Set aside some time for a little ~self-exploration~
I’ve noticed the dissociation I experience when I hear someone casually throw around words like “bipolar,” “depressed,” “anxious,” or “retarded.”
Dealing with the “monster menses.”
Did you know that Black women are three to four times more likely to die from childbirth than white women?
In one particularly inappropriate and hilarious scene, the word “clitoris” is repeatedly shouted. My friends and I are baffled. What is that? It’s still considered “cool” to know bad words, which we assume it must be. “I dare you to ask our health teacher,” my friend says.
I just asked him if he knew about the mermaids. Specifically, the mermaid in Irish poet Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill’s “Mermaid in the Hospital,” a mermaid who wakes up to find her tail gone, replaced with “two long, cold thingammies.” . She doesn’t understand her new, working legs because they are not her: “But here's the thing/she still doesn't get— ... How she was connected/to those two thingammies/and how they were connected/to her.”
Throughout our entire eight-month relationship, I could probably count the number of times we used a condom on one hand. To be fair, it was a long distance relationship, and we only saw each other every other month or so, but during those short visits, I always felt a lot of pressure to “make up for lost time.”
One of the main details that bugged me about the Mental Health Awareness Day deluge was how the majority of the posts I saw were addressed at an ambiguous “you.” Most of the public dialogue about mental health is similarly externalized, spewing statistics, advice, or encouragement to the “other” who needs saving. Here’s the truth, though: Mental health—or lack thereof—is something we all deal with.
Girls in Kenya miss an average of six weeks of school due to a lack of menstruation products. How can girls achieve their full potential or feel in control if a natural part of their lives hinders them from receiving a full education?
There seems to be this misconception that women are free to be outside whenever they want. That is a lie we tell ourselves, while the unwritten rule— which tells us when, where, and how women are permitted to leave their homes— pervades.
It got to the point where I never thought I’d be able to have a real relationship. I was convinced that the anxiety attacks would always be debilitating, that they’d never allow me to get close to someone. I felt powerless, beholden to my body. I had resigned myself to forever experience intense and unpredictable physical pain.
Becoming an online ghost was not something I had planned. It just sort of happened.
Michelle Zagardo is the founder of Lysande, a hair accessories brand that empowers women to own their boldest selves. When she’s not working on Lysande, she volunteers for Project Sleep, as a trained speaker with the Rising Voices of Narcolepsy program, and writes about her experience living with type 1 Narcolepsy and chronic illness with the goal of spreading the message that our bodies deserve to be heard and that we deserve diagnoses.
No, I was not asking for it. No, I did not want it. No, I owed you nothing. No, you will not get away with it. There’s a flood of women that are going to bang on your door one day. And they will demand justice not just for my rape, but for all rapes.
Content warning: rape and sexual assault.
When I was at my worst with my anxiety disorder and body dysmorphia – before I was even diagnosed and sought help for my struggles – I tried to fit into this “perfect” image of what I thought I “should” be. Part of what this looked like was conforming to what I thought a “perfect” feminist should be.
Illustrator Mary Sutton notes that putting yourself out there and speaking your mind can be difficult, especially as a woman. Exposing her work, an extension of herself, to others has always been something that she’s especially struggled with. In an era where all our lives are available online, however, everything we do is trackable and therefore judge-able. Successes and failures can be broadcast with equal permanence.
It is an unspoken rule that all women know- do not walk or run alone at night. Poet Caitlin Panarella calls it “The Night Time Treaty” with this personal poem.
Author Lidija Jurovich knows from personal experience and the experiences of her friends how rampant sexual assault is on campus. With her middle sister leaving for college in a few months, she writes the lessons she hopes her sister will remember during her next four years.
One in four women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime. The realities of sexual abuse are explored through this poem. Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault/Harassment
Author Sienna Brancato poetically looks at female strength, shame, and shared experience in the context of a fitness class.
As the Founder of Pussy Consciousness, Kalah Hill has given much thought to sexual potency. She notes that we are at a point between historical sexual oppression and burgeoning sexual liberation. She says that this time period means, “it’s about access, safety, inclusion, and magic. It’s about actualization of self.”
Personal Experience by Christina Paul and Taylor Landry.