Tag Archives: Women

Why Do We Hold On To Misogynistic Ideas Even Though We Are Women?

One of the first and most important things I learnt when I got into feminism was to give a name to one of its enemies, and find out that many of my own behaviours were linked to it: this enemy is internalized misogyny and it means the way we have been taught by society to think of our own gender as inferior.

Internalized misogyny can be demonstrated through ‘girl hate’ (the bitter feelings we may often have for other women – jealousy, antagonism, a tendency to undermine them or differentiate ourselves from their group), prejudices that concern stereotypically ‘female traits’, or even feelings of inferiority about our own selves because of our gender.


The point is that we can hold unintentionally misogynistic ideas even though we are women. Most of us, especially as we become more aware, start recognizing behaviours and opinions that we used to hold and are caused by internalized misogyny. That doesn’t mean we can’t grow out of them and mature. It happens partly because that’s how we’ve been taught to perceive most accomplished women around us, and it’s something that I’ve drastically changed the way I see it nowadays.

But which are the most common behaviours, ideas, and perceptions for ourselves and for the women around us that are caused by internalized misogyny?

Trying to exclude/differentiate myself from (groups of) other women.

One of the most common ways internalized misogyny can be demonstrated, is through our constant effort to exclude ourselves from the wider concept of our gender and of society’s perception of it, in order to feel superior than what we’re taught a woman is. Throughout my childhood and adolescence girls were my best friends who supported my through everything and boys were my bullies. However, I still prided myself to be ‘not like other girls’ (sometimes including my friends who I deemed as cool and intelligent in this special ‘different’ troupe) and I remember boasting that I thought and acted like a boy. I saw most women as the enemy, being too anxious to diminish their worth in my head because they put on too much makeup or they stuffed their bras, things that I undoubtedly did myself.

I wrote Harry Potter fanfiction my entire life – and no one has yet declared this period over. I always wrote male voices (mostly Sirius and Remus’), even though Tonks – a brave, strong, colourful warrior, lover, and mother who broke the gender norms – was my favorite character. The reason I didn’t choose to write her point of view that often, even though she was that cool of a role model, is because I remember boasting how hard it was for me to capture the voice of a woman – although I identified as one – and how I can work with the way a man thinks best. My best friend had affirmed that, sure, my mind worked more like a man’s than like a woman’s. Both of us, for what is called internalized misogyny, thought at that point that this was the best compliment she could pay me ever.

All that makes sense: The mass-media with which millenials have grown up, even in their progressive versions, have been showing us caricatures of women, telling them that they should know their place in life. We’re told that women are too sensitive, functioning more with feelings than with logic and common sense (actually that bit has strategically been built up for centuries), that we’re too hard to understand, that we’re too much ‘bitchiness’ and drama, but maybe it just looks this way because our ideas, needs and demands to be treated as equals are rarely even heard. Not to mention trans women, who are 90% of the time depicted horribly stereotypically, and are the butts of the joke in most movies. Nothing can be more harmful than that. These are stereotypes that completely ignore the fact that women are not, after all, a homogenous group. Apart from some exceptions, women are taught by society that they’re worthless and that, as a result, the only way to achieve something in life, is to prove that they’re the least worthless of their group.

Degrading others to climb up somewhere yourself comes like a survival plan, and this is just horrible, because girls are awesome. When I took off my internalized misogyny glasses, I started realizing that brilliant, interesting, diverse girls are not the exceptions, but they’re everywhere around me, they’re often better than me, and I should learn to take them as role models and cherish their friendship instead of making a competition out of it.

Blaming other women for my oppression.

So what happens is that we as women are taught that, with all those horrible traits society thinks we possess, other women are to blame for the bad things that happen to us. When the girl or the boy we fancy in high school fancies another girl, it’s her fault for being too promiscuous or ‘fake’, and when our boss is a woman she’s not ‘strong and determined’, but ‘bossy and a bitch’. We slut shame, we grow hostile, jealous and competent of each other, denying ourselves friendship and comradeship, because you can’t be friends with the person you subconsciously think you are competing with.

Projecting those ideas of inferiority on myself.

Even after we realize how strange it was to be so hostile towards Kirsten Stewart as we grew up (plus after getting a crush on her), there are some things that are caused by internalized misogyny and are still too hard to brush off. We often fail to recognize our value, or how good we are in things we do, sometimes even getting the feeling that we don’t deserve the recognition we get about them, that we didn’t achieve anything that important, or that we achieved it by mistake, by luck, or by fooling each other. I have felt guilty for being congratulated for my work many times. That is called imposter syndrome, and it sucks, because men are taught by a young age to know their worth, while we may even feel the need to apologize to our professors or co-workers for potentially having fooled them into thinking they’re better than we are.

