Category Archives: Feminism

My Favorite Feminist Celebrities

By: Alexis Martinez

Many celebrities have labeled themselves as feminists. They have been advocates for women’s rights without any hesitation. These celebrities have used their platform to tell the world what they believe in and to fight for our rights.

Emma Watson

She’s amazing, and certainly more than Hermione. In 2014, she launched a campaign called HeForShe. For the campaign’s launch, she gave an incredibly moving speech about why gender equality is important. She has also started a feminist book club where she shares a different pic each month on Goodreads. Emma has done amazing things and she certainly isn’t stopping here.

 

John Legend

“We are better off when women are empowered – it leads to a better society”, John Legend said this after he announced he’d be performing at The Sound of Change Live concert in 2013. Many uneducated people believe that men can’t be feminists, but they totally can! No matter what your gender is, we all need to come together to fight for equality.

 

 

 

Gina Rodriguez

The Jane the Virgin star has discussed a range of things from masturbation to diversity in Hollywood. Recently, she discussed how she used to feel guilty for masturbating. As ridiculous as it sounds, this is a real feeling that many people feel. The stigma around masturbation makes women feel guilty for it and that we’re not being “innocent” anymore. Gina is a great example of a woman of power using her voice.

Sources

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/04/25/john-legend-feminism_n_16233620.html

https://www.buzzfeed.com/eleanorbate/emma-watson-feminism-quotes?utm_term=.epvG1OQOe#.idEYnZmZv

http://bust.com/feminism/193176-gina-rodriguez-jane-the-virgin-bust-sneak-peek.html

 

 

5 Reasons to love Zendaya

By: Cassie Manz

I’ve known about Zendaya for a few years now, since her breakout role on the popular Disney Channel TV show, Shake It Up, that my little sister loved. Also, let’s be honest, I secretly listened to “Replay” in my car so said little sister wouldn’t know I liked the same pop music she did.

Zendaya Coleman is a “young style icon,” according to Vanity Fair (I would agree), a hit singer, actress, and a budding fashion designer. At 20 years old, she has 43 million Instagram followers, 8 million Twitter followers, and has already attended the Met Gala three times. So, basically, she’s killing it.

In case you might be on the fence about loving Zendaya or just not know a lot about her, here are some notes that prove she is really cool!

  1. She’s hip enough to be known by only her first name, like Beyonce and Adele.
  2. For her 18th birthday, instead of throwing a huge party or going to Hawaii, she helped raise money to feed hungry children in Haiti, Tanzania, and the Philippines. Fans could donate to her online campaign she created through feedOne, an initiative of Convoy of Hope, a humanitarian-relief organization she was worked with in the past.
  3. She shut down Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic’s racist remarks with a single Instagram post. After Zendaya appeared on the Oscars red carpet in 2015 with her hair styled in faux dreadlocks Rancic commented during the show coverage that Zendaya’s hair made her look like she “smells like patchouli oil. Or, weed.” Zendaya responded brilliantly, eloquently, and gracefully. In her post she wrote: “There is already harsh criticism of African-American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair. My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough.”
  4. She spoke out against photoshopping in the beauty industry. After Modeliste magazine published retouched photos of her in a spread, Zendaya called the magazine out on Twitter, posting a side-by-side of two versions of the same photo, one edited and one untouched. In her post she wrote that the retouched photos “are the things that make women self-conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have.” Modeliste removed the photos from their website.
  5. To top it all off, she’s (if you didn’t guess by now) a feminist. In her own words a feminist is a person who believes in the power of women just as much as they believe in the power of anyone else. It’s equality, it’s fairness, and I think it’s a great thing to be a part of.” Something everyone can get behind!

Zendaya is a great example of what Planned Parenthood stands for: strong, powerful women standing up for what they believe in and using their voices to do good in the world.

 

Sources: http://www.refinery29.com/2015/02/82786/zendaya-giuliana-rancic-dreadlock-comment

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/disney-star-zendaya-celebrates-18th-birthday-by-raising-funds-to-feed-hungry-children-272328361.html

https://www.bustle.com/articles/121088-zendaya-defines-feminist-in-a-way-that-will-make-you-want-to-shout-your-feminism-from

 

 

Ladies, Let’s Get in Formation

By: Alexis Martinez

Beyoncé, the queen bee, one of the most powerful woman in the world. She’s the prime example of a woman who’s strong, independent, and empowers the others around her.  Your iPhone will autocorrect if you even attempt to spell her name wrong.  I believe Beyoncé is the feminist that the world needs right now and here’s why

  1. Her hard work

Beyoncé has worked hard her whole life to be successful. She wouldn’t have made it this far without pushing herself to hit the highest note and to perfect her dance moves. At just eight years old, she began working with a girl band (Destiny’s Child, duh!) and was managed by her father. Imagine an eight year old Queen Bee in the making, it’s amazing the success that she’s earned throughout her life, and it’s truly inspiring.

