Tag Archives: Misogyny

#SafeWordSociety Is the Safe Space Podcast We Need Right Now

A safe word is magical.

Many couples use it during sex, especially when practicing BDSM. If you get too overwhelmed with what your partner is doing, you can say your safe word – and boom, the uncomfortable situation ends. You feel safe and comfortable again.

If only the world worked like that. Wouldn’t it be great if, whenever a straight white man speaks over you in a meeting or you remember that Donald Trump is the US President, you could speak a “safe word” and return the world to something comfortable?

#SafeWordSociety is the next best thing. This podcast is a comforting safe space where you can be free from racism, misogyny, homophobia and ableism, at least for one hour each week.


The podcast delves deeply into the nuances of surviving as a queer or transgender person of color (QTPOC). The podcast specifically focuses on NYC, but it’s uplifting and applicable for queer women who live all over the globe. Their purpose is to “create a safe space in media for versatility while uplifting the stories of those that aren’t often heard.”

Every week, the bubbly host Kristen McCallum teams up with Lamika Young to conduct interviews with influential people fighting for QTPOC rights.

For example, on the episode The Quench, they sat down to chat with Morgen Bromel, CEO and Founder of Thurst, who will help you get got this cuffing season.

This revolutionary app focuses on queer and transgender people of color, who are often overlooked on mainstream social networking sites because they’re not conventionally desirable.


In the episode “Workplace Woes,” they shot the breeze with a transgender IT professional and a gender nonconforming university administrator, discussing the fails of workplace inclusivity.

New episodes debut every week. Learn more at the official website, or get caught up by bingeing the first dozen episodes directly on their Libsyn page. If you’re a QTPOC and have ideas for what you would like to see covered, don’t hesitate to contact them – they need your voice on air.

A Good Caribbean Woman: Homophobia and Misogyny in the Caribbean Community

When the clock struck midnight, I traded in my boxers.

I, a proud butch woman, swapped my button-downs for a crop top and my bowties for short shorts. For exactly one day a year, I had to be a Good Caribbean Woman.

What is a Good Caribbean Woman? It varies by island and by family, but according to my mother, a Good Caribbean Woman has a perfect G.P.A., a high-paying job, and a closet full of dresses. She is as feminine as she is educated. She knows how to hook a man.

As I dug through my drawers to find the only non-sports bra I owned, I doubted whether my mother would be happy at the idea of me dancing half-naked in front of a quarter of a million people. But I knew that she would be happy that I finally fit in with the other island girls.

At 4 a.m. on Labor Day, 250,000 people flooded into Brooklyn swinging cans of house paint. Baby powder exploded into rainbows. Men tied their island’s flags around their necks, women wrapped theirs to cover their hair, and Eastern Parkway became a sea of Jamaican greens and Trinidadian reds. J’Ouvert had begun.

To outsiders, J’Ouvert looks like a giant, drunken paint party, but the holiday has hundreds of years of significance in the Caribbean community. Slaves began hosting yearly celebrations called Carnival in 1783 because they were banned from white masquerade balls in Trinidad, and J’Ouvert began as an expression of freedom after the island emancipated slaves in 1838. By grinding on strangers, not only would I be fulfilling my mother’s expectations of femininity, but I would also be celebrating history. (Right?) My girlfriend tagged along to laugh at me.

When the music started, I charged straight into the mass of sweaty, dancing strangers and let the drums control my hips. I gyrated to steel pan and salsa danced to clave. I squealed girlishly when men poured paint down my shirt. I shook pink baby powder out of my hair.

“Get your flag!” my girlfriend shouted, and I proudly tied it around my neck while she took a photo from behind. My mother would probably frame it.

When I looked at the photo, my stomach twisted. With my fists planted proudly on my hips and the V.I. eagle catching the sunlight, I looked like a Good Caribbean Wonder Woman. But a man in the background was staring at me slack-jawed, eyes fixated on my body like he was about to undress me.

Cold hands slithered around my waist, and I jumped. “Let’s dance,” the same man said.

