Tag Archives: feminism

I Shouldn’t Need An Excuse to be a Virgin

13 Mar

Virgin Photo Hey Everyone. I published another article on XO Jane this week–and at first I was keeping it a secret. The article gets really personal, and because of that, I’d originally decided not to publish it on this blog. I usually don’t mind if strangers know my business; however, I know that some of my friends and family members read my blog–and I didn’t really want them to know the details of my (non) sex life. Also, in the midst of searching for a job, I didn’t want potential employers to read the post either.

Then, Jezebel republished the article-and it started getting more attention. Random people and feminist publications tweeted me about it.  A friend of mine saw it and posted it on Facebook. And you know, after something hits Facebook, everyone sees it.
At first, I was somewhat embarrassed that people I knew were reading my private thoughts about sex. But then, more friends wrote on my wall and tweeted me, telling me how the article resonated with them. Apparently, there were many  women who felt the same way I did.

Now I’m glad I shared my story.

So here it is:

I Shouldn’t Need An Excuse to be a Virgin

A few months ago, my friends went around the table talking about the most bizarre places they’ve had sex. When it was my turn, their jaws dropped at my response. Then someone made a soft, “Awww,” — the kind you give a baby after she lets out a burp. It was the first time I admitted to a group of feminists that I was a virgin — something I’d been ashamed of for a while.

I’m not religious, I don’t have a fear of sex, and I have an awesome boyfriend of 2 years who would be at my doorstep in seconds with a box of condoms if I made that call. On top of all that, I occasionally write for a sex-positive site called Slutist. But despite these factors, I am a 22-year-old virgin.

I know 22 isn’t really that old. But in a country where the average age of virginity loss is 17, teens are having sex on popular TV shows (I’m sure in a few years, even characters on Disney Channel will be getting their freak on), and feminists have worked tirelessly to make it OK for young women to embrace their sexuality, 22 seems a little late in the game. My few virgin friends and I are the weirdoes.

Most people don’t understand it — not even my own mother, who is beginning to wonder if something is psychologically wrong with me.

What my mother and friends don’t know is that just like them, I also don’t understand why I’m not having sex…Read more

Author’s Note: This piece was originally published on XO Jane and republished on Jezebel. You can read the full article by clicking the link above.

So You Haven’t Heard of Afrofuturism?

21 Feb

AFROFUTURISM

So you haven’t yet heard of Afrofuturism?

Please, allow me to upgrade your life to a plateau of awesomeness where time travel is the norm, Androids reign supreme, and Janelle Monáe happily twerks in the mirror wearing, of course, black and white.

Picture a cultural meta-genre that encompasses some of the most incredible artists, musicians, entertainers, filmmakers, philosophers, and scholars—an aesthetic where Octavia Butler, Grace Jones, Janelle Monáe, W.E.B. Dubois, Will Smith, Michael Jackson, and Erykah Badu all take center stage with a common inspiration.

A meta-genre, an ideology, an aesthetic, a movement…

AFROJANLLE

Welcome to Afrofuturism 101

Imagine a near or distant future beyond the African diaspora. Afrofuturism combines black history, present, and future to envision liberation from “otherness” and oppression through a sci-fi lens.

In less fancy words, Afrofuturism is black science fiction that is deeply interested in liberation, cultural celebration, and breaking down barriers of oppression. It provides a geeky medium for social commentary.

Afrofuturism creates a world where the black experience exists outside of the typical go-to image of thug-life (which even Justin Beiber is claiming now), “the struggle,” and hopelessness, where black people can be scientists, nerds, superheroes, aliens, and more.

Finally, the movement is inherently feminist. It creates a space for women to exist outside of the negative “isms.” It accepts women’s bodies of all shapes and sizes. Most importantly, it promotes equality.

AFROWMAN

I recently picked up the book Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by filmmaker, author and comic book writer Ytasha L. Womack (Yes, black women write comics…are you surprised?). The book is the perfect handbook of Afrofuturism. It’s sure to be a favorite of comic book-lovers, star-gazers, sci-fi freaks, techies, cosplayers, and everyone else in between or on the outskirts. The cover alone will draw you in.

AFROME

It’s definitely a book to check out for Black History Month, or any other month really. You’d be surprised at how this ideology makes its way into even the most unsuspecting places: middle school and university classrooms, community development plans, and grassroots movements.

Or, check out  iAfrofuturism and afrofuturism.net, 2 websites dedicated to the movement.

And by the way guys: A Womyn’s Worth just got a Facebook page (I know—long overdue). So for all of you who can’t follow on WordPress, go ahead and like it on Facebook, share it with your friends, and enjoy.

P.S. This article is part of the Top Posts. Check out the Best of A Womyn’s Worth.

How to Date a Feminist

29 Jan

DATING A FEMINIST

How to Date a Feminist in 6 Easy Steps


My boyfriend Ryan and I have had countless very loud and heated feminist-related discussions/arguments. I’ve called him out on male privilege, he’s claimed I’m a separatist, and we’ve had intriguing debates on Juicy J’s Twerk Scholarship, #Solidarityisforwhitewomen, #Blackpowerisforblackmen, and cultural appropriation. After disagreeing on Grand Theft Auto’s need for playable female characters, we had to reconsider whether or not this relationship was going to work out.  

Needless to say, my black feminist politics has impacted our relationship, bringing us closer together, while at the same time, fostering lots of disagreement. But somehow, we’ve managed to survive. So here’s our 6-step plan to dating a feminist (by feminist, we mean feminist of any gender).

Step 1: If you’re considering dating a feminist, DON’T. Plain and simple. If you can avoid dating a feminist, by all means, do so. Otherwise, you might end up in a relationship with a partner who, if they practice what they preach, treats you like a human being, brings up interesting topics at dinner, cares about other people in the world, and maybe even helps you pay the check every now and then. God forbid it!

Instead, run and hide.

RUN AND HIDE

However, if find yourself in a situation where a feminist happens to be the object of your affection, we’ll try to help you traverse the waters that are feminism in your relationship.

Step 2: Know the definition of Feminism (the real one).  Feminism is not just for women.  If your significant others thinks feminism is only about women’s issues, they’re wrong. Feminism also addresses the human condition, and is more than simply a woman’s ideology.

RULES OF FEM GIF

Step 3: Think about the ways in which you expect your partner to obey certain gender norms…then get rid of those expectations. That’s kiddie crap. Gender norms are for old school Disney characters; you are dating a real person.

Step 4: Be ready to defend your beliefs and prepare to be wrong. If you are dating a passionate feminist, they will call you out on your sexist/racist/homophobic/privileged ways. So have well-thought-out answers and questions.

Step 5: Do not pacify discussion. If your partner happens to be on a feminist rant (or a light discussion, depending on their temperament), listen up. You might actually learn something new about yourself or about something pretty freaking cool. It won’t benefit either of you to end the conversation with “Okay, you’re right.” Instead, when you feel your partner is blatantly wrong or isn’t making sense, call them on it. Discussion only helps you better understand.

Step 6: Accept that feminist ideology will creep into your thoughts and make you a better person…you’re welcome.

YOURE WELCOME GIF

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