Feminism | Posted by Gabby Catalano on 03/13/2017
Addressing Gendered Online Harassment
Let’s take online harassment seriously.
Last summer, my friend Katie* received an Instagram message from a man who claimed to know her. When she ignored him, he commented several times on her photos: “hey baby,” “bad girl,” “sexy,” “I knew you were bad,” and “you bitch” were only a few of the degrading messages she received. She blocked him on Instagram, but he then sent her multiple Facebook and Twitter messages. Katie felt so embarrassed, violated, and harassed that she decided to delete all of her social media accounts.
Katie’s experience is, unfortunately, hardly an anomaly; she is just one of the one in six women who will be stalked in her lifetime. In 2016, 26 percent of young women aged 18-24 were stalked online, and 25 percent were the …
Feminism | Posted by Susannah Keogh on 12/21/2016
The Bigger Problem Online Harassment Indicates
The truth about online harassment.
Two weeks ago, my friend Izzy accepted a Facebook friend request from a mutual friend of a friend. Let’s call him “Chris.” She thought nothing of it until she read the comments his friends left on the post announcing their “friendship.” They were the kind of sexist slurs that regard women as pieces of meat: every comment tore her body to shreds. I had never before seen someone make comments like these directly to someone I care about and was enraged.
Izzy and I called this person out on his behavior in a Facebook post that went on to describe just how widespread sexual harassment is. But the sexist comments still flowed. It was “just a bit of banter,” these commenters said, adding that they …
Feminism | Posted by Kinder L on 06/10/2016
#Fitspo: Inspirational or Harmful?
Whether you’re a Tumblr fanatic, an avid Twitter user, or Instagram-obsessed like I am, it’s probably safe to assume you’ve seen posts captioned with the hashtag “#fitspiration” come across your News Feed at some point. #Fitspiration, or “#fitspo,” began to emerge on social media over the past few years, supposedly to inspire others (specifically women) to achieve fitness regimes. On the surface, #fitspo may seem like the ideal hashtag to empower women and encourage them to embrace a healthy, active lifestyle. But, for many, it actually comes at a cost.
As someone who has suffered from an eating disorder in the past, I can definitely attest to feeling terrible as I scroll past these “motivational” pictures. The images themselves — of ripped abs, toned legs and slim physiques…
Feminism | Posted by Zoe R on 05/20/2016
How Social Media Has Shaped My Feminist Identity
At the age of 13, I discovered feminism. Like so many other girls, I found the movement on Tumblr — a platform that has gained a reputation for fostering radical views about equality and tolerance. Tumblr offered me a new world of opportunity and helped me realize I could demand more at a time when I felt particularly vulnerable.
My feminist community on Tumblr became a lifeline in what I found to be an often damaging social media landscape. Harmful ideals and expectations of beauty and femininity were shoved down my throat on Facebook, and the Internet in general often felt like it was full of criticism. It was all too easy to vulnerably compare myself to the inundation of idealized, carefully curated images and posts — from celebrities …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Emma Havighorst on 05/18/2016
Comparing Kim Kardashian to Ayesha Curry Hurts Us All
Comparing Kim to other women hurts all of us.
Our society has long been obsessed with comparison. Girls are routinely pit against each other to “win” the supposed honor of being the “hottest” in the halls of their high schools. They’re even encouraged to put down their perceived competition to do so.
There are likely many reasons why young women feel encouraged to do this, but the way media gossip analyzes and criticizes female celebrities — and compares their talent and/or bodies to other celebrities — is a big one. It has become normalized for people (who don’t know these celebrities personally) to happily explain and/or rant about their actions, decisions and lives because the media makes them feel that they have the right to attack and shame people (specifically, …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 10/12/2015
Why Matt McGorry Is A Great Role Model For Male Feminists
In March, Matt McGorry shared the dictionary’s definition of feminism on his Facebook Timeline. He explained that he was “embarrassed to admit that I only recently discovered the ACTUAL definition of ‘feminism’” and added that “the fact that the term is sometimes clouded with anything other that pure support and positivity in our society is very tragic.”
This post wasn’t just important because the actor publicly claimed the term “feminist,” but also because it encouraged those who, like him, are unsure of what “feminism really means” and are swayed by the negative connotations society attributes to feminists, to reevaluate how they feel about the term.
This Facebook post, however, was just the start of McGorry’s feminist journey. For example, McGorry decided to take on the controversy surrounding Instagram’s …
Pop-Culture | Posted by Kinder L on 07/16/2015
How One Anti-Body Shaming Campaign Actually Reinforced Beauty Standards
I have a mole on my right cheek. As a child, it was the physical feature about which I felt the most insecure. For years, however, my mother insisted that what I considered a flaw was actually a “beauty mark.” Thanks to her persistence, I eventually realized that my mole is not something to be ashamed of, but part of who I am. I slowly learned to love this beauty mark and ultimately discarded my life goal of getting it removed as an adult.
I recalled this experience when I learned about a recent social media trend called the #DontJudgeMe challenge. This challenge simply required that individuals post pictures of themselves appearing as ugly as possible — by drawing flaws onto their images or purposely applying grotesque makeup. …
Feminism | Posted by Marianne I on 05/26/2015
These Ten Tumblr Posts Were My Feminist Education
I wasn’t introduced to the notion of feminism, the discussion of equal rights or the culture of slut shaming until recently. I’ve never had a classroom debate about whether or not men should be called feminists and I didn’t know much about racial profiling.
My knowledge lagged, that is, until I got a Tumblr account. It seems that few educators tolerate electronic devices in the classroom, but the fact is I’ve learned so much from this massive media feed. I’ve learned that no matter where you come from — no matter what gender, age, race, or other identity — there are thousands of feminist Tumblr posts that will likely resonate.
These posts vary: Some are funny and joyful, others serious and educational. But so many represent the issues …