Awareness | Posted by Shauna Gold on 06/21/2017

Destigmatizing HPV and Cervical Cancer

No shame in preventing HPV

No shame in learning about sexual health

The most obvious reason why abstinence-only education is terrible is the unintended pregnancies that frequently occur as a result from it. But there are actually even more serious potential consequences of denying people information about how to take care of their sexual health: When people aren’t taught how to protect themselves against easily preventable diseases, like cervical cancer, their lives are threatened, the health care system is strained, and we socially regress.

President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget includes $277 million for abstinence-only sex ed. If it passes, students will be even less likely than they already are to learn about things like their risk of contracting STIs. Instead, they’ll primarily be inundated with warnings about how dangerous and terrible sex is (spoiler: …

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Feminism | Posted by Camryn Garrett on 04/17/2017

An Interview With Sexual Health Activist Ella Dawson

Photo credit: Kim Hoyos Media

Photo credit: Kim Hoyos Media

Over the past two years, feminist social media manager and writer Ella Dawson has received widespread recognition for her work crushing the stigma of STDs. She has been called the “internet’s foremost herpes essayist,” and has even been recognized by Hillary Clinton. In honor of April being STD Awareness month, Dawson recently spoke to the FBomb about sex miseducation, the stigma against STDs, and her own experience with all of the above.

 

The FBomb: You’ve been proclaimed “the queen of herpes” by your followers and have even given a TED talk about the work that led to such recognition. Can you tell us about the experiences that led up to this talk?

Ella Dawson: I was diagnosed with herpes a few …

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Feminism | Posted by Faatimah Solomon on 03/22/2017

AMAZE and the Importance of Sex Education for Tweens

AMAZE

AMAZE

I grew up in a religious and conservative family, in the very religious and conservative country of Saudi Arabia. My parents never talked to me about sex education. At school, the topic of sex was unquestionably taboo and would never come up in discussions about health. I remember trying to piece together what exactly sex entailed when I was in the eighth grade. I had gathered little pieces of information from varying sources: movies, books intended for audiences older and more mature than I was, and of course, my friends. We would sit together on green plastic benches during lunch and put our heads together conspiringly, trying to pool together what we each knew about sex to come to a solid conclusion.

Eventually, thanks to being a voracious reader …

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Feminism | Posted by Isaiah Strong on 02/15/2017

I Am Not A ‘Phase’

I'm not a phase.

I’m not a “phase.”

I was standing on the top floor of a fraternity house in the early days of my sophomore year of college. Across the room, I saw an upperclasswoman I had heard about through the grapevine. She was well into a drunken tirade critiquing or complimenting each of my friends’ respective physical appearances and clothing when I approached. Then this young white woman turned to me.

“So Isaiah, you’ve got this whole mixed thing going on for you,” she said. “You should use that to your advantage.”

She clearly didn’t see this drunken comment as problematic, but I was taken aback, confused, and painfully uncomfortable. To her, the idea was that for me — the son of a black father and a white mother — this “whole …

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Feminism | Posted by Caitlin Templeton on 12/28/2016

I Fall In Love With One’s Soul, Not Their Gender

On being pansexual.

On being pansexual.

When I looked into the eyes of the first woman I ever liked — loved, even — I felt like I finally understood the famous words attributed to Edgar Allan Poe: “the eyes are the window to the soul.” I didn’t just see her, but myself; I saw a reflection of my own soul within hers. It was like a breath of fresh air — or maybe it wasn’t even that. Maybe I was just then breathing for the first time. And, my god, I didn’t even know how I was living before.

But as seemingly simple as my realization for my love for her was, realizing that those feelings meant I was also pansexual wasn’t easy at all. I didn’t wake up one day and decide, …

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Feminism | Posted by Chloe H on 11/17/2016

Embracing Female Pleasure

Let’s talk about sex.

I love talking about sex with my girlfriends.  Describing the intimate, raw, and sometimes awkward moments of our experiences with sex strengthens our bonds as women and as human beings.  We talk about the lead up, the foreplay, the one-night stands, the sex-on-Saturday arrangement, the positions. We giggle, console each other, or just marvel at the differences in our experiences.

My best friend, who is 19 like me, and many of my other friends have not had sex. Their experience is a completely normal one. According to Her Campus’s Ultimate College Girl Survey 2012, which surveyed over 2,500 college women across the country, 43 percent of girls were still virgins at the time that they responded to the survey. Twenty-two percent lost their virginities between …

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Feminism | Posted by Dayton Uttinger on 10/24/2016

The Problem With Saying Someone “Looks Like A Lesbian”

My style has nothing to do with my sexuality.

My style has nothing to do with my sexuality.

Apparently, if you cut off half of your hair, start playing rugby, spearhead a LGBTQA group on campus, begin obsessing over Orange is the New Black, and break up with your boyfriend all within the span of a year, people think you’re a lesbian. After each of these developments, I registered my mother’s raised eyebrows, my friends’ giggles, and questions like, “You know you look like a lesbian, right?”

Not that I expected any differently. I knew that my lifestyle (and style itself) was conforming to lesbian stereotypes every step of the way. I’d figured that out for myself after being hit on several times by other women (although, to be fair, half the social events I attended during college …

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Feminism | Posted by Christina Wang on 10/11/2016

How I Fought For (And Won) Comprehensive Sex Ed

Students deserve better.

I attend a small private school in Westchester, New York, which is a fairly privileged and wealthy suburb of New York City. Yet despite this privilege, our school’s health curriculum remained outdated, heteronormative, and simply not that applicable or relatable to students. For example, we learned about relationship abuse by watching black-and-white videos that suggested only women could possibly be victims, and spent most of the class learning about physical health and good dietary choices. Although learning about the benefits of exercise is important to young people, spending so much time focusing on, say, the negative effects of cholesterol just wasn’t the critical, useful knowledge we needed to know at that point in our lives.

Last year, our school’s “All Genders and Sexualities Allied” club (our take …

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