Feminism

More than 30,000 people have signed an online petition on Change.org stating they don't support toy manufacturer LEGO's newest campaign, a line of toys called Friends made just for girls (an already gag-inducing phrase when it comes to marketing). Critics are calling it sexist because the line makes a break from LEGO's usual build-it-yourself aesthetic. Friends features pre-assembled sets that follow gender norms like a hair salon, fashion design studio, and cupcake bakery. Everyone from the Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle to 5-year-old viral-video sensation Riley are...
A small but dedicated group of young female boxers in Afghanistan are learning vital self-defense skills and dreaming of Olympic stardom, according to a story from Al-Arabiya News. Training in a space formerly used by the Taliban for public punishments, the athletes still face serious threats from conservatives who believe that females shouldn’t learn how to fight: “Two years ago someone called my father...and threatened that he would either kidnap or kill us if he let us train,” 19-year-old Shabnam said. They did not return until their...
While reading the Huffington Post this morning, an article titled “Is Occupy Good for Women?” grabbed my attention. The movement that started in New York City in September gathered strength across the country and coined the slogan “We are the 99 percent.” The article's author, Christine Bork, reveals where women fall in the richest 1% of Americans (those that control 40% of U.S. wealth). Bork found that the top 1% is made up of fields dominated by white males, such as medical fields, financial professions, and law.  She...

The earthquake that devastated Haiti two years ago has created an aftermath of disturbing consequences for displaced women and girls. A report released today specifies the effect of sexual exploitation on displaced Haitian women and girls. The report was authored by MADRE, the Commission of Women Victims for Victims (KOFAVIV), Women’s Human Rights, Clinic at the City University of New York School of Law, the Global Justice Clinic at NYU School of Law, and  the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at UC Hastings College...

Recently, I came across a Forbes article that caught my eye. In “Who’s Afraid of Post-Feminism? What It Means To Be A Feminist Today,” Jenna Goudreau asks women to weigh in on some hard-hitting questions: what is feminism, and is it relevant today? Feminism, the other "f word," has come to represent unwarranted stereotypes for some, and is a badge of honor for others. If some are uncomfortable calling themselves feminists, and others would wear the label on their foreheads, Goudreau asks, what’s the difference if...
For the past 11 years, the Toy Industry Association has crowned a "Toy of the Year," enlisting consumers, retailers, and journalists to help decide which toy/game deserves the title. There are 11 categories (including "Active Toy," "Boy Toy," "Educational Toy"), each with a winner--but only one toy/game can win the mother of all the awards. The awards seemed innocuous enough until I checked out the categories. First of all, toys are divided into “boy” and “girl” designations, which is unnecessary. But the nature of the...
 There was a collective sigh of disappointment for those following the impending decision by the Obama administration last week that would have hopefully relaxed the age restrictions on over-the counter sales of Plan B emergency contraceptive; a change that was recommendation by the FDA.   The administration decided against the changes, a direct 180 from a 2009 promise to restore and support scientific integrity regarding its decisions about public health and to base its scientific decisions in "facts, not ideology." Scientific and public health communities, including doctors, health...

I, like millions of girls across the great wide-open interwebz, have uploaded a Facebook picture where my lips are pursed defiantly at the camera. I do it all the time, actually, and I think it’s badass. Recently, to my slight dismay, I found out that this facial expression is called “duckface."  I also noticed a trend around the webz of people, mostly young men, dissing (for lack of a better term) the duckface; calling it “stupid” and “un-sexy”. There are entire sites dedicated to hating...

No woman wants someone telling her what her vagina should look. That’s why the activist group UK Feminista and performance art group the Muffia—known for wearing nude bodysuits decorated with tufts of pubic hair—are taking to the London Streets tomorrow morning. These women are tired of the porn industry promoting the removal of pubic hair. Let’s just say, bald isn’t always beautiful. These ladies are also railing against the rise in women looking for designer vaginas. To achieve the "perfect" shape and size, women are having...
Control Tonight, the new ad campaign from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, recently released an ad intended to curb binge drinking, using rape as the dire consequence of partying. However, rather than saying that alcohol impairs the judgment of both parties, (including the rapist) the ad instead uses the age-old framework that implies that rape is the woman's (and her friends') fault. The ad features an image of a woman's nude legs on a bathroom floor with her panties pulled down to her ankles. The text...