News you can relate to

Some stories that caught our eye this week:

I’m a Minister and a Mother—and I Had an Abortion Decisions about whether and when to grow one’s family carry the deepest meaning, and religious women make this decision in conversation with God, just as we do every decision.

When our (white) feminist heroes fail us: on “notorious RBG” and Colin Kaepernick “Let’s reevaluate the pedestal we put our feminist heroes on and demand that they do the constant work of allying their version of feminism with the fight against racial injustice.”

After FIFA lifts hijab ban, Muslim women soccer players hit the field “The optics of Muslim women charging out onto the pitch to the sounds of adoring crowds filled with Arab girls and women was striking.”

Life Advice From the Girl in Bomba Estéreo’s “Soy Yo” Music Video

 

News you can relate to

Some stories that caught our eye this week:

The Abuse Of ‘Feel-Good’ Cop Videos “These videos, combined with the countless videos of black men and women and children shot dead by cops, serve to remind us that we should both fear and love them if we want to survive. And if we don’t survive, we have nobody to blame but ourselves—see how capable of not killing us they can be? Anybody who has been in an abusive relationship will recognize this behavior. It’s a raised hand that might be a slap but then lowers for a pat on the shoulder.”

President Barack Obama Says, “This Is What a Feminist Looks Like” “Yes, it’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men.”

Middle School Students Push For a Gender-Neutral Dress Code—And Win “The loss of educational time disproportionately targets girls,” says Carlson, who’s now 14. “It’s a very embarrassing and shaming moment, to get dress-coded. We’re still doing that to girls in school right now? We’re still measuring their clothes and telling them to change? That seems ridiculous.”

News you can relate to

Some stories that caught our eye this week:

What It’s Really Like Being A Survivor In The Public Eye “In the beginning, regularly speaking my truth…felt good; it had a healing effect that I think was vital to my journey. Unfortunately, as time has passed, I’ve felt an increasing pressure to perform as the “happy, strong, inspirational survivor.”

Tamir Rice’s mother: Why I Have Not Endorsed Any Candidate “Presidential candidates have said my son’s name in their mouth, using his death as an example of what shouldn’t happen in America. Twelve year old children should never be murdered for playing in a park. But not a single politician: local, state or federal, has taken action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Watch Emma Watson Beatboxing While Lin-Manuel Miranda Raps About Feminism

Teen activists in action

We’re excited to bring you a guest blog post from Quinn Angelou-Lysaker of Franklin High School’s Feminist Union, an energetic student-led group that has been tackling teen domestic violence along with other feminist issues.
On January 13th, Franklin High School’s own Feminist Union lead a class we called “Intersectional Feminism 101.” Five members of our leadership team created an activity based on WSCADV’s game In Their Shoes. In Their Shoes takes participants through a story about an abusive relationship, where they’re asked to make decisions as the story progresses. We used this idea and wrote our own stories in which sexism and other forms of oppression intersect. One story was about a black girl who was forced to resign from a theater program because she wouldn’t straighten her natural hair. Another followed the story of a boy with two gay mothers who makes some homophobic friends in school. We also used one of the original stories from In Their Shoes about a Mexican girl whose relationship with a boy becomes abusive.

franklin-feminist-union-teensThere was a healthy turn out of both boys and girls, which we were glad to see. As I spoke to groups participating, I found that it was easier for them to detect the racism, classism or homophobia in the stories than the sexism. But as groups went through more and more stories, it became more clear to them how multiple kinds of discrimination could exist in the same situation. It was interesting to hear how people identified with the characters, like to “Cassandra,” the gay daughter of conservative Chinese immigrants. They had insightful comments about how if she were straight, she would have more resources (like her parents) to get her out of her abusive relationship. Overall, people seemed to enjoy the activity and learn a lot.

News you can relate to

Some news stories that caught our eye this week:

Here’s a great story: Malyk Bonnet, a really smart seventeen-year-old, saved a women from her violent ex-boyfriend.

