Talking about Periods: Removing Menstrual Shame for Social Justice

she28campaign

By Sayantani DasGupta In most countries, there is a culture of taboo and secrecy around menstrual health and hygiene. Just think of all those ridiculous commercials for sanitary products that allow you to engage in activities ‘without anyone knowing’ you are menstruating – even if you are wearing white spandex or leaping in the … [Read more...]

The Boston Attacks Unleash Viral Racism

Obama Address on NBC

By Ashley-Michelle Papon The country is still reeling from the attacks in Boston. At present count, three people have died and over 180 have been injured from detonation of the dual bombs that shook the Cradle of Liberty just a few hours into the annual Boston Marathon. The shock hasn’t worn off, even as authorities have … [Read more...]

New Transgender Comic Character Does Not Erase Gay Censorship

Alysia Yeoh_DC Comics

By Ashley-Michelle Papon It’s a banner year for women in comics. Just three months after comic powerhouse Marvel announced their intention to reboot the classic X-Men series with an all-female line-up starring quintessential 90’s teen Jubilee, DC Comics has upped the ante with the revamped Batgirl series. Already featuring … [Read more...]

BMI in Schools: Educating Children in Self-Loathing, Not Health

Image ©Nazareth College

By Sayantani DasGupta I don’t know how, as a pediatrician, mother, and body politics activist, I missed it all this time. But, I recently learned something that rocked my world in an avalanche of outrage and horror. I was preparing to give a talk at The Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, on a … [Read more...]

Mama Needs a New Vag? Plastic Surgery Trend Preys on Post-Pregnancy Vulnerability

Uterus Art by Hey Paul Studios

By Ashley-Michelle Papon If you’re not familiar with Brandi Glanville, consider yourself lucky. The one-time model and current star of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” rose to a mediocre level of celebrity as the woman scorned by established B-lister Eddie Cibrian. In 2008, Cibrian, after nine years of marriage, jilted … [Read more...]

Fantasy vs. Reality: Lesbian Sex in Pornography

Image by Philippe Leroyer

By Melissa A. Fabello I’m not here to talk about fingernails. At least, I’m not here just to talk about fingernails. Because when it comes to mainstream pornography’s depiction of lesbian sex, the least of our gripes should be about how long the actresses’ nails are. The entire performance is inaccurate at best, offensive … [Read more...]

Bridget Jones Made Me Do It! Does Chick Lit Negatively Influence Women’s Body Image?

bridget-jones-the-edge-of-reason

By Sayantani DasGupta I read a fascinating piece in The Guardian UK recently, with an even more fascinating headline: "Chick lit ‘harms body image’, study finds." At first glance, this seems highly plausible. Just the name ‘chick lit’ implies something at least intellectually (if not psychologically) unsavory. We are women, not … [Read more...]

Body Shame Bowl XLVII: Advertising Cultural Ideals Does No One Any Good

Go Daddy's "Perfect Match" advert

By Allison Epstein, Intern (2013) Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere away from any form of mass media, you’ve probably noticed a common theme in print ads and commercials. Advertisers are now not only selling us products, they’re selling us another object that we consume by virtue of just seeing it: ourselves. Not … [Read more...]

Two Tragedies and a Rising of Social Justice Consciousness

Rape_protest_PTI

By Sayantani DasGupta My recent trip to India was marked by two horrific tragedies: one in my home country and another in the country of my family origins. There is very little seemingly in common with a brutal gang rape in New Delhi and an elementary school killing in Connecticut. Except that both have ignited the hearts … [Read more...]

The Sandy Hook Tragedy: Masculinity and the Expectation of Violence

BushmasterAd-Maxim_0

By Ashley-Michelle Papon On December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary became a household name. In a flurry of gunfire, 20-year-old Adam Lanza reignited the politically charged debates over the factors that inevitably perpetuate the cycle of violence. As the media reported a growing death toll, everyday citizens took to their … [Read more...]