Dress Codes for Girls: Are Teachers the New Objectifiers?

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When I was in seventh grade, a teacher at my very small Quaker school once sent the boys out of the room and started talking to us girls about how we dressed. It wasn’t too far from “The Talk,” but it focused on our clothing. This teacher told us that we had to be more […]

Benevolent Sexism

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Some men may want to break away from dominant styles of masculinity, but often their newfound ways of “performing” masculinity conceal ongoing gender inequalities. That was my takeaway from the panel on “Masculinities” that I attended at the American Sociological Association’s (ASA) 2014 Annual Meeting in San Francisco last month. The three papers delivered covered […]

Emma Watson Spells It Out: This Is What a Feminist Looks Like

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In the Harry Potter series, it was always Hermione who mastered the spells first, and who understood how to use potions and wands and other witchy paraphernalia. And then she patiently explained it to her two adorable and often clueless schoolmate wizards, Harry and Ron. In her more current incarnation, Emma Watson, who played Hermione […]

The New Leading Killer of Adolescent Girls

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Reprinted with permission from the Thomson Reuters Foundation As an advocate working in a research institute, I rely on evidence to understand and underscore the importance of issues. Over the years, when arguing for expanded sexual and reproductive health information and services for youth worldwide, I’ve often cited the fact that maternal mortality was the […]

Nonviolent Men: The New Silent Majority

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Women want a men’s movement. We are literally dying for it.      —Gloria Steinem It’s way past time to put on the pads, guys. We’ve got to put our shoulders to the wheel of change if we’re going to stop domestic and sexual violence. Are you ready to suit up for the big game? […]

Show-and-Tell Feminism for Dads of Daughters

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Last week, in response to a widely shared piece on The Huffington Post by Bret Spears entitled “10 Things No One Ever Told Me About Having a Daughter,” Tracy Moore, a writer at Jezebel, asked “Why must men have a daughter to suddenly get that girls are people?” In a similar vein, back in July […]

Hey Lego, Bring Back the Women Scientists!

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Back in August, Lego introduced a play set unlike any they’d ever produced before: the Research Institute, a set featuring three women characters in a professional setting. The female mini-figurines—an astronomer, a paleontologist and a chemist—were each at work in their respective labs. Before these women scientists, every other female Lego character produced had been […]

Time to End Sex-Testing of Female Athletes

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When are we going to stop the nonsense of sex-testing female athletes? Because of an International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) policy, Dutee Chand, an 18-year-old Indian sprinter, was blocked from competing at the 2014 Commonwealth Games because her body makes too much testosterone. She has been prohibited from competing […]

Me, Myself and Bi

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Fifteen years ago, I met the love of my life, Lucinda Atherton. Then, as now, I was a spokesperson for the National Organization for Men Against Sexism, an organization that is pro-feminist, gay-affirming and anti-racist. Then, as now, I worked to stop men’s violence against women, drawing the connections between homophobia and sexism. A proponent […]

Too Sexy to be the “Perfect Feminist”?

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Whatever debates have occurred among self-identified feminists about Beyoncé’s brand, there was no  bolder statement than from the pop star herself when she stood on stage in front of the brightly lit word “FEMINIST” before an audience of millions watching MTV’s VMA show broadcast on Aug. 24, 2014. As Ms. associate editor Anita Little notes: Beyoncé is invaluable to feminism […]