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 …
Creative | Posted by Samantha P on 02/6/2015
Basic Human Rights
What are you women truly fighting for?
What rights don’t you women have?
Basic human rights.
My consent for you to approach me and get to know me
Is a basic human right
My body does not define me
My clothes do not describe me
And your words are certainly not inviting
We the people, for the people, by the people
Don’t they mean we the men, for the men, by the men
I would love to walk down the street
And not be whistled at like a dog
I would love to sleep with whomever I want and not be called a slut
You receive a pat on the back while I receive a text
What makes any of this okay?
You feel content in your …
Creative | Posted by Jules C on 01/30/2015
When I was a little girl my grandma told me that there were princes. Sitting in our house in the Sunset, the N rumbling by, the sky grey and the ocean roaring, she’d tell me about them as I sipped my soup and tore off bread to dip. She said the princes were scattered around, trapped in skyscrapers and under bowling alleys and hidden away in train stations. Some had green eyes, some had black hair, some had baby faces, some were short, some less so. But they were all waiting. They had nothing to do but sit around, doing pushups, combing their hair, shaving their beards till they were just roguish enough for a princess to save them. For a princess with an AK-47 and a leathery attitude to …
Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 11/14/2014
Facts Don’t Lie: Teens Need Sex Ed and Access to Contraception
Access to education is a fundamental right. But are all American students learning everything they need to know? The use of abstinence-o
nly education in schools is archaic and absurd, and yet it’s a commonplace policy.
According to a 2012 Guttmacher study, approximately a quarter of teens between the age of 15 and 19 had received abstinence education without instruction on birth control between 2006 and 2008 and a significant amount of teens (46% of males and 33% of females) do not receive formal instruction about contraceptives before the first time they have sex. Thirty-seven states require sex education that includes abstinence while twenty-six states require abstinence to be stressed as the best method. The state of Mississippi has the highest rate of teen pregnancy and does …
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 …