Triota is going to DC and we want you to come, too!

I am so excited.

Call me a geek, but I’m excited for this weekend’s conference. 22 Triota members are headed to Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Young Feminist Leadership Conference and we are going to have a blast!

We will spend the weekend attending workshops about imperative issues in feminism, hearing national leaders speak, and networking with other feminist leaders from around the country. We’ll end this amazing weekend with a lobby day and we’ll speak with the staffers of Pat Toomey, Allyson Schwartz, Mike Doyle, and Bob Casey.

Then we’ll bring it all back to Penn State.Image

Please follow our trip by searching #PSUfeminists on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Don’t forget to check out this blog for posts from our members.

We hope you’re as excited as we are!



We come to you from many backgrounds with one commonality: feminism. Feminism has shaped our lives for the better and we want to share the message that it’s not an insult but something that we all embrace. By putting our own twist on the iconic image of Rosie the Riveter, we are recognizing that the equality of all genders is still relevant and necessary today. The women you see in these pictures are dedicated activists at Penn State University. They answered an open call to dress up as their own, unique version of Rosie the Riveter and explain what feminism means to them. We present to you a new project for Women’s History Month entitled “The Modern Riveter” by Triota, the national women’s studies honor society at Penn State. Photo credit: Jessi Korch

Connect with us and tell us what you think of the The Modern Riveter by using #ModernRiveter on social media!
























“You don’t have balls!”

Women are weak.

That’s what they say.

They cannot be on the front line, they cannot play certain sports, they cannot do certain jobs as well as a man, because they are weak. They say God made a man stronger because he is supposed to be superior to women.

Yet, there is no part on the women’s body that is anywhere close to as weak as the man’s balls or penis. A women has the same body parts as a man but when it comes to a man’s genitals, their penis and balls are supposed to be the symbol of strength.

“You don’t have balls.” That is a big insult to men and sometimes used against women to point out to them that they are not as strong as men. Yet, the balls are not strong! They are a weak thing, that can be put in severe pain from a small pinch. They are the symbol ofmanhood yet they are soft, round things that are very venerable at all times.

How can something so weak be the symbol of manhood? How can a man be stronger than a women physically when every part of a women’s body is the same as man and the part that is supposedly their symbol of strength is stronger on a woman than a man. The one thing that God gave to man that is different than a woman is weaker than a women’s same part of the body!

How many men can take the pain of their genitals being opened up to push a baby through? I do not think very many.

So how is a man stronger at taking pain, at lifting things, at doing physical things, than women?

I fail to understand this idea of a man being stronger than a woman.

Don’t say you are not a sexist.

God knows how many times I’m told that I need to “stand up for my rights” when my parents stop me from doing something because I am a girl. My friends, coworkers, acquaintances, get pissed when I tell them about some of the things I am not supposed to do because I am a girl. They say it is sexist and unfair to me. They tell me i am not in my country anymore, as if I do not already know! They want me to rebel and do what I want.

People bitch to me about these things and others but yet when it comes to saying they may possibly be a feminist, it is something that is scary. That they refrain from, as if it will bite them in the ass.

And then there are those people who will come to me and say these things but they themselves are sexist.

I was once sent a post by someone, who hates the rules in my family, about how women want to be paid equally but do not do the same amount of work as men. It pissed me off because it seemed to say that unequal pay does not exist. This person always tells me about my rights as a human being and how I need to rebel. How can someone bitch about other cultures or religions being oppressive when they do the same, just in a different perspective?

The biggest example of this has to be the argument on women on the front line. I know a man who always tells me to do what I want and gets mad when I am restricted by my parents to do something but yet he thinks women on the front line is not appropriate.

How can you sit here and lecture me on oppression and then do the same, just on a different level?

People think women should have the ability to work because it is equal rights but when it comes to giving them the same opportunities or options, their mind changes. Yet, in every job, you are told there will be no discrimination due to gender. Why does that and equal rights opinions change when it comes to a job that people deem dangerous?

Who gave these people the right to decide what I want to do or what is safe enough for my life? I should be able to choose if I want to put my life on the line to protect my country, along side men who have the same courage. If I want it bad enough, I will work for it, I will pass the tests, show my strength, and then, there should be no questioning of what I want to do or can do.

Yes, I am a woman. I have a vagina which could be fucked with different things if I am captured. But trust me, my vagina can take a lot more inside of it than a man’s asshole can if he is captured. Anything they do to you, they can do to me so there is nothing that should be able to be used as an excuse to prevent equal rights in the military.

The same goes for other things like physical jobs that women are deemed “not strong enough” for. I should be given the chance to prove myself, no matter what you or anyone thinks I can or cannot do. At the end of the day, I have the option to do it and I or another woman will want it enough to prove herself strong enough for it. As women all around the world have done when they have been given a chance to prove themselves equal to men in a “man’s career/job”.

You have no right to sit there and say you believe in equal rights, say you are not a sexist, until you totally and completely believe in equal rights, no matter what the case. 

Costume Designed For 5-7 (Sexy) Year Olds

When I was three years old I dressed up as a bunny for Halloween.
Footie Pajamas + Puffy White Tail + Bunny Ears = Bunny Rabbit.
When I was four years old I wanted to combine my two career aspirations, being a bunny and being a pediatrician.
Bunny Rabbit costume from last year +Stethescope = Bunny Rabbit Doctor.

You could say I was pretty creative.

