“You have 3 sisters? Your poor dad!” This is a common reaction when I tell people that my family is almost all girls. Why my “poor dad”? Do they assume he is not happy with only daughters? Is the amount of estrogen intimidating? Do they think his life would’ve been better with the grace of a son? Why is my mom left out of this? I still can’t wrap my head around the insinuated preference for male children and the overall more positive perception of what raising a male child is like in our world.
When we think of male child preference, we tend to think of countries like India and China that have been markedly fixated on the economic prospects that a male child may bring and that a female might cost. These cultural norms are perpetuated through deeply ingrained beliefs that males will be more successful and ultimately benefit the family, whereas females are seen as a liability that may eventually lead to expenses such as a dowry, which a lot of families struggle to afford. In some cases, families will even turn to breaking the law to reveal the sex of the child during pregnancy and abort female fetuses.
In the United States, although not as severe, child gender preference has implications that not only effect how children of different genders are raised within a family, but also effects the likelihood of families staying together, proving more likely if there are male children. With new technological advances, it has also become easier for parents everywhere to potentially choose the sex of their child via preimplantation genetic diagnosis and in vitro fertilization. These preferences are affecting sex ratios, perpetuating negative stigmas about the worth of women and girls, and attributing to the different treatment of girls and boys within families.
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?”→
A few months ago I explored a topic many women feel uncomfortable talking about, their periods and how important it is to feel empowered, confident and beautiful during that time of the month.
I also shared how a menstrual cup changed my life by making my period no big deal. My menstrual cup saved me money, gave peace of mind, and gave me the opportunity to learn more about my body.
Since that exploration, I have discovered THINX underwear. I have heard of reusable menstrual pads before that work great, but these are underwear designed specifically for your period. THINX said that they see a world where no woman is held back by her body. They claim that they will work proudly and tirelessly until every single girl has an equal opportunity for the brighter future she deserves. This kind of thinking is exactly what I was encouraging back in January. Our time of the month doesn’t have to be miserable, but it can be a small reminder of the beauty of being a woman.
I have not yet tried THINX underwear, but I have done a lot of research for those that may not feel comfortable using a menstrual cup. A reusable pad or THINX underwear is a less invasive way of making our menstrual cycles easier. The THINX underwear is made out of a patented technology that keeps the wearer clean and dry. The underwear is also antibacterial, so you don’t have to worry about feeling dirty. They are super easy to clean and come in many different styles.
After writing about menstrual cups, my friends have came forward and have shared their experiences with alternative feminine products. Since there is a learning curve to using a menstrual cup, I think using THINX in addition to a menstrual cup would be a perfect combination in case of leaking. THINX is a great environmentally-friendly alternative to disposable tampons and pads, and are far safer than the chemicals that are in traditional feminine products.
If you have been experimenting with alternative menstrual products like reusable pads or a menstrual cup, and have found something you love, please share what works for you. You never know whether or not you could help a fellow woman out.
As my blogging experience comes to an end here at the University of Idaho Women’s Center, I can’t help but ask myself when I became a feminist. When I started this internship, I wanted to gain experience blogging as well as meet strong, motivational women. But throughout this process I have learned more than just tips on blogging.
I have always had feminist thoughts and tendencies, but before this experience I didn’t exactly know what they were or where they came from. I didn’t exactly know how passionate I was about women’s issues or what I could do to about it. I have now met a handful of independent, driven, smart, and motivational feminists and I am truly thankful. One of the women in my life that pushed me to this experience is my mother, Christine.
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.
You may not be aware that being a woman comes at a price—literally. The “pink tax” is an industry-wide hike in prices for products marketed to women, notably hygiene products, clothing, and even car repairs. A recent study from the University of Central Florida found that women’s deodorants were priced 30 cents higher than men’s, even when the only discernable difference was scent. The companies in question have tried to defend these different prices, claiming everything from “different packaging” to being “completely different formulations”—despite having the exact same percentages of the exact same ingredients.
Sounds crazy, right? Unfortunately, this is reality—not only do women make less than men, but they also must pay more. A recent study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found that women’s hair care products cost, on average, 48% more than the same products meant for men. This large survey of over 800 products found that women pay more than men 42% of the time. It is estimated that women pay around $1,351 more per year in extra costs because of the pink tax. At Walgreens, Excedrin Complete Menstrual costs 50 cents more than Excedrin Extra Strength, despite the fact that both medicines have the same ingredients in the same quantities. Continue reading “The “pink tax”—Why women pay more for the same stuff as men”→
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 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”→