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, …

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Feminism | Posted by Sarah E on 01/23/2013

The Surprising Similarities Between Burqas and Short Skirts

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 a male Muslim colleague why women were asked to …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Avigayil H on 09/26/2012

Dear Disney/Pixar

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 …

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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 …

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