ChoiceWords Blog

Posts Tagged: feminism

Reading Black Feminism

Historically, the feminist movement has been centralized around white women. From the perspective of a privileged white person, I have been fed a very mainstream version of feminism. I have a lot of anxiety about talking about and publishing words about people of color as a white person, but I feel like it is important for other white feminists to self-educate on this topic because it is so important to try to understand that the intersections of oppression can alter peoples experiences of it. I tried to compile a reading list that includes an overview of black feminist texts from courses I’ve taken at Oberlin, as well as including recommendations from friends who identify as black feminists: Ain’t I A Woman? Black Women & Feminism – bell hooks Arrested Justice: Black… Read more »

Treat Yo’ Self: Activist Self-Care

Working to create heal communities and comfortable spaces for everyone can be draining and we need to make sure we are making time for ourselves so that we don’t burn out. You’re doing amazing work, just don’t forget to treat yourself once in a while. This past weekend my friends hosted a feminist brunch where we were able to talk about all of the stresses of activism and living in patriarchal society. We talked about everything from how Emma Watson’s feminism speech for the UN didn’t quite do us justice, how all the white boy organizers love Chris Crass and why some of us are not on board with his allyship, and about how we can keep spaces feminist within organizing while still being inclusive. As activists who are constantly devoting ourselves to… Read more »

Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Philanthropy

This summer my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a tiring three month battle, she has luckily made it into remission. Her birthday is next Friday, which coincidentally falls during my fall break. For her birthday party, my mom has encouraged her friends to donate to our local branch of the Susan G. Komen Foundation instead of buying her a gift. My mom thoroughly researched her decision beforehand. She informed me that the organization has been doing some great work providing breast cancer prevention services for low income people and people without healthcare. However,  I couldn’t help but feel uneasy about her choice of organization. In case you didn’t remember, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  This year the internet and the world in real life is looking much… Read more »

Sometimes I’m not a feminist

When Beyoncé ended her performance at last month’s Video Music Awards last month with her song “***Flawless” and the giant screen flashing the key phrase from Chimamanda Adiche’s TED Talk, book-ended with the word “feminist” in giant capitalized letters, I teared up a little. There was a moment of surrealism when I felt validated and affirmed in some of the most fundamental of ways. There’s power in a black woman, one who has found power and fulfillment in her life’s work as much as she has in her family, claiming feminism. There’s power when a black woman, who is vulnerable and complicated and has forced the world to acknowledge those things about herself, claims the title of “feminist” for herself and dares the world to disagree, to take it away… Read more »

Nicki and Jenny: Different Approaches To Being One Of The Guys

I have a love for music videos. I remember getting ready for middle school and having VH1 on (The Top 20 Video Countdown remember?) in the background. I would stare at the women on the screen and idolize them. To me they were the epitome of fame, beauty, and femininity. As I’ve grown older my love for music and music videos has remained with me, but one thing has changed dramatically. Now I view every piece of media I consume, not just music videos, through a critical lens. I hate to admit it, but sometimes it takes the fun out of a piece of media that, had I just consumed blindly, I would’ve completely loved. But it makes me realize just how important it is that the media that is… Read more »

Bodily Autonomy and Red Lipstick: On Being Femme, and Reclaiming our Bodies

I own 13 shades of lipstick. I also have, according to my latest tally, 20 dresses, 16 skirts, 5 pairs of heels, and 18 pairs of earrings (and counting). I hardly ever wear sweats to class (minus finals week), I follow a number of fashion and beauty blogs, I rock a pretty rad wingtip on occasion, and I own maybe too much of various shades of pink. A fairly high feminine aesthetic, all around. I’m also super queer. Oh, and super feminist. And a dedicated reproductive justice advocate. And that’s highly tied to—not in spite of—my femme identity. Femme, if you’re not sure, is a queer gender performance that embraces much of what has been called “traditionally feminine”. Mascara, high heels, floral prints, and on, and on. Often femme women… Read more »

5 Reasons Why a Menstrual Cup Might Be for You

I have a Diva Cup. I am not a hippie. These two statements often times seem mutually exclusive. This millennial is happy to let you know that they are not.  My “feminine care” products story goes like this. First, there were pads. (Good girls use pads, they don’t use tampons, a family member used to say.) Then I got older and decided if using tampons meant I wasn’t “good,” then I didn’t want to be good. So I made the switch to tampons. I liked tampons enough. My experience with them was better than my experience with pads. And for a while I thought that was it. Until I discovered Diva Cup by accident one day. For those of you who don’t know, a Diva Cup is one of many… Read more »

Black Herstory Month: Audre Lorde and Lessons I Learned about Black Womanhood

The first book by Audre Lorde I read was Sister Outsider. It was March and I was getting ready to go home for spring break. I didn’t want to go back home after the months of freedom I enjoyed being away at college. To prepare for my trip home I went to the library to pick up two books I had waiting for me. Essex Hemphill’s Ceremonies and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Sister Outsider happened to be sitting next to Ceremonies. I almost didn’t pick it up, thanks to white feminism. You see, like most Women’s Studies departments around the US, the Women’s Studies Department at my school is really great at talking about intersectionality. Doing intersectionality however, is another story. I had gotten so sick of seeing white… Read more »

The Other “F” Word: Enough Mansplanation

“Feminism: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche The use of language and the connotation attached to words we use can be quite divisive. The word feminism, in itself, has become a word many men are turned off by. Gender, sexual orientation, and race have a default image response to the oppressed group, but we never examine the other half of the equation—the privileged group. I definitely benefit from male privilege myself. I still have trouble checking my privilege and acknowledging my faults, but we are all still venturing in our own feminist journeys and there’s still a lot to learn along the way, especially for me.

“Hey Mrs. Carter”: Navigating Beyonce’s Feminism

The queen Beyonce unexpectedly dropped a new album and it has been a holiday gift for all. Her 17 music videos and 14 tracks on her self-titled album has had feminists chiming in on her new songs with messages of empowerment, positive sexuality, and changing what it means to be a feminist of color. We must first understand that Beyonce’s feminism, like most,  is not perfect and has a lot of growth, as do all the work done in the reproductive justice movement. Constantly criticizing each other can be detrimental, but we must give credit where it’s due and reinforce constructive criticism.