The years that followed I dressed up like Alice In Wonderland, Rocket Scientist Barbie, Witch, Pop Star, Mona Peri (I wore a picture frame) and hippie. None of those costumes were store bought. Sure, we bought a witch hat and lab coat along the way, but I was raised by a mother who really let me be creative. Last year I dressed up like the absolutely wonderful Zooey Deschannel. When I bought the brown wig to cover up my blonde hair, it was the first time I dressed it a costume primarily from a Halloween store.

I understand the appeal of store bought costumes and there are great options. Great options if you have a Y chromosome.

If I want to be a witch? Sexy witch!
If I want to be a superhero? Sexy Wonderwoman (who was pretty sexy to begin with)!
Okay, you can’t mess up nuns… Sexy nuns!?
I’ll be an inanimate object, like corn. SEXY CORN?!

If you would like to look at some confusing costumes, here’s a link:

This blog isn’t about how adult women dress like over-sexualized versions of vegetables. This is about the young girls who can’t find Halloween costumes that aren’t mini versions of the adult sexualized costumes. When my friends dressed up in store bought costumes they were scary witches, Lizzie McGuire and Butterflies.

When I googled “Little Girl Halloween Costumes” I saw so much skin, puffy material and pink. I understand that that’s appealing to little girls but does a four-year old really need to be wearing a cupcake bra dressed up as Katy Perry?

I knew from a young age that sometimes (older) girls dressed up like bartenders or inappropriate nurses. But if someone said they were dressing up as a dragon I would assume an awesome dragon costume, not “Sexy Pink Dragon”.

I could tear my hair out over this topic but it would do absolutely no good. Girls are going to keep dressing like this unless we change the climate. If everything continues to be sexualized then that will only continue to negatively influence young girls.

Also, Bunny Rabbit Doctors should totally be a thing.

Menstrual Products: Are We Selling Shame?

Purchasing pads and tampons is something I’ve only gotten better at over the past couple of years. And by better, I mean I can actually go buy them without blushing at the checkout counter while desperately trying to avoid eye contact with the cashier. I had never paid much attention to all the different items, since I usually just found the pads and tampons I knew worked for me. However, when I took a closer look, I realized that these industries exploit women’s negative attitudes toward their own bodies in order to make a profit. By perpetuating ideas that menstruation is “dirty” and “bad,” they continue to cultivate the culture of shame in which many women live.

I went to Wal-Mart for a project, so I was really paying attention. Let me tell you what I found. The large sign hanging overhead referred to the section as “Personal Care” and the sign within the aisle read “Women’s Wellness,” which was alright except they didn’t really have any other items that were concerned with “women’s wellness” besides menstrual products. At first glance, it only looked like they sold tampons, pads, and “feminine wipes.” I had to really search, but I did see one small row of softcups on the very top shelf wedged between large boxes of tampons and panty-liners. They weren’t well-stocked, with only two partially crushed boxes of softcups in the whole row. While I examined the entire aisle, I mainly focused on the selection of pads. The design on the boxes try to be either “feminine” (pretty and pastel boxes) or very “trendy” (sleek black boxes, accented with neon colors). Some of the most common words I noticed for these products were “fresh,” “clean,” “security,” and “protection.” The first two are promises that these products with keep menstruating women from feeling “dirty,” which we are told is a common concern. I actually found the last two words sort of amusing, especially since they were used so often. They are clearly meant to reassure women that they don’t need to worry about anyone knowing they are on their period – more specifically perhaps, that their products won’t “leak.” But I just found it incredibly funny, because it almost sounds as if your vagina is supposed to be on some sort of lockdown. Yes, I know I’m on my period. No, my vagina does not need to be Fort Knox. I also noticed that there was a lot of variation on pads just by looking at the sheer number of options – maxi pads, overnight pads, thin pads, panty liners, pads shaped specifically for thongs – you name it. While examining the back of a box of Kotex U pads, I saw that it had “Serious attitude, serious protection” printed on the packaging (I wasn’t kidding about the frequency of the word “protection”). I honestly cannot even tell you what that is supposed to mean. I know Kotex is trying to promote a “know your body” campaign, but somehow they neglect to tell us about alternative methods of handling menstruation and how potentially harmful tampons can be. After all, they are a corporation trying to make money, so it stands to reason that they’ll exploit our shame and our ignorance in equal measure if they can.

One of the major things I never noticed before was the language surrounding products – they all use the same words! There is distinct focus on cleanliness and protection, which supports the idea that women should be disgusted by their periods. They also try to address your period in the most obscure way, and rarely use the words “period” or “menstruation.” This perpetuates our culture of shame and keeps us from calling this bodily process for what it is (and keeps us using ridiculous euphemisms like “Aunt Flo”). The best example of this was on a box of pads that claimed to have high absorbency and pulled “fluid” to the bottom of the pad, so it left you feeling “clean.” I’m sorry. Fluid? Do they mean menstrual blood? Because that’s ideally the point, but “fluid” could mean a lot of things. Along the same lines, I also noticed that there is also a lot of stress placed on being “discreet” about your period. Tampons are being called “sleek” and the applicators are now expandable and collapsable so that they are much smaller. I even recall “quiet wrapper” pads and tampons that were made of a cloth-like material instead of plastic, and therefore don’t crinkle, so no one in a public restroom would know you had your period. It’s a bizarre concept because I feel like menstruation is sort of a fact of life, and it’s probably a non-issue. Do we really feel such shame about our natural bodily processes that we care about someone in the stall next to us (who we will probably never see again!) knowing when we are menstruating?

Through my examination of the “Women’s Wellness” aisle, I discovered that the menstrual product industry helps support the negative feelings women have about their periods. Women are told in many ways that menstruation is not much more than a shameful secret we have to keep, and these corporations are just one more source that relays this message.