Convincing myself that I don’t deserve every good thing I get because I’m a woman…

That can go to great extents. I mean, it can even be demonstrated as the underlying assumption that I don’t deserve my partner giving effort to please me during sex, that they’re doing me a favour when, for example, I take too much time.

…or that I deserve the unpleasant things that can occur if I don’t meet up to the expectations set up for women by our society.

When I was in high school I had a fashion blog that my bully classmates found and sent me comments which were awful, disgusting and definitely things that a boy wouldn’t hear that easily. I didn’t have the choice to pose wearing my DIY shirts and owl bags with my slightly pretentious sixteen year-old ‘model’ face in my personal blog, without being slut-shamed, ridiculed and harassed online, only to have the professor I went to in shock, to tell me that I had practically signed up for my harassment the moment I made these pictures public.

Last year I decided that I liked hair on me. Not necessarily to make a statement – even though I don’t regret making one. I just happened to start preferring my body with its natural hair – everywhere. So I stopped shaving. Since then, most shocked and patronizing comments have come from my family, but the fact that friends, classmates and strangers on the street may have, until recently, been silent about it, doesn’t mean that I don’t get weird, even offended looks all the time. I’m more used to it now, and I laughed when I realized these girls on the bus were discussing my leg hair with horror, but I used to be much more self-conscious about it.

A couple of weeks ago I learnt from a guy from school, that his sister – to whom I haven’t talked in about five years – knows and has discussed my leg hair from another classmate that goes to my university. We don’t communicate with that girl at all, we barely say hi once every semester, yet she thought that my leg hair was that big of a deal that she should discuss it with people who probably don’t even remember what my face looks like. Why do they have to make me feel bad about a choice that has to do with my body, just because that choice doesn’t meet up with what a woman is supposed to do to meet society’s unrealistic, problematic beauty standards? Why does every family member and passer-by on the street feel they have the right to stare at me, an already self-conscious person, with eyes wide open in surprise? What made it okay for them to stare until I feel like I have done something bad?

People have learnt that they have been given the holy right to police personal choices that have to do with my body or my appearance just because I’m a woman, and that I am to blame if I think that sucks.

Internalized misogyny, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia, are mechanisms of self-blame and degradation caused by the social discourse that labels some identities as inferior to others.

It surely takes time and effort, but we need to actively fight against those mechanisms, in order to be able to support, not only others against the oppression they face because of their identity, but also ourselves.

Women With More Tattoos Actually Have Higher Self-Esteem, Suggests New Study

A new study suggests that women with tattoos actually have higher self-esteem than those without.

Conducted by researchers at Texas Tech University, the study set out to uncover the correlation between tattoos and sense of self and wellbeing.

The research was led by Dr. Jerome Koch and measured the number of tattoos in comparison to levels of self-esteem, as well as depression and suicidal thoughts or attempts.

Of 2,395 participants gathered from six public American universities, 67% were white; 59% were female; 82% were between the ages of 18 and 20.

The research discovered (of the sample size) females with four or more tattoos reported a “substantively and significantly higher level of self-esteem” than their female peers with no or fewer than four tattoos.

Be sure to read: 13 Women With Tattoos That Will Make You Thirsty

Continuing their findings, the researchers had rather dark results to report, as the same group of women who reported higher levels of self-esteem were also four times more likely to have had previous suicide attempts.

Researchers speculate the women, mostly freshman and sophomore college students, may be attempting to reclaim and express their sense of self through the choice to tattoo their bodies.

Not to be misled, the study does not indicate a correlation between people who get tattoos and subsequently attempt suicide, made apparent by the increasing prevalence of tattoos in modern-day culture.

[interaction id=”56af6cd9ef54eee31e63ebd8″]

Kristen Stewart New Movie ‘Certain Women’ Looks To Represent Women Differently

Kristen Stewart is currently at Sundance promoting her new film, Certain Women, by director Kelly Reichardt.

Thanks to impressive performances in films like Clouds of Sils Maria and Still Alice, the Stewart has finally broken free from her Twilight days, and is now showing off her acting prowess in a series of great — and feminist — movie roles.

Her latest film – based on short stories by Maile Meloy – follows three women’s (Stewart, Michelle Williams, Laura Dern) living in a small town in Montana. Stewart plays an overworked lawyer teaching a night class to newcomer Lily Gladstone’s lonely, longing student; Williams is one half of a couple in the midst of building a house; Dern takes on the role of a lawyer unwillingly tasked with talking a troubled client down from a hostage situation.


Their lives are incredibly different from one another, but, as Stewart explained on the red carpet, they’re all connected in one significant way.

