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 …

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Creative | Posted by Jordan P on 12/4/2015

Are You Beach Body Ready?

“Beach body ready?”

The words claw at my brain

digging between the intricate folds of my unconscious

the instant I step onto the crowded subway.

My legs move to a seat as if they had brains of their own

because my eyes are transfixed on the neon yellow billboard ahead

I stare.

 

At the white woman’s sultry facial expression

her breasts protruding out of her yellow bikini

the frizzless blonde hair

size 20 waist

large hips

arched back

small nose

opened legs.

 

This woman doesn’t exist.

She is an object used to sell.

Exploited across Manhattan

telling women to try her weight loss powder

because just look how well it worked!

Isn’t it so nice of her to want to help womankind?

 

I know she is photo-shopped.…

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Ines R on 08/15/2014

Stop Tweeting That and Start Living It

It is almost impossible to deny that millennials are obsessed with documenting everything. We think that something funny we see at Target, or a friend’s drunken rant at a party, or just a quick selfie must be shared with the world. Can you prove you were really within arm’s reach of Beyonce if you didn’t take a picture? It’s everywhere, from screenshots to Snapchats, one could see it as sharing joy or laughter with others. But in all sincerity, most Facebook posts or Snapchat stories are just a way to say, “Look at all the amazing and fun things I do, I am cool, and don’t you just wish you were me?”

I don’t say this in a patronizing way. Look at my camera roll and there are thousands of …

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Feminism | Posted by Annemarie McDaniel on 08/6/2014

Why The Sexism at Texas Boys State 2014 Is Not Okay

Texas Boys State

What do astronaut Neil Armstrong, President Bill Clinton, basketball star Michael Jordan, and singer Bon Jovi all have in common? When they were juniors in high school, they all attended a prestigious but little-known program called Boys State. That’s just the beginning of the incredibly long list of famous Boys State alumni, and alumnae from its sister program, Girls State, are just as impressive.

In just a few days at the summer Boys State and Girls State program, high school students run for office, write legislation, draft court opinions, publish newspapers, and more. Usually this is a very fulfilling experience, but this year, at Texas’ Boys State, one delegate’s entire campaign speech was just the words “Cold beer and titties.” Campaign photos featured swimsuit models with …

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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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Pop-Culture | Posted by Anya J on 01/15/2014

Why Girls Want American Girl to Commit To Diversity

When I was younger, I owned an American Girl doll, like many girls my age. I wasn’t as big a fan as some girls, but I really loved the books that went with each doll. I read all the stories that were in my elementary school’s library, and I still remember the different cultures and periods in history that I was introduced to by these stories of original creative, brave, and dynamic girls.

That’s why I was surprised when my friend Avery Tyson, who is twelve years old and a huge fan of the American Girl series, approached me to ask for support writing a petition to ask American Girl to include more diverse dolls. I remembered American Girl as being one of the only companies that made a …

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Creative | Posted by Melissa Banigan on 01/10/2014

Advice to My Thirteen-Year-Old Self

I was inspired to start Advice to My Thirteen-Year-Old Self, an anthology of advice letters written by fifty women to their teenage selves, because next year, my daughter will be turning thirteen. I want to give my girl, and other young women just like her from around the world, a “guidebook” into adulthood that doesn’t skirt around important issues such as sex, suicide, her body, cutting and depression … a book that also glorifies empowerment, freedom and self-love.

I’m working tirelessly to finish the anthology. Because I can only publish fifty letters in the book, but because over 1000 letters have been submitted from women and teen girls from countries such as Cambodia, Uganda, Peru and India, I’ve also started a website – an online community where women and

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Feminism | Posted by Julia B on 12/16/2013

The Art of Recreating Yourself

I’ve always made “New Years Resolutions” and “School Year Resolutions.” Sometimes, “Summer Vacation Resolutions.” The idea of change has always appealed to me, and that includes feeling the need to change myself. I always felt really guilty for feeling that way, probably from always hearing about how I was “fine just the way I am,” from my parents and teachers.

My resolutions were never about losing weight, getting a boyfriend, or being “cool.” They were always about things I wanted to be, things I wanted to do, and ways I wanted to act because I thought it would make me happy. Does that mean I have bad self esteem? Maybe somewhat. Or maybe it means that I’m a teenager, and most teenagers don’t really know what we’re doing or who …

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