Ever wonder what happens to all the condoms that fail the quality control test? Artist and social activist Adriana Bertini crafts gowns out of them. Bertini’s Condom Couture project was created to raise awareness about safe sex and STI prevention. Using dyed defective and expired condoms, she puts together dresses that aim to get people talking about safe sex, though the dresses are so immaculate that it’s sometimes easy to forget what they’re made of! She’s also been known to weave condoms into images, like those of AIDS victims or activists. Bertini also teaches students how to create these dresses on their own, which provides an avenue to talk to them about safer sex. Bertini’s amazing handiwork has been shown in exhibitions at the United Nations and the International AIDS conference. They’ve even been featured in runway shows. [The Gloss] [Image via Condom Couture/Facebook]
In January, an actress from “Orange Is The New Black” appeared on Katie Couric’s daytime talk show and it made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Laverne Cox, who is transgender, appeared with trans model Carmen Carrera. Throughout the interview, Couric kept asking the two women questions about their transition, specifically their genitalia. Cox politely corrected Couric that focusing only on body parts detracts attention away from the issues that trans folks face, like lack of legal protection and violence. Couric was roundly criticized by LGBTQ advocates afterwards for her failed interview.
Recently, Laverne Cox appeared again on “Katie” and the two women addressed the previous interview. Keep reading »
The Law School of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, has had enough of the negative stereotypes that sometimes come alongside the word “feminist.” Their campaign, “McGill Law Feminists,” aims to remind us that feminism doesn’t have just one face. Members of the McGill community from a diverse range of backgrounds were photographed as they reclaimed the f-word. “Feminist” is not a bad word, and I love this campaign’s efforts to make that clear. [Ms Magazine, McGill Feminists]
Caroline Heres, Julie Gelb and Jackie Reilly are on a mission to decrease sexual assault on college campuses. Last fall, Caroline and Jackie, who are students at Syracuse University, discussed the fact that they’d both been assaulted. What started as a chat between two friends evolved into a need to take action. Together, they decided to spread the word by contacting Syracuse sororities and holding a meeting about helping one another prevent assault
The pair received an encouraging response, and it quickly became clear that they had major potential on their hands. They teamed up with their sorority sister Julie Gelb, a PR major, to create Girl Code Movement. The organization aims to bring college women together across the country and encourage them to be active, empowered bystanders to help prevent rape through identifying possible victims and keeping them out of harm’s way. Keep reading »
Fahma Mohamed, a 17-year-old British student, is determined to make female genital mutation (FGM) a thing of the past in the UK. The process is intended to prevent sex from being pleasurable for a young woman so that she remains “pure” until marriage. The most common time for FGM to happen is over summer holidays, when families in Britain travel to other countries. So Fahma is petitioning Michael Gove, the British Secretary of State for Education, to take action fast and ask that head teachers train other teachers and parents on the horrific realities of FGM. Keep reading »
I am a black woman and my best friend is a gay man. He came out to me the summer between our senior year of high school and our freshman year of college.
“I really need to tell you something,” he began, while driving us home from our summer job at the local pool. I didn’t know what to expect — an admission of love, maybe? That would be awkward.
He pulled the car over, then stared deeply into my eyes and said, “I’m gay.”
I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Oh, that’s cool with me,” I replied.
He was excited that we would remain friends and was especially happy to have someone to go out and “meet boys” with. Together we frequented New York City’s gay clubs and bars, more often than the straight ones. Splash, Therapy or Barracuda, but The Ritz was a mutual favorite. It was a two-floor bar with a huge dance floor, usually jam packed with sweaty, shirtless men by 1 a.m. The environment offered us both freedoms: I could be as black as I wanted: dance to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” twerk it, shake it and break it (while being applauded), and he could be as gay as he wanted. Keep reading »
“Look at me. Look in my eyes. Let me tell you why I’m here. I’m here because I figure that the women who come here have already agonized over this decision enough. They have considered their own circumstances, looked at all the options, and come to the best possible decision that they can make. Once they get here, they deserve support. So please don’t listen to those people, because they aren’t listening to you. Only you know your story, and only you have the right to tell it.”
Clinic escorts are never supposed to say “good morning.” We are taught to never presume anything about the women and men whom we guide into the clinic, including however good or bad their morning is going. I usually ask them if they had trouble finding the clinic or I make a generic comment about the weather. During these raw moments of extreme vulnerability, I would rather that they judge my clichés than focus on the self-righteous hate speech emanating from the protestors. Most of the time, I am able to get them safely from their cars to the front door of the health center with little more than comments about traffic and Google maps. But sometimes it’s not that simple. Keep reading »
Sometimes to get the public’s attention, you have to go to pretty extreme lengths. Which is why six female Greenpeace activists are in the midst of a 1000-foot climb up the side of London’s Shard building, in order to protest arctic drilling.
The Shard was chosen for its proximity to Shell Oil’s building. “They don’t want us talking about their plan to drill in the Arctic. We’re here to shout about it from the rooftops,” wrote the women in a statement pre-climb. The climbers hope to hang a huge piece of art on the peak of the building, which will highlight the beauty of the arctic. You can watch a livestream of their ascent — shot from helmet cams – here. Keep reading »
Oh, FEMEN. Whether you respect their antics or think they’re terribly offensive and annoying, you have to admit they’re good at publicity stunts! The topless feminist activist group’s latest hijinks? Going into a mosque in Stockholm, Sweden, while wearing burqas and then whipping off the veils to reveal their bare breasts underneath and political slogans written across their stomachs. Keep reading »