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Tuesday, April 26, 2016






Friday, April 22, 2016

Response to MissRepresentation
by Douglas Radezky

            I recall watching part of MissRepresentation in WST101. The documentary opens with a teen girl speaking on weight issues (amongst other sensitive topics relative to young girls and women). An enormous issue which is at the root of many others effecting young girls is the sexualization of children. I have seen adults of all ages speaking about children, not just referring to girls, but also to boys. “What a looker!”, “He’s going to be a lady-killer one day!”, “She’s so pretty!”, “I bet all the boys love her!”. This starts almost immediately after birth in our culture. This culture focuses so closely on looks as a determinate and that translates to teenagers as something they have to live up to. Boy’s seem not to focus on body image unless they’re overweight, which can carry into adulthood, but puberty is often the culprit of weight gain and goes away with age much like “baby fat”.

            On the other side of the coin, girls struggle with body image from very early on. Whether they’re focusing on being pretty or being skinny, girls are told they MUST fit the mold and that this mold doesn’t include intelligence. I remember a few years ago there was a trend amongst teens and young women to have a thigh gap. These girls would starve themselves to wear skinny jeans but would risk their health and well-being as a result just for a blatantly unhealthy trend. The image I’ve attached is from a French ad. Because many ads have included photographs like this, France made a reform law (passed December 18, 2015) that could cost agencies that employ models who are dangerously thin (and sends them to jobs for photo shoots) upwards of $85,000 USD (75,000 euros) or even a short prison sentence—the latter being an extreme that may be necessary for repeated offenders. Whether this image is Photoshopped it still represents a reality for women in the modelling, film, television, and music industries (to name a few). There are a multitude of photographs available online that are absolutely not Photoshopped, but it’s certainly a topic to discuss.

            When speaking about media and unrealistic body goals, it’s impossible not to think of Photoshop and its application in industries around the world that require models for photographs. This picture (which I believe was included in MissRepresentation!) shows the drastic difference Photoshop can make. To the left is an average woman, to the right is her Photoshopped-would-be-doppelganger. Her neck has been elongated, her hair extended, her cheek bones given height, her natural nose shape has been changed, even her skin has been given an otherworldly glow free of “imperfections”. Girls are expected to be the Photoshop, things like collagen aren’t just frowned upon but actively shamed by magazines and modelling agencies, and Hollywood—yet something as minute as collagen is literally a part of being human and is required for our skin to function normally, but it’s shamed! Women aren’t even allowed the same imperfections as men. For a man, a beer belly is an endearing quality, think Kevin James on King of Queens, and for women it’s a double standard that would lead to a woman being a side-kick-best-friend-who-makes-everyone-laugh a la Melissa McCarthy circa 2012. The double-standard is crushing the self-esteem and masking any beauty that a young girl might feel with impossible standards that lead to dangerous cosmetic surgeries for those who can afford it and a life of “ugly” for those who can’t. However, on a positive note, in the last year or so I have noticed the trend of women taking charge of their beauty. They’re using makeup for themselves and making the statement out loud that it’s not because they feel “ugly” but because they want to wear it. While this is a start, we have to target younger children. They’re literally our future, and if we have generations of girls without proper educations that are being rewarded for interest in STEM fields we will literally be behind as a species. Betty Harris, Stephanie Kwolek, Virginia Apgar, Yvonne Clark, Grace Hopper, Sarah Mather, Hedy Lamarr, Alice Augusta Ball, Elizabeth Coleman, Sinah Estelle Kelley—these are the names of a handful of women who if they had not pursued science, mathematics, engineering or technology, we wouldn’t be nearly half as advanced as we are today.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


"I Didn't Get Arrested, I Got Rescued":
Reproduction and the Problem of Care in the Safety Net Behind Bars

