“Vagina” Isn’t a Dirty Word

Promotional poster for The Vagina Monologues
Promotional poster for The Vagina Monologues. Source: Bing Images

By Lauren Orr

I’ve been following Our Shared Shelf on Instagram since Emma Watson began promoting her #heforshe campaign. When I found out that Watson was the UN’s Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, I was not only happy, but impressed. I have always felt that Watson was a fantastic role model for young women all around the world, and not just because she played the intelligent and wonderful Hermione in all the Harry Potter films. I think she is an amazing role model because she graduated high school after filming all those movies and went to Brown and then graduated from there to go to the UN. On top of all of that, she has continued her acting career and maintained a very clean image (which shows that fame doesn’t affect people, but that people are responsible for their actions.) So, of course, bringing it back to my first statement, I thought that looking into Our Shared Shelf wouldn’t be that bad of an idea.

Our Shared Shelf is basically a gigantic feminist book club. On Goodreads.com, there are 167,663 people that are a part of the online forums and discussions. Every month or so, Watson and her team pick a feminist work to read, including Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou, and Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein.  The most recent work of choice was The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, which is a play made up of monologues. The monologues are all from different stories about hundreds of women, talking about everything from sexual assault to orgasms, but the main focus of the book is the vagina and why it’s considered such a dirty thing. Most importantly, the book’s purpose is to make women realize that being a woman isn’t wrong, but actually a really freaking awesome and empowering experience. Continue reading ““Vagina” Isn’t a Dirty Word”


Women in the Media: Latina Women in Television

By: Madison Meyer


Media is often a mirror of our society. Ideally, it is a conscious platform for creators to express their concerns about what is going on in the world around us. Whether their material is motivated by concern over the status quo or something else, it’s no secret that the goal is to relate to the largest population possible in order to gain an audience. This often results in stereotypes and tropes about minorities being played out on screen.

Continue reading “Women in the Media: Latina Women in Television”

Why am I a Feminist?

Photo of Paola Aguilar

By Paola Aguilar

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. While most people agree that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities, few identify as feminists. I’ve advocated for gender equality my whole life without realizing the entire time that I am truly a feminist at heart. Continue reading “Why am I a Feminist?”

Surprise! Emotions are not a diagnosis for a woman’s pain

By Stephanie Sampson


Over the years, I have experienced pain. I have experienced physical pain when I was a waitress and when I had other tedious, labor intensive jobs. I have experienced emotional pain when I lost my grandfather this past January. These times I have confided in my friends, family and my doctor in order to find some relief by talking to someone.

It is a common misconception in this country that women who come into a health facility exaggerate their amount of pain.

This misconception has led to many misdiagnoses and for some it has altered their lives drastically.

Continue reading “Surprise! Emotions are not a diagnosis for a woman’s pain”

Calling all male feminists—we need you, but not in the way you might think

By Madison Teuscher

Where do men fit into a movement that explicitly promotes women’s issues and voices? Isn’t proclaiming yourself a male feminist exactly the appropriation and privilege that feminism is trying to combat?

An article in “Daily Life” from this week presented a solution, to become an ally, rather than carving out a space within feminism for your own satisfaction and comfort. That requires an honest and humble realization that this movement ultimately is not about An image of Dr. Willie Parker rests next to his quote, "Women don't need us to save them, they need us to stand up and fight for what is right."you. Feminism is inherently about women from every walk of life, and the importance of their stories and opportunities. This movement needs advocates and allies in every corner of the world. We don’t need an exclusive club that affords membership only to the elite—we need voices of every race, gender, sexuality, and background stepping forward to fight for gender equality.
Continue reading “Calling all male feminists—we need you, but not in the way you might think”

Tips for being an Ally to Transgender Individuals

By Lauren Anthony


Support. Love. Trust. Strength. These four words hold so much more than just what we say or use them for in our day-to-day lives. Sharing these words with one another helps bring us closer, but also establishes a new form of communication. We will examine these words while focusing on being an ally  for those who identify as transgender.

I am no expert when it comes to being the best ally after someone comes to you and opens up as transgender. Honestly, no one is going to have the best or only answer for a topic such as this. Instead, I am going to offer some advice and tips that I have found helpful. Through sharing my own experiences my intention is that it will help others who read this article feel comfortable around a touchy topic.

Continue reading “Tips for being an Ally to Transgender Individuals”

America Ferrera: Empowering the Hispanic Community

By Stephanie Sampson

America Ferrera on Glamor Magazine discussing body positivity

Women all over the world are advocating for equality in numerous ways. This week on our blog, we are celebrating International Women’s Day, and recognizing those significant women. One of the women that deserve to be recognized is America Ferrera. She is commonly known for her role in Ugly Betty, Real Women Have Curves, Superstore, Our Family Wedding, as well as her strong role in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. But many people don’t know that she has been actively raising the profile of Latinos in popular culture.

Continue reading “America Ferrera: Empowering the Hispanic Community”