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 …
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 …
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 …
Feminism | Posted by Nicole J on 08/21/2013
It’s The Small Things That Count
What is passion? First, you discover something — maybe a sport, a hobby, or even a problem in your community. The “something” (whatever it is) snatches a bit of your soul. Without the “something,” you feel a little empty — you’re hooked. You can’t stop playing the sport, doing the hobby, or pondering solutions to the community issue. Passion drives us. It feels so good to do what you love.
My “something” is creating teddy bears and recruiting other bear-makers. Before you laugh at me, hear me out: in 2010, I was hospitalized for anorexia. The visiting hours in the eating disorder unit were limited. At night, I wished that the doctors would release me. I wanted to be home again. While I was in the hospital, I received stuffed …
Creative | Posted by Jordan96 on 07/12/2013
Life never passed more slowly than it did when I cried behind the football stands. Like a movie, the crowds cheered while I bowed my head in defeat, the music roared while my smile was muted. Small towns are bubbles to be popped at the break of innocence. “Life is good if you believe in goodness.”
But when a short, acne scarred boy approached me with venom in his eyes — there was nothing good about that day. When he told me rape was a woman’s fault — there was nothing good about that day. When he told me women should know better and protect themselves 24/7, all hours of the day, with guns in their hands — there was nothing good about that day.
Daddy’s girl had never cried …
Feminism | Posted by Esther Rose on 06/5/2013
On Sexism in High School
I recently got out for summer break from my local high school, and I really only had one thing that bothered me this year. It wasn’t any sort of drama, nor was it an event. My main source of irritation was a group of boys at my school who were obsessed with cutting down and insulting anything and everything that supported gender equality.
It started with a group of guys in my history class making derogatory comments whenever feminism was mentioned, and since feminism is included quite often in my history book, it happened nearly daily. They would always respond to logical arguments with responses such as: “We all know what happens when you let a woman do a man’s job.” Or the ever popular: “Go make me a sandwich.” …
Feminism | Posted by Talia F on 06/8/2012
Teen Sex and Feminism
What issue is ever quite as controversial as sex? How to have it, why to have it, who’s having it, who shouldn’t be, what should happen afterwards. Sex is always divisive to begin with; it’s one of the basic things necessary for the survival of the human race, and it’s also considered one of the foremost pleasures in this life. Every culture, society, and religion has specific rules pertaining to it. It can make or break careers, reputations, and relationships; it can be a bargaining tool, a reward, or a trap; people do stupid things for it; abstaining from it is a big deal.
Let’s put it this way: human beings are obsessed with sex. Really, really obsessed with sex.
For as long as people have been obsessed with sex, …
Feminism | Posted by Rachel D on 03/14/2012
You Do Have A Voice
When I was 13 years old, I was raped by my then 15 year old boyfriend. For years, I held back from telling anyone except for some of my closest male friends. Why did I hold back from telling anyone? I felt it was my fault. We had gone on one date, and his parents invited me to visit at his house. At some point, his parents left without me being aware; and unfortunately I was unable to escape.
I was so terrified of my female friends disowning me or making fun of me after this incident that I held back and didn’t tell any of them. The reaction I got from my male friends was what did me in. They didn’t seem to care, and gave me the advice …