Cataloguing one’s first sexual encounter is nothing new. As a teen who pored over magazines in airports, I traced the ongoing debate on what “virginity” means. At what point are we no longer virgins: oral sex, intercourse? Do the rules change depending on one’s gender or sexual orientation? I learned that it’s kind of one of those things an individual must define for her or hir or himself.   And we always want to record it in ... Read More
  According to the New York legal firm Clifford Chance, female lawyers and staffers need to tone down their feminine “quirks.” In a memo addressed only to female employees, the firm instructed women on everything from speech patterns to proper attire.    Much of the advice might be helpful to any young associate; for example, they advise “[projecting] power,” not using the word “like,” or “[dropping] your ... Read More
  World War II America saw some pretty major shifts for women. The slogan “the more WOMEN at work, the sooner we win” inspired women to enter the work force as real-life Rosies and Riveters. With men off at war, women were able to fill various professions previously reserved for men, like doctors and engineers. Lady gardeners canned food to store up on from “victory gardens.” Women even joined the US military, and occupied a heroic ... Read More
I grew up in the quiet Chicago neighborhood Hyde Park, surrounded by the University of Chicago. For the most part, Halloween was intimate and fun: just a few of us kids going from door to door with our professor parents collecting candy from nice people. But I always stayed clear of one block.    Harper Avenue. It was the hotbed of all things Halloween, and while I ran, my peers flooded the small street. Why? Because it was truly scary. One image is ... Read More
Dictionary entries for the word shame include “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety” and “a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong.” Etymologically, the word comes from the Old English scamu, a “loss of esteem” or something that “brings disgrace[...] private parts.” The word is powerful, calling to mind images of our ... Read More
It is no exaggeration to say that I am obsessed with Hello Kitty. My bedroom is saturated with stuffed animals and wall decals. The first thing I see every morning is an image of Hello Kitty on an airplane adventure, the words “It’s a wonderful day... Hello Kitty” flying alongside her.    But not all of Kitty’s days have been wonderful; like the rest of us, she has faced her fair share of criticism. The Japanese Kawaii aesthetic ... Read More
  We’ve all noticed the increase in “strong female characters” gracing our silver screens, and while that’s a huge step, it can’t always be called “feminist.” In interviews, Natalie Portman has expressed that although female characters are now more able to be as fast and strong as male action heroes, they often end up being “just a fantasy of a male writer.” I have to admit I see her point; I was super ... Read More
  When Tina Fey pulled up her chair at the Saturday Night Live writers’ table, the show wasn’t all that woman-friendly. In her autobiographical book Bossypants, the comedien tells a story of how writers often assumed men in drag could be more funny than women. By the time she left, the show had featured more female greats than ever before: Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolf, Kristen Wiig, and others graced us with their unbeatable wit.    But wait ... Read More
  In Sweden, it soon might be. It was a nice summer day on a Stockholm beach when an unfortunate gentleman, aged 65, got caught getting busy in the sand. Södertörn’s district court acquitted the man of sexual assault because he wasn’t masturbating to anyone in particular. Prosecutor Olof Vrethammar found the ruling fair and does not plan to appeal.    No longer a form of assault in Sweden, public masturbation may still fall ... Read More
  First lady Michelle Obama is slated as a guest speaker in New York’s upcoming Democratic Women’s Network conference. Chaired by Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, the group supports women in office and supports women who hope to be elected.    The conference will be geared towards discussions of policy on women’s economics, women’s health, and the environment, and will raise funds for more female-oriented political events. Go ... Read More
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