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5 Sources to Help You Understand Your Bra Burning Friends

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Syracuse chapter.

PSA: bra-burning friends are the friends that can’t help but bring up their desire to take down the patriarchy. A valiant yet consistently misunderstood effort, most often referred to as feminism. Alas, we got you covered. Here are some books to show these bra-burners. 

1. Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

The thing that initially pulled me to this book was the name. Sure it’s provocative, but for most women it’s probably pretty relatable. It starts by giving you a good laugh with the first essay discussing an encounter the author had with a condescending conversational partner and ends with the ways in which our gender behavioral norms contribute to things far more heinous than mansplaining. Certainly painful to read at points, but in that way it is also a pretty important read, written by an author unafraid to shed light on some of society’s uglier truths.

2. “>”A Call to Men” Ted Talk by Tony Porter

WATCH. THIS. VIDEO. The first time I watched it was an incredibly revelatory experience and every time I rewatch it I learn something new. It’s an incredibly eye opening Ted Talk about the immense pressure we put on men to epitomize masculinity and dominance and how it not only cripples them, but in turn contributes to violence against women. It’s a great take on the movement for gender equality because it is coming from the perspective of a man that (like so many others) initially assumed gender normativity didn’t hurt or affect him and how he came to realize just how mistaken that assumption was.

3. Miss Representation on Netflix

If you don’t have Netflix, you can rent this one on Amazon video as well. It is a documentary highlighting just how far behind Hollywood is in terms of women’s rights. I initally turned this movie on not expecting much, but came away from it with countless realizations about the way media portrays women and how it affects everyone. At the very least watch it to better be able to identify socially backward occurences in TV and film, it’s pretty amazing how often this happens and how easy it is to overlook.

4. “>”Why I Stopped Watching Porn” Tedx Talk by Ran Gavrieli

Another fantastic opinion, arguably depressing if you yourself are a fan of porn, but still worth the watch. I always love reading or listening to the male perspecitve when it comes to feminism. Gavrieli discusses the surprising ways in which porn affected the way he thought about women and sex, a realization he came to when he learned how easily his mind succumbed to the glamour of something as silly as a karaoke TV show. 

5. “Birds and Bees” This American Life

A discussion on the vague nature of American Sex Education, this podcast was particularly satisfying for me to listen to because I could relate to the people being interviewed in that I didn’t truly understand how gray the subject of sexual assult was until I came to college. The host starts off the show by talking to a bunch of college aged guys about how to check for consent when they’re having sex and their answers help to shed light on why sexual assault is as ubiquitous as it is. It is something heavily aided by the fact that most young adult’s sex education largely comes from pornagraphy. Now think about that for a minute, chuckle to yourself, and go listen to the podcast, you won’t regret it.

I am a Junior studying Fashion Design at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. I was born and raised in California and grew up riding horses. I have an intense passion for Free People clothing and all things cat-related. My goal is to someday work as a fashion magazine editor. I also believe that chocolate is always the answer and T. Swift is queen. WARNING: All articles written by me will contain sarcasm. Thanks for reading!