  1. She empowers the women around her

Beyoncé announced her Formation Scholarship just a year after releasing her          album Lemonade. This scholarship will go to four women going to college for the arts. Celebrities doing things like this is something that can truly empower women who are struggling to find their place in college and finding a reason to continue what they’re doing.

  1. She’s BEYONCÉ

Isn’t that a reason enough? She’s a feminist, a powerful woman, and an overall badass. If you don’t believe me, then here’s a link to one of her best performances ever, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J361to1EgCU

Who run the world? Girls!

 

Not feeling 100% flawless? Then you need to book an appointment with Planned Parenthood. Remember that although getting checkups can be scary, but even Beyoncé has to do it. Self-love is making sure that you get to those appointments and doing what you need to stay healthy. Find your location and schedule an appointment here: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-southwest-central-florida/medical-services/schedule

 

 

How Feminism Can Improve Your Mental Health

By: Jillian James

 

Being a feminist can improve self-esteem and can make women feel powerful and secure in who they are. Feminism allows women to stop viewing themselves through the lens of others and can lead to self-acceptance and self-love. Feminism promotes and encourages individuality and self-expression and is a reaction against societal pressures. This can lead to women having an overall a greater feeling of value and self worth.

A key part of feminism is uplifting other women. It has been scientifically proven that helping others can actually improve our own happiness and well-being. Instead of being focused on negativity and tearing down other women, a key part of feminism is helping others realize their own true potential. Feminism is all about community, about sharing experiences and reaching out to others. Women find safety and security in communities where they have support and can share and bond over common experiences.

Feminism also encourages activism and can help women feel empowered to seek help when they are struggling with their mental health. A key part of feminism is help women realize that they don’t have to go through life alone. In the past many women were reluctant to seek treatment for their mental health, fearing the judgment and stigmatization around it. The feminist movement is intricately tied to the mental health movement, because both are about becoming free of social stigmas and understanding the multifaceted aspect of humanity.

 

 

 

 

I Switched to Organic Tampons: Here is What Happened

 

By: Cassandra Hedrick

This month I decided to try organic cotton tampons. I tried this brand called L. They have no chemicals like chlorine, rayon, dyes, or fragrances. This means they are just cotton. Plus, for every product bought from them they donate a product to a girl in a developing country.

One of the main reasons I decided to switch to organic tampons is because it reduces the chance of toxic shock syndrome. Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is bacterial infection that you can get from using super absorbent tampons. The chemicals found in normal tampons increases your chances of this.

After switching I found that I really liked these tampons. In my opinion, they are more absorbent than normal tampons. I was able to keep them in for about five hours at a time without any leaks, not even when I wore them overnight. I also found that I had less severe cramps. I normally have awful pelvic and abdominal cramps during my period and this month I had hardly any. Of course, this is my personal experience and yours may vary.

 

I think these tampons are good alternative to normal tampons. They don’t have chemicals and lessen the chance of TSS. They cost the same amount as normal tampons and come in an adorable jar. You can get at Target or from thisisl.com. If you want to try them out you can get 15% off here.

Undocumented Women Healthcare

By: Nicole McLaren

Access to something essential, like healthcare, is often decided by factors other than necessity. The barriers to healthcare can be forgotten by many citizens in the US while there are still a significant amount of people who are unable to obtain this right. For undocumented people it is not only legal barriers to get insurance to pay for their healthcare but also factors like resource constraints, discrimination and sometimes a lack of understanding of the US health care system.

In a country where our healthcare coverage is tied to our employment, access to healthcare can be difficult for many people including the undocumented community. One barrier that affects the ability to use healthcare services is the cost. According to a study by The Commonwealth Fund the US has the most expensive healthcare system and is the least effective.

These barriers are especially felt by vulnerable peoples within the undocumented community like women. One particular attack on the rights of women to choose to have an abortion is the law that went into effect last year in Texas. It made it so any woman seeking an abortion would have to have an ID. Directly impacting undocumented women who may fear deportation.

Laws like this are unjust and do not improve the situation of undocumented women nor do they hinder undocumented immigration. The only way to ensure that anyone in our country has the ability to access healthcare is to break the barriers. Giving access to state-run insurance and expanding health care regardless of status are two ways to improve the system for undocumented workers.

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2015/oct/us-health-care-from-a-global-perspective

 

 

The History of Planned Parenthood

By: Jillian James

In 1916, a revolutionary and pioneering woman named Margaret Sanger opened America’s first birth control clinic. Now, over 100 years later, Planned Parenthood provides medical care and reproductive services all over the country to woman of all races, backgrounds, and sexual identities. Because of the bravery and compassion towards her fellow women, Margaret Sanger was able to leave a lasting legacy and ensure that future generations of women would be able to receive healthcare.

Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger spent a portion of her life working in the slums of New York City as a nurse. She saw first hand how women were affected by frequent childbirths and miscarriages. She also saw women who sought out dangerous backdoor abortions because they didn’t want or couldn’t physically carry another child to term. During this time period the 1873 Comstock Law made it illegal to disperse or provide any information about birth control because it was deemed obscene. Sanger defied the law of the time and opened a birth control clinic in Brooklyn, New York. She was later arrested. Even through her hardships, she never stopped speaking out and being an advocate for women’s access to birth control and a women’s right to be able to control her own body.

