What Beyonce, Black Girls Rock! and Popular Education Mean for the Feminist Movement

Having been aware of celebrity DJ Beverly Bond’s nonprofit organization Black Girls Rock! and its annual awards show for quite some time, I must confess that this year was the first time I actually tuned into the BET show. And watching the parade of truly amazing black women from all walks of life, who are making an impact […]

The Obama Administration Just Took a Big Step to Support Girls Worldwide

Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry did something unprecedented in U.S. foreign policy: He announced a new, multiagency strategy designed not to secure American trade or security interests or stem the tide of extremism, but purely to empower the world’s adolescent girls—250 million of whom live in poverty, 62 million of whom are out of school […]

Target of “Ugliest Girls” Poll Responds to Bullies in Awesome Letter

When high school senior Lynelle Cantwell was named in an “ugliest girls” poll circulating around her school, she used the Internet to fight back. But instead of attacking her tormenters or launching a similarly hurtful poll, the Canadian teen wrote a packed-with-confidence letter and posted it on her Facebook page. “I’m sorry that your life is […]

What NOT to Say to a Teen Girl on Thanksgiving

As the mother of two teenage daughters, I’ve struggled through a few holiday dinners that began as fun and festive and quickly turned awkward and painful. I’ve watched older family members start off with what they thought was good-natured teasing and seen one teenager or another grow more sullen and unresponsive as the meal went […]

Your Guide to Feminist Holiday Gift-Giving: Girls Edition

Reprinted with permission from the American Association of University Women With the holiday season fast approaching, shopping for the girls in your life might seem as easy as heading to the pink aisles of stores. But with several major retailers, including Target and Amazon, doing away with gender-based toy labeling, toy aisles are finally starting […]

A Year Later, the World’s Girls are Still Waiting

Seven hundred million women alive today were married as children. Robbed of their childhood, marital vows for girls typically mean an end to education, early childbearing that puts their still-developing bodies at risk, a life of servitude, increased exposure to violence and abuse and limited opportunities to make choices about their own future. Child marriage […]

What Scandal’s Civil Rights-Era Critique Says About Contemporary Black Women and Girls

“…Do the impossible, raise an African American girl who felt as fully entitled to own the world as much as any white man,” I recalled that line, uttered in a recent episode of Scandal, when I saw the viral video of a white South Carolina school police officer violently ripping a Black teenage girl from […]

This Girl Genius Will Blow Your Mind, Make You Wish She Was Your BFF

What did you do when you were 13 years old? If you’re like me, you raced bikes with the neighborhood kids, tore your way through the entire Baby-Sitters Club canon (even the Super Specials) and choreographed elaborate dance routines with your BFFs to the pulsing, booty-wiggling beats of C+ C Music Factory. But if you’re […]

7,000 L.A. Schoolgirls Get Inspired by He Named Me Malala

“Malala really wanted to be here today…but she’s in school.” This opening remark from Davis Guggenheim, the Oscar-winning director of new documentary He Named Me Malala, was answered with deafening cheers and claps from an audience of 7,000 schoolgirls in downtown Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater. The girls had packed the venue for the West Coast screening premiere of […]

I’m a Feminist, and a Sorority Girl

People often ask me, as if I’m somehow lying to them, How can you love your sorority and be a feminist? To me, that question misses the point entirely: I feel no conflict, because to me, sororities are feminist. I watched the University of Alabama Alpha Phi recruitment video, released last week, with horror and […]