It’s like every movie that’s overtly commercial needs to be about women overcoming something unbelievable, or it’s a love story. [Certain Women] tells three very different stories about working women, women who are not seeing everything in front of them, women who are making enormous misconnections and who are not top dogs, who are actually just trying to figure something out, who are all quite confused. And that’s more interesting than somebody, like, prevailing over some massive feat.”


She continued

All three stories involve somebody who is desirous of something that they can’t have. They’re fixated on something, but really what they’re actually concerned with is something very different… they’re just very particular people, they’re people who don’t see everything, they’re people you want to tap on the shoulder and say, you’re really missing the ball here.”

For Stewart, her role of Beth Travis, a distracted young woman who doesn’t understand the full extent of her student’s interest in her, was a stark departure from the typical parts for women in film.

I basically wanted to play somebody who is distracted and not seeing what was in front of her, because usually in movies, especially the young female protagonist, it’s like we need to lead you through the entire story very obviously. This was just about two lonely unobservant typical girls that just aren’t seeing each other quite clearly. I thought that was quite interesting.”

Stewart, said last year that she “made a conscious decision to avoid blockbusters and choose smaller projects that might attract less attention, but are going to satisfy me artistically.”

Another Study Concludes Women’s Sexuality Is More Adaptive And Flexible Than Men’s

A survey by The National Center for Health Statistics has revealed women in the US are far more likely to say they are bisexual compared to men.

The National Survey of Family Growth survey asked 9,100 adults aged between 18 and 44 about their sexual identity and sex life.

According to the results covering 2011 to 2013, 5.5% of female respondents said that they identified as bisexual, compared to only 2% of male respondents.

The survey was conducted anonymously via computer rather than directly through a person-to-person interview.

In the previous 2006 to 2010 survey 3.9% of female respondents identified as bisexual compared to only 1.2% of male respondents.

There was no significant change in the percentage of respondents who identified as homosexual or heterosexual.

This mirrors findings in similar studies that have been conducted around the world.

A study conducted by the University of Notre Dame in the United States also found the women were three times more likely to identify as bisexual.

Also, data that was released last year rom the UK’s Office for National Statistics found that women were twice as likely to identify themselves as bisexual when compared to men.

According to Dr Elizabeth McClintock, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame in the United States, these results show that female sexuality may be more adaptive and flexible and male sexuality.

Women with some degree of attraction to both males and females might not be drawn into heterosexuality if they have favourable options in the heterosexual partner market.

Women who are initially successful in partnering with men, as is more traditionally expected, may never explore their attraction to other women.

However, women with the same sexual attractions, but less favourable heterosexual options might have greater opportunity to experiment with same-sex partners.”

[interaction id=”5640a19c737e4fee1d77d3c4″]

Study Concludes ‘Most’ Straight Women Are Turned On By Other Women

As we previously reported, a new study from the University of Essex has found that straight women are pretty unique when it comes to what turns them on physiologically, compared to both straight men and gay women.

The big bombshell? Straight women are likely to be turned on by both men and women – while straight men and lesbians are likely to be turned on only by their stated preferred gender.

For the study, published in Personality and Social Psychology, researchers from Essex, Cornell University, and Northwestern University recruited nearly 500 straight, bisexual, and lesbian women in the United States to come into a lab and have their arousal levels measured in response to various sexual stimuli. The researchers then compared that arousal with each participant’s stated sexual preference.

Women were shown videos of “attractive” men and women while researchers noted subconscious responses including pupil dilation.

The researchers found that the majority of straight women (72%) were aroused by both men and women, whereas the majority of lesbians (68%) were mostly aroused by just women.

Gerulf Rieger, lead author of the study, told The Times

If you’re a man, whatever you tell me you’re attracted to I bet in the laboratory your penis will verify that. If a woman has the same conversation with me and tells me she is straight, even if she believes that, in the laboratory her body will contradict her.”

He added

I would like to stress that we did not find or say that there are ‘no straight women. Rather, we stated in the press release that even though the majority of women identify as straight, they are, in their physiological sexual responses (i.e., genital arousal or pupil dilation to images of attractive men and women) either bisexual or gay, but rarely straight.”

Why might this be? In the study, Rieger, who teaches psychology at Essex, cites one possible – albeit controversial – evolutionary explanation that is heavily debated in the scientific community. This theory is that, many millennia ago, forced copulation was standard practice among humans. And because forced sex is dangerous for a female and can result in injury to her genitals, “the female response to any sexual stimulus could have evolved in part to mitigate this risk.”

He further hypothesized that “women may have physiological sexual responses to a variety of sexual stimuli, including stimuli representing both consensual and forced sexual acts, sexual activities of non-human primates, and male and female sexual stimuli” to protect themselves when sex is unwanted.