Planned Parenthood

In 1921 Sanger’s clinic would become The American Birth Control League. In 1942 the League would become the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Since then Planned Parenthood has evolved into a service that sees millions of women every year and is a trusted source for contraception and family planning. Thanks to the vision of Margaret Sanger, women can take control of their lives.

When Women are Leaders

By: Cassandra Hedrick

Women are not typically found in leadership roles, especially in the workplace. In fact, only a quarter of chief executives are women and most of that is because of women who own their own businesses. This is because of two main reasons: men tend to be favored for management positions and are given the experience that leads to them, while women get stuck in a cycle of bias. Because women are unable to prove their ability in management positions, they are not given management positions, causing them to not be able to prove their ability.

In this study from the American Psychological Association, men and women in leadership positions were observed. While women tend to use mentor style leading and men tend to use commander style leading, it was found that they are in fact equally effective in leadership positions. Actually, Alice Eagly, PhD noted that in some ways, women are actually more effective in leader ships positions.

There is no reason for women not to have leadership positions. They are equally effective as men, if not more, but because they have not had a chance to prove themselves, they are not given the chance. One organization working to give them a change is the Institute for Women’s Leadership. They provide training programs for businesses that help them get more women into leadership positions. It is important for women to demand and strive for leadership positions in the workplace, because they can and will do great things. You can do this by starting to apply for higher positions in any organization you are involved in, like clubs or teams at school. So, girls, get out there and show the world who’s boss.

5 Myths About Abortion Debunked

By: Cassandra Hedrick

There is a lot of information about abortion circulated these days. But how much of it is true? Because of the wide variety of sources available is can be hard to tell. So, let’s look at 5 myths about abortion and talk about why they are wrong.

Abortion increase the risk of breast cancer

This is a straight up lie made up by anti-choice activists. It is unsure exactly where it started, but since it began circulating, scientists have been studying it. No scientific study has shown any link in breast cancer and abortions. Even the World Health Organization put out a statement saying this.

Prohibiting abortion will lead to fewer abortions.

The logic behind this makes sense. If it’s illegal, less people will do it. However, this simply isn’t true. 19 million illegal abortions are performed every year. The truth is, women who have unwanted pregnancies will do what they have to. This means making abortions illegal will just make them unsafe. Just like alcohol prohibition didn’t stop people from drinking, abortion prohibition will not stop people from getting abortions.

Women who have abortions can suffer from “post-abortion syndrome”

This is the idea that women who have abortions will develop depression or bi-polar disorder because of it. It is supposedly a post traumatic disorder. However, there has been no scientific evidence found. In fact, most women have reported feeling relieved after getting an abortion. Read more here.

Abortions are unsafe

Like any medical procedure, there can be risks to getting an abortion. Complications can happen and, if the doctor is not following all of the protocols, things can go wrong. But, like any medical procedure, abortions have very low risks and are generally safe. There is more risk giving birth to a child than having an abortion

Abortions can cause infertility

Like the link to breast cancer, this is a rumor completely made up by anti-choice activists. Safe, legal abortions will not lead to infertility. Women return to their normal fertility and menstruation shortly after an abortion and there are no long term affects.

There are a lot of “facts” circulating about abortion, so it can take some digging to find the truth. Just make sure you look for the facts to back up any claims you read. If you want more information about abortions, the procedure, or risks you can visit plannedparenthood.org or call their main center.

Slutty and Proud

 By: Cassandra Hedrick

A major issue that women face today is the double standard when it comes to being sexually active. Men get praised for sleeping with lots of women, but women are called sluts for doing the same thing. Now, women are taking back that word. Instead of being ashamed of their sexual activity, women are expressing pride and being bold in sharing that pride too. One way they are doing it is by hosting “Slut Walks,” an event started by Amber Rose, a celebrity and proud slut.

Throughout my high school career, “being a slut” was one of the worst things a girl could be called, whereas men were congratulated even celebrated for it. I, being a proud slut, was judged and shamed for my sexual behavior. For example, when I slept with my high school boyfriend, everyone called me a slut for it, while my boyfriend was able to brag about it. After we broke up, one guy who liked me ended up rejecting me because I had “slept around.” This judgement followed me to college when two different guys who had already slept with me called me a slut. But I didn’t let it get me down because I am proud of my sexuality.

Amber Rose has the same outlook on life. She created Slut Walks to bring awareness to the double standard we see in sexual activity, as well as rape culture (blaming women’s behavior for why they get raped). This is an annual event that has performances, contests, protests, and even cancer and HIV screenings. You can learn about the events at amberroseslutwalk.com and even set up your own slut walk.

These kinds of events are important to lifting awareness to the gender inequalities women face because if their sex lives. I urge straight men to stand up and push back against these double standards too.  There is nothing wrong with having safe and consensual sex, no matter what your gender. And remember, if straight girls don’t have sex, straight guys won’t either.