Posted on December 20, 2014

Dear Meninists: If What You’re Aiming for is Equality, You’re Actually Feminists

Gender Issues

You may have heard about the new anti-feminist trend headlining social media feeds. Meninism has been a trending topic on social media platforms, and has emerged with a strong following of men who call themselves “Meninists.” The hashtag #MeninistTwitter has probably already popped up on your Twitter feed, accompanied by quotes and memes shared by Meninists who demand equality for men.

Their argument? That feminism counts out equality for men, and that feminists are ignorant to their own sexist expectations of men.

Though some of these arguments seem fair, including a popular meninist tweet of a picture of a man holding a sign that reads, “I need Meninism because the movie “Magic Mike” promotes an unrealistic expectation of how men’s bodies should look,” the argument they are making falls flat. Why? Because the real problem is that these meninists don’t understand feminism.

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Posted on December 19, 2014

I Became Obsessed with Feminist Facebook Groups and Almost Renounced My Feminism

Pop Culture

As a recent graduate who double majored in Women’s Studies and English, I thought I was a walking “Feminism 101” book. Friends and family members would ask me my thoughts on the latest news articles, my Women’s studies professors encouraged me to grade for their classes, and everyone knew me as “feminist Alissa.” But deep down, I was the most.insecure.feminist.ever. I sought solace in my pride as a feminist, and used it as a way to identify my entire being.

After graduation, I hoped to find a job during my gap year off before graduate school. It turned out to be a menacing feat, as my life was slowly consumed by Kardashian reruns (hey, I said I was a feminist but not THE BEST one) and browsing online feminist forums. My long days turned into activities on what I could replace the loss of school with.

The moment I stumbled upon the Facebook Group “Feminist Pinners,” a group dedicated to feminists who use Pinterest, my entire outlook on my year off changed. Did I mention I moved 3000 miles away to live with my boyfriend while he goes to graduate school? I convinced myself that I would keep busy, write, and work on graduate school applications. I also convinced my parents that I am going back to school once the year was over. But the one thing I had become excited over since “the big move” was that I finally had internet folks I could communicate with while my friends back home were busy with school.

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Posted on December 16, 2014

Diverse and Feminist-Friendly Crowdfunded Projects We Can’t Wait For in 2015

Pop Culture

Recently, I stumbled upon a video on tumblr for an amazing new animated series called Cannon Busters. The series was created by seasoned animator LeSean Thomas. As an anime-lover and woman of color aspiring to work in the animation industry, I was overcome with excitement. A Japanese influenced show featuring a female protagonist developed by an African American animator? It almost felt like Cannon Busters was made for me!  I wanted to watch it immediately. Unfortunately, the show doesn’t actually exist…yet. The video I watched was part of a campaign to develop a pilot episode for the series.

The beauty of crowd funding websites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo is that the people get to tell the producers what they want. I think most of us can agree we would like to see more complex female characters, more LGBTQIA+ representations, and characters of color in our media. Despite the wide array of television channels that are available to us, representation of marginalized groups is severely lacking. Part of the reason why is because the majority of people creating our media still remains overwhelmingly white, male, and house a whole other bunch of privileges that are already well represented in media. Lack of diversity also exists in video games, comics, books, and so on. It’s not that white men cannot write about people of color and women, but we have a large percentage of voices being left out.

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Posted on December 15, 2014

How I Came to Terms with Not Being The Perfect Housewife For My Mexican-American Family

Intersectional Feminism

“It feels weird not having a ring on my finger,” I’ve thought to myself numerous times since going through the painful aftermath of having ended my engagement. Though I wore the engagement ring for only six months, it took my finger a while to get accustomed to the missing gold band.

At 22, I ended what would’ve been the biggest accomplishment under my family’s eyes — or, at least I thought it would be an accomplishment. Coming from a Mexican family and a proud Mexican-American (or Chicano) neighborhood can do that to you. You are brought up in a cultural atmosphere that believes the greatest accomplishment as a Mexican-American woman is to find yourself a man.

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Posted on December 7, 2014

I Once Denied Feminism Like T-Swift: On Rejecting the “F-Word” and Rediscovering Feminism

Pop Culture

During my college freshman orientation we played the game “Cross the Line.” The rules of the game were simple: if you relate to the sentence read out by the moderator, you must silently walk over a line drawn on the floor that divides the room. This game is created to be a safe space for those who want to get to know each other without judgment from others.

The game seemed straightforward enough, but when the moderator read “cross the line if you identify as feminist” it suddenly felt complicated. I hesitated, then took a step forward and then one back.

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Posted on December 2, 2014

Feminism and its Moment in the Vicious Pop Culture Cycle

Pop Culture

Time magazine recently created a poll of words that should be banned in 2015. One of the words it chose was ‘feminist.’ This inevitably sparked outrage as the word ‘feminist,’ a word contextualized by its history of strife and struggle, was categorized alongside phrases such as ‘bae’ and ‘omnomnom.’ It’s laughable really, and undoubtedly in bad taste. After the backlash, Time retracted it from the poll and apologized, stating that they “[…]regret that its inclusion has become a distraction from the important debate over equality and justice.”

While clearly badly misplaced, Time’s intention was to enter the debate on what a word like ‘feminist’ means when it is absorbed into popular culture, rebranded by different celebrities and used for consumerist means. But can they really suggest that a word should be banned, solely because there are those out there who use the word incorrectly, or for personal gain?

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Posted on November 24, 2014

5 Up and Coming Women That Fight For the Representation of Untraditional Body Types

Bodies/ Intersectional Feminism/ Pop Culture/ Uncategorized

For years women have fought the ideals of the media and society that claim being thin is beautiful. Women are taught that if they want to be famous or acknowledged, they better start shedding some pounds. Though this ‘thin is best’ attitude is still around, the presence of plus size celebrities encourage women to push these standards aside and continue to chase after their dreams. Let’s meet the women that prove all women, regardless of their size, must fight for their goals.

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Posted on November 23, 2014

How Much Do You Know About Water Conservation?

politics/ Quizzes

The historic California drought is well known not only in the Golden State, but also across the world because of its massive consequences. Reports show that countless jobs, billions of dollars, and even homes themselves will be lost this year due to the drought. So as the year comes to a close, there are many simple ways that you can continue saving water no matter where in the country you reside. Let’s test your knowledge of water conservation!

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Posted on November 21, 2014

The Destructive Nature of “It Happens to Men, too!”

Gender Issues

How many times have you experienced this? You’re sitting on your computer browsing a social justice website or blog, or on your phone swiping through Twitter. You come across a blog post or article on female eating disorders, stats on how often a woman of color will be assaulted in her lifetime, or the suicide rates of transgender individuals. The arguments are sound, precise, well sourced… but then your eyes trail down to the comments, and you read the words “but men get this too!”

I’ll often also come across blog posts and articles on the topic of male rape, male eating disorders, and male assault. At first I’m pleased to see this as they are stories and stats that need to be shared. I’m pleased with this awareness, that is, until I see how passive aggressive the comments and suggestions sometimes are, with leading and concluding lines such as “This won’t nearly get as many hits as the female version,” “Do feminists even care about these men?” and “If this were the other way around then there’d be a public outcry.”

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