Category: Women’s Issues + Awareness

Why Did You Kill My Sister?

Why Did You Kill My Sister?

“To rise, first you must burn.” ― Hiba Fatima Ahmad Dear Mike, When you were alive, I never quite knew the day of your birthday. Kay had to inform me the day you were born–“Oh, did you know it’s Mike’s birthday today? I’m having cake and ice-cream later on. Pleeeeease Come, Kimmy!.” I didn’t want to go, but I…

Kim Sisto Robinson

About Kim Sisto Robinson

Kim Sisto Robinson is a mother, lover, poet, writer, educator, obsessive blogger, lover of cats, cheese puffs, chocolate chips cookies, Sylvia Plath, addicted to books, women’s stories, walking with audio books ( Lolita was off the charts!), and powerful, transformative words. Her work has appeared in Scary Mommy, Bella On Line, Glass Woman, Migrations, Rebelle Society, and Feminine Collective. She created her blog, My Inner Chick, to honor her sister, Kay, whom was murdered by her estranged husband in 2010. Her mission is to give “Voice” to all women without one. She was honored the "Men As Peacemaker's Award" in 2015 for her work with domestic violence.

Would a Broken Arm Cast a Pall on My High School Reunion?

Would a Broken Arm Cast a Pall on My High School Reunion?

If you had told me I’d be going to my high school reunion with a cast on my arm, I wouldn’t have believed it. After all, I was still in recovery mode and doing physical therapy following hip surgery a couple of months before. I could almost picture going to my 60th in bad shape, but my 40-year reunion?…

Mary Novaria

About Mary Novaria

Mary Novaria is a mother, wife and journalist whose work has been featured in numerous print and online publications including the Washington Post, Redbook, Country Living, Delish, Dr. Oz The Good Life, Good Housekeeping, Chicago Tribune, Feminine Collective, Kansas City Star, Huffington Post, The Good Men Project and Period! She writes about family, friendship and everyday life on her blog, A Work in Progress (www.marynovaria.com). Mary recently completed a “sandwich generation” memoir exploring the trials of raising an angst-ridden teen and, at the same time, caring for a parent with dementia, all the while trying to maintain her sanity, sense of humor and some semblance of grace.

Breathe

Breathe

Breathe. The simple act of pulling the world in and swallowing. When I was a kid, I used to hold my breath underwater for 74 seconds. I remember that number clearly because it was the neighborhood record. It was a feat to balloon my chest and deprive my body of the very thing it needs most. Breathe. When I…

Amye Archer

About Amye Archer

Amye Archer holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Her memoir, Fat Girl, Skinny, was named runner-up for the Red Hen Press Nonfiction Manuscript Award, and has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She has two poetry collections: BANGS and A Shotgun Life, both published by Big Table Publishing. Amye’s work has appeared in Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Hippocampus, Mothers Always Write, Nailed Magazine, PMS: Poem Memoir Story, PANK, and Provincetown Arts. She is the creator of The Fat Girl Blog.

“I Quit!”

“I Quit!”

The end of the month is crunch time for an accountant. Making sure all activity has been posted to the books; making sure all cash transactions have been entered. All month-long an accountant’s goal is a smooth month end. We strive for it. I’ve been working as an accountant for the past six years and am familiar with the…

Meghan Cipolla

About Meghan Cipolla

Meghan Cipolla lives in Los Angeles, CA - specifically the San Fernando Valley where she’s resided for the past 5 years. She’s had many careers in her life but is currently an accountant in the real estate industry. Meghan has always dreamed of being a writer and works towards that goal and expressing herself creatively on a daily basis. She aspires to help other women navigate the challenges and difficulties of a life authentically lived.

Judy.

Judy.

I named my uterus Judy a few years ago. It made sense at the time. Calling it “Judy” gave me the freedom to air my bodily grievances while surrounded by strangers. Those closest to me knew who Judy was, and the general public, who tend to be grossed out by off-the-cuff uterus talk, didn’t have to endure such a…

Emelie Samuelson

About Emelie Samuelson

Emelie Samuelson is a girl in her twenties who is just trying her best. She spends her days reading, writing, and talking about books, playing games, and snuggling with dogs. She is the creator of the humor blog, Awkwardly Alive and Pleasantly Peculiar. Her work has also appeared on HelloGiggles, Catalyst Wedding Co., and in the anthology, This One Has No Name by The No Name Writing Group.

