Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Multiple definitions of feminism

Here's a great article compiling different opinions on what it means to be a feminist:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

French controversy

"The text said the state should study the motivations of veiled women, do more to combat violence against women and teach more about sexual equality at school."

Read the article here.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Stepping down

I'm officially finished my duties as the head of the journal for the fall 2009 semester. I passed the baton to Jenna, who will actually be in the country for the spring 2010 semester.

This experience has taught me dozens of lessons - some positive, but many negative.

I learned that when it comes down to it, you can't rely on anyone but yourself, but I also learned that miracles in the form of talented people can pop up out of nowhere (thank you Gabby!).

I realized that the people you count on and admire the most aren't necessarily the people who come through for you or who do even the simplest, smallest favors you ask them to. But just when you're about to break, someone who cares will come along and go above and beyond what you expected (thank you Jenna - you're an angel!).

Then there are the board members like Julie Abernathy who, despite her insanely packed school schedule, responsibilities as the President of Rider's STAND chapter, and (understandably) her desire to devote the little free time she has to her boyfriend, she still manages to keep in touch and do the jobs she can handle. She came through at a critical time for the voting process and ensured my sanity.

I just want to say thank you to everyone who submitted, to everyone who supports this project, and to everyone on the board who does her best. Happy New Year and good luck!

~Julie Morcate

Monday, November 30, 2009

HerStory newsletter!

Please click on the pages to zoom.

Let's Talk About Feminism!

I am a Feminist and Couldn’t Be More Proud
By Laura Timperman

To be a feminist is often characterized as a negative characteristic due to off-putting connotations associated with the word. When people think “feminist” they often think bra burner, man hater, crazy woman or lesbian, but what does feminism really mean? “Women’s Voices, Feminist Visions” by Susan Shaw and Janet Lee, defines feminism as the belief in the social, political and economical equality for women (56). You don’t need to be a man hater, you don’t need to be a lesbian and you most definitely do not have to even be a woman!

Many women do not like to associate themselves with the word “feminist” because of the fear of being stereotyped, when in reality, feminist merely means you want women to have equal rights and opportunities (16). If a woman tells a man, “I am a feminist,” then there is often the possibility that she will be shunned or even feared because women with voices for themselves are not what is considered a conventional feminine trait.

A woman, in order to be accepted into a society that considers her as “the other sex” or considered being below the male gender, must act feminine. This includes traits such as soft, passive, domestic, nurturing, dependent, sensitive, dependent, needy and fearful or helpless (134-137). Women must often “do gender,” meaning she must walk, look, act and speak in feminine ways. These types of adjectives associated with women in mainstream North American culture have kept women in positions of subordination and encouraged them to be domestic and remain submissive (137-139). As a result, the term feminist was established for women who “broke out of the box.” Feminism is in no way encouraging women to be like men, but is about encouraging women to create their own culture, believe in themselves enough to pursue greater opportunities and break out of what society expects of them, such as being a cook, a maid and a mother.

Feminism is also “a political discourse aimed at equal rights and legal protection for women” (11). There were three waves of feminism. The first wave began in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the second in 1960s and 70s and the third wave began in the 1990s. In the nineteenth century, there were very few legal, social or economic rights for women, so there was a great struggle for gender equality. Married women lost inherited property rights to their husbands and women were barred from higher education until women’s colleges began opening. At this time, women learned how to fight for themselves because they had been observing and helping slaves gain their rights. The second wave of feminism was “mainly concerned with independence and greater political action to improve women’s rights.” The third wave of feminism focused on the inclusion of women in areas that were normally dominated by men. It challenged the common definitions of feminine and masculine characteristics as well as the definitions of gender and sexuality (11-13).

The Women’s Liberation Movement (WLM), a title adopted in 1960 to move away from the objectification of women in political discourse, was to gain equal opportunities in education; employment and pay; self-determination, such as birth control and/or abortions and an end to discrimination other grounds of sexuality, race, religion and ethnicity for women.

All the social, political and economical changes for women could not have occurred without strong, confident and optimistic females that rose above and fought to give women voices all over the country. To claim that you are a feminist is something a person should feel proud to say. I am a feminist. It feels good to say because I know that I have the power to make a change. My bras are not used to make a fire burn stronger, I like men and I am not sexually attracted to women, but I am a feminist who has a fiery passion in her heart to support her fellow women in fighting for the rights and opportunities that men already possess.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Break The Silence: The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Dear Friend,

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and we call upon you to take a moment to reflect on the silent terror of rape and sexual violence in situations of conflict across the African continent.

Many women who are survivors of rape and other forms of sexual violence suffer silently because speaking out usually result in stigma and rejection by their communities and families. Consequently many cases of rape and sexual violence go unreported and perpetrators go unpunished.

Break the Silence and join us in speaking out against these heinous crimes. At Africa Action we believe that breaking the silence and ending the systematic use of rape and sexual violence against women and girls is one of the most urgent moral responsibilities of our time.

To mark the International Day of the Eliminations of Violence against Women, Africa Action released Break The Silence: Stop Violence Against Women in Darfur and Sudan – a public education resource.
Download pdf

Unfortunately women across the continent, not only in Sudan are struggling with the long term effects of rape. From the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Guinea, women and girls must be protected, victims of rape need to be supported, and perpetrators of violence must be brought to justice.

To help raise awareness for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women add Africa Action's twitter ribbon to your twitter and facebook account! Follow Africa Action on twitter for more information and to add the twibbon to your social network pages.

Thank you,

Staff @ Africa Action

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Submissions Deadline Extended to Dec. 4!

HerStory is a literary journal devoted to women. The journal is seeking written and visual works that challenge, intrigue and enlighten our community. HerStory welcomes a variety of perspectives: both women and men are encouraged to submit their work, as long as the work gives women a voice. Accepted submissions include: poetry, prose, short stories, essays, reviews, interviews, visual art, photography, monologues and 10-minute plays.

All literary pieces must be sent in Microsoft Word. You may submit up to five titles (each having an 8” x 11” page maximum of 5 single-spaced or 10 double-spaced pages). Artwork should be submitted as prints or slides. Photos should be submitted as 4 x 7 or larger prints (all photos will appear inside the journal in black and white). With all submissions, include name, pen name if applicable, and e-mail address. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable if notification is given and includes both the name of the publisher and publication. Previously published works will not be considered. Email submissions and inquiries to:

HerStory is scheduled to be released each spring semester and will be accompanied by an evening of live entertainment and featured writers performing their published works.

SUBMISSIONS ACCEPTED: Now until December 4, 2009