Explicit Content Warning: This article contains explicit sexual content, including the sexual experiences of teens.
I can’t remember the first time I ever heard the word virgin. Although I was not raised Christian, I would guess that the beginning of my understanding came from the Virgin Mary. Since then, I have observed the power this word has over people in our culture. As an adolescent, I learned that virgin meant both pure and prude, both good and bad. I learned that losing your virginity was painful, that women often bleed, but that somewhere along the way sex would become fun and pleasurable, a way to express love. I learned that losing your virginity meant breaking your hymen through vaginal-penetrative sex, that for some reason, oral and anal sex didn’t count. My concept of virginity was fraught with inconsistencies, and I didn’t understand the reasoning behind many of them. I only became more aware of the problems with what I was being taught about virginity as I learned more about queer experiences and became more of a feminist.
Wanting to better understand people’s perceptions about the concept of virginity, I decided to interview eleven diverse individuals about that very topic. This is what they had to share.
Whether you’ve have had a School Resource Officer question your overall health on the appearance of your outfit or have possibly been sent home due to observable bra-straps, it’s plausible that you’ve seen the rise in strict dress codes, especially those in schools.
Though schools aren’t the only location that dress codes are enforced; workplaces, public spaces, and even homes are all authorized by those who can control what others wear. In strict households this could be a parent who doesn’t enjoy the openness of an outfit, at work it could be a Human Resources member, in public even the government has the power to deem what is or isn’t allowable to play
This past week something happened to a friend of mine who I’ll call Lucy*. (Names are changed for privacy.) I was speed-walking to class when I ran into Lucy pushing her children in a stroller and crying. Not just silent crying but sobbing.
She told me that someone had said just said a hurtful comment to her, and I immediately became angry. My friend is a recent immigrant to this country and her English is not the best, but she is the sweetest and most hard-working person. I quickly assumed that some stranger had made a racist comment. Although this is not considered a hate crime it is harassment and I at least wanted to see the person who I thought hurt my friend in case some other incident happens.
Pro-choice vs pro-life is a highly controversial social issue that the United States debates over continuously. Abortions have been a part of American legal history since as early as the 1820s. The first law against abortions was instated in 1821, in Connecticut, targeting apothecaries who sold “poisons” to purposely induce a miscarriage. Coming into the 20th century, some states had anti-abortion laws emplaced until the Supreme Court’s decision in the Roe vs Wade trial of 1973. The Supreme Court’s decision decriminalized abortion nationwide.
Later with the 1992 Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Planned Parenthood vs Casey, emplaced the original guidelines of the laws on abortions nationwide. In the 2016 Supreme Court decision in the Whole Woman’s Health vs Hellerstedt case, led us to the abortion laws we have in place today. Each state has their own laws pertaining to abortion in the United States. Most of the common state-level laws regarding abortion are parental consent for minors, mandating counseling meant to persuade women from continuing with the abortion, limitations on public funding, excess regulations on abortion facilities, and a mandated waiting period before the abortion. Continue reading “Pro-Choice vs Pro-Life”→
Halloween is in two days! While in America along with other countries, we celebrate by wearing costumes and passing out candy to children, the holiday did not originally start this way. Here is the origin of Halloween and a look at how other countries celebrate their passed loved ones.
The word Halloween originates from the phrase “Hallows’ Eve” meaning the night before All Saints’ Day. The holiday was founded by Pope Gregory III to honor the men and women who had high degrees of holiness or faithfulness. Catholics today still celebrate this holiday by holding a vigil the night before and going to mass on November first. Somewhere between the 12th and 15th century, the practice of dressing up as a favorite saint became popular. This is one of the many reasons we now use costumes during Halloween. Today Halloween has changed from being a religious holiday to honor the dead into a festive night to wear costumes, scare each other, and eat candy.
Dia de Los Muertos, Mexico
Cemeteries are decorated with flowers and candles.
Families keep watch over the graves all night long.
Contrary to popular belief, Dia de Los Muertos is not a Mexican Halloween. The holiday was first introduced by the Catholic Spanish as All Souls’ Day, a day in which all the faithful departed are prayed for and their lives celebrated. The indigenous people of Mexico were already celebrating their dead in their own summer ritual. According to their traditions mourning was seen as disrespectful, so they honored their ancestors by festivities and dancing. After the country converted into a Catholic culture, these Aztec traditions were included. Continue reading “How We Celebrate the Dead”→