Sunday, May 30, 2010

Body Image: A Personal Story

Video blog and text after the jump! I thought I'd change things up a little.
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

This Is Not An Invitation To Rape Me

 A few months ago, the University of Pennsylvania had a showing of one of my favorite anti-rape campaigns: This Is Not An Invitation to Rape Me. Started in 1993 by Charles Hall in response to a friend's rape, dozens of artists have contributed over the years to the creating and disseminating of these images throughout the United States and the rest of the world. According to the official website,
The campaign has been featured in Playboy, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Paper Magazine, French Photo, Der Spiegel, Elle, Vibe, George and many other publications. It has also been featured on websites like, and and numerous blogs.  The work has been used by The Los Angeles Commission On Assaults Against Women (LACAAW now Peace Over Violence), California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) and Rape Crisis Scotland.  The work has been used in Cal State Northridge's Freshman Orientation Program and exhibited at U.C.L.A's Kershkoff Hall Gallery and Kansas University.
 The following are some of my favorite images from the campaign.
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Friday, May 28, 2010

Female Gangsters

Feminism is not about being violent and "manly"- it is about being proud of the feminine qualities that we are blessed with.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Women In Iran

When we think of Iran we don't really think of feminism.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sexist Burger Commercial

Can I just say how annoyed I am at the audrina partridge carls jr commercial?
The reality star of The Hills is in a bikini as she is sexually eating a burger... ok she is picking at the fruit on it. So not only is the media telling us that we have to be supermodel thin and volumtious but now we also need to be able to maintain that while eating burgers. The last time I heard of that it was sadly called bulimia. When men are doing the Carl's jr commercials they are shown dirty and sloppy. But we need to be sexy on the beach wearing almost nothing.

Take a look for yourself please...

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Ode to a Diva

I generally hate the word "diva" unless A) Beyonce's singing it or B) it's used in reference to my beloved Diva Cup.
This here is an ode to my true-blue friend who's always there for me when my uterine lining starts leaking, when I'm fed up with diaper-like pads and scratchy tampons, and when I'm scared about the health and environmental impact of disposable menstrual products. My Diva Cup has been good to me over these past three years. And you know what? I'd like nothing more than to convince each and every one of you reading this to at least consider using one yourself.

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Body Image

My whole life like many women I have been dealing with body image. Sometimes it is in a good light but for the most part it has been negative. The earliest birthday wish I can remember is "I wish I become really skinny." As a chubby child I always wanted to be stick thin. I remember one time I was in the third grade and it was a hot day but I was wearing a big puffy jacket the whole day. My checks were bright red and my teacher kept telling me to take it off but I wouldn't. Finally I remember she looked at me in my eyes and started to cry and she said, "You can choose to keep that jacket on but I just want you to know that you are beautiful."

My mom was a working mother and was never home during the day. I would stay at my grandmas house where I would refuse to eat until I went home when my mom would come home from work. I would litterly starve myself as a little girl the way an adult or teen anorexic would, until I was home with my mom. This resulted to late eating. Then my sister became old enough to stay home with me after her high school classes and my working mother knowing that I was a finicky eater would be afraid I wouldn't eat so she would leave me frozen microwavable pizza almost everyday. I vividly remember my routine of popping in the pizza and watching Ricky Lake or Jenny (talk shows). My teenage sister let me be as she would be in the other room talking on the phone with her boyfriend. Even watching these 90's talk shows taught me some stuff about body image and being a women. Many times there would be out of control teen girls or women being interviewed with the audience freely judging and yelling out to them. Teenage girls were always punished for being sexual. All teens have raging hormones. If sex was so bad then why we the guys they were having sex with not being yelled at in the audience? Sure these girls should not be sleeping around, especially because they are young and don't have knowledge of how to protect themselves from STDs and such, usually. But these girls needed psychological help. They should not have had cameras and lights in their faces while hearing audience members yell to them that they are whores. Then my favorite for a long time- MAKE OVERS! There would be girls who were so "ugly and geeky" in high school and then would show off to their past bully or crush how dramatically good they looked now. Most the times the woman now had fake breast and tight revealing clothes on. The worst part was they would often end up getting together with the same guy that bullied them for being not of the norm in high school. I remember one day I was waiting outside the doctors office with my old cousin (I was about seven and she was about thirteen) and Jenny (the host) who I looked up to came out in a wheel chair with something over her nose. My cousin talked to her a little bit and I remember her saying "Don't worry Jenny I wont say anything." When Jenny left my cousin explained to me that she had just gotten a nose job. I didn't understand what that was or why people did it. She told me that sometimes people don't look pretty and need to go fix things. That was the first time I really remember learning about plastic surgery. Plastic surgery was still kind of a big secret back then. Now a days though it is no secret and it is almost praised. American Society of Plastic Surgeons has reported 48% increase of cosmetic surgery since 2000. I remember around that time that we saw Jenny it was the rise of the trend of plastic surgery amongst the elite teenage girls. I remember my sister saying that her friends that Beverly High made to sure to come to school with the mask on their noses after their nose jobs just to show to everyone that they were rich enough to afford it. It showed you status amongst the rich popular girls. When I had heard this I was only like six years old and I didn't understand the purpose of the surgery, "Why are these girls showing off that they are breaking their noses?" I would think to my self. And quite litterly that is what it is. Back then that was the minority elite of Beverly Hills but are seeing an alarming amount in trend of teens getting plastic surgery.

