Finding My Voice, by @rowanblanchard

For more from Rowan, follow @rowanblanchard on Instagram.

“#Hellomynameis Rowan Blanchard (@rowanblanchard). I am a 13-year-old student, actress, activist and aspiring writer. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, even though my heart belongs to New York City. Acting is something I have adored since I can remember — I started when I was five, which led to booking my show Girl Meets World in 2013. Acting gives me a better understanding of humans, and makes me far less judgmental of people, because I can see the world through their eyes.

I am not shy to speak my mind on anything, and I encourage my fans to be the same. I want teens my age to know that they have a voice and it should not be silenced. I have been lucky enough to grow up around people who have let me use my voice to speak up about things I see. There is not an age requirement on when to start changing the world.

Education is something that’s extremely important to me. Unfortunately, many kids who are actors don’t value school, but my biggest hope is to go to the Columbia School of Journalism and then Oxford University. Besides being on Broadway and baking a perfect apple pie, it is on the top of all my dream boards.

Acting has given me confidence and strength in my voice, which led to working with HeForShe through social media. I teach my followers about gender inequality and how we can change it. I use Instagram to share things that I genuinely care about, whether it be the Armenian genocide or my dog getting scared of the rain. I hope that my pictures inspire anyone of any age to understand the value of their voices.”

A 2009 Princeton University-based study led by psychologist Susan Fiske revealed how commonplace objectifying women — especially those who reveal their bodies in any way — truly is.

The study found that when men were shown images of “scantily clad” women, the region of the brain associated with tool use lit up. Some men included in the study even had zero brain activity in the area of the brain used to gauge another person’s thoughts, feelings or intentions, according to National Geographic’s coverage of the study.

Fiske and her team also found that men largely associated bikinis with “I” action verbs (like “I grab”) and images of modestly dressed women with third person action verbs (“she grabs”), suggesting that men largely see women as sentient humans rather than objects only when not distracted by their bodies.


the song that turned me on to feminism at a young age

Imagine this: A loner girl meets a handsome outsider with a shady past and a bad-boy reputation. He tells her that he’s no good for her, that she’s better off without him, that she should stay away from him.

And she does.

And instead of getting caught up in whatever his angsty drama of choice is, she goes on an adventure. To college, maybe, or to beauty school, or faerie land, or she gets a job on a cruise ship and travels the world. She meets other young women and slowly learns that they are not vapid or silly for liking different things, they are potential friends as much as potential enemies or threats, and what they become is up to her as much as them.

The idea of being “not like the other girls” loses its charm. She makes changes. She makes friends.

Maybe she meets another guy. One who doesn’t warn her away immediately. One with whom she is not obsessed immediately. One who devotes effort to proving to her that he’s good for her, that he cares about her, rather than manipulating her into desperately trying to prove to him that he’s good for her.

Or maybe she doesn’t. Maybe she meets a girl. Maybe she finds that friendships and a successful career are far more fulfilling than romance, at least at this stage in her life.

Imagine that.

When you inflate rape/sexual assault statistics.

You are hurting victims. By spreading the lie that 1 in 4 women will be raped, you make the experience of victims meaningless. You tell them they haven’t experienced something awful and rare, but something common. You direct resources in the wrong direction and take the focus off the victims and put it onto your phony statistic.

Stop hurting victims of rape and sexual assault.

Witness the further ponderings of a woman who has earned, to date, an estimated $250 million in music and endorsements alone, not just by being talented—she is—but also by curating an ethos that is girlier than a Hello Kitty factory with a roof constructed entirely out of cupcakes: “Misogyny is ingrained in people from the time they are born.” Wait. What? Then there’s this, from one of the most successful individuals in music today: “I didn’t see myself being held back until I was a woman.” Sheesh, Taylor. Held back from what? Holding a concert on the moon? Levitating the Bellagio Las Vegas with your bare hands? Not getting a slot in those GOP presidential debates? (Note: There’s still time!)

This, alas, is modern feminism, an odd mish-mash of out-of-touch victimhood, “empowered” whining, and occasional doses of off-the-reservation crazy. It’s a brand of feminism that tends to ignore the real instances of oppression around the world. It’s a brand of feminism widely embraced by the news media, thong-clad pop stars like Beyonce, and—surprise, surprise—Swift’s good friend, Lena Dunham, a young HBO star/high-profile pretend victim/painful memoir writer/abortion fanatic/half-baked leftist/Oberlin caricature. Dunham, in short, is like a big, flimsy cardboard box full of squeaky bad ideas, each repeatedly scrambling, with tiny T-Rex arms, to be the first to make it out of her mouth.

“we were called sluts from the time we were five
and teased so fucking bad that we thought we would die
we were the girls in tight jeans who always walked alone
and rode our bikes late at night to avoid going home
we numbed ourselves out on peppermint schnapps
and super sized sundaes with chocolate sauce
we stole cheap locks from the hardware store
and put em up with butter knives on our bedroom doors

We ran so fast”

-The Julie Ruin, Run Fast

vuilgebooste asked:

I've seen you previously reblog posts shitting on Kyli for getting lip fillers but now you're celebrating Bruce for getting full body surgery. Can I ask why that is?

Yup… peeped the blog, and I’m going to inform you of two things: 1) do not conflate my critique on racist appropriation of features that black folk get trashed for, yet white woman pay to have, as a cosign on blanket shaming women for how they may alter their bodies. That’s why we have trust issues with white feminist to begin with– you know damn well the argument I was making against Kylie’s lips and it was not about the nature or validity of plastic surgery. 2) I am staunchly anti-radfem, and not here for your attempts to shame that woman for her transition. There are plenty of reasonable critiques to make against Caitlyn Jenner and the widespread acceptance of her journey, versus common struggles other trans folks have to face. I’ve even reblogged a lot of those posts. What you’re not going to do is try to bait me into your problematic territory of thinking. I celebrate anyone courageous enough to live out their truth in a healthy way. Please consider this a request to unfollow me; you will be blocked following this response.

Lesbian Women of Color Unite!

Violet Collective is a new zine dedicated to the celebration, empowerment, and support of all lesbian women of color.

Many lesbians of color feel that there is no place for us within overwhelmingly white lesbian communities or lesbophobic qu**r communities. Often times even attempting to navigate these spaces can prove to be an isolating and discouraging experience.

Violet Collective is a safe space for all lesbians of color to come together and form a community of our own. We hope this zine will serve as an escape from the subtle and overt racism, eurocentric standards of beauty, and continued erasure we face in other aspects of our lives, and even within the lesbian community.

Dedicated to the ideals of sisterhood, strength in community, and consciousness raising through open dialogue, Violet Collective will provide an outlet for the joy and pain that comes with being a woman of color and a lesbian.

Violet Collective aims to include essays (on race/ethnic communities/what it means to exist in the world as a lesbian), artwork, music and book reviews, and everything in between.

Our mission is to give a voice to those who are silenced and told that in order to be accepted they must hide parts of themselves. Our mission is to celebrate what it means to be women of color, what it means to be lesbians, and how we exist when the two intersect.

Our zine is still in the planning stage, but soon we will open submissions for posts to be featured on the blog (short essays, art, etc)
Be sure to follow and spread the word about this exciting project!