Feminism 101: Why it’s Relevant

 

Black background with pink symbol for the female sex with a closed fist in the middle.

By Alexandria Arritt

Feminism is defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as, “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” The simplest definition of feminism is truly just the idea of equality. If that is what feminism is, why is it controversial? Why do so many people find the idea of feminism inherently discriminatory? There are two main reasons that seem to stand out.

  1. Many assume that the 21st century is a time where women are not discriminated against. That feminism has already done its job and is no longer necessary. Many do not consider what women face in America to be sexism.
  2. Others find no issue with feminism, but with “radical feminism.” They don’t agree with man-hating and violence. Some still mention the notorious bra-burning that characterized second wave feminism as a descriptor of “radical feminism.”

To address the first issue, it is important to consider the treatment of women across the globe, not just in the United States. There are women suffering from extreme discrimination in all walks of life. For example, the World Health Organization conducted a study about violence against women that concluded that around 15% of women in Japan and a staggering 71% of women in Ethiopia reported some sort of violence by an intimate partner. They also found that worldwide, almost one third of women who have been in a relationship experienced either physical or sexual violence by their intimate partner. Women around the globe residing in countries such as India, Africa, Pakistan, and even some Eastern European Countries also experience discrimination in the form of honor killings, acid attacks, child marriage and forced prostitution. In 155 countries, it is still legal to discriminate based on sex, according to a recent World Bank survey. Within the US, violence such as mutilation and honor killings are less common, but women experience discrimination in many other ways. Women still are subjected to harassment, rape and pay discrimination.

Continue reading “Feminism 101: Why it’s Relevant”

Advertisements

I AM A KIND FEMINIST

heart hand

By: Madelyn Starritt

I am a kind feminist. Yeah, this means I think of myself as a kind person who cares. It also means I think we should all practice kindness in all aspects of our lives.

We don’t have to be mean or attack others to achieve our own goals. The word fight is often used when we are talking about equal rights and feminist issues but we can still fight with kindness. To me, feminism is not bringing others down who disagree with you but being inclusive and accepting everyone for who they are. It is about equal rights for everyone and this will not be accomplished if we keep bringing each other down and attacking those who disagree with us.

Continue reading “I AM A KIND FEMINIST”

Politics: More Than Just A Game

Chess Board

By: Madelyn Starritt

Let’s talk about politics. No, not the name calling, whining, Democrats vs Republicans type of politics, but the nature of all political debates. The issues that we consider “politics” and how we fight over them not based on whether we think they are morally right or wrong but based on whether there is an “R” or a “D” next to the issue.

We treat these things like a game with winners and losers. But politics is more than a game, it is people’s lives. The “losers” in these situations will deal with more than their hurt pride, the laws and decisions made in politics change lives for better and for worse, this is something that should be taken seriously, not played with like a game.

Continue reading “Politics: More Than Just A Game”

Fashionista: White T-Shirts and Combat Boots

IMG_3856.JPG
This is a picture of me wearing one of my masculine mixed with feminine outfits.

By Lauren Orr

I have never liked being told how to dress. Growing up with conservative parents, my parents always told me what I could and couldn’t wear as soon as I hit puberty. When I was little, no one really cared how I dressed, but as soon as I “blossomed,” the way I dressed mattered to everyone. My teachers, my friends, my parents, random people on the street. All of a sudden I wasn’t really dressing for myself anymore, but for everyone in the world around me. Instead of just wearing what I wanted and what I felt good in, I wore what my parents allowed me to wear and what everyone else expected me to wear.

Growing up, and now as well, I was always close to my older brother who is less than a year older than me. Because of that, and the way my home life was, I think I developed a lot of “manly” mannerisms. I’ve never been much of a girly girl in my life, despite the fact that I liked playing with Barbies and make-up; I’ve always been more interested in what the boys liked to do. I generally have closer friendships with men than I do woman (until I started living in my sorority) because I just seemed to get along better with them and enjoyed doing “boy” things. This tendency that I have to lean more towards the masculine side of my personality trickled into my fashion sense as well. While I read Vogue and Allure and tons of fashion magazines, and keep up with a majority of fashion trends, I still look at men’s fashion with a higher level of appreciation. Continue reading “Fashionista: White T-Shirts and Combat Boots”

Orgasm Equality

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-7-03-07-pm
A picture of Sophia Wallace’s art, taken from her website.

By Olivia Comstock

In this essay I am going to be talking about orgasms specific to people who have a vagina and clitoris, there are people who do not identify as female who experience these kind of orgasms from this anatomy, so I am going to refrain from using gendered terms as much as possible. Instead, I will just be referring to the orgasm produced from this kind of anatomy as simply an orgasm.

A majority of current media surrounding sex focuses on how to maximize male pleasure, while almost entirely ignoring estrogen-bodied pleasure. Porn primarily serves a male audience and includes acts, such as blowjobs, oriented towards male pleasure while rarely featuring female pleasure or female-centered acts, such as cunnilingus. Advice columns and magazines write about how to be good in bed, how to look good in bed, and how to pleasure your partner. These are instructing the women what to do and alienating themselves from their own body by sending the message that all of their efforts are to increase male pleasure. Popular culture sexualizes and infantilizes women for the pleasure of men.

Continue reading “Orgasm Equality”

Why do we encourage women to become engineers but we don’t encourage men to become teachers?

By: Kate Ringer

Let’s set something straight: I have wanted to be a teacher for a long time, longer than I can remember. At first I thought I’d want to teach elementary, but once I made it to high school I knew that I had found my home in my English classrooms. Plus, I’ve always loved school, as school is where I could succeed.

This is important. Continue reading “Why do we encourage women to become engineers but we don’t encourage men to become teachers?”

“It Happens” Photo Series Challenges the Stereotypes Associated with Sexual Assault

By Olivia Heersink

(Trigger warning: the following post contains images and dialogue related to sexual assault.)

From the innocence of adolescence through adulthood, women in our society are internalizing fear and silence. Most women begin their preparations for sexual assault at a young age, and are well-versed in the precautions they must take before they reach adulthood. In fact, avoiding being raped is an epidemic for women in our society. On average, there are 288,820 victims of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States, alone.

We teach women how not to be raped rather than teaching men about consent, respect, and mutual sexual expression. Not surprisingly, this strategy is ineffective at best. Every two minutes another American is sexually assaulted.

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.

Continue reading ““It Happens” Photo Series Challenges the Stereotypes Associated with Sexual Assault”