex, Etc.

Growing up, neither my parents nor anybody in my religious community spoke honestly about women’s sexual wants or needs. I was taught to follow a single rule: to remain pure until I got married and could satisfy my future husband’s sexual needs. To this day, my parents still regard sex as an act that happens only between a husband and wife and believe those who act otherwise are condemned to a lifetime of shame and damnation. While most of my peers had at least an inkling about what sex was by the time they reached adolescence, therefore, I remained uninformed.

That changed in fifth grade. My school held a seminar about “what happens when a girl becomes a woman.” We were handed permission slips and told to get …

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Feminism | Posted by Claire B on 09/16/2015

Consent in the Age of High School Hookup Culture

Owen Labrie

Owen Labrie

A few weeks ago, I took my seat in the huge auditorium of my East Coast college preparatory boarding school for Proctor Training. The week-long event involved a series of workshops and lectures that train dormitory proctors how to address issues that may arise in the community over the course of the school year. We reviewed “no-grinding” dance rules, gendered dormitory visitation policies, and health center pamphlets — probably the same policies that have been upheld at countless college preparatory schools across the country for years.

But this time around, there was an elephant in the room: The Owen Labrie trial.

On August 28th, 18-year old St. Paul’s School senior Owen Labrie was found not guilty of felony sexual assault charges, but was convicted of having sex …

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Feminism | Posted by Jonathan Kalin on 09/1/2015

What Justin Bieber’s VMA Performance Can Teach Us About Modern Masculinity

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

At the end of his VMA performance on Sunday night, Justin Bieber began to cry. This image has already launched debates about his motivations and as someone who has spent the past 4 years immersed in a movement to end men’s violence against women by critically examining the destructive way men are socialized and the unhealthy standard of masculinity they’re trained to embody, I was fascinated by this moment. But the focus on what was essentially a few seconds of his performance overlooks the many other ways Bieber’s entire performance of his new single “What Do You Mean?” encapsulates the current experience of young heterosexual men in America in a largely unprecedented way.

First, Bieber models a complex attention to consent. I have spent the past

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Feminism | Posted by Amber c on 08/31/2015

The Broken Concept of Virginity

Virginity is a destructive, heteronormative concept.

Society obsesses over the concept of virginity. Young girls are taught that they must meet standards of “purity” and “cleanliness” — standards that are determined by whether or not we have had sex yet. But placing so much importance on a social construct essentially designed to perpetuate a culture of slut-shaming and rape culture is dangerous to young girls’ health and well-being.

The truth is there is no medical or biological definition of virginity. The dictionary defines virginity as “the state of never having had sexual intercourse,” but this definition is largely meaningless. While the dominant understanding of “sexual intercourse” is penetrative sex, this ignores all of the people who have plenty of sex that isn’t penetrative. Can they not lose their virginity? How …

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Feminism | Posted by Cheyenne T on 07/6/2015

The Complexity of Being A Black Feminist in a Relationship

On losing your first love.

It’s hard being alone after having been with someone for a long time. It’s hard to detach from your first love, to not have that person on whom you can rely for comfort, happiness and safety. You miss falling in love every time you see that person — your best friend — walk towards you.

I recently found myself in this situation, alone after almost two years of partnership. My boyfriend was mother and father, friend and lover to me. Losing all of those people at once — and knowing that he lost the same — was heartbreaking. But knowing that he was one less black man and I one less black woman the other could protect was the most heartbreaking part of all.

I …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 06/29/2015

“Hot Girls Wanted”: White Respectability and the Erasure of Men

Credit: Netflix

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 …

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