Losing Myself to Body Shaming

Losing Myself to Body Shaming

My body is mine, yet everyone is so judgmental about it. But the real judge is me. I’m surrounded by people who care so much about their looks and having the perfect body that it is starting to rub off on me. I used to feel so confident in my own skin, but lately, I’m picking out the flaws.…

Sophie Winik

About Sophie Winik

I was a writer for I Am That Girl, a place that helps empower young girls. A place that was so safe I knew I could write about personal things and feel safe in doing so. Not only that but a place where my words would make a difference. And that is something I continue to be passionate about. To share my truth, even if it means I have to show my own vulnerability, and make a difference. To use my voice as an outlook for others. To help inspire and encourage others to share their truth. If I have made a difference to one single person, I know I have done good.

BODY / IMAG(INE) – a poem in four parts

BODY / IMAG(INE) – a poem in four parts

PART ONE/ BODY She dressed Hastily Alone Averting her eyes As loose flesh rolled Over her frame   And by squeezing And shimmering Her frolicking hips She pulled the bathing suit on [that damned swimsuit on]                     — gasping for air, she Pledged allegiance To the salad buffet, but [Managed to] Avoid outward curses or cries   PART…

Carly Zee

About Carly Zee

Carly Zee is a poet and writer and lover of the finer things in life — like good wines, dark chocolate, and erotica. She finds myself seeking pleasure over reason on far too many occasions, and will, in all likelihood, continue to do so. To come along for the ride, you can connect with Carly through https://carlyzee.wordpress.com/

Women Who Inspire: Jennifer Jordan, Founder of Aeroflow Breastpumps

Women Who Inspire: Jennifer Jordan, Founder of Aeroflow Breastpumps

Jennifer Jordan is the founder and the director of the Mom and Baby division (now Aeroflow Breastpumps) at Aeroflow Healthcare and through her business acumen and passion for helping other working mothers, she has lead a team at Aeroflow that, since 2013, has provided breastfeeding mothers with thousands of free breast pumps through insurance and the ACA. Because of…

John Michael Antonio

About John Michael Antonio

John Michael Antonio is a freelance writer, photographer, poet and screenwriter. He claims his Midwestern roots while at the same time admitting his incurable and insatiable love and addiction for all things New York City. He has been the husband to his wife, the love of his life, for almost thirty years and is a father of three wonderful children. He is an unapologetic male feminist as well as a passionate lover of fashion, art, movies and music from all eras and genres. An endless dreamer, John Michael is also an avid historian, ex-punk rocker and a legendary Internet surfer who sleeps, on average, about four hours a day. His main personal website, The World of John Michael Antonio, can be found at www.johnmichaelantonio.wordpress.com

Days Like This

Days Like This

Okay, picture this. It was years ago. I’m eighteen, skinny, it’s June, early on a Saturday morning, and it’s raining buckets. I’m standing on the corner at the bus stop, the intersection of Mill Road and Route 22, the hub of this suburban town. My umbrella is dark blue and has two broken ribs. I’m wearing my waitress uniform;…

Victoria Addesso

About Victoria Addesso

Vicki Addesso lives in Eastchester, NY, USA. Married, with two sons, she works as a personal assistant for a toy inventor. Co-author of the collaborative memoir Still Here Thinking of You ~ A Second Chance With Our Mothers (Big Table Publishing, 2013), her writing has been published in The Writer, Damselfly Press, Feminine Collective, Tweetspeak Poetry, and Stories From the Kids. An essay is forthcoming, to be included in the anthology My Body, My Words.

Uncertainty, Certainly

Uncertainty, Certainly

Nothing. I know not one thing to be certain. Not one fucking thing rings true except the stories I share, and they are only my limited perception. – Jaqueline Cioffa  Time is the mystery, the teaser, and the uncertain 4th dimension that cuts the heart muscle and bleeds blue. Red is saved for fury and anger, and the heart…

Jacqueline Cioffa

About Jacqueline Cioffa

A retired, international model, and celebrity makeup artist. Co-Author of Model Citi Zen, the guide. Founder of http://modelcitizenmakeup.blogspot.com/. Author of numerous prose pieces in various literary magazines. Most recently published in Little Episodes Brainstorms the anthology, among esteemed artists Sadie Frost, Melvin Burgess and Todd Swift.

