Tag Archives: feminism

The Power of the Party: Gender Inequality in Greek Life

by Julia LaSalvia, ’13

Author’s Note: Before I launch into an argument explaining my issues with the Greek system at Stanford and ultimately why I left, I must make a disclaimer: I think there are a lot of amazing people in the Greek community, many of whom are my best friends at Stanford. I was in a sorority for three years and a lot of my most memorable experiences occurred with the friends I made through my Greek organization. However, for the majority of time that I was in the sorority, I felt like there was something wrong. I couldn’t understand why girls, including myself, would take part in a system in which we voluntarily subscribed to superficial judgment by our peers and were constantly made to feel like we needed to impress the opposite sex.

Greek social culture revolves around male gratification – it’s often overt, sometimes subtle, but the conclusion remains the same: in Greek culture, fraternities hold the power. My goal in writing this essay is not to offend anyone, but rather to start a dialogue that might determine a way in which we can change the power dynamic of Greek culture so there is more equality between genders.

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$ex Machine

by Lyla June Johnston, ’12

I wrote this poem on an airplane a few years ago. It’s been sitting in my notebook for a long time. I took it out the other day and decided I wanted to make a hip-hop track of it. I wanted to reclaim hip-hop as the healing force it was born to be by making it flashy, sexy and truthful. It’s main message is that we are not the sex slaves that pop music tells us we are, we are human beings that deserve love and respect.

How it developed was pretty interesting. I found the beat to go beneath it from the creative commons search on soundcloud.com. It was produced by a man in Sweden whom I’ve never met who goes by the name of “Dr. Mess.” I asked him if I could overlay some lyrics on it and he was fine with it. This is the beauty of making art for the people, not for the profit, under creative commons license as Dr. Mess does. The greed and fear that comes with copyrighting is relinquished and so we can collaborate more freely, even from across the ocean. Continue reading

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The Road

by a Stanford student

This poem is about my mother, who tirelessly juggles traditional roles of an Indian wife with professional demands of working in the Silicon Valley. I constantly wonder how India will progress if its women remain in the kitchens, and in the shadows.  

Roll it out, roll it slow
Make no holes in the dough
Make it round, make it thin
Make it flat, make it spin

Watch it swell
Watch the heat
Make it fast
So we can eat

Take a second, maybe two
Lie down, for a few?
Nope, take it back
Get ahead of the pack Continue reading

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Sexual Politics of Meat: Race, Gender and Food

by Rohisha Adke, ’15 

How does what we eat relate to gender issues that persist today? 
What does it mean for women to be turned into “meat,” as in the Carl’s Jr. advertisement?
How do both women and animals become “meat”?
How does this relate to racism and violence against women?
Why would someone write a book called Fifty Shades of Chicken?
 
Answer these questions and more this Thursday with Carol J. Adams at “Sexual Politics of Meat: Race, Gender and Food” in Toyon LoungeDinner and dessert will be served. Click here to RSVP
 
Carol J. Adams has written around twenty books on the links between the oppression of women and that of animals, domestic violence, sexual assault, and the ethics of diets. Continue reading
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On Global Womanhood

by Lan Anh Le, ’15

hairIn Afghanistan, a new Internet café for women will have its opening in honor of International Women’s Day. Young Women for Change, the NGO that is hosting the event, aims to make the café a space that will help Afghan women communicate and connect. In Sierra Leone and Uganda, female soccer players gather to celebrate of this year’s International Women’s Day, at two events that aim to raise awareness of issues related to gender equality and women’s empowerment in sports. In Ireland, a public reading of short stories featuring women from James Joyce’s Dubliners, sponsored by UN Women, is held in celebration of International Women’s Day.

All around the world on March 8, International Women’s Day is being celebrated in various different forms, from large festivals with booming music and colorful flowers, to marches that involve big banners and megaphones, to dance performances, to public events and conferences. Continue reading

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Marxism, Feminism and Women’s Liberation: A Discussion with Deepa Kumar

by Emma Wilde Botta, ’14

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Stanford has a lot of events about women. Conferences on women’s empowerment, discrimination in the workplace, women in research, increasing women’s participation in politics, the list goes on. All these events address ways in which women are marginalized in society.

