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 …
Feminism | Posted by Reilly W on 02/17/2016
How I Am Trying To Overcome A White Feminist Mindset
No more white feminist squads.
As a straight, upper middle class, private school educated, white teenage girl, my first understanding of feminism was undeniably “white feminism.” This type of feminism is one that fails to address issues that don’t primarily apply to the most socioeconomically privileged people in the movement. I only focused on issues of inequality that directly and obviously effected me, bought into ideas about “saving” other women — like the all too common refrain that “Muslim women are oppressed by hijabs and need Western women’s help to liberate themselves!”— and considered Lena Dunham, Emma Watson and Tina Fey my primary feminist role models.
I’m hardly the first to perpetuate this mentality, either. White women have dominated feminism for years. They have done so not because they …
Feminism | Posted by Roberta Nin Feliz on 02/1/2016
Why We Need To Teach Students About Rape Culture
We need to educate students about rape culture.
Being an outspoken feminist in my high school has been a challenging experience. While many of my peers are aware of major social justice news and violations, like that surrounding Black Lives Matters and ISIS, far too many are still ignorant about the feminist movement or women’s rights more generally. This became particularly clear to me in a recent English class, as we discussed Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and rape culture’s effect on the main character.
Rape culture is “a complex set of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women,” Emilie Buchwald writes in her book Transforming a Rape Culture. “It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent,” she continues. “In …
Feminism | Posted by Kinder L on 12/7/2015
Why We Still Need To Talk About Periods, Period.
Rupi Kaur: http://www.rupikaur.com/post/114451663155/period-a-photo-series-shot-by-sisters-rupi-and
I recently attended a feminist art show that included an abstract painting on a stretched canvas made entirely of the artist’s period blood. The show featured many works condemning body shaming and promoting self-love — including nude photographs, painted portraits and performance pieces — but this one clearly stood out. Thanks to many headlines promoted on social media in recent months, I had heard of other artists who incorporated menstruation into their work (like the infamous vaginal knitter) but seeing such a work in person was a completely different experience and one that inspired me to reflect on how the perception of periods have changed over time. Or, more accurately, I realized they haven’t: We still have a long way to go break down period stigma …
Feminism | Posted by Elizabeth B on 11/25/2015
Violence Against Women Isn’t “Culture”: My Experience Studying Abroad
During the first week of study abroad, my program offered an informational session about street harassment to the 35 students enrolled (29 of whom are women). The area of the city in which we were studying is renowned for its conservativism. Few street lights illuminate the endless maze of narrow alleys that lead to our homes and there’s virtually no police presence, so the session seemed warranted.
I could talk about the content of this orientation, but I feel it is most important to acknowledge my disappointment with the program’s choice to label what women in Morocco experience as “street harassment.” In actually, this experience is a form of violence against women and should be acknowledged as such. Walking down the street and being unwontedly touched is a …
Feminism | Posted by Amber0sine on 11/3/2015
The Importance of Comprehensive Sex Education in Faith Communities
Growing up, neither my parents nor anybody in my religious community spoke honestly about women’s sexual wants or needs. I was taught to follow a single rule: to remain pure until I got married and could satisfy my future husband’s sexual needs. To this day, my parents still regard sex as an act that happens only between a husband and wife and believe those who act otherwise are condemned to a lifetime of shame and damnation. While most of my peers had at least an inkling about what sex was by the time they reached adolescence, therefore, I remained uninformed.
That changed in fifth grade. My school held a seminar about “what happens when a girl becomes a woman.” We were handed permission slips and told to get …
Feminism | Posted by Amber c on 08/31/2015
The Broken Concept of Virginity
Virginity is a destructive, heteronormative concept.
Society obsesses over the concept of virginity. Young girls are taught that they must meet standards of “purity” and “cleanliness” — standards that are determined by whether or not we have had sex yet. But placing so much importance on a social construct essentially designed to perpetuate a culture of slut-shaming and rape culture is dangerous to young girls’ health and well-being.
The truth is there is no medical or biological definition of virginity. The dictionary defines virginity as “the state of never having had sexual intercourse,” but this definition is largely meaningless. While the dominant understanding of “sexual intercourse” is penetrative sex, this ignores all of the people who have plenty of sex that isn’t penetrative. Can they not lose their virginity? How …
Feminism | Posted by Celeste Y on 02/9/2015
I remember sitting in a circle of girls on the playground. One girl, I’ll call her Sarah, showed us that she could fold her tongue. I didn’t know how to fold my tongue, but I lied and told my other grade school peers that I could. Sarah declared that she didn’t believe me. I could “talk the talk”, she taunted, but I couldn’t “walk the walk.” I insisted that I could and I just didn’t want to show them. But, Sarah’s logic was sound. Even if I could fold my tongue, saying I did and not showing them was just as good as not knowing how.
It’s important to write about feminism, about equality among genders. I’ve done so many times and I’ve really relished in the recent outpour …