No

No

The roses, I got the thorns. The candles, I got burnt. The virgin’s blood, mine bled from the heart. You took without asking, to you, my no meant maybe. You left me with a fuck you as you spat at my disgrace. I never said yes, I screamed no. It was never a challenge, I was a girl, you…

Natasha Alexander

About Natasha Alexander

Writer, always Wife and Mother first. Perfect is overrated, I am flawed and yet loved. Now that I don’t chase perfection, I can chase my dreams. I have completed a "Write a Novel" course in 2015 through S.A. Writers’ College and passed with a distinction. I also completed the Copy-Editing and Proof-reading course through them in March 2016. My first Manuscript of 60 000 words has been written and currently seeking a publisher. I have been writing poetry since I was 14 and the reason/inspiration behind all my writing is a stand against women abuse. It is a cause that I hold close to heart. Something that started as an outlet for feelings too ghastly to speak about has turned into my passion.

The First Time

The First Time

The first time it happened to me I was sitting in the back of a bus with two males on either side. I didn’t know their names. For a while, nothing happened. Just a ride on a bus. Then slowly, one of them slipped his arm around my shoulders and reached down to grab my breast while the other…

Jane Darby

About Jane Darby

Jane Darby’s articles, essays, and short stories have appeared in various publications including Lynx Eye, Washington Square Review, Storyglossia, and New York Runner Magazine. She is working on a novel.

Harmless

Harmless

My housemates away for four months, I am sub-letting both their rooms. Matt comes to look around. A 3rd-year student and self-confessed “computer geek,” his hair in need of a tidy, he has a warm smile and is oh-so-uncomplicated. He mentions an acquaintance, Shaun is also looking for a room, saving me a task. As housemates, guys are miles…

Judith Staff

About Judith Staff

Judith Staff’s background is in teaching and early years education. She still teaches occasionally, though now her main focus is in child welfare and safeguarding children. Her work includes delivering training, presenting at conferences, and engaging in collaborative projects with schools around child abuse awareness and sexual violence prevention. She enjoys writing blogs and poetry on topics she feels passionate about. Judith loves running, gym classes and karate. She is married to an art lecturer and they live in Northamptonshire, England with their three free-spirited children, a 12- year-old son, and daughters aged 11 and 9.

Women With Wings

Women With Wings

During my routine OB appointment, my doctor mentioned that my nipple “looked a little funny.” I had noticed that too. She was fairly certain it was eczema but wondered aloud if I might be willing to have a dermatologist check it. As I had a mole on my neck I was concerned about, I was scheduling a dermatology check…

Jude Walsh

About Jude Walsh

Jude Walsh is now more than five years post cancer. She still listens to Libana and still sees smiling children when she hears What a Wonderful World. Retired from education, she focuses on writing now and is grateful for all the new women friends this has brought into her life. Jude writes memoir, personal essays, fiction, and poetry. Her work has been published in Mothers Always Write, Flights Literary Magazine, Indiana Voice Journal, The Manifest-Station, The Story Circle Network Quarterly Journal, The AWW Collection, and numerous anthologies including The Magic of Memoir (2016).

Leaving My Ex Sparked Decades of Unintended Consequences

Leaving My Ex Sparked Decades of Unintended Consequences

“My name is Precious, how can I help you?” “I think I need to go to your shelter,” I blurted. My daughters, still both in diapers, were wailing in the background. The battered women’s shelter. Never had I thought I would be a battered woman, or that I would live in a shelter. It was 1990. I was 25,…

Lizbeth Meredith

About Lizbeth Meredith

Lizbeth Meredith's memoir Pieces of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters is a 2017 IPPY Award silver medalist. She blogs at www.lameredith.com, is a contributor to A Girls’ Guide To Travelling Alone by Gemma Thompson, and is the author of When Push Comes to Shove: How to Help When Someone You Love Is Being Abused. A former domestic violence advocate, Lizbeth has worked with at-risk teens for nearly two decades as a juvenile probation supervisor.

Violated

Violated

I was 15 years old, and in 10th grade at Simi Valley High School. It was lunchtime, and the whole school was congregating in “The Quad.” My friends and I sat under one of the big oak trees, enjoying the shade on a warm June day. Summer was upon us and the school year was about to end. Spirits…

Meghan Cipolla

About Meghan Cipolla

Meghan Cipolla lives in Los Angeles, CA - specifically the San Fernando Valley where she’s resided for the past 5 years. She’s had many careers in her life but is currently an accountant in the real estate industry. Meghan has always dreamed of being a writer and works towards that goal and expressing herself creatively on a daily basis. She aspires to help other women navigate the challenges and difficulties of a life authentically lived.

