Pop-Culture | Posted by Aph Ko on 07/27/2015
Rihanna’s ‘BBHMM’ Video and Our Resistance To Black Women’s Subjectivity
Rihanna performing BBHMM live at the 2015 iHeart Radio Music Awards.
As anyone even mildly interested in pop culture likely knows, Rihanna recently dropped a new music video for her song Bitch Better Have My Money. I found the video itself interesting, but honestly found the critiques of it even more so. Many of these critiques demonstrate that mainstream culture still doesn’t know how to meaningfully engage with black women and the popularity of the work they create. Specifically, it seems that critics of black, female artists try to understand their work through the lens of static theories that reiterate racist tropes, and which produce prescriptive, limiting understandings of their work. We’ve seen this with panic over Beyoncé’s feminism, shock in response to Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda album cover, …
Feminism | Posted by Abby S. on 05/22/2015
The Major Problems With How We Discuss Men and Sexual Assault
“But men get raped, too.”
Trigger Warning: In this post, I will be writing about rape and sexual assault, particularly in the case of female survivors and male aggressors. As a heterosexual, cisgender female, this is the dynamic of sexual assault about which I know the most, but it’s necessary to acknowledge that rape also occurs in ways other than this dynamic.
“But men get raped, too.”
All too often, I hear these five words used as a way to shut down discussions about rape and rape culture. I’ve heard them from men and women alike, and while this statement in and of itself is certainly true, I have a problem with using this fact as a supposed answer to the equally valid reality of rampant violence against women.…
Feminism | Posted by Caroline V on 05/8/2015
Even If They Don’t Ask, Do Tell.
I’ve always thought of myself as a very strong, independent, and at times, outspoken young woman. I was confident in my voice and in myself, certain that I would never find myself in a situation with anyone, boy or a girl, that I couldn’t handle. I was always taught that no one should have the power to make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. But then, my freshman year of college, I experienced something that called this into question.
Hook-up culture in my college, like colleges everywhere, is prominent and over the years I have seen it effect our attitudes and expectations of sexual relationships. But in my experience, unseen, unspoken and especially nuanced forms of violence that are hidden within relationships are more prevalent than the …
Feminism | Posted by Kathleen W on 01/26/2015
What The Way We Share Viral Videos Can Teach Us About Feminism
Hi, my name is Kathy and I’m a Pinterest-aholic. I love to pin recipes that make me hungry, workouts I’ll never do and, most of all, quotes. Maybe it’s the writer in me, but there’s nothing I love more than a good quote. One particularly motivating quote by Pablo Picasso has stayed with me: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”
I think about this sentiment from time to time, mostly when I’m feeling uninspired and need a pick-me-up to get going, whether in writing or in life. But recently, I found myself stuck: Not even this quote could save me from wasting time on the Internet. Eventually, I came across a video my friend shared called “Boys age 7-11 were asked to slap a girl. Their reactions …
Feminism | Posted by Sabrina N on 07/21/2014
A few weeks ago, Jada, a 16-year-old girl from Houston, Texas, went to a house party and was given a drink by the host. Little did she know that the drink was drugged, and that she would wake up later with no memories of what had just happened.
After Jada went unconscious, she was raped. The rape was recorded via pictures and videos, which were then put on social media. When Jada woke up later she had no idea what had just happened to her. That is, until she checked social media and found alarming tweets, pictures and videos. In a horrific turn of events, her assault was then turned into a meme, where people mimicked her pose– unconscious, sprawled out on the floor, partially unclothed– and then took a …
Feminism | Posted by Maya Richard-Craven on 07/7/2014
What’s Your ‘Weapon Of Choice?’
American photographer Richard Johnson brings attention to the invisible effects of verbal abuse in his series, "Weapon of Choice." (Weapon of Choice - Hurtwords.com / Facebook)
It was not your typical walk of shame, like the kind you see in high school movies after someone loses their virginity. Instead, it was me, an athletic-looking African-American girl, sobbing my way downtown, just on the border of USC and gang territory.
A fellow Trojan, who I had been talking to for a year, had originally said I could stay over at his place.
“I don’t care what I said. I lied.”
“It’s 4 am and we are in South Central LA, you are just going to kick me out… Can’t I just sleep on your floor?”
“What are you still doing …
Feminism | Posted by Celeste Y on 06/25/2014
Comedian Chris Gethard’s Feminist Internet Feud
Following the Isla Vista killing spree on May 23rd, 2014, thousands of women used the Twitter hashtag “#YesAllWomen” to share stories of experiences and incidents of sexual harassment, abuse and inequality of women. Many men contributed to the topic as well, demonstrating support for women and deploring episodes of inequality. Comedian Chris Gethard was among them, joining the conversation by taking to his Manhattan public access show’s blog to offer important pieces of advice to young males.
In the blog post entitled “Overcome Your Programming and Become a Better Man” Gethard recalled feeling angry, sad and lost as a teenager in the same way the perpetrators of mass killings seem to be on online message boards and blog posts. He remembered “thinking girls didn’t like [him]” …
Feminism | Posted by Alice W on 11/11/2013
Rape Culture Shock
I thought the toughest adjustment when it came to starting college would be the workload, or self discipline, or missing my friends and family. I was prepared for those challenges. What I didn’t expect was the anxiety that comes with wedging my fingernail into the groove of my pocket knife while walking home alone late at night.
Or looking over my shoulder on dark streets, to make sure that the guy who was just behind me isn’t following too closely.
Or getting my things and moving to another floor of the library after a guy sitting in a corner with a blank computer screen, is staring at me every time I glance over.
Or that sense of vulnerability when I’m in a study room at one a.m and I’m the …