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?…

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Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by Winnifred Bonjean-Alpart on 08/5/2013

The New Scarlet Letter

For the past seven years, I’ve been a member of The Arts Effect All-Girl Theater Company – an ensemble of girls that meets weekly in downtown Manhattan to creatively explore girl-focused experiences through theater.  In 2012, we began developing our new play after realizing—frustratingly–the prevalence of the word “slut” in our conversations.

Every one of us had a close relationship with the word – we’d been called sluts or defined other girls as sluts.  A third of the group had experienced slut-shaming after an incident of sexual assault or aggression.  We all wanted to understand why it was so hard for us to be open about our sexuality without putting ourselves at “slut” risk.  And then Steubenville happened.  And the gang rapes in Delhi and Cairo.  Torrington happened

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Feminism | Posted by Eve Rebil on 07/5/2013

Your Body Is Too Distracting: School Dress Codes and Slut Shaming

I’ve always hated the idea of dress codes. As a teen, I felt like it was an assault on my personal freedom. Unlike the rebellious stereotype however, I wore as many layers as I could. I frequently wore my father’s XL fleece jacket to school, even though it hung about my knees. It took me years to understand why I felt the need to bury myself in so much clothing, and just as much time to wear anything fitted. Growing up with a positive body image is hard enough these days, but doing so in a school environment where slut-shaming was not only condoned, but perpetrated by school administrators and parents is nearly impossible.

I am not alone with my experience. Lately, this issue has cropped up on the Huffington

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Feminism | Posted by UnpopularPerspective on 06/19/2013

On Having Big Boobs: My Anatomy Has Nothing To Do With My Morality

As a kid, I was taught to believe many restricting things about my body, but one stuck with me more than others: the bigger your boobs, the better — but they better be covered. I accepted that. Then, out of nowhere, I got boobs (at the age of fifteen, I now have have triple D’s). And everything changed.

For a long time, I hated them. My friends teased me about them, I got unwanted attention, and I couldn’t (and still can’t) find a bra that fits. But over the years, I’ve discovered some positive things about breasts. They aren’t just objects for men to drool over and indulge in as they please (although that’s how they’re almost exclusively portrayed by the media): they are a friggin miracle that nourish and …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Blake W on 06/12/2013

Female Stereotypes on Glee

Glee gets a lot of crap for the way they portray their female characters. They are mostly vain, obsessed with themselves, or are solely focused on their love interests. Since it’s probably way too much to hope that a show like Glee actually portrays multidimensional, realistic characters, I’ve decided to come up with three female archetypes that Glee could use to create more compelling characters (but, let’s be honest, will probably mess up).

The Feminist

How Glee could get it right:
She could be one of the rare female characters that isn’t obsessed with a guy on this show, and have a Jack and Liz kind of thing going on with Mr. Shue. Most importantly, she could bring a focus on women’s issues to the show. She could be involved …

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Feminism | Posted by Sarah M on 06/10/2013

On Internalized Misogyny

Tina Fey nails internalized misogyny

The other day, as I sat in math class, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on a couple of girls seated directly in front of me. They were discussing the volleyball game that was supposed to happen that day after school. At one point, one of the girls noted that the girls on the team had to wear their athletic uniforms around the school for that day (to invigorate school spirit and what not). The other girl responded that it was ridiculous and unfair that the athletes were permitted to break with the school’s dress code for the day (their shorts were *gasp* above their knees), and continued to say that the shorts were “an invitation for rape.” At this point, I was struggling to keep …

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Feminism | Posted by Camille E on 06/3/2013

I Will Not Be Scared Off The Streets

So, the other day, I was walking downtown on my own (or as I like to say, “independently”), and this guy in a truck hooted at me while I passed the Shell gas station. I shrunk a little, turned around, trying to determine whether it was aimed at me, and meekly flipped him off.

Resuming my walk downtown, I immediately thought about what I was wearing. Hoop earrings, shorts, a tank top. I was testing out this new bra clip that hides the straps, and when I stepped out of my house I felt excited and a little bit proud. I didn’t have to worry about the straps, and I felt good in my skin, not so afraid of people looking at me. But as soon as that guy hooted, …

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Feminism | Posted by Lauren T on 05/24/2013

On Ending Slut Shaming

About a week ago, I was talking with one of my co-workers and she told me that students at her teenage daughter’s high school made a Facebook page dedicated to the school “sluts.” She proceeded to tell me that the page described the acts that the so-called “sluts” committed and even had pictures of the girls in question. I told my co-worker that that was called “slut shaming.” She did not know what I was talking about — that term was not in her vocabulary. Slut shaming is not something many people know about because of the stereotype that this is normal teenage behavior. But policing a young woman’s sexuality with hurtful comments, physical abuse, and/or sexual abuse, is not normal nor is it okay.

Slut shaming is a fairly …

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