I yanked my girlfriend away. Was this what I really wanted?

Someone reached out to smack an orange handprint on her shorts, and another man grabbed at me, saying, “Hey, Superman!” I felt sticky with dirt and sweat and paint and a panic I couldn’t quite place.

At home, I stood under the scalding shower and watched the paint on my skin pool into rainbows beneath my feet. Gone, gone, gone. I couldn’t make the water hot enough.

My girlfriend knocked. I thought she was going to join, but instead, she read me an article: Barely an hour ago, a twenty-two-year-old woman had refused to dance with a man at J’Ouvert, and he shot her through the eye.

The accompanying photograph showed the woman smiling broadly, hair curling down her back, a dress brushing her knees. My mother would have loved her, because she looked like a Good Caribbean Woman. And she’d been killed.

I thought of all the men I’d run away from that day. What if one, just one, had pulled a gun? If I’d dressed in my usual men’s trousers, would I have been safer? That was unlikely; guys often confronted me to “fix” my gayness. In the eyes of those men, being a good woman had nothing to do with the way I was dressed, because they were already thinking about what was under my clothes. My mother’s definition was tied to my ability to entice men, but I couldn’t rely on them – or her – to define “good” womanhood for me, I had to define it for myself. And I was tired of being good.

I’m still trying to figure out what womanhood will mean for me, because it entails a long process of undoing years of internalized heteronormativity and misogyny. But right now, being a Good Caribbean Woman is about saying no when I want to say no. It’s about wearing what I want to wear. It’s about fighting the next guy who tries to slap an orange handprint onto my girlfriend’s shorts.

Maybe my mother wouldn’t approve, but I’m proud of my Caribbean womanhood. I have the painted flag hanging in my room to prove it, and I just bought a button-down to wear to next year’s J’Ouvert.

Should You Attend A Women’s College?

College application season is here! And you have some big decisions. Do you want a large state school or a tiny liberal arts college? Do you want to move to a different country or stay in your hometown?

And, of course, do you want a coed college experience? Or do you want to spend four years in an all-women safe space?


Cute girls.

And, obviously, more girls. If you’re a single queer woman, then walking through a women’s campus can feel like paradise – lots of beautiful ladies and not a single misogynistic, pig-headed man in sight. Your biggest challenge may be choosing just one crush

Statistically higher number of lesbians.

Obviously (and sadly) not every woman at a women’s college is queer. However, the percentage is relatively high compared to co-ed campuses, especially large state schools, because women’s college students are a self-selecting bunch. You will often find yourself among liberal, empowered and queer women that you can look up to…and go down on.

Less misogyny in the classroom.

I’m not saying there’s no misogyny – women have internalized so much misogynistic rhetoric over their lifetimes that it may take a semester or two to undo it – but on a campus with no men, misogynistic ideas are challenged and discredited. Women are allowed to explore their ideas without demeaning remarks from male professors or students.

Safe spaces.

The classroom is an intellectual safe space where women are encouraged to speak up, and where their ideas are given weight and merit. Reading lists include fewer dead white men and many more diverse women. Leadership positions are held by women. The best professors are women. The university administration is run by women. Here, female empowerment is the norm, not the exception.

Encouragement to excel in male-dominated spaces.

Despite the lack of men on campus, women’s colleges do not ignore the fact that much of society is operated by men, and that career-driven women will have to succeed in male-dominated industries. At a coed college, the differences between men’s experiences and women’s experiences may never be directly addressed, but at a women’s college, women are taught how to excel by viewing their womanhood as an asset, not a crutch.

Stigma-Free Womanhood

Need a tampon in the middle of class? Want to walk around your dorm naked without fear of a man oggling you? Feeling bloated and just want to wear sweatpants? At a women’s college, you’re allowed to be yourself, and to take pride in your entire body, not just the “sexy” parts.



If you think you might be a transgender man, you will face backlash at women’s colleges – after all, that would make you a man in a woman’s college. If you transition during your time at the college, you may suddenly find yourself ostracized and maybe even expelled. Similarly, transgender women are not always welcome with open arms, although this is starting to change for the better.