George H.W. Bush Groped Women: Stop Blaming the Victims

George H.W. Bush Groped Women: Stop Blaming the Victims

Three women came forward this week with accusations that they were groped by President George H.W. Bush. According to CNN, actress Heather Lind posted on Instagram (now deleted) about an incident that took place a few years ago during a photo shoot. In her post, Lind said Bush “touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara…

Nancy Levine

About Nancy Levine

Nancy Levine is the author of the four-book series beginning with The Tao of Pug (Penguin) has just been released. She spent 30 years in corporate recruiting and human resources roles, starting at American Express Company. More recently, Nancy has devoted herself to advocacy efforts, working to eradicate child sexual abuse and amplifying the voices of survivors. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Kaleidoscope Vision

Kaleidoscope Vision

look at me as if through the lens of a broken Kaleidoscope and you will see a new kind of woman living outside your limited notion of a well adjusted female i am a husbandless childless menopausal caregiver a keeper of faded dreams an overweight non exercising lump of aging flesh swallowing down proton-pump inhibitors muscle relaxants diuretics pain…

Arlene Antoinette

About Arlene Antoinette

Arlene Antoinette is a novice poet/lyricist with dreams of one day writing a piece that breaks hearts. She holds an old outdated bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in psychology. You may find additional poems by Arlene Antoinette in SickLitMagazine and Girlsense and Nonsense.

Who’s really paying the price for those beautiful nails?

Who’s really paying the price for those beautiful nails?

My favorite Saturday morning routine starts with a good cup of coffee, manicure, and a nice pedicure. Not unlike a lot of women, it takes me an hour to look at the different shades of colors at the salon, only to end up choosing the same color every time. To me, there’s nothing better than relaxing while receiving an…

Stephanie Ortez

About Stephanie Ortez

Stephanie is a highly caffeinated mother of two wonderful boys. She is hopelessly addicted to non-fiction books and literature that moves her to tears. She is an admissions advisor for George Washington University online where she assists homeschooled students internationally. Stephanie lives with Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She is a passionate mental health advocate, member of Stigma Fighters. Her writing has been featured on The Elephant Journal, The Mighty, The Organic Coffee Haphazardly and Feminine Collective.

Mr. Hamilton

Mr. Hamilton

He was hip. He wore crisp shirts and wide neckties. He had a Seventies mustache and Burt Reynolds hair. His right hand almost always held chalk. His left hand was usually in his front pocket. His Levis were so tight that to remove his hand from his pocket he had to put down the chalk, reach across his body…

Jennifer M. Smith

About Jennifer M. Smith

Jennifer M. Smith is an author and an adventurer. Together with her husband, she has sailed over 40,000 miles around the world on their sailboat Green Ghost and she has plenty of stories to tell. She is working on a book about her ocean voyages but she is frequently distracted by other creative non-fiction short stories and micro-fiction stories that pop into her head and make a lot of noise until they are released through her pen or her keyboard.

Women Who Inspire: Oyindamola Shoola, Author, and Poet

Women Who Inspire: Oyindamola Shoola, Author, and Poet

This is the second installment of a new and exclusive series here on Feminine Collective called “Women Who Inspire.” As an ongoing series, it will feature women of all ages and from all walks of life and will endeavor to highlight some of the creative and inspirational stories of their daily lives. Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing…

John Michael Antonio

About John Michael Antonio

John Michael Antonio is a freelance writer, photographer, poet and screenwriter. He claims his Midwestern roots while at the same time admitting his incurable and insatiable love and addiction for all things New York City. He has been the husband to his wife, the love of his life, for almost thirty years and is a father of three wonderful children. He is an unapologetic male feminist as well as a passionate lover of fashion, art, movies and music from all eras and genres. An endless dreamer, John Michael is also an avid historian, ex-punk rocker and a legendary Internet surfer who sleeps, on average, about four hours a day. His main personal website, The World of John Michael Antonio, can be found at www.johnmichaelantonio.wordpress.com

Day 356: A Love Letter to My 30’s

Day 356: A Love Letter to My 30’s

You were the decade that made me a wife. Again. A better wife this time. This time I knew better than to throw the dishes against the wall. This time I knew better than to demand answers, honesty, attention. This time I knew what a good man looked like. He was made from the same earth I was: lower,…

Amye Archer

About Amye Archer

Amye Archer holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Her memoir, Fat Girl, Skinny, was named runner-up for the Red Hen Press Nonfiction Manuscript Award, and has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She has two poetry collections: BANGS and A Shotgun Life, both published by Big Table Publishing. Amye’s work has appeared in Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, Hippocampus, Mothers Always Write, Nailed Magazine, PMS: Poem Memoir Story, PANK, and Provincetown Arts. She is the creator of The Fat Girl Blog.

