EVERYDAY FEMINISM

5 Ways the Word ‘Strong’ is Used Against Black Women

Michelle-Flexing

Yes, black women have strength. But time and time again, the word “strong” has been used to dehumanize black women, to trivialize their pain, to create an impossible standard for young black girls to strive towards. For black women, taking that strength back means calling out the ways in which their strength is used against them. It’s time for us to debunk some myths.

Judging Others, Avoiding Ourselves: Grappling with Body Negativity

Source: It's Never 2 Late

You judge people. But how many of the judgments that you make about other people based on appearances alone are likely to be accurate, kind, or worthwhile when they don’t meet the standards you place on yourself? If you’re someone who’s still struggling with these negative thoughts, here are some things to think about when it comes to judging and accepting body diversity.

Dealing with the Stress of Being in the Closet

NY Daily News

If you’ve been (or are) closeted, you’re already aware that it’s not fun. Hiding your sexual orientation and/or gender identity from others can be a confining, isolating experience. Though there’s no one-size-fits-all way to deal with the stress of being in the closet, there are things that can ease the burden or keep it from getting heavier than it already is.

Dealing with Racialized Sexism

Source: Popjones

Racialized sexism sneaks into spaces that claim to have the best interests of women and People of Color at heart. Dealing with racialized sexism means dealing with the fact that every person holds multiple political and social identities that blend and intersect. Therefore, assuming that all experiences of sexism are just variations of the same thing is a mistake.

The Difference Between Cultural Exchange and Cultural Appropriation

Source: Elephant Journal

Cultural appropriation is a real issue because it demonstrates the imbalance of power that still remains between cultures that have been colonized and the ex-colonizers. But even if the line between exchange and appropriation bends, twists, and loop-de-loops in ways it would take decades of academic thought to unpack, it has a definite starting point: Respect.

If You ‘Don’t See Race,’ You’re Not Paying Attention

Source: Getty Images

I’m tired of hearing the words “I don’t see race.” Though people might be trying to say “I’m not prejudiced,” it sounds more like they’re saying “I’m open-minded because I’m ignorant” to racially conscious people. Because if you really don’t see race at all, it doesn’t make much difference to the people whose livelihoods, cultures, and identities are all affected by racial inequality.

Put Out Internalized Racism: Why Solidarity Between People of Color Matters

Source: Getty Images

When people of color internalize racism and become self-hating, they have made a mental link between worth and whiteness. When we strip ourselves of that lie, we can start to see ourselves as whole rather than deficient. And only when we see our wholeness and understand that we’re worth fighting for can we advance any movement that holds the best interests of people of color at heart.

Sex Is Important — But Then Again, Not Really

Source: Getty Images

Having sex is not obligatory, nor does it lead to the ultimate state of bliss. It’s neither as ideal nor as demonic as some would have you believe. There also isn’t one way to experience it. There is no one way to experience sexuality, and attempts to shame or stigmatize people for a lack of sex or attraction, even indirectly, are fraught with assumptions about how things “should” be.

Responsible Blasphemy: Criticizing Religion with Care

Source: Getty Images

We need to talk about the impact religion has on our culture and ideas of gender, even if that means we have to touch a touchy subject. However, I think that any and all open criticism of religion needs to be handled with care because religion is so intertwined with culture and ethnic identity. The following are things I propose should be kept in mind when delivering these criticisms.