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 …
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Fiona L on 06/6/2014
Erasing the Gray Area: Why Enthusiastic Consent Is Essential To Eradicating Sexual Assault
One Friday evening this spring, I stood in the courtyard outside my dorm with a friend. The sun was setting and students were performing their pre-party rituals around us. It was the first temperate day of the semester and a surge of giddiness seemed to have engulfed the campus. Yet I’d spent the last hour and a half consoling my friend, who was grappling with the process of filing a complaint of sexual misconduct against a fellow Yale student.
It wasn’t the first time I’d found myself in this situation. In my time at college, I’ve heard many stories, generally from heterosexual women, ranging from hazy one-night-stands that went further than intended, to dance-floor-make-outs that felt pressured, to sexual encounters in which the victim was inebriated past the …
Feminism | Posted by Beatrice M on 04/9/2014
Are We Sexually Equal?
Women have made great strides towards social, political and economic equality in the past decades, but where do we stand in terms of sexual equality? Humans are sexual creatures who all want to explore our sexuality, but society undeniably still influences many women and men to view sex differently.
While medical advancements, like the invention of the pill, have radically transformed women’s sexual autonomy, there are still a number of cultural forces that suppress women’s sexuality. Women are still sexually exploited in the media and there are still societal pressures that encourage us to think of men as overly sexual creatures and women as demure and untouchable. Rigid purity standards and sexual double standards continue to demonize women for having sex and women also still face greater repercussions for sexual …
Feminism | Posted by Caroline A on 09/27/2013
Growing Up Through A Vaseline Covered Lens
I adore sex and I adore myself. By exploring my body as a teen, I experienced a personal revolution: I was suddenly able to see a new wealth of beauty in everything around me. Sex, it appeared to me, was the great mystery that united us: in present and through time. The way every historical period and culture saw sex differently is a testimony to our majesty as human beings, our endless appetite for connectivity and self- knowledge. I used to think that the sex-positive attitude I maintained was one shared by everybody, no matter what. But then I discovered mainstream porn.
I feel that the language of sexuality in the 21st century, especially as it relates to the mainstream, hardcore pornography industry, doesn’t live up to acceptable standards of …
Feminism | Posted by Vanessa W on 09/25/2013
Dear Mrs. Hall: In Defense of Teenage Girls
Dear Mrs. Hall,
Do you remember what it feels like to be a teenage girl?
Do you remember what it feels like to question every fiber of your identity?
Your body, the hand grenade. Your body, the playground.
Perhaps being a mother of teenage sons has scrubbed your memory clean of the plights of girlhood, of that terrifying transition from controlled chaos to the free-fall of adulthood, of that magical land where you are expected to shed your frivolous fears and anxieties like dead skin, like a knight’s rusted suit of armor. Perhaps you never experienced many catastrophes. Perhaps your adolescence was a snapshot of wholesome, homespun Americana, equal parts privilege and determined obliviousness.
But in your world, are girls the proverbial Eve, or are they simply human beings?…
Feminism | Posted by Sophia M on 08/19/2013
How Feminism Brought Me Back
I used to dance and climb trees and sing loudly and run around like a wild child. I say “used to” and you probably think I mean when I was four or five, but I mean up until around a year ago, when I was 15. I always tried to be the best person I could be, and to me that meant having fun, loving myself and the world around me, and trying to somehow make it better in any way I could.
Then something happened. I met a boy, I’ll call him Eric (name changed for privacy) who seemed wonderful at first. Eric loved Pokemon, challenged me intellectually (which I have found is hard to find), and acknowledged my intelligence and strength. He would always compliment my art, tell …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 08/2/2013
6 Reasons “The To Do List” Is Great For Women
Aubrey Plaza and Rachel Bilson in "The To Do List"
As a movie lover, I’m used to being frustrated, insulted and bored with female characters. Truly, there are few things quite as annoying as being asked to ignore everything I know and believe to be true about women for two hours, as most movies ask me to do. Then a breath of fresh air in a sea of films featuring damsels in distress, and women who exist solely for the gratification of immature guys appeared on Friday night. It’s more formally being referred to as “The To Do List.”
This indie film centers around the story of Brandy Clark (played by Aubrey Plaza), a multidimensional female protagonist whose on-screen journey to sexual self-discovery revolves around her growth as …