Sex Etiquette 101: A field guide for lovers

Sex Etiquette 101: A field guide for lovers

Try as I might, I haven’t found a way to create a portmanteau from the words ‘sex’ and ‘etiquette’.It would have been so neat to have one, in the same way, ‘netiquette’ or ‘sexting’ exist. While I work on that, please focus your mind entirely upon sex, as that is today’s theme. Believe it or not, etiquette can enhance…

Nathalie Findlay

About Nathalie Findlay

After completing a degree in Fine Arts and another in Interior Architecture, Nathalie began modelling in New York, Hamburg, Munich and Paris where she eventually decided to base herself. Always on the lookout for opportunities to grow, she combined her modelling career with other areas of interest, working for the Canadian Embassy, Christian Liaigre, A Small World and Sotheby's. She has also enjoyed appearing regularly as a presenter and speaker for television and media events and as a pit-lane reporter on Eurosport. Exposed both personally and professionally to the intricacies of etiquette and protocol, Nathalie now focuses on applying her extensive knowledge-base practically, addressing matters of refinement, image and manners for individual and corporate clients with Lifestyling, a consultancy she created in 2007. Nathalie lives in the French countryside with her husband, their baby and two Korthals.

4 Steps to Survive an Active Shooter Scenario

4 Steps to Survive an Active Shooter Scenario

The tragic deaths at the hands of crazed gunman remind us that we live in a very dangerous world. Because there are so many terrorist attacks and active shooter scenarios, I often get asked, “What should I do if, God forbid, I find myself in the middle of an attack?” It’s the key question that media rarely hones in on:…

Michele Rigby Assad

About Michele Rigby Assad

After obtaining a masters degree in Arab Studies at Georgetown University, Michele applied—along with hundreds of others from the university--to work for the CIA. After a long and grueling hiring process and a year of intensive training, she became an intelligence officer for the National Clandestine Service, the covert (operational) arm of the Agency. Serving for a decade as a counterterrorism officer, Michele worked in all of the awful places you hope you’ll never visit, including Iraq during the height of the war. To date, Michele has traveled to 45 countries, lived in six of those, and has a lot of crazy stories to tell about life overseas. While working for the CIA, Michele initially decried the traits that made her different from senior male officers, but later realized that these traits were what made her a great intelligence officer (empathy, intuition, strong interpersonal skills). Now she’s on a mission to show women that they have the elements to be a Femme Fatale—the incredibly intelligent and operationally astute woman that gets stuff done. After years of service to her country, Michele has left the undercover life behind and now works as an international management consultant focused on Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. She has a more “normal” life now and a lot more time to do the things she loves: writing, cooking, traveling for pleasure, walking on the beach—and most of all, inspiring others!

Send Them Away

Send Them Away

I don’t think I have another rant left to write. Disgusted, frightened, ashamed, and whatever synonyms for those words that might be found in a Thesaurus have taken over my psyche since 11/8/16. If I glance in the mirror, I see myself among the hollow-eyed zombies in “Thriller,” dragging around paranoia and fear. I just want to wake up…

Marsha Owens

About Marsha Owens

Marsha is a retired educator who lives and writes in Richmond VA. Her favorite quote for these troubled times: “Take your broken heart and turn it into art.” (Meryl Streep) Her work has been published at NewVerseNews, The Wild Word, and Life in 10 Minutes. #Resist

Creating a Feminist Future

Creating a Feminist Future

My daughter started Kindergarten this year, and in the fourth week of school, a little boy kicked her in the face while she was playing on the monkey bars. It was the same little boy who kicked her best friend in the face while she was playing on the monkey bars the day before. I couldn’t help but think…

Lauren Halsted

About Lauren Halsted

Lauren Halsted Burroughs teaches English at Cuyamaca Community College in San Diego, CA. She began her career in writing as an editorial assistant at Surfing Girl Magazine almost two decades ago, and has worked as a journalist, grant writer, online content writer, and has dabbled in research and academic publishing. She is happiest when spending time with her two young children, family, and friends and/or playing in the ocean.