A look at some of the creative and powerful ways communities have responded to sexual violence outside of the justice system.

A lost film has resurfaced showcasing the kickass feminists who agitated at the 1972 Democratic convention: Shirley Chisolm, Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan and more!

Rad American Women

RadAmericanWomenCoverThe other day I got my hands on a long-awaited alphabet book for me my kids: Rad American Women. This book is cool on so many levels—the art, the content, and the lasting impact of reading it to my daughter…

A few days after the book arrived, I was sitting in a heap of unfolded laundry and turned to my favorite laundry helper (Netflix) to get me through. So I was watching the PBS special on Billie Jean King when my daughter came in and excitedly said, “Mama, she’s from the book!!!” It took me a second to realize what connection she was making but when I did, I invited her into the fold (see what I did there?) and we watched for a while. She was thrilled to know about her and be in on something special.

We talked about how bold Billie Jean King was and all the other women and men that helped her achieve such greatness. And we dreamed. We dreamed for a future where we have pay equity—not just at Wimbledon, but everywhere. We celebrated. We talked about how I once got to see A is for Angela Davis speak and how I hoped we would continue to go to protests and marches together and live our lives in a way that exemplifies the ideals of which she spoke. And we appreciated. We took time to be grateful for all that we have because of leaders who had the guts to work for equality. And then we got up and went outside to play ball. Because we could.

Here’s to the other rad women of the book and to the rest of us still out there working for justice!

News you can relate to

Some news stories that caught our eye this week:

I’m having a good chuckle over Caitlyn Cannon’s funny, feminist, and fabulous senior year book quote.

Great interview with three Seattle-area high schoolers who got free IUDs and birth control implants through their school health clinic.

And check out this moving trailer for a documentary on the first high school in the country to integrate trauma-informed and resilience-building practices.

Why I’m not giving my son advice on how to talk to girls

Arguably one of the perks of being a dad is the constant stream of opportunities to give fatherly advice.

Advice columns are one of my favorite guilty pleasures. The best ones are like miniature ethical treatises—perfect for a lapsed philosophy major with a short attention span. And who doesn’t like giving advice? To be human is to be full of opinions about what other people should do.

So my son’s first attempts to talk to the girl he has a crush on? A golden opportunity for an advice enthusiast. But I’m passing it up, at least for now. Here’s why.

It turns out that 99% of what I want him to know before his first date isn’t anything new. It’s the same stuff we have been practicing since he was a baby. Love yourself and be open to loving other people. Be kind. Respect people’s boundaries. Pay attention. Use your words.

If I were to make a list of the absolutely critical information straight boys need about dating and relationships, you could boil it down to one feminist principle: Girls are people. (There are lots of variations on the theme: Girls are people, not prizes. Girls are people, not shiny objects.) Special coaching on “talking to girls” seems to me to violate this principle. Girls are people, not aliens.

Of course, that doesn’t make telling a girl you like her for the first time any less excruciating. My palms get sweaty for him just thinking about it. But that isn’t because girls are “girls.” It’s because liking someone and wanting them to like you back is intensely vulnerable. In this TED talk, Brene Brown talks about vulnerability as risking connection, and the courage to take that risk as the key to intimacy and joy.

The awkwardness is essential, and there is nothing I can say to guide him around it. Even worse, there is no advice he can follow to protect himself against heartbreak. Like all the other times I have watched him leap into the unknown, the best I can do is admire his courage and offer him a place to land.

News you can relate to

Some news stories that caught our eye this week:

When praise turns into pressure. Mo’ne Davis is getting kudos for forgiving the man who called her a slut. But what if she hadn’t?

Sarah Silverman likes us! Thanks for tweeting our Rape Prevention Tips post, Sarah.

“I don’t say anything. I listen.” That’s the excellent Gloria Steinem when asked what she says to black women who feel excluded by feminism.