2014 was a banner year for sherights. Our articles were more in-depth and varied than ever. We paid homage to #FeministMen, covered abortion rights hits and misses, critiqued pop culture, spotlighted incredible feminist women, and much, much more. Unsurprisingly, personal stories of survival and triumph were our biggest grand slams, proving that we, as a feminist community, listen to and support one another, and champion our own successes. It’s a beautiful thing.
Here are our top ten posts of 2014. Please (re)read, enjoy and share!
When Brandeis University revoked Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s honorary degree in April for her inflammatory remarks about Islam, guest blogger Rachel Goldfarb praised her alma mater’s decision and combatted critics’ assertions that it was an anti-feminist move.
Kate didn’t take the news that J.K. Rowling wished Hermoine Granger had married Harry Potter so well. In fact, she was fuming. Not because she is partial to Ron Weasly, but because “lost in the midst of this ‘who gets the girl?’ debate is the kick-ass feminist, ‘brightest witch of her age,’ who becomes reduced to a marriage trophy.”
Being a parent has handed me more challenges than I ever thought possible, both as a human being with finite patience and as a feminist. I struggle with how to raise a girl in a society that is replete with violence, rape apologia, attempts to thwart women’s access to healthcare, unequal pay, racism, sexism and a plethora of other social ills. I want my daughter to be aware of these realities without letting them beat her down or dilute her potential. So I made her a list of feminist lessons to guide her along the way.
Kate swiftly and masterfully debunked the most commonly invoked arguments against the UK’s “No More Page 3” campaign, which aims to eliminate images of topless women from The Sun newspaper. Boom! Brilliant.
Guest blogger Caroline Fidan Tyler Doenmez examined the disturbing series of murders plaguing Canada’s aboriginal women, analyzing the complex historical and social factors at play in these crimes, as well as the institutional dynamics that systemically fail to protect these women.
As part of our #MyStory series, Kate bravely documented her experience with being sexually assaulted in public and how she confronted her assailant. She recounted her experience at an outdoor market, where she was groped: “I saw a gap in the crowd and reached in to grab some apples to put in my basket. They were just out of reach so I went on to my tiptoes, arms stretched. This is when I felt something running up my inner thigh towards my underwear. I froze. Everything was still. All the noise and clutter from the market disappeared into a white noise as a man whose face I hadn’t even registered groped at the most private part of me.”
When Lindsay turned 30 in July, she spent some time ruminating on the various feminist lessons she’s learned in three decades. Up first: There is no choice without access. “Women don’t have the right to safe abortion if there are no clinics. Women don’t have the right to vote if voter ID laws marginalize them. Women don’t have the right to be in public spaces if there is the omnipresent threat of physical and sexual violence. This is structural oppression, and (unfortunately) we need to promote access to these most basic rights.”
Guest blogger Sarp Aksel explained why he is training to become an abortion provider: “For me, identifying as a feminist provider means actively rejecting the notion that anyone other than the woman is the expert of her life-defining circumstances.This means asking a woman how she feels about an unexpected positive pregnancy test without making assumptions about what that test result means to her. It means being there for her as an objective source of medical information regardless of what birth control method she chooses, if she chooses one at all. And it means advocating for women on a public policy level to ensure that women have unfettered access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare, including abortion and contraception.”
Guest blogger Betsy A. Calloway bravely and unapologetically shared her story of being raped as a teenager — and how she finally gained the courage to break her silence. Her parting advice? “If you have experienced sexual assault in any way, shape, or form, tell someone. Allow your family and friends to support you through the process.”
And finally, our most read post of 2014….
In his review of the “Real Men Don’t Buy Girls” campaign, and others like it, John exposes how the language of “dude feminism” only reinforces patriarchal domination, even when it’s well intentioned. “In these campaigns, the masculine mystique is still very present, albeit a kinder, gentler version. By flattering men’s strength and asking them to use it to protect women, we once again place men in the driver’s seat of culture, asking for them to renounce violence and be less vile guardians.”