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 Julie Graves on 12/19/2016
Calling Out Everyday Sexism
We can all be super girls.
Content Warning: this article contains a discussion of sexual assault.
The other day, my best friends and I were casually chatting in a group message. Between complaining about homework and our crushes, we also discussed the instances when guy’s hands have crept too far up our thighs without our permission, the experiences that left us wanting to file our skin down raw to erase every trace of contamination. We discussed these instances without raising red flags, without explicitly labeling these actions for what they are: sexual assault. I guess it’s easy to forget the magnitude of an event that has become a daily occurrence.
The common thread we found in this discussion was the shame that buries in the pits of our stomachs as …
Feminism | Posted by Blythe Drucker on 10/11/2016
My Fight To End Sexist Harassment In Schools
In the summer of 2015, I discovered feminism. While I had previously been aware of the fight for gender equality, I had never really educated myself on the movement and its values. Like many others, I was aware of the stigma that clings to the word “feminist” but was not entirely aware of its actual definition. For that reason, I was not exactly jumping at the opportunity to brand myself with the title. But then, I spent ten days at Barnard College’s Young Women’s Leadership institute, and everything changed.
At YWLI, I was surrounded by young women who proudly fought for the feminist cause. At first, I was intimidated by their knowledge and worried that what little I knew about the movement was inadequate, yet that trepidation soon passed …
Feminism | Posted by Hannah Hildebolt on 10/11/2016
The Period Problem
Let’s talk about period stigma.
Let’s talk about periods. No, not the punctuation mark — I’m talking about blood. Menstruation. You know what I mean.
It’s a touchy subject, isn’t it? Especially with boys. God, I mean you so much as mention a tampon around most guys and it’s game over. They can barely look you in the eye. Why is that, though? Menstruation is a perfectly natural process. It happens to lots of people, including women, transgender men, and nonbinary people of all shapes and sizes. However, due to the fact that sex and gender have been intertwined throughout history in many different cultures, menstruation is most often associated with women. Combine this association with the systemic degradation and stigmatization of womanhood, and one can see why menstruation has …
Feminism | Posted by Christina Wang on 10/11/2016
How I Fought For (And Won) Comprehensive Sex Ed
Students deserve better.
I attend a small private school in Westchester, New York, which is a fairly privileged and wealthy suburb of New York City. Yet despite this privilege, our school’s health curriculum remained outdated, heteronormative, and simply not that applicable or relatable to students. For example, we learned about relationship abuse by watching black-and-white videos that suggested only women could possibly be victims, and spent most of the class learning about physical health and good dietary choices. Although learning about the benefits of exercise is important to young people, spending so much time focusing on, say, the negative effects of cholesterol just wasn’t the critical, useful knowledge we needed to know at that point in our lives.
Last year, our school’s “All Genders and Sexualities Allied” club (our take …
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 …