Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Shane spoke to an audience consisting of faculty, staff, and students about LGBT issues that plague college campuses today. He spoke about what he felt were Ramapo's strong points and things that could also be improved upon (*ahem* gender neutral bathrooms and LGBT recruitment efforts!) but I left the room with so much more than that- I left feeling inspired, hopeful, and motivated.
As an LGBT identified college student, it was an amazing opportunity to hear Shane speak and bring light to these important issues to the broader campus community. Discussing why it's important to have support for LGBT students (as there are higher suicide rates, higher rates of bullying, and higher rates of substance abuse in the LGBT community) as well as how we can achieve that support as an institution was both empowering and enlightening. He captured the attention of everybody in the room and created such a buzz of positive energy.
Not only that, but I got the opportunity to meet him personally and chat with him. It was a wonderful experience and I am so fortunate to have been a part of it!
Thank you Shane for coming to Ramapo and being such an amazing and inspiring leader!
Monday, April 14, 2014
Friday, April 11, 2014
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Let's start with the most illogical aspect of women's clothing, especially when compared to men's clothing: SIZING! Men's pants are sized based on two numbers: the measurement of your waist and the length of your leg. When both of these measurements are used, relatively accurate sizes are available for purchase. With that in mind, what is someone supposed to do with a size like "8." What does that even mean?! Not only does the number signify nothing in relationship to actual body size, but sizes are anything but consistent across the many different brands of clothing.
Another infuriatingly un-functional accessory that some women use are belts. While there are belts that do hold your pants up, and some of these belts even manage to look pretty, there are far too many belts out there that you buy under the impression that they will work, only to discover they are flimsy bits of decorative fabric. They seem fine at first, and then reveal their true identity at the most inopportune time as your pants start falling down during an important meeting.
Next, we look to the gloriously popular yet sometimes completely unnecessary high heel. To disfigure your foot and occasionally put yourself through intense pain to wear these shoes makes no sense to me. It is especially ridiculous when creative designers outfit superheroes with high heels. How can one fight crime effectively when one can hardly walk?
And last, but certainly not least, is one of the most infuriating aspects of women's clothing: the tiny and sometimes entirely fake pockets. This particular subject is a touchy one for me, and I honestly don't think it even deserves my attention. This comic pretty much sums it up:
Following all these rants about relatively un-functional aspects of women's clothing, I'd like to be sure to state that every person has the right to present themselves however they choose, and this includes clothing. The issue I take with these garments is not that they exist and most certainly not with the people who choose to wear them, but rather with the expectation that all women should make these garment choices, to the point at which alternative clothing options are not available. If you want to wear an ornamental belt, then great! I'd just like clothing lines to recognize my need for a functioning one as well.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
It often feels like it kicks into overdrive, and sometimes, it makes me feel like I’m burning out. I love a good, intellectual discussion on the classist social system that continues to oppress women and people of color as much as the next person, but it can be a little emotionally triggering sometimes.
Many people come into their activism as a result of trauma or challenging life experiences, and that is exactly why self-care is essential in this line of work. As I am slowly learning, prioritizing yourself and your needs goes a long way as a part of the larger activist movement. When feminists take the time to recharge and rejuvenate, they are better equipped to tear down and tackle complex social issues.
After attending my first two national and regional social justice-y conferences last year, I felt ready to take on the patriarchal society. I couldn’t wait to riot and campaign in hopes of inciting social change and enlightening a whole new generation of future feminists. I had finally found a place, a place where a young queer woman of color like myself could fit in, and I was going to do whatever it took to make my voice heard.
I had taken the red pill and I was hooked. I was learning new things every day and I wanted more. My mind was expanding and my hunger for more did, too. I read so many feminist blogs and books than I could even wrap my mind around.
Vividly, I remember one of my mentors saying to me, “As an activist, you have to remember to take care of yourself or you’ll burn out too quickly.” At that point, I thought, how on earth could that happen? Social justice is my jam.
Fast forward a year and my activism is still as powerful and fulfilling as ever, but I find myself needing to take some days to binge-watch Netflix just to keep me from feeling like I’ve hit a wall. I get physically and emotionally drained at the single thought of explaining social justice issues to other people, but that it OK.
My newfound appreciation for self-care has helped me:
- Learn to say no when I am in way over my head.Now, this list can be edited and re-edited a million times and is nowhere near finished, but it’s a good start. I’ve found that in order for me to advocate for other people, I need to take care of myself first.
- Stop feeling guilty for not educating everyone.
- Appreciate hanging out with my activist friends without talking about activism.
Until next time,