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 Yet despite this privilege, our school’s health curriculum remained outdated, heteronormative, and simply not that applicable or relatable to students.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 Rice University Students on 05/2/2016
Teen Girls Need Access To Their Reproductive Rights And Health, Too
Teen girls need birth control access, too
The current feminist discourse surrounding women’s reproductive rights is crucial, especially considering that our access to these rights is dwindling and under constant attack. But it seems this conversation often fails to represent an important group: teen girls. While some lip service is paid to issues like mandatory parental consent for minors accessing birth control, it seems this demographic is often overlooked when it comes to their specific concerns about their reproductive rights. Activists can’t forget, however, that making birth control attainable for minors is an important part of this fight.
Many young women don’t realize how recently birth control-related rights were won in this nation. Birth control has been a constitutional right since Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965, but this landmark …
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 Paris A on 07/14/2014
Why We Need Women’s Studies Classes in High School
My high school feminism class holding their “Who Needs Feminism” signs (photo credit: Noel Diggs).
For years I, like most of my peers, always struggled to answer the question “why do we still need feminism?” But ever since I took a class about feminism my Junior year of high school, I can’t and won’t go back to my previous ignorance about the movement. Now, because of that class, I can readily give a general but accurate answer: I need feminism because I cannot live without it.
This feminism class led me to reflect a lot on what it means to be a teenage girl in this world. Ever since I was practically shoved chest-first into puberty, I have felt the effects of the way women and girls are sexualized and …
Feminism | Posted by Sophia M on 08/19/2013
How Feminism Brought Me Back
I used to dance and climb trees and sing loudly and run around like a wild child. I say “used to” and you probably think I mean when I was four or five, but I mean up until around a year ago, when I was 15. I always tried to be the best person I could be, and to me that meant having fun, loving myself and the world around me, and trying to somehow make it better in any way I could.
Then something happened. I met a boy, I’ll call him Eric (name changed for privacy) who seemed wonderful at first. Eric loved Pokemon, challenged me intellectually (which I have found is hard to find), and acknowledged my intelligence and strength. He would always compliment my art, tell …
Feminism | Posted by Anna D on 10/31/2011
We Love the Female Orgasm! Do You?
Starting college is pretty exciting; everyone’s meeting new friends, getting the hang of their classes, and, if they’re lucky, learning about female orgasm. A few weeks ago, my college’s Sexual Health Educators brought the program “I Love the Female Orgasm” to our student body. After seeing the attention-grabbing posters around campus, my roommate and I went to the event, not quite sure what to expect. What we ended up seeing was an in-depth presentation on female sexuality and its relation to society. The presenters, Rachel Dart and Marshall Miller (co-author of I Love the Female Orgasm: An Extraordinary Orgasm Guide with Dorian Solot), explored a variety of subjects and asked the audience about our opinions. It was exciting that such an under-discussed, even taboo, subject was being discussed openly; students …
Feminism | Posted by Alexa S on 05/4/2011
In Defense of Comprehensive Sex Education
A very hot-button issue that has brought feminists to the forefront is comprehensive sex education. It is something that Jessica Valenti defends vehemently in the notable Full Frontal Feminism, and that many teens have written passionately about here on the F-Bomb. As someone who believes that ignorance should be avoided at all times and that the current state of education is largely condescending to high school students, I have always been on the defensive side on this issue as well.
In the past month, I have experienced sex ed at my public high school, and my defense of comprehensive sex education has become infinitely more fervid. The majority of my friends, including the three that I spend my health class with, are virgins. Out of the four of us, none …
Feminism | Posted by Alec A on 04/1/2011
Why Homosexuality Is Perfectly Natural
A miniature Wild West town served as a backdrop to a very interesting thought. There is a scene in Rango where the eponymous character kisses his love interest, the sassy lizard named Beans. The two perform a perfectly heteronormative act in a theater packed with young children, and I thought about how they were all passively learning to recognize this as suitable conduct. I realized that I had been taught the exact same thing. Then I realized:
As a young boy, I was never taught to be attracted to men as a child. And yet now, as a teen, I identify as gay.
This may not seem particularly insightful in its condensed state, but this led me to ruminate further on how attraction could be taught to young children. Within …