Regardless of how it happened, we should all take a moment to acknowledge the possibility that straight women are getting turned on a lot more than popular culture would have us believe.

Let the sexual revolution begin.

[interaction id=”561262c874a791dd4b459468″]

Top 7 Inspirational Quotes For Those Who Have Yet to Come Out

If you haven’t come out of the closet yet, there’s one thing for certain in your life: Finding the right words can be hard. Even for those who have already come out, there are often others who you haven’t come out to yet that might be difficult for you to tell.

However, coming out of the closet is a monumentally freeing experience, and for anyone who is in a position to do so safely, it’s a great feeling to be able to say, with confidence, who you really are and what you really want. Sometimes, we just need someone to (figuratively) hold our hands and tell us it’s going to be okay.

Thankfully, with the internet, it’s not so hard to find someone who’s been in the place you are now. Even if your family is truly supportive, coming out can be scary – but knowing that someone else has been in your exact position can help ease some of your fears.

“The single best thing about coming out of the closet is that nobody can insult you by telling you what you’ve just told them.”
― Rachel Maddow

This quote is powerful, and helps to placate a lot of the negativity associated with the labels of gay, lesbian, etc. When you come out to someone, you’re taking away the power of their words when used to hurt you. After all, you told them you were gay – how is it an insult to state the known?


“So, let me get this straight– You want me to stop being a lesbian and being attracted to women because it is a ‘sin’? Last time I checked, when you lie you are sinning. Sure, I could tell you I am no longer a lesbian or that I am no longer attracted to women and am straight, or I could even tell you the moon is made of cheese. I could tell you many things, but the moon will still not be made of cheese, and I will still not be attracted to men. I could tell you a lie in order to placate you, but isn’t the truth supposed to set me free? I choose truth over lies any day of the week.”
― Cristina Marrero

This quote is powerful for those who are afraid to come out to their loved ones because of religion. Marrero perfectly sums up the power of the truth – we gain power when we embrace the truth, even if a lie is easier to accept. If someone tells you that God will not love you anymore if you’re gay, you can gently remind them that God created you this way, and you are in no position to deny the facts!


“It’s hard not to be a fighter when you’re constantly under siege.”
― Cassandra Duffy

This particular quote doesn’t specifically deal with coming out, but it can apply to any part of your life. If you feel that you are under attack for who you are, it’s your natural instinct to want to fight back. Naturally, that means that in order to reach peace within ourselves, we must want there to be peace – and we must fight to destroy the negativity that surrounds us. Thankfully, the two go hand in hand.


“To those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender-let me say- you are not alone. Your struggle, for the end to violence and discrimination, is a shared struggle. Today, I stand with you. And I call upon all countries and people, to stand with you too.

A historic shift is underway. We must tackle the violence, decriminalize consensual same sex relationships and end discrimination. We must educate the public. I call on this council and people of conscience to make this happen.

The time has come.”
― Ban Ki-Moon

When we come out, our primary goal is usually to put an end to the bitterness we feel inside ourselves. However, truthfully, some of the bitterness will translate to bitterness from other people. Ban Ki-Moon expresses the importance of standing together to beat this opposition. If we keep it internalized, we won’t ever truly be happy. We may not face the discrimination if we remain in the closet, but we will be allowing the discrimination to continue without standing alongside each other. We protect each other when we stand together.


“But I’m tired of coming out. All I ever do is come out. I try not to change, but I keep changing, in all these tiny ways. I get a girlfriend. I have a beer. And every freaking time, I have to reintroduce myself to the universe all over again.”
― Becky Albertalli

This quote addresses the fact that “coming out” is not just a one-time-thing. There are a million things to come out about, a billion times to come out, and a trillion reasons why you should. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to make such a big deal about it – but there’s no such thing as perfection, after all, and there will always be another occasion to tell the truth about ourselves.


“It’s okay. It may not seem like it right now, but you are going to be fine. I know it’s scary, but don’t be afraid. You are who you are, and you should love that person, and I don’t want anyone to have to go through 22 years of their life afraid to accept that.”
― Connor Franta

When we think of it this way, coming out seems to be the obvious choice. Even those who consider themselves honest people will likely be hesitant about coming out. As previously mentioned, even if you have an ample support system (which hopefully you do!) coming out is hard. But that doesn’t mean that the truth isn’t precious.


“Every gay person must come out. As difficult as it is, you must tell your immediate family. You must tell your relatives. You must tell your friends if indeed they are your friends. You must tell the people you work with. You must tell the people in the stores you shop in. Once they realize that we are indeed their children, that we are indeed everywhere, every myth, every lie, every innuendo will be destroyed once and all. And once you do, you will feel so much better.”
― Harvey Milk

While I don’t necessarily agree that we “have” to come out, there is truth in this quote that will ring true for everyone in the gay community. The only way we have to “disarm” our oppressors is by addressing the fact that we are real – we cannot allow ourselves to remain invisible.


