Pop-Culture | Posted by Vicki S on 10/8/2014
Are “Empowered” Pop Stars Claiming Sexuality or Giving Into the Patriarchy?
Nicki Minaj in "Anaconda"
Typically, the heterosexual male gaze controls the depiction of women’s bodies and sexuality in pop culture. Music videos especially tend to enforce the idea that female sexuality is defined by what is pleasurable for men. However, some female artists have recently been trying to combat these conceptions about women’s bodies and sexualities in their music videos – to various degrees of success.
Nick Minaj’s new music video, Anaconda, which has an unapologetically sexual overtone, is a major recent attempt at this. Many have criticized the video for being too sexually charged, and support themselves with the claim that Minaj is forcing girls to sexualize themselves at such a young age. Despite this moral outrage, though, it’s evident that Minaj actually benefits young women by claiming …
Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 08/25/2014
‘Do My Boobs Make Me Look Slutty?’ And Other Busty Girl Problems
We must, we must, we must increase our bust. The bigger, the better, the tighter the sweater, the boys will like us.
This is the jingle my friends taught me in the gym locker room in the fifth grade. Many of them had learned the literary rhyme from their mothers and friends, without knowing it actually came from the New York Times bestseller Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. If only we knew that, in the years to come, we would soon discover that trying to “increase our bust” or even just being “blessed” with large breasts might actually cause us more pain than pleasure.
To this day, I still haven’t encountered a guy who knows how to take off a bra my size. I have this crazy idea …
Feminism | Posted by Annemarie McDaniel on 08/6/2014
Why The Sexism at Texas Boys State 2014 Is Not Okay
Texas Boys State
What do astronaut Neil Armstrong, President Bill Clinton, basketball star Michael Jordan, and singer Bon Jovi all have in common? When they were juniors in high school, they all attended a prestigious but little-known program called Boys State. That’s just the beginning of the incredibly long list of famous Boys State alumni, and alumnae from its sister program, Girls State, are just as impressive.
In just a few days at the summer Boys State and Girls State program, high school students run for office, write legislation, draft court opinions, publish newspapers, and more. Usually this is a very fulfilling experience, but this year, at Texas’ Boys State, one delegate’s entire campaign speech was just the words “Cold beer and titties.” Campaign photos featured swimsuit models with …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Sam H on 10/28/2013
The Black Girl Conundrum
I will never forget the noise that my mother made when she first saw it. We were navigating the streets of New York on a busy Saturday in 2011, running late for a hair appointment. She was walking so briskly that I struggled to keep up. But then she stopped dead in her tracks and made a sound of absolute disgust. I looked around, trying to figure what would make my mother risk being late for an appointment. Then I saw the massive billboard with a black child and the words “The Most Dangerous Place for an African American is in the Womb.” At the time I didn’t understand the message: I could think of hundreds of places that I felt unsafe as a black child. To me, volcanoes, tigers, …
Feminism | Posted by Sarah E on 01/23/2013
The Surprising Similarities Between Burqas and Short Skirts
parallels between burqas and short skirts: objectifying or empowering?
The Burqa ban is the cause of much debate in France. The ban sparked a discussion about human rights: do the citizens of France have free will to wear whatever they want? Is the next step to silence people from saying what they want? Or is the Burqa a security threat — a piece of fabric that can completely conceal the identity of a person, and possible a weapon, or worse a bomb, too?
It raises many a question from a feminist perspective too. Is it empowering to be able to conceal your body so you are judged on your personality and not on how you look? Is it oppressive because it is imposed upon women by men?
When I asked …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Avigayil H on 09/26/2012
I have seen movies that made me feel lousy, like I didn’t measure up to some impossible standard of beauty, or grace, or humor. I have seen movies that make me long to be pretty, to be elegant, to be a good singer or a talented musician. I have never before seen a movie that made me want to feel powerful. Brave did.
Since I was young, I have loved “girl power” stories. Not the girls like Kim Possible with impossible animated bodies and fancy gadgets, but Matilda and her books, Tamora Pierce’s female knights and mages, Hermione Granger, and, most recently, Katniss Everdeen. But until I saw Brave, I had never sen an animated “princess” movie that made me feel like “strong” was a desirable quality. I grew …
Feminism | Posted by Rachel D on 03/14/2012
You Do Have A Voice
When I was 13 years old, I was raped by my then 15 year old boyfriend. For years, I held back from telling anyone except for some of my closest male friends. Why did I hold back from telling anyone? I felt it was my fault. We had gone on one date, and his parents invited me to visit at his house. At some point, his parents left without me being aware; and unfortunately I was unable to escape.
I was so terrified of my female friends disowning me or making fun of me after this incident that I held back and didn’t tell any of them. The reaction I got from my male friends was what did me in. They didn’t seem to care, and gave me the advice …