Less prestige.

There is still a lot of stigma around women’s colleges, and even the top schools such as Wellesley and Barnard aren’t regarded with the same reverence as, say, Harvard and Yale. Not yet, anyway.

Less party atmosphere.

If you’re looking for a hard-partying atmosphere and an inescapable hookup culture, you’ll have trouble finding it at a women’s college. Of course, there are parties, many of them coed with neighboring colleges, but you won’t find the same crazy antics you’ve seen on ABC’s Greek.

Women’s colleges are safe spaces where you can explore your womanhood, find lifelong friends and mentors, and learn how to dominate on and off campus. If you’ve never considered one before, schedule a tour – you may be surprised to find that it feels like home.

Has Misogyny in the Gay Community Become an Epidemic?

When we think about the unrealistic expectations set for women, we often overlook the actions of gay men. After all, they’re not sexually attracted to women, so that means they most likely aren’t going to judge us based on our attractiveness. Likewise, they’re used to being in a position of minority, so they’re less likely to hold us into our little box. Right?

Well, not necessarily. According to Séan Faye of Broadly, gay men might even be more sexist and misogynistic than their straight male counterparts – and it’s almost worse, because it’s not coming from a desire to claim the women involved, but rather, to be more powerful than them.

Think about it. When’s the last time you were inappropriately groped by a gay man, whether as a joke or out of curiosity? Many gay men forget the general rules of personal boundaries, and may grab a woman’s breast or bum without even asking first. It’s generally regarded as not sexual in nature, so it isn’t seen as a problem.

But that doesn’t make it okay.

In some ways, this may be a retaliation. Lesbians often subscribe to feminism, so it’s assumed that we would embody the “femi-nazi” stereotype of the man-haters. This would, naturally, upset the balance in the gay community – unless, of course, the gay men retaliated by being woman-haters, too. But it’s important to realize that not all women believe in female superiority – and in fact, most are just looking for equality.

But gay men aren’t the only ones guilty of this misogyny, either – I’ve seen in in my lesbian friends as well. We make sexist assumptions about each other all the time, and it’s really not fair. I’ve even caught myself doing it before – reposting pictures that fall outside of what I find attractive, with captions that would seriously hurt if the person in the picture were to read them.

Is it right? Definitely not.

Is it something we all need to work on? Yeah, I think so.

Is it something that’s going to happen any time soon? Well, probably not.

The truth is, any big movement is going to be hard to coordinate, and I don’t think the world is really ready to accept true gender equality. Maybe we never will be – being part of a patriarchal society for so long has most of us pretty set in our ways. Even those of us who consider ourselves feminists are subject to occasional bouts of woman-hating-ness, whether we outwardly vocalize them or not.

What can you do to fix it in your own local community?

If we’re being completely honest here, there’s not a lot that can be done to fix it on a wide scale – each person would have to change their own behavior, and in time the “old ways” of doing things will die out. Maybe I’m a pessimist, but I don’t see it happening in my lifetime.

On a smaller scale, though, we can actively work to suppress our anti-feminist thoughts, by stopping to think before we say things that could be taken a negative way. Sure, this won’t actually fix the problem, but it’ll help you to acknowledge the “bad” behavior and put an end to it.

Some feminists would prefer to think that you can dismantle the patriarchy simply by defying the traditional gender roles… But I don’t think that’s necessary, nor is it the only way to do things. If you truly like the things that are traditionally attributed to your gender, perhaps the most feminist thing you could do is to be unapologetically yourself – even if it goes along with what society expects of you. Isn’t it more important to be real than to be novel?

The only way we’re going to fix this is if we all stand up against the expectations – all expectations. Don’t expect anything from anyone based on things you aren’t sure of. Stereotypes aren’t always right, but even if they are, that doesn’t mean that the person is necessarily sacrificing themselves, their dignity, or their self-respect.

In short, the best way to beat misogyny is to stop caring what everyone else thinks about you- and stop assuming everyone cares what you think, too.