Of course, for those who are in unsupportive situations, it may be in your best interest to not come out. If it isn’t safe for you to reveal your true self, you shouldn’t let anyone pressure you to do so. However, there is a huge relief that comes from the simple act of being true to yourself.

Once you’ve come out (the first time or the hundredth) you have given yourself the power to be real.

This realness you’ll feel is a magical and addicting feeling – if you’ve been living a lie for most of your life, you can understand how liberating it is to finally show your true self.

If you are afraid to come out of the closet, please don’t hesitate to speak to someone who’s been there. There is a wealth of places on the internet that will allow you to find like-minded individuals, some even anonymously. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to come out, and it’s important that you find the way that works best to you. Sometimes it may be subtle, and other times overt. The main thing to consider is how coming out will make you feel.

Be strong, be courageous, and be truthful – our community needs you!

Research Suggests Women Are Either Bisexual Or Gay But ‘Never Straight’

Researchers at the University of Essex have suggested Women who think they are heterosexual are actually bisexual or gay and “never straight”.

The research, led by Dr Gerulf Rieger in the Department of Psychology, involved a sample of 345 women who had their physical responses to sexual stimuli monitored, with experts concluding that most women are either lesbian or bisexual, with very few actually heterosexual.

Women were shown videos of “attractive” men and women while researchers noted subconscious responses including pupil dilation.

Participants who identified as exclusively heterosexual were aroused by both men and women, whereas those who identified as lesbian showed much stronger sexual responses to women in the clips shown than to men.

Dr Rieger explains:

Although some lesbians were more masculine in their sexual arousal, and others were more masculine in their behaviours, there was no indication that these were the same women.

This shows us that how women appear in public does not mean that we know anything about their sexual role preferences. Men are simple, but women’s sexual responses remain a mystery.”

13 Women Who Dare To Challenge Gender Stereotypes in the Media

From Miley Cyrus to Ruby Rose, stars are shedding a light on a different kind of gender identity.

These women refuse to adhere to dated, oppressive standards set on gender and beauty. They are changing the game and using their fame to help level the playing field for the women of tomorrow.

1. Ruby Rose

The 29-year-old stars as inmate Stella Carlin on season 3 of the show and thanks to her performance, her gorgeous androgynous looks and her openness about her gender fluidity, the model-now-actress is making waves when it comes gender perceptions in the media.


We’re all really breaking down the whole gender binary system. It’s like hold on, I don’t identify as this and I don’t identify as that, I’m kind of somewhere in the middle and what does that mean? And society is being more supportive than ever before.”

2. Lena Dunham


Despite Lena Dunham being an enormously successful writer, actress, and producer, she has been the subject of harsh criticism regarding her appearance. In an interview with Gothamist , Lena explained her body ‘Zen’ philosophy:

We’re one weight one day, we’re one weight another day, and some day our body just doesn’t even exist at all! It’s just a vessel I’ve been given to move through this life. I think about my body as a tool to do the stuff I need to do, but not the be all and end all of my existence.”

3. Samira Wiley


Samira Wiley breakout role came playing Poussey Washington in the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black. Wiley’s androgynous beauty is ever present in the show. However, even though her character is always dressed in khaki slacks and a baggy sweatshirt, she does like to mix things up in real life.

Over the past few years since my own public image has increased tenfold, I have been overwhelmed to witness the profound ways that I am able to make a difference simply by living my life openly, and with love.”

4. Lea Delaria


Actress, comedienne, jazz musician, Lea Delaria has gained media traction with her recurring character on Orange is the New Black. However, before then she was the first openly gay comic to break the late-night talk-show barrier with her appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show in 1993.

DeLaria has performed stand-up comedy for more than 25 years and is a prominent figure in the world of LGBT comedy. She began her career billing herself as “That [expletive] Dyke,” explaining that when she walked down the street, people would yell that at her.

I think the most basic prerequisite of being a woman is that you must WANT me. if you don’t want me, then your not a woman.”

5. Gwendolyn Christie


Christie knew that having traditional aspects of feminity (long hair, heels, make-up) stripped away would be important for her work and in terms of her own development. “I would be confronting elements of myself that I didn’t want to confront.”

6. Ellen Degeneres


Ellen Degeneres’s career was all but lost when she came out of the closet in 1997. Now she has a successful daytime talk show and has reclaimed not only her career, but has blazed a new path for people of the LGBT community who seek careers in the entertainment industry. She is an advocate for being true to oneself, and shows how beautiful honesty can be.