I read an article that talked about to teen sisters who ask their dad for breast implants at the dinner table. He tells them that it could prevent them from getting breast feeding and they don't care. One of them says, "They're sex objects to me." She says she would be repulsed by a child sucking on them. This is what society has done to our future. Our body has become sexual objects. I am ashamed to admit that the reason that it struck me so hard to hear about this was because I felt the same way for a while. I felt ridiculous when in my women in pop culture course Professor Klein pointed out that this is how some women feel. I have actually heard that a lot of men get jealous of their own newborn babies for sucking on the mother of their child's nipples. The baby is not getting sexual pleasure! She has them because they are for feeding the baby!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why does the Palin debate continue?

Like many feminists out there, I do not consider Sarah Palin to be a feminist. So upon reading that Palin recently spoke about being a part of a "new conservative feminist movement", I just rolled my eyes. Being anti-choice is inherently anti-feminist and I'm appalled that she is co-opting feminism for her cause. And I'm not alone with these feelings. Meghan Daum, a self-declared feminist, recently published an editorial in the Los Angeles Times arguing that Palin is, indeed, a feminist.
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Feminist Street Art

Monday, May 24, 2010

The First Wives Club

That is the new woman standing next to the first wife, Brenda.

For the first time on Saturday I saw The First Wives Club (1996 version). In the first few minutes of watching it I knew I would want to blog about.
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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Menstruation...Have you heard?

So I had a conversation with my mother about my period cycle because I had a few questions about it. I asked her why sometimes I have a heavy flow. She looked at me as if I were from another planet. Even today, when I am a full grown woman, she feels uncomfortable talking about women issues. I remember when I was first told about my period and guess what? It wasn't from my mother. My sister had to tell me about my period cycles and teach me the birds and the bees because my mother didn't have the confidence to inform me. I came to realize that my mother did not grow in the same atmosphere as me.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dateing, Relationships, Hooking Up, and Growing Up.

As I am getting a little bit older I keep learning lessons about guys and dating as a heterosexual female. I've noticed that I am really good at giving advice but not as good as taking it. (I'm sure a lot of females would say the same about themselves.) A lot of my friends are envious of my so called "knowledge" but they don't realize that I have gone through and still go through so much.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Clothesline Project, Part II

Professor Klein has posted more coverage and pictures at her blog. Click here to check it out!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Clothesline Project at SMC

Started in 1990, The Clothesline Project was created to let women affected by violence express their emotions by decorating t-shirts. Today some of our classmates organized and put on their very own Clothesline Project:
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Monday, May 10, 2010

This is what a Real Woman Looks Like

Ask yourself this: What does a real woman look like? If you pay attention to the images that the mainstream media sends out, you'd think a real woman is...not real. Last Thursday our class collected images of these "real" women and created a massive collection of these images. It started out something like this:
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Creating the PERFECT Body

Creating the Perfect body has been around forever, an has affected many. When I thought about this topic the one of the first things that came to mind was the 1985 movie, Weird Science, which is about "Two nerdish boys attempting to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that," that's according to the brief summary. When I saw this movie it went to want guys want in a women, so what do they do they create their "perfect woman." Of course this woman is tall, skinny waist, big breast, perfect hair, and every guys dream. In case you haven't seen this movie here's the original poster.

Then I got to thinking nothing has really changed. I mean there's has been countless times where I have thought and you may have thought to yourself too, "why am I not beautiful?" or maybe have thought to yourself, "why can't I be skinner?" or "Why can't I be taller?" just things like that. The reason that we think like this is becasue of the constant image that we are being fed by the media.
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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Real Housewives

Hey guys! Let me start off with saying that I am loving the new photo on top of the blog tittle of FemineUs. But what I really want to discuss today is the Real Housewives reality show. I don't know how many of you watch these series but I am obsessed.
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On Sluttiness

I just wanted to point out two interesting posts on "sluttiness": one at Feministe and one at Feministing. They're both definitely worth reading so you should check them out!

If you want to read more about the slut label and its power, look into Leora Tanebaum's Slut! Growing Up Female With a Bad Reputation.

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The Price of Beauty

I don't know about you, but when I was in 7th grade I wore an embarrassing amount of makeup. I thought I looked fantastic with my glitter-lined eyes, blackish-blue mascara, shimmery pink blush, and metallic pink lip gloss (this was 1999, don't judge). Looking back at old photos from that year I can't help but cringe at the fact that I left the house that way, but hey, at least I wasn't alone. Indeed, almost all of the girls in my grade shellacked their faces with cosmetics newly purchased from the mall or the Walgreens down the street. And you know what? I turned out alright. I wear almost no make up now save for some occasional eyeliner and mascara. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I wore more make up during my 7th grade year than I have in every year thereafter added together. So when I first came across this article in the New York Times this week, I rolled my eyes and dismissed it as all-too-familiar hand-wringing over the "horror" of preteen girls experimenting with "mature femininity" -- something I care about but have heard over and over and over again. I mean, I made it through unscathed, didn't I? Things can't have changed that much in the last ten to fifteen years, right?

