As many know, America has a dark side to its history. What is supposed to be the Land of the Free has at times been a country where freedom of choice is denied.
Imagine this, you’re in the hospital after spending hours in labor and are given strong drugs to reduce the pain. The nurse says you’ll need a C-section, but first you need to sign some papers. She won’t tell you what they’re for, only that if you don’t sign them, your baby will die. Even though you are in pain and can’t even read the English, you sign them and they put you under for the C-section.
Months later you’re with your baby boy and happy to start your new life. Then you get the call, you discover were sterilized. During the C-section the doctors also gave you a tubal ligation and whether you wanted or not, you cannot have more kids. This is the reality for many women, most who are in poverty or are immigrants, around the world, even in the United States. Continue reading “No Choice”→
Positive feelings like love and romance are discussed every year on Valentine’s Day. But what about the negative feelings such as pressure and fear that are associated with this holiday? There is nothing seductive about those negative feelings — so safety and consent is what’s sexy.
There is overwhelming evidence that men and women have different ideas of what constitutes consent. According to the New York Times, two open-response surveys of 185 heterosexual students showed that 27 percent of men say they get consent from a directive such as “We are going to have sex,” 22 percent of men ask if she wants to have sex, 14 percent of men use aggressive strategies like taking off a girl’s pants and 13 percent pretend intercourse occurred by mistake. Continue reading “Safe is Sexy”→
Sex crimes are unique because they are extremely private yet prevalent. Every sexual assault is unique to the victim; yet so many women, and sometimes men, have had similar experiences. Falling victim to a sex crime is an experience that makes the victim feel ashamed of something that happened to their own body.
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos quarterback, has retired. If you can’t think of who is, he’s the football player on the Papa John’s and Nationwide commercials. He’s had a long, successful career without any major scandals that have become typical of NFL players. Well, except for this one time in college. Manning is accused of assaulting a female staff member during his time at University of Tennessee.
Dr. Jaime Naughright (at the time, Jaime Whited) was an athletic trainer at UT while Manning was a student there.
Feminism: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.
Veganism: a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of and cruelty to animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.
Why have so many of us overlooked the relationship between feminism and veganism? As feminists, we fight for equality and defend the reproductive system and our freedom to make choices on issues that pertain only to females. Why should males be considered superior to women just because we are biologically different? We can ask the same thing about inequalities between animals and humans. We are all members of the same animal kingdom and there is no sense in defending the equality of the sexes in only one species. Gary L. Francione is a staunch vegan feminist and strongly advocates the relationship between the two. As one of my favorite quotes of his reads:
I’ve never been one to speak up or defend myself when it comes to issues of women’s equality, mainly because my personality is a bit more reserved in public settings. My mind spins through educated rebuttals and facts while my outward appearance is flat or pretending to ignore sexist comments. At the ripe young age of twenty-four, however, I finally feel ready to open myself to the world of feminism and let the world hear my thoughts.
I come from a complex background which has afforded me a rich opportunity for education and growth in various areas. I was raised in a very traditional Mexican household where we went to church every Sunday and prayed at meals and before bedtime. I quickly discovered what it meant to be “ethnic” and liberal in the state of Idaho, where a high majority of our population is white and conservative (I might throw Mormon in there as well, though I haven’t checked local statistics recently enough to feel comfortable in doing so). In retrospect, I’ve toyed with the idea that my differences and inadequacies growing up have a lot to do with my personality as an introvert today, but I suppose that might depend on your stance of nature versus nurture. In any event, I was an outlier which helped me prepare myself as an intellect and focus more of my time on my studies and in music (violin, trumpet, rudimentary snare and other various percussion instruments), where I experienced high levels of success. Continue reading “Why I Chose a Feminist Blog”→
The number of times I heard these words come out of my ex boyfriend’s mouth was absolutely ludicrous. This was how he would justify everything that had gone wrong when mentioning previous exes—this was why his relationships had ended, why he hadn’t kept in touch with any exes, why it was so easy to move on from them. Because they were “just crazy”. I have no doubt in my mind that he uses the same term to describe me now.
As it turns out, this is a common thing. Articles have been popping up everywhere about it, on BuzzFeed, in online news articles, and all over social media. It’s how some men rationalize big emotions. If a woman is “too” sensitive, “too” emotional, “too” clingy, she’s crazy, and that’s all there is to it. So why do men tend to demean women’s feelings like this?
When I signed up to blog for the Women’s Center, I was given the option of submitting all of my pieces anonymously, so that only the editor and my colleagues would know that I was the one behind what was being written. I declined as I have always been one to believe that it’s important to stand behind personal opinions, and in fact want to be identified as the one who is doing the writing. But with that said, I understand the desire for anonymity, and am being furthermore convinced of its necessity at times when stories like the one recently written by Michelle Goldberg for the Washington Post surface.
As Goldberg points out so well in her article, there is an intriguing double standard today for those advocating for Feminism. Celebrities and pop stars such as Amy Poehler and Beyoncé are applauded and heralded for standing up for and urging women to be proud of who they are. Yet feminist bloggers, journalists, or anyone else wanting to speak their mind are now often being harassed and threatened for doing so. Frankly, this contradiction is disgusting to me, but more importantly, it is frightening to the integrity of American ideals.
Last week, I watched the film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey. I never read the books, mostly due to the fact that I was warned about how horrendously written they were, but also a little bit because my Twilight phase passed after I graduated high school and I didn’t want to be reminded of the misogynistic, backward crap I used to like. But I did decide that I wanted to see the movie to develop a concrete opinion on the plot and messed-up character dynamics. And boy, did I.
The movie, which is based on the novel by E.L. James, which is based on Twilight (it originated as a fanfiction) centralizes around the story of Anastasia and Christian and his “I want to be with you but I’m bad for you but I’m going to pursue you anyway” mentality. And naturally, Anastasia has no say in the matter. Christian Grey is an obsessive, controlling misogynist who only further perpetuates the stereotype that it’s okay for a man to order around a woman, so long as he’s being nice to her.