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August 29, 2009

You've Got the Power

This Extra Ink was written by Betsy.

At Teen Ink, we're working hard to get teens' voices heard. As a recipient of Extra Ink, you probably have some of your own writing or artwork on our website (or you know a teen who does!) Still, it's often difficult for smart teens like you and your friends to get the respectful listening you need and deserve. Teens aren't alone in this--almost everyone feels marginalized at one point or another.

That's why, whatever your gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, or class, you might want to learn about feminism. That's right: the F-word that a lot of women tend to avoid like the plague for fear of seeming humorless, unattractive, angry, or even extremist. Ever heard the word 'feminazi' thrown around the hallways? As if there aren't enough labels in high school!

Just like any stereotype, the popular concept of feminism is skewed and unrealistic. If you ask most people, it boils down to the notion that all people deserve equality--that not only "all men are created equal," but all women, too--everyone in this world, in fact. If you think you agree with that basic idea, you're a feminist, and you don't need a political slogan or a certain haircut or even a female body to fall under that category.

I've rounded up a few good feminist blogs for your perusal, and remember to check out the Teen Ink nonfiction section for plenty of interesting articles on the subject.

The Guys' Guide to Feminism: Just like it sounds, this is a regular guy offering a male feminist's perspective on everything from football to action movies. Tyler Haney writes in an honest, engaging tone that feels welcoming and inclusive. Definitely worth a spot on your RSS feed!

The Feminist Women's Health Center has an interesting Teens page with articles about activism, health, lookism, and the other issues that are most relevant to teens' lives.

Feministing is one of the biggest, most popular feminist website/blogs, and you'll find news, pop culture, opinion pieces, and feminist musings on almost every subject under the sun here.

Finally, Gurl has been one of my favorite websites for years (in fact, you might find an all-Gurl Extra Ink coming your way soon!). It's a great teen community filled with girl-powered comics, games, and articles. Gurl puts a body-positive spin on fashion and beauty, too. Gotta love it!

Feminism gets a bad rap, but it's way more user-friendly than you think. Like I said, just look at Teen Ink and you'll see how many teens out there are already feminists--just like you.

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