Well, apparently I was wrong.
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Happy 50th, Hormonal Birth Control!

Today we celebrate 50 years of the hormonal birth control being on the market for contraceptive use. I feel that it can be said safely that the pill has changed the lives of millions of women around the world. While I do not have any cake to share, I can provide you with an article covering the history of the pill and even a song to enjoy for today's anniversary:

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Feminist Graffiti at Oxy

Alexa's photo post reminded me of this little bit of graffiti I spotted in a bathroom stall on the Occidental campus:

I'm thinking perhaps we should start posting photos of feminist graffiti every weekend. How does that sound to you?

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Ethnic Minorities Everywhere....but lack of REPRESENTATION in Media

Chances are that if you watch T.V., movies, or have even played some video games you have noticed that people of a certain ethnic group are stereotyped against, or even just a lack of ethnic minorities people. I know that when I watch certain T.V. shows, or even movies they portray Lationo's as "cholo's" in other words a gangster, African American's as drug dealers and both these groups of people were also depicted as Lazy and good for nothing people. I thought to myself not all Latino's and African American's are like this.
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Feminist Activism at UC San Diego

I am sick of your bullshit beauty standards

Spotted at UC San Diego, May 8, 2010

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Are you willing to go under the knife to be beautiful?

Recommended Reading

Hello everyone! Just a note here about something we've added to our blog. You'll notice on the bottom right of the sidebar, beneath the links to previous posts and to the archives, there's now an Amazon-sponsored box full of books we at FemineUs have read and enjoyed. Some are books we've read for class, some are books we've read for fun, and some are books we can't wait to read (New Blood: Third Wave Feminism & The Politics of Menstruation and Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution In Music, I'm talking about you!). The point of including this box isn't to make money for our blog (although we get a couple cents if you click through  to one of those books and decide to buy it) but instead to share with you the feminist books we think are important and worth reading. We love recommended reading lists and thought maybe you might as well. 

Do you have any feminist-minded books to recommend? Share 'em in the comments.

Hope you enjoy the new feature!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Facebook: A Place for Friends...and Promoting Violence Against Women

[Screen caps embedded after the jump]

If you're on Facebook, chances are you've been invited to join all sorts of groups. Perhaps for a game of Farmville or an event invitation for who knows what. Some people out there have gone out and created their own national or global days for all sorts of activities. Most of these are harmless (Hug a Jew Day, anyone?), but every now and then I stumble across something that is downright disgusting. What am I talking about? Well, April 30th was declared National Punch a Slut Day.
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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A brief history

Hello peeps! I do apologize with the late blog but I must introduce myself. My name is Bellarina (Bella for short...FUCK TWILIGHT!) and I am a Feminist. I didn't like the thought of being labeled as a feminist until I took a course in Women's Studies with Professor Melanie Klein. It also let me develop a stronger relationship with my sister because it pinched my narrow mind into a wider perception.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Will Self-Defense Classes Be Taught in San Diego Schools?

[Video embedded after the jump]

My first thought upon watching this clip was "Awesome! I wish more cities would implement something like this!" But then I thought some more about the approach/language used ("The idea here is to not focus on the bad guys. Instead focus on the potential victims.") and the comparatively minuscule efforts to target the actual people most responsible for committing rape: men. While I fully support and applaud Sen. Christine Kehoe's efforts, I can't help but feel frustrated that she isn't also pushing for rape prevention education aimed at young men.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010


Hello, Feminists! I apologize for the late introduction, but I promise that I will be posting plenty within the coming week. Anyway, my name is Alexa and I am very happy to be a part of this group.  (known as the Ampoo around here) has been doing an excellent job of keeping this blog lively and I fully intend to do my part. In addition to regular postings, Laylee has also covered what this blog is about. FemineUs is about uniting a community of young feminists and letting them freely express their opinions.

That being said, I wanted to let everyone know that we've got an awesome in-class project coming up this week. I will be bringing my camera and reporting back soon. I'd love to give you more details- but I'll let the excitement build.

If anyone wants to get in touch and chat, leave a comment and we will be in touch.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Do Skinny Jeans Make You Un-Rapeable?

Apparently, according to a jury in a sexual assault case in Sydney, Australia. Bizarre and infuriating, right? Clearly no one on that jury has ever tried on a pair of skinny jeans. Some may be so tight that they're a bit difficult to remove but pretty much any pair of pants can be removed with force. Hell, most skinny jeans don't even require that much effort to take off! They certainly don't require "collaboration and consent" on the part of the jeans-wearer. I'm just sayin', sometimes my girlfriend wears skinny jeans and I have no trouble getting them off her without help. Considering how many young women wear skinny jeans, this is a truly frightening and potentially damaging precedent to set. 

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