Tuesday, 4/26
Vera Institute of Justice
233 Broadway, 12th Floor


Friday, April 15, 2016


By Emma Vescio

            After experiencing the one-man play by Ben Atherton-Zeman, I walked away discovering many new facts about men’s violence against women but also realizing a couple new notions that were much more problematic than I had originally understood. One of these facts was every twelve seconds women are abused. This fact really resonated with me because of the effective way he demonstrated it in the first few minutes of the play. Ringing a bell, the audience silenced. Wondering why he was doing so, this immediately grabbed my attention. With pauses in between, he continued to ring the bell about ten more times. My initial thought was damn I hope he doesn’t do this the whole length of the play. However once he explained his reasoning that he was doing so every twelve seconds to show how women are abused that often I felt chills on my arms. To be able to hear that noise just for a couple minutes repeated was slightly annoying but what we should really be frustrated about was the rate in which this occurs. By presenting this statistic in a more tangible way it caused a greater impact and symbolically revealed that just like this ringing can’t be ignored we shouldn’t turn a blind eye (that we so often do) to violence in any form towards women.                                                                                                                                        
By using humor and celebrity male voice impressions it not only successfully educated the viewers but brought about new notions that would otherwise not be considered if comedy was not a part of the skit. Firstly, the choice of popular television characters was commendable because most people could relate to or at least understand the perspective from which these characters were coming from. They also depicted the stereotypes that very often men are portrayed on the big screen. Rocky Balboa, a movie icon is known for his big heart and lovable personality, although not very intelligent. Because of this we can excuse him on his behavior towards Adrienne in the film, which too commonly we do with men because we have the expectation that they didn’t know any better so it makes their actions justifiable. In a scene from the film, the number of times Adrienne said no to Rocky’s insistence was counted compared to the number of times Rocky insisted. In the end, Rocky got his way with a very uncomfortable Adrienne. During this scene I found myself justifying Rocky because he wasn’t exactly the smartest man so he probably just didn’t really understand Adrienne. He also was insisting so much to try and make Adrienne more comfortable because her character is a traditionally submissive, indecisive, shy woman so if anything he is a great guy for continuing to persist. Wrong and wrong! This was a new notion to me. Very obviously on the screen, Adrienne looks uncomfortable but because of her stereotype we are lead to believe that it is just because she is quiet and not really sociable. The number of times counted that she said no to him were well in the double digits. Just because of her softly saying it, laughing while saying it or going back and forth with her body language does not give you the right to assume that she wants to come into a stranger’s house. She said no and it should only take one time for a man to listen to a woman and respect her decision. Too many times, I myself have justified men being persistent as a positive trait, especially when it doesn’t seem like you are in a dangerous predicament. By not hearing what a woman tells you the first time around, regardless of her personality shows a lack of respect and can escalate to dangerous situations when men take advantage and believe that no means to try harder.

Another popular character in film, the humorous and again lovable and unwise Austin Powers is characterized for being a sex-crazed man who objectifies women. We think it’s funny and forgive him because poor Austin doesn’t realize his actions and often times just cannot control his urges. Using this example the “point of no return” concept was introduced and how men cannot control themselves. Once a woman turns men on by choosing to wear something revealing or sexy, suddenly men become animals without reason and go after their “uncontrollable” impulses. Wrong. This not only gives us a notion that diminishes the man’s capacity to reason once his testosterone takes over but also puts the responsibility solely on the female for being the reason that provoked the male to take violent action towards her, making the victim wrong and at fault. Because society often puts less responsibility on the men who commit violent acts against women, it is no surprise why this is such a problem. If there was more accountability on the perpetrators and less on the victims, there is no doubt that the statistic of women being abused every twelve seconds would be dramatically lower.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Natasha Nurse, Owner of  Dressing Room 8 
If you ever thought that you couldn't be fashionable because of your weight, shape, or height, then you've been looking at fashion the wrong way.
Loving Yourself Through Fashion is a talk that will transform how you view clothes/fashion and make you question the conventional beauty standards we see in the media. I will teach you techniques on how to establish a personal style based on what makes you feel good, rather than what you think would impress others. 
All attendee's are entitled to ONE FREE HOUR of consultation with Natasha Nurse ($100 value!)  
WHEN: Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM (EDT)  
WHERE: The Holiday Inn Capitol - 550 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

                                         You can get your tickets HERE


What is your favorite color to wear this spring? 

Photo Credit: ARTNLEE
Check out how you can rock blue this spring HERE

Till Next Time! 

Monday, April 11, 2016


ON 4/11,

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Monday, April 11th
CCB 252/3
“Absent Mother God of the West: A Kali Lover's Journey into Christianity and Judaism”

A presentation by Professor Neela Saxena

Saxena’s book, Absent Mother God of the West: A Kali Lover's Journey into Christianity and Judaism, discusses the missing Divine Feminine in Christianity and Judaism and chronicles the personal quest of an Indian woman who grew up with Kali. Written from a Hindu/Buddhist Tantric perspective, and as a travelogue, the book describes its author's encounters with the Black Madonna in Europe and Shekhinah in Jewish mysticism. It is also a scholarly account of how the Mother God was erased from the western consciousness leading to a spiritually patriarchal monotheism. 

Sponsored by the Women’s Studies Project.
For more information, please contact

Saturday, April 9, 2016

via the NY Times
Shared with you by Sara.

From the article:

Last semester, a student in the masculinity course I teach showed a video clip she had found online of a toddler getting what appeared to be his firstvaccinations. Off camera, we hear his father’s voice. “I’ll hold your hand, O.K.?” Then, as his son becomes increasingly agitated: “Don’t cry!… Aw, big boy! High five, high five! Say you’re a man: ‘I’m a man!’ ” The video ends with the whimpering toddler screwing up his face in anger and pounding his chest. “I’m a man!” he barks through tears and gritted teeth.
The home video was right on point, illustrating the takeaway for the course: how boys are taught, sometimes with the best of intentions, to mutate their emotional suffering into anger. More immediately, it captured, in profound concision, the earliest stirrings of a male identity at war with itself.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016




"As Bernie gained momentum, his candidacy opened space for intolerable misogyny, including especially dispiriting vitriol from self-identified progressive men and women. It filled me with rage and sadness. The onslaught of venom directed toward a woman who played the any-means-necessary game of politics was a real trigger — where have all these player-haters been for the centuries this game has dominated our nation? Men have made Hillary’s choices, and far worse, on repeat, for all of our history, to little fanfare.
Are the sins of our institutions so terrible? Yes. Are those sins more terrible when committed by a woman? Seems so."