Stories in Viva that you’ll love, handpicked by our team.
“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.
Fangirl Culture Made Me The Badass Woman I Am Today
Originally published on Odyssey Online The first iteration of my Facebook page when I was fourteen included an expansive list of the fandoms I belonged to: Whovian, Potterhead. Directioner. Sheerio. The list went on and on. I listed my fandoms as my good qualities on a resume.
I Loved Gaining Weight — Until I Ventured Out of Quarantine
The moment the first lockdown happened, I quickly started gaining weight. Lots of take-out, the lack of exercise in a global pandemic, and living in a bubble of happiness with my newfound love all contributed to the change my body was going through.
A Girl with Daddy Issues Is a Running Joke that Hides Its True Meaning
I have daddy issues. Just like dozens of other people I know personally, not to mention thousands of strangers. Women and men both struggle with daddy issues in all parts of the world, either subconsciously or on some active conscious level.
We Need to Teach Our Daughters They Are Enough
When I was five, my grandfather tried to convince me that men were superior to women. I don’t remember this, being so young at the time, but my mother has since recounted the story to me. I was standing there, looking up at my beloved grandpa with wide eyes, nodding along when she walked in and heard what he was saying.