Feminism | Posted by Dessi E on 09/26/2014

On Being Formerly Afraid of Feminism

I used to be scared I would be “brainwashed” into being a feminist. I never believed the stereotype that feminists are all lesbians who meet in dark places to discuss the abomination that is the male gender and their evil plots to eradicate them. But I always sensed there was a stigma surrounding the movement and feared wasting energy “getting angry about women’s rights” because I thought it would be “time-consuming.” I thought becoming a feminist would require me to shout my opinion every single second of the day and join rallies and form petitions.

But then I discovered feminism on Tumblr. Soon after, I watched the documentary Miss Representation and knew as soon as I clicked “play” that it would change everything. I watched with great interest and, when …

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Feminism | Posted by Eliza V on 09/19/2014

My Non-Feminist Sister

I like to think that feminism is becoming a topic of household discussion now. Celebrities are increasingly claiming the feminist label, sexist media depictions are causing more of an uproar and feminism itself seems to be appearing in the news now more than in recent years. This is all very well and good, but it certainly doesn’t change the fact that there are still people who want nothing to do with feminism.

This can be very hard to deal with for people who do identify as feminists, especially if those people happen to be in your family. While it’s (unfortunately) probably not uncommon to have a family member who is against feminism, it’s an especially difficult situation when that person is in your immediate family and somebody you’re otherwise close …

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Feminism | Posted by Alice W on 08/20/2014

An Open Letter to Adults: What Young Activists Need From You

Inspire young activists like these girls!

Dear Adult,

So, you have teens in your life that you want to support and encourage to be the best, bravest, raddest activists they can be. But teens are a little scary, confusing and intimidating. I know the feeling. I once taught a class of seventh graders and was totally intimidated by the girls with shiny hair and nice clothes. Even though I was eighteen and they were twelve at the time, I still felt like a nervous pre-teen trying to make friends with the popular girls. But I promise it doesn’t have to be scary or difficult to help teens get involved in activist work: in fact, wanting to help and connect with a teenager at all means you’re probably halfway there already. …

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Feminism | Posted by Julia B on 04/14/2014

Not “Crazy,” Just Dedicated

When girls are young, Cinderella tells them “dreams really do come true.” As we get older, that philosophy changes and we learn that life isn’t actually a fairytale. You have to work hard in order to achieve something great, and even then it doesn’t always happen.  For me, ballet started as a fairytale and transformed into a whole lot of hard work. And I love it.

Like any professional-in-training, I spend about 20 hours per week training for what I dream of doing: becoming a professional ballet dancer. I don’t know if I’ll succeed (because the ballet world is extremely, extremely competitive), but either way I want to be able to say that I worked as hard as I possibly could.

People have said that I “have no life” outside …

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Feminism | Posted by Kennedy H on 03/24/2014

What Feminism Really Means

While teens, adults and even celebrities alike dare to mistakenly claim that feminism means  loathing men and believing that women are worth more than men, I believe that feminism is simply about equality: it’s about the power to be strong, confident and aspire to be anything and do anything independently.

Even though feminist activists have fought for equality for years, it’s clear equality has yet to be achieved. One of the most obvious and pervasive examples is the portrayal of women in the media: advertisements overwhelmingly undermine women and the media generally insists on portraying women as sex objects. How many ads have you seen where a woman is half naked (if not completely naked) without any contextual relation to the product being sold? Another example is the classic double …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 12/9/2013

The Problem With Mean Girls

The vast majority of us are familiar with the movie Mean Girls (written by the amazing Tina Fey). Although the film has the quintessential embellishments of most chick flicks, it also sheds light on the difficulty teenage girls face not just with their parents or boys, but with each other, even with their “best” friends. But you hardly need to watch Mean Girls to witness or experience female aggression. According to a recent New York Times Article, “The existence of female competition may seem obvious to anyone who has been in a high-school cafeteria or a singles bar, but analyzing it has been difficult because it tends be more subtle and indirect (and a lot less violent) than the male variety.” We all know that this sinister ambiance is …

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Feminism | Posted by Ruby O on 07/10/2013

Me: The Closet Feminist

I wrote before I knew women had to write under pseudonyms to get their books published.

And I rode my bike without knowing in some countries the ban on women doing so has only just been lifted.

I was a feminist before I knew of the stigma that comes with it.

I recently discovered I’d been a closet feminist my whole life. Not hiding from embarrassment or shame, but from a lack of motivation. Without the feeling I could actually change something. It hadn’t occurred to me that what I considered just to be me being overly opinionated, and a tendency to never shut my mouth, could potentially do some good. And it turned out I wasn’t the only one objecting to rape jokes, or to ‘lad’ culture, and there …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 05/22/2013

Forced Prostitution During World War II

I recently read an article posted on Yahoo News about prostitution during World War II in Japan.  Prostitution is a difficult and controversial subject for feminists, but what most can agree on is that forced prostitution is a horror equivalent to slavery that needs to be stopped.  However, the mayor of Osaka, Japan, Toru Hashimoto disagrees.  When reflecting on the horrors of World War II, Hashimoto publicly claimed that the Japanese military’s forced prostitution of Asian women was crucial in order for the army to “maintain discipline” and provide a release for soldiers risking their lives in battle.

During World War II, Hashimoto’s opinion on forced prostitution was probably shared by the majority of military officials and soldiers who were serving, but that obviously doesn’t make it right, and …

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