7. Rebel Wilson


Actress and comedian Rebel Wilson knows the pressure on women in Hollywood to have skinny bodies, but she doesn’t let that get to her. Instead, she focuses on what her body can do, and how to take care of it.

8. Kristen Stewart


Kristen Stewart has made it clear time and time again that she has never been much of a girly girl. So stepping out make-up free is the norm, and just look at how well she wears androgyny, hair short and tousled, a bare face, and rolled up sleeves.

The strangest part about being famous is you don’t get to give first impressions anymore. Everyone already has an impression of you before you meet them.”

9. Ellen Page


At the Human Right’s Campaign inaugural Time To Thrive conference, Ellen Page memorably came out as a lesbian in a speech that grabbed headlines across the country. After calling E! News out for calling her gym style that of a “massive man,” Ellen articulated the suffocating burden of sexism and stereotypes in the mainstream media flawlessly.

There are pervasive stereotypes about masculinity and femininity that define how we’re all supposed to act, dress, and speak, and they serve no one. Anyone who defies these so called norms becomes worthy of comment and scrutiny, and the LGBT community knows this all too well.”

10. Mindy Kaling


Writer, actress, producer, and all-around-amazing entertainer Mindy Kaling set the record straight about how some people in the media address her appearance. She’s not white or rail thin, yet she’s comfortable in her own skin, and is proud of the way she looks, regardless of how it compares to mainstream standards. Now THAT is real beauty.

11. Melissa McCarthy


Comic powerhouse Melissa McCarthy has been the subject of harsh criticism regarding her weight, but she rarely acknowledges any of it. By opting out of a discussion about her weight, she’s creating a better world for her daughters as she explains on Anderson Cooper.

I want them to be confident, strong, healthy, happy women. And I want them to define themselves by their actions…and by how they treat other people…and I know everyone else is going to get all caught up in it, but my job is to always bring it back to what do you do, and how do you live, and what do you say to other people.”

12. Laverne Cox


Laverne Cox, an actress on the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, is the first transgender woman of colour to play such a role on a scripted television show. She’s also an activist for the transgender community. During her interview with Katie Couric, she was asked about her genitalia. Instead of getting mad about such an invasive question, she answered with authority and grace about what is truly happening when she’s asked such things:

The preoccupation with transition and with surgery objectifies trans people and then we don’t get to really deal with the real lived experiences. The reality of trans people’s lives is that so often we’re targets of violence and discrimination disproportionately to the rest of the community.”

13. Miley Cyrus


With the help of famous photographer Terry Richardson, Miley Cyrus set fire to the cute and innocent image of Hannah Montana back in 2013 with the iconic topless photo shoot. Since then, Cyrus has continued to test the limits. In recent months, the Grammy nominee has been vocal with her support for LGBT homeless youth and showed her disgust for the rich and powerful.


10 Inspirational Quotes From Pioneering Women

Throughout history, women activists have been a source of inspiration and have made it possible for others to succeed in the work they do. We’ve collected together 14 quotes from pioneering women. May their words resonate through time and continue to inspire.

1. Carrie Chapman Catt – United States, 1859-1947


Roll up your sleeves, set your mind to making history, and wage such a fight for liberty that the whole world will respect our sex.”

As president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Carrie Chapman Catt helped revitalise the suffrage movement and ratify the 19th Amendment in 1919, which guarantees all women the right to vote. Not really that long ago, ladies!

Mother Teresa – Republic of Macedonia, 1910-1997


Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

Maybe one of the most famous women on this list, Mother Teresa established the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, in 1950. These sisters ran hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis at a time when such people were treated as outcasts by most of society.

Malala Yousafzai – Pakistan, 1997- present


One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

A strong advocate for girls’ right to education, Malala was shot in the head by Taliban in 2012 after refusing to give up on her campaign. She survived and came back strong, starting the Malala Fund to help girls around the world reach their true potential.

Rosa Parks – United States, 1913-2005


Each person must live their life as a model for others.”

Rosa Parks is known as the “first lady of civil rights.” Her arrest for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger led to the game-changing Montgomery Bus Boycotts, an important moment for the U.S. civil rights movement

Eunice Shriver – United States, 1921-2009


You are the stars and the world is watching you. By your presence, you send a message to every village, every city, every nation. A message of hope. A message of victory.”

Shriver founded the Special Olympics in 1968 in honour of her sister, Rosemary, who had an intellectual disability. She firmly believed that if people with intellectual disabilities were given the same opportunities as everyone else, they could achieve far more than anyone thought possible.

Arundhati Roy – India, 1930 – present


Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

This Booker prize-winning author and political activist wrote The God of Small Things, which was eventually translated into 40 languages. But instead of writing more novels, Roy has committed to shining a spotlight on the dark side of her homeland, India, and focusing on its millions of poor, dispossessed and abused citizens, as well as environmental issues.

