“No means no”— unless you’re speaking to a film producer, your boss, your classmate, the President…
(TW: sexual assault and harassment, the Weinstein case, violence.) Today, I visited a church. They are pretty peaceful places, and I enjoy walking around the graves, picking out the deceased’s names and trying to remember them all. This particular church is situated on a busy stretch of road near where I live, opposite two pubs and a bus-stop often used by students — so it’s not unusual for this place to attract nosy people like me who want to look around.
Off the Hook
My eyes focused on the illustration of the fallopian tubes as Dr. Marquez fingered me with two digits and a pencil light. Poking and prodding at my cervix, I spread my thighs like I was back at cheerleading practice warming up for a jump sequence. I wondered what she might find down there…a rash? A tear? Old remains of a cheap tampon? In all honesty, I wouldn’t be surprised. In fact, I’d be thrilled to know it was my own stinginess which rendered sex impossible, and not the Judas-level betrayal of my vagina. I needed an answer, some form of explanation as to why my butterfly was dryer than the charcoal-colored dust framing my ceiling fan. Not only for me, but for my boyfriend playing Pokémon in the waiting room.
Great Books for Every Woman Who Is Shedding Society's Expectations
Every woman in this world has faced discrimination or disempowerment based on her gender. The patriarchy has created a situation where we have internalized constraints in our own minds. And these constraints are repeatedly reinforced by the people we meet and interact with on a daily basis.
Beauty is in the Eye of Your Hair Dresser
I have a lot of thick hair. My teen years were filled with hairspray to keep the teased and elevated hair locked in place. All the trying-too-hard-to-be glamorous girls were doing it. I did it so well that I continued into my 20s, 30s, and even a little beyond my 40s.
The List of 5 Ridiculous Things a Man Has Told Me About Womanhood
Women talk too much. That’s what some men say these days, isn’t it? Women talk and talk and don’t know when to stop. Well, as true as that may be sometimes, it can also just be a huge male moment of projecting without self-awareness. Contrary to popular belief, men can talk too much as well — especially when it comes to womanhood.
It’s OK To Be Rude
The first time I was harassed, I was barely thirteen. Standing outside the grocery store where my dad was helping my grandma choose some things to bring back to her apartment, I waited with our new puppy on the sidewalk. It was busy and hot, the sun battering the pavement and the exhaust from cars clouding in the air. A man older than my father approached, petting our new puppy without asking. He then launched into a speech about how pretty I was, followed by an onslaught of questions begging to know my address, my phone number, my age and whether my parents were around. I told him I was just thirteen. He laughed, but was not dissuaded. I noticed how his eyes lingered in uncomfortable places for longer than I wanted them to. As he leaned close to me, I caught a whiff of alcohol from his faded t-shirt. Eventually, I ran inside.
I Was Always Proud That I Wasn't A "Typical" Girl
I was always a little different from other girls in my class. While most of the girls liked to talk about clothes and fashion, I wanted to talk about books and the latest gadgets. I was always a voracious reader so wanted to discuss amazing things described in them(this was the pre-internet era when we relied on books for all our knowledge). But most of the girls couldn't share my interests.
A Feminist Examination of "Twilight"...By a Man
The reputation of the 2008 cinematic adaptation of Stephenie Meyers’s Twilight precedes it, for worse and for better. Sometime in middle school, I attempted to read the original novel. Popular as it was, I found it dull and couldn’t bring myself to finish it. As such, when I was assigned to watch the movie for a college class, my expectations going in were rather low. Much to my surprise, I found myself actually liking the film somewhat. Director Catherine Hardwicke paints very beautiful cinematic pictures, and I found quite a few of the characters rather endearing—specifically, Bella and Jacob’s respective dads, Bella and Edward’s respective moms, Edward’s adoptive sister Alice, and Bella’s friend group at Forks High. And, for all the crap she has been given, I thought Kristen Stewart did well as Bella. All that said, Twilight still has its issues. Viewed through a feminist lens, though it is by no means a masterpiece, it is not completely without merit either.
You are not alone. Together we can de-stigmatize speaking out about our experiences with sexual harassment, assault, and more.
SWAAY is a ground-breaking media and online publishing company that harnesses the style and glamour of today’s business-minded woman. SWAAY is dedicated to celebrating the stories of established and emerging entrepreneurs to advance more women into the forefronts of innovation and entrepreneurship through visually inspiring and intellectually engaging content.
Your body, your choice? A place to debate and discuss the complexities and controversies surrounding women's' health issues, reproductive rights, and bodily autonomy.
Home life struggles.
It’s the 21st Century and in many cultures and societies today, a woman is still expected to cook, clean, take care of the kids, be at home etc. For me, I never envisioned myself being a stay at home mum by choice even though my mother did it herself until my younger sister turned 3. Hats off though to those women who are stay at home mums. It is a challenging but rewarding job indeed. As for myself, I just want to work and be a mum but I’ve been told otherwise countless times by parents, in-laws and other people with the same, old fashion mindset. I’ve heard it all - the guilt tripping, the downside to working and not being there for your kids, the missing your kids grow up speech or you’re the woman let your husband do the working speech. In all fairness, I could see where they were coming from but what I tend to forget half the time is that that is just their opinion. I do let a lot of things get to me to a point where I’m balling my eyes out, I feel like I don’t have control over my emotions, rethinking my life choices and my work choices. And this is wrong. This shouldn’t affect me at all but sometimes it does. I’m sure some of you ladies out there are going through something similar because I sure hope I’m not the only one.
The #MeToo movement has swept the nation - the world- in recent years, helping survivors of sexual violence finally have a voice. It offers a safe place to talk about your experiences and get help.
Insert Insecurity Here - A "Kinda-Sorta" Open Letter
~~~ Caution: Emotional late-night musings and ramblings lie ahead. Expect perfect form, punctuation, grammar, and logic at own risk. ~~~
I’ve always loved Halloween. The spook, the glitter, and everything in between. I started loving it even more as I turned into a teenager, when I started exploring more of the world around me and began to discover rituals, beliefs, and legends that belonged to the holiday. Something about exploring history makes me feel a little bit closer to humanity, you know?
“Your skirt is too short”
Let’s take a look at India’s horrific rape figures — Bulandshahr girl who was raped and then set on fire was also 12-year-old. The Odisha rape victim was just 3-year-old, Banda victim was 8-year-old, Hathras victim was just 19, The list can go on and on…
The Man I Reported for Harassment Approached Me in the Grocery Store
I was putting something into my shopping cart when I noticed someone standing close to me. He aggressively pointed the toilet paper he was holding directly at my face. I glanced up to see a man I had hoped to never see again. “Stop talking shit,” came his raspy, and somewhat feminine voice.
A Conversation With My Mom
When I was in my early twenties, just after my first divorce, I had a conversation with my mother that I will never forget. We were standing in her kitchen, talking about nothing in particular, and she abruptly said, “Sarah, never put yourself in a position where you are dependent on a man. For anything.”
Formula For Success In Facing Female Entrepreneur Challenges
Although the majority of entrepreneurs are men, the industry has grown by 114% in the past twenty years. More women are starting to be entrepreneurs. 70% of those entrepreneurs are women of color. Women are becoming more interested in starting their own businesses. They still face major challenges, despite this. These are some of the challenges female entrepreneurs face. They can be difficult to accept. Female entrepreneurs have a way to overcome challenges.
Creators We’re Loving
The creative faces behind your favorite stories.
62 published stories
1 published story
39 published stories
4 published stories
50 published stories
34 published stories
5 published stories
19 published stories
2 published stories
40 published stories
11 published stories
18 published stories