The HeforShe Campaign to End Gender Inquality

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By Alicia Williams

Emma Watson, a woman we all know from her role as Hermione Granger in “Harry Potter,” has publicly taken up the mantle of feminism. Two weeks ago, in her newly-minted role as Goodwill Ambassador for Women, Watson gave a speech at the UN about the HeforShe campaign, billed as “a solidarity movement to end gender discrimination.”  The campaign asks men and boys to join in to help create a more equal and just society. “It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals,” said Watson during her speech. The campaign purportedly isn’t just about women having equal rights; it is about everyone feeling equal, feeling like they can be who they want to be, without judgment. Watson talks about how both men and women should feel free to be sensitive and strong.

According to the International Business Times, 200,000 men have already pledged to the campaign to help stop gender discrimination. The campaign emphasizes that up until now, the struggle for gender equality has been largely led by women. Through HeforShe, men are being targeted to actively participate in the movement. Watson mentions that Feminism has developed a negative connotation, a word that even women don’t want to be associated with. But this should not be the case. Feminism is the advocacy for women’s rights to political, social, and economic equality with men. Feminists are often stereotyped as pushy and over-the-top, a characteristic that many men have said they find unattractive. Many women may feel afraid to claim the label of “feminist” because they don’t want to alienate men. Simply desiring equal rights is a strongly feminist value, and one that many men also embrace. Continue reading

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Turning the Tables on Domestic Violence

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by Jenna McDaniel

Fact: In the majority of cases of domestic violence, men are the attackers and women the victims. According to the NCADV (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence), one in five women and one in seven men are victims of severe physical violence during their lifetime. Because women are statistically more often the victims, it is natural to assume that a man was the aggressor in just about any DV case we hear about prior to being informed of the actual details. The problem with this assumption is the little-publicized fact that men are also victims of domestic violence. Broadly portrayed as the weaker sex, women are increasingly more likely to be perpetrators of abuse, as well as victims. Continue reading

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This Body

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By Ashley Centers

You say
This body is a temple
And to treat it well
Because this life
It’s the only one we’ve got
But baby’s fat bracelets
And thunder thighs
Never melted away
When she started walking.
And I’ve stopped wishing
For these heavy legs
To work like they should.

You’d remind me that real
Movement happens within
And to not be in such a hurry
Because maybe there’s a reason
This body is broken. My blue mind
Sometimes forgets that karma
Takes time to work itself out.
I just can’t see how
I’m supposed to love something
That has never been the source
Of anything good in my life.

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How Your Body Language Impacts Your Success

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by Jenna McDaniel

Success – in whatever form it might take, and however we define it – is what many of us strive for in life. Education is often the starting point, but it seems like we’re always working towards achieving some degree of success in something. Many of us hope that the success we earn early in life will carry over into our future careers. Doing your best and working hard seem to be ongoing expectations, and yet not everyone is able to translate these efforts into tangible successes. In the workforce, for example, work ethic, presentation, expertise, teamwork, and surprisingly, body language, are all factors that play heavily into our path to success. Continue reading

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Afraid of Me

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By Jessy Forsmo-Shadid

Can I finally rest? And say that
the test, for now, has ended?
That I can breathe, reflect, be at ease.
Now every tease can cease to exist
in the mist of my today, tomorrow, and hopefully,
hopefully the next day.
“
Please, I pray, I promise to pay attention to
me and not he. I’ll give myself what I need
and sow the seed to grow a better me.”
But broken mirrors, a bent heart, a body
built for no one, beats the brave,
the beautiful, the bottom of who I am.
Me! God, please let me free and give me
courage to see what I have been so blind to notice.
Remind me that my skin is not inferior,
that no one is superior, and that I can be
proud to be where and who I am. Tell me that I’m more
than my chest, my breasts, the shell of my past,
present, and future. Say the things that should be taught
to children, fought by teens, and brought up by
everyone else. Shout from the depths of your soul,
“
Love is important! And so are you.”
Because the girl with cuts, the guy with slits, and people
that seem to miss the point to not be like the him or her
in magazines built with fantasies, live on those words.
Do not whisper and hope to catch ear that’ll hear
and forget the fear of non-perfection. Let it be known
that they are not alone. Let it be heard that love
starts with themselves. You. Only you,
live with yourself for the rest of your life.
Be strong enough to say, I love myself today.

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Femvertising

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by Jenna McDaniel

From its earliest origins, media advertising has portrayed women in terms of their sex appeal to society. The more nudity or sexual references illustrated in ads, the greater the sales in this often amoral and profit-driven industry. Over the years, companies and businesses have struggled to find a balance between what will sell their product, and what’s socially acceptable. The recent phenomenon of Femvertising is a pro-female advertising movement that is geared by marketers toward better engaging and inspiring women consumers. According to Samantha Key, Chief Revenue Officer of SheKnows, women are part of a $7 trillion market, and they make up to 85 percent of household purchasing decisions. Forbes has reported that women are on a trajectory to control more than two-thirds of the nation’s wealth by 2030. With marketing techniques such as femvertising, brands are building deeper, stronger, and overall more powerful relations with women, the growing power among consumer groups.

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Health Care Reform and Religious Freedom

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By Alicia Williams

Margaret Sanger must be rolling in her grave. How can the availability of such a widely-used health care product, legally available in the U.S. since 1965 and taken by more than 100 million women worldwide, be challenged so contentiously in court? Certain employers have decided they don’t want to provide health insurance for this particular product anymore. Can you guess what it is? Birth control. According to the Guttmacher Institute for sexual and reproductive health, more than 99% of U.S. women aged 15–44 who have ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method, with the Pill being the most popular. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has classified the development of the contraceptive pill in the Top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century. The pill doesn’t just help with the prevention of pregnancy, but with many other health problems as well, such as anemia, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease. From what I can tell, birth control has had a tremendously beneficial impact on women and society, so why is it being challenged in court?

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