Beaver Talk, Episode 1: Street Harassment with Emily May

When I first heard about Hollaback; the organization standing up to street harassment, I was overjoyed and perplexed…Who are these mythical Hollaback people, what are they doing to keep our streets safe, and how are they doing it? I had to find out! So I did! I chatted with Emily May about why she started Hollaback, how it is affecting communities across the globe, and what makes her a bad ass bitch!

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Why Women Are the Greatest Creatures On Earth

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tumblr_mwkgm55vuH1sa7h11o1_400by Tara Strigler

I remember sitting in my high school freshman orientation wondering “why did my mom force me to come to an all girl school?”I was the typical high school freshman excited about embarking on a new journey of my life. I had my whole high school career planned out in my head. I was going to be the super cute cheerleader, dating the all star basketball player and I would be wearing his varsity jacket during homecoming. I would have lunches similar to a scene in ”High School Musical” and every time in between classes I’d get a little social time. Welp, my hopes and dreams were completely shattered. I was stuck with nothing but females, no exciting homecomings to look forward to… and no guys! When it comes to myself, if I’m not comfortable in a situation, I automatically shut down all opportunities for people to get to know me.

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Bettys On Your Block!

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What Female is Inspiring You Right Now

Olga – My mom is still inspiring me despite her passing in 2008. She emigrated from Russia with nothing, worked her ass off as a woman in tech, and battled cancer like a champ. She took risks and was fearless.

Lyndsay– Currently I am a 16 year old girl in high school-trying to spread feminism to fellow girls and stop girl hate, backing up girls after every sexist or rape joke I hear. Angelina Jolie is a female who inspires me. Not only is she an awesome badass, but she is beautiful and my favorite actress. She stars in my favorite film, “Girl, Interrupted”, and she’s in many other movies that I love. I think her roles are always cool roles that I feel like a man would usually have-not to diss men, Daniel Craig is pretty sexy in James Bond-but I just really admire her! I also think she has a ton of courage and I really admire her for that. The latest was her double-mastectomy. I was somewhat surprised by this, just because I’ve seen her have a lot of courage many other times so I wasn’t too surprised by her coming out with this. Breasts are so sexualized in our society and its cool that she could do that without caring, because even with all the “Save The Booby” logos, its only the breasts that are cared about, not the woman. She is just a big inspiration to me and I love her!

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People We Love: On My Block Films

tumblr_mvum8xhmvk1sa7h11o1_400On My Block Films Exclusive Invite for NYC Residents

This fall my neighbors and I (your Feminist Wednesday beaver guide) had the wonderful opportunity to create a film for On My Block Films. OMB Films is a film challenge that brings together communities by inviting any and all to create a short film using only their block’s residents as cast and crew.

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People We Love: Aunt Holly

tumblr_mvum4rPZDO1sa7h11o1_400Aunt Holly’s Words of Encouragement

Hi. I’m Holly, and I have earned all my wrinkles. I’m writing this article to enlighten and encourage. Listen to your moms and grandmothers. We have been around the block a few times.

To all young feminists: I remember a time when I was a rebel, and did not want to listen to my mother.  I actually tried to do the exact opposite of what mommy told me to. Still do BUT, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

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Bad Ass Bitch of the Week: Michelle Marxen

tumblr_mv3p8kuAWu1sa7h11o1_400Michelle Marxen is our bad ass bitch of the week for her outstanding ability to remain cool, calm, and totally bitchin’. She is like the white Olivia Pope (I know she isn’t wearing tan… let me explain!) This ‘North Dakota bride to be‘ was slated to walk down the aisle when her jack wagon fiancé told her, eh, its over. No deal. Did she freak out? Did she down some shots of tequila? One can assume.

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If You Wouldn’t Say It to Me in Front of Your Wife, You Shouldn’t Say it At All

tumblr_mv3p23lenO1sa7h11o1_400by Marie E

I air drum in my head. It’s a weird confession, but it helps me get through the day. I don’t even actually know how to truly play drums. It just helps to keep me from grinding my already worn down molars. Who am I lying to? I air drum outside my head, at work occasionally, while debating what line is causing an error, or what I should eat for lunch, did I turn off the lights?. It doesn’t matter, I think it’s a beautiful coping mechanism. 

I sit at my brightly fluorescent lit desk, air drumming a couple of songs while debating what else I should use to define a clip in a for loop. I take pride in my work. I like to get in early, I like to get dressed up for the job. Not because I have to, because I like to look my best, generally enjoy fashion and lets face it- its fall there are new sweaters to buy.

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Bettys On Your Block

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What Female is Inspiring You Right Now

Gabby– The person that is inspiring me right now, and will always inspire me is my mom. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a bad ass bitch as their mom. My mom drilled into me from a young age the notion of independence because she always wanted me to be able to take care of myself. She pushed me to be the best I could be, to make my dreams a reality, and never settle for less. I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today with out my mom!

Ashley – I’m Inspired by my Aunt Gloria. She has persevered through several life tragedies and has never given up hope. The kind of tragedies that you hear about but never think could actually happen to you. She remains a tower of strength and a haven of love and support for her family and people around her. I admire her will to go on with a light heart, and a smile on her face through it all.

Sal– Laura Jane Grace from Against Me! has been a constant inspiration in my life since i was 14, and I have more respect and admiration for her now than ever. It takes a lot of guts to be who you really are, even in our so called “post racial / unbiased / everyone is equal and treated the same” america. As a band i feel like Against Me! has always done this, making the records they wanted to make even if it may have alienated some of their fans. When Laura came out as a transgender, telling of how she questioned her gender identity since she was a young boy, I realized that even my heroes I thought to be incredibly strong and self-assured have their struggles. She was able to overcome her demons and come out on the other side with guns blazing and guitars shredding in high heels and a mini skirt. That’s punk as fuck.

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Thank you!

tumblr_muqsinmT8z1sa7h11o1_400Hello, Women! Happy Feminist Wednesday!

I just wanted to take this time to thank you for your contributions, your stories, and for just being you. I am so excited every week to share what inspires and motivates you. So thank you so much for sharing your unique and wonderful perspective. And if you haven’t had a chance to be a Betty on our Block, or want to share your Feminist Moment of Enlightenment, or just want to tell me why you are a bad ass bitch I am all ears! You can find Betty the Beaver and I at vivalabeaver511@gmail.com

Also what are you doing to celebrate the best day of the week?! Let me know on Facebook and Twitter! I am going to see if I can eat a whole bag of the giant peanut butter M&Ms. Wish me luck!

Xoxo,
Erin B.
Your Feminist Wednesday Beaverista