Shami Chakrabarti – United Kingdom, 1969 – present


Rebels don’t produce change, because they are fanning their own anger. You have to learn to save your outrage and focus.”

As Director of Liberty, a UK advocacy group which campaigns to protect civil liberties and promote human rights, Chakrabarti is recognised as a tireless defender of freedom and equality. Liberty create change by challenging inequities through the courts, helping to set a legal precedent. On 27 July 2012, she was one of eight Olympic Flag carriers at the London 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, and is frequently cited as one of the most influential women in Britai

Kishida Toshiko – Japan, 1863-1901


If it is true that men are better than women because they are stronger, why aren’t our sumo wrestlers in the government?”

Kishida Toshiko was a writer, activist, and one of the first women in Japan to speak publicly about women’s rights. She began lecturing when she was just 20 years old! She was well known for her speech “Daughters Confined in Boxes” that criticised a family system that confined women at home.

Aung San Suu Kyi – Burma, 1945 – present


You should never let your fears prevent you from doing what you know is right.”

Aung San Suu Kyi began speaking out in favour of the protests and rallies against the dictator U Ne Win and his policies, focusing her speeches on democracy and human rights. In retaliation U Ne Win’s military junta put Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest with no communication with the outside world for almost 15 years. That certainly didn’t silence her.

Annie J Easley – United States, 1933 – 2011


You’re never too old, and if you want to, as my mother said, you can do anything you want to, but you have to work at it.”

After graduating from high school, Ms. Annie J. Easley began her career in 1955 as a “human computer” for NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). At a time when machine calculation was limited to key-punched cards manually fed into enormous machines capable only of multiplication, addition, subtraction, and division, Ms. Easley was part of a team responsible for calculating (by hand, mind you) the complex mathematical functions needed by scientists (like logarithms, exponentials, and square roots).

Super Simple Pictograms Show The Absurdity Of Gender Stereotypes

Man Meets Woman is a series of simple pictograms by Beijing-born, Berlin-based designer Yang Liu.

They address gender stereotypes in a light-hearted, yet eye-opening way, by placing stick figure drawings of men and women side-by-side.

With no text other than a short title, Liu manages to say a lot about the way we categorise behaviours as “male” or “female” and what actions mean, dependent on gender.

Man Meets Woman 04

Man Meets Woman 01 Man Meets Woman 02 Man Meets Woman 03 Man Meets Woman 05


Happy News, Masturbation Actually Has Health Benefits

Masturbation is not often discussed, but it’s actually a health thing to do (in moderation). It’s a natural and normal part of healthy sexual development.

According to a nationally representative US sample, 85% of women admit to masturbating. But societal perspectives of masturbation still vary greatly, and there’s even some stigma around engaging in the act.

Related to this stigma are the many myths about masturbation, myths so ridiculous it’s a wonder anyone believes them.

They include: masturbation causes blindness and insanity; masturbation can make sexual organs fall off; and masturbation causes infertility.

In actual fact, masturbation has many health benefits.

For women, masturbation can help prevent cervical infections and urinary tract infections through the process of “tenting,” or the opening of the cervix that occurs as part of the arousal process.

Tenting stretches the cervix, and thus the cervical mucous. This enables fluid circulation, allowing cervical fluids full of bacteria to be flushed out.

Masturbation can lower risk of type-2 diabetes (though this association may also be explained by greater overall health), reduce insomnia through hormonal and tension release, and increase pelvic floor strength through the contractions that happen during orgasm.

Masturbation also improves immune functioning by increasing cortisol levels, which can regulate immune functioning in small doses. It can also reduce depression by increasing the amount of endorphins in the bloodstream.
There is one final benefit to masturbation: it’s the most convenient method for maximising orgasms.

In a recent video from Refinery29, seven women talk about the reasons they masturbate and why it’s simply awesome. Some of the women talk about why they menage a moi, while others share some reasons why it’s so important to discuss the topic of women and masturbation.

As one woman in the video points out, “It puts girls at a disadvantage to not talk about masturbation.” We couldn’t agree more. So here are seven reasons every woman should masturbate, according to women who keep the habit:

Women Disclose the Sexist Questions They’ve been Asked at Job Interviews

Employment law firm Thomas Mansfield asked graduates from 20 British universities to share the most bizarre and offensive things they’ve ever been asked whilst applying for jobs.

Many of the women’s responses show that sexism is very much alive some workplaces.
sexist questions 05

'Do you get PMT?'

sexist questions 01

'What do you think about dating someone in the office?'

sexist questions 02

'Are you planning on having children soon?'

sexist questions 03

'Can you wear more make up next time?' 

sexist questions 04

'Can you flirt with the customers to make them stay longer?'