However, missing from these discussions is a careful examination of the root cause of women’s oppression today.

Are men just naturally superior to women? Will equality before the law guarantee the liberation of all women within society? Will more women in leadership lead to women’s liberation?

Before we answer these questions, we must first identity the root cause of women’s oppression and then turn to strategies for women’s liberation. Continue reading

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Nepantlera

by Aracely Mondragon, ’13

"Nepantlera" – Celia Herrera Rodriguez

quedan 4 minutos con 36 segundos en esta llamada

The process of calling my ‘ama
Acaso no vivo en esa llamada?
esperando desde el otro lado
viviendo en mi fantasía
que tengo alas y vuelo
muy pero muy cerca del sol
adonde abro mis colores
que bailo
con la mujer de libertad
prentendiendola
hasta cruzar su mirada
y otras más frías
hay a quienes
les molesta
todo mi revoloteo
me quieren enjaular
convertir mi jardin en invierno
y cuando eso pasa
solo sueño
que vuelo sur
y allí vuelvo a nacer Continue reading

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#thinspiration

by Binna Kim, ’13

This piece originally appeared on Binna’s personal Tumblr.

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I’m aiming for 500 calories today. I had a glass of water for breakfast, and a glass of tea for lunch. I’m going to run for 30 minutes to lose that water weight. I’m 5’3” and I my net weight gain has been -3lbs (yes, negative 3) since freshman year of high school. I’m a senior in college now.

If you search “#thinspiration” “#thinspo” “#ana” etc. on Tumblr, you’ll find thousands of posts that resemble my little quote up there. My heart goes out to everyone who is striving to achieve that ideal body because I, too, have struggled and fought that battle against my body. I’m still struggling, and I’m still fighting, but in a different way today than I was before. Continue reading

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Dismantling the Myths Behind Planned Parenthood

by Kelsey Dayton, ’15

On October 10th, the Stanford Democrats hosted a discussion with Lupe Rodriguez, Director of Public Affairs Planned Parenthood Mar Monte.

Planned Parenthood is a non-profit health services provider that should be an obvious beneficiary of public gratitude and federal funding. Instead, for the past three decades it has symbolized the partisan debate over abortion. As such, the very phrase “Planned Parenthood” has come to connote every possible stereotype, prejudice, and caricature that pro-choice advocates in the fierce abortion debate can think of. This treatment is unqualified and unjust for an organization that helps the young people that society neglects and never talks about. While the brand name gets assaulted in the political arena, those it seeks to help remain silent or, if they choose to speak out, unheeded.

Planned Parenthood addresses a critical problem in America, a problem inflated by a modern ideological culture war. Some people believe that by not addressing anything related to sex— protection options, possible diseases, pregnancy risk— all sex-related issues in the country will magically disappear. This is, not surprisingly, untrue. Continue reading

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Introducing Students for Reproductive Justice!

by Simone Hudson, ’16, + Miranda Mammen, ’14

Artwork by Favianna Rodriguez

We are so excited to introduce Students for Reproductive Justice, reignited and renamed from Stanford Students for Choice.

We reactivated this student group because we crave a more sophisticated dialogue about reproductive autonomy, choice, and access than our current political discourse has to offer – and because we’re scared and disgusted by the recent flood of anti-choice rhetoric and legislation. (It seems the Republican party can’t go a week without an outrageous comment defending an abortion ban with no exception for rape – oops, we meant “legitimate rape”. Or maybe just “the rape thing” in general? Remember, these aren’t gaffes – they represent actual political doctrine!)

We renamed the group to signal a shift in our approach to these issues. The reproductive justice framework moves beyond the pro-choice narrative to ask how reproductive decisions are impacted by access and identity, even when legal rights are in place. Continue reading

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