Julie Goodway, a lawyer at the firm, told The Independent: “Unfortunately the experience of those surveyed are not one-offs. We are often asked how interviewees should respond to questions like these.”

She says that such questioning can amount to sex discrimination if it is unlikely that male candidates will be asked such questions.

Quiz | What Kind of Woman Is Right for You?

There are different types of women in the world. Some are simple and some are very complex, but finding your ideal woman — your ideal partner in life can be tricky.

Everyone has a type. Some like them taller, others shorter. Some like simple women, others like accomplished and driven women. As far as types go, people get very creative — and often even weird. But our type is our type, and we want what we want.

So, lets try to figure it out – what kind of woman is right for you?

Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs for Feminism

Facing a future where women are still paid 23% less than men for the same work, and where 1 in 5 women are raped or sexually assaulted in gender-based violence, little girls between 6 and 13 years-old dressed as pretty pink princesses drop F-bombs to draw attention to society’s continued sexism.

Asking the question…

“What’s more offensive? A little girl saying f*ck or the sexist way society treats girls and women.”

These adorably articulate little ladies in sparkling tiaras turn the “princess in distress” stereotype on its head and contrast the F-word with words and statistics society should find shocking such as “pay inequality” and “rape.”

The video also features a 12 year-old boy wearing a pink gown standing up against sexism saying, “When you tell boys not to ‘act like a girl,’ it’s because you think it’s bad to be a girl.”

“Some adults may be uncomfortable with how these little girls are using a bad word for a good cause. It is shocking what they are saying, but the real shock is that women are still paid less than men for the same work in 2014, not the use of the F-word. The big statistic that 1 out of 5 women are sexually assaulted or raped is something society seems to find less offensive than a little four letter word and we love how these girls draw attention to that imbalance. Instead of washing these girls’ mouths out with soap, maybe society needs to clean up its act.”

Mike Kon, Video producer

Sarah Silverman Makes Skit To Highlight The Gender Wage Gap

[tweet_dis]According to statistics, the average woman makes just 78 cents for every dollar that a man makes[/tweet_dis]. In fact, if you’re a woman of colour the disparity is so much worse. The statistics also show that African American women in full-time employment make just 64 cents to a man’s dollar, while Hispanic women earn a much lower 56 cents.

And why should women earn less because they’re women? In a woman’s lifetime she will lose almost half a million dollars to the wage gap, for no other reason that she identifies as a woman. That figure varies across all professions but the fact is that there’s no valid reason for it.

Attempting to highlight the ridiculousness of it all, comedian Sarah Silverman has taken to YouTube to make a skit about the wage gap. Or, more specifically, she’s going to ‘get a sex change’ (well she will for the duration of the video) in order to get the pay that she’s deserved.

Having teamed up with the National Women’s Law Centre, the aim of the video isn’t just to raise awareness, it’s to try and get people to chip in and donate money to their cause. Silverman and the NWLC say that women are owed $30 trillion and so they’d like to raise that much money, or, failing that, they’ll take what they manage to raise and use it to fund the NWLC’s effort at getting rid of the gender pay gap. 

The video, while admirable and important, is somewhat concerning. A person’s genitalia doesn’t dictate their gender! Women with penises are still women if that’s how they identify and vice versa. Furthermore, trans* employees are some of the most discriminated people in the workplace. It’s still legal in many places across the globe for employers to fire people based on this and so to make a video that highlights gender-based discrimination but also manages to be transphobic in the process seems rather ironic if not downright offensive. 

Alas you can visit the project’s website to find out more or donate to the cause.

What do you do #LIKEAGIRL?

‘Like a girl’ is a stereotype used around the world to tease boys – ‘You run like a girl’ Or ‘Don’t cry like a girl!’. Using #LikeAGirl as an insult is a hard knock against any adolescent girl. Those three words suggest someone who’s useless, weak, laughable perhaps. We’ve become accustomed to using the description of a young female as a derogatory, throwaway remark, an insult.



Always has kicked off an epic battle to make sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond, and making a start by showing them that doing it #LikeAGirl is an awesome thing.

“Take a stand and show young girls everywhere that doing things #LikeAGirl should never be used as an insult – that it means being strong, talented, and downright amazing.”

Director Lauren Greenfield has made a video #LikeAGirl to go alongside the campaign, which shows how detrimental this phrase is to women and how we’re hurting the younger generation.

Today is International Women’s Day

Women’s equality has made positive gains but the world is still unequal. International Women’s Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing world attention on areas requiring further action.

Each year International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.

For the women of the world, the Day’s symbolism has a wider meaning: It is an occasion to review how far they have come in their struggle for equality, peace and development. It is also an opportunity to unite, network and mobilise for meaningful change.