As the proud alumna of an all-women's college, when I read Devin'e piece on the guy-centennial, I was struck by the immediate obvious differences between our respective undergraduate experiences. As I've reflected on her words, though, I've been thinking a lot about what it means to "be present": what are all the ways that we erase women's presences? And how do we thoughtfully draw them back into the picture? This, and much more food for thought, is available in the current issue of Iris Magazine.
In countries around the world, something as simple as a carefully constructed string of colored beads can enable birth attendants to guide birthing women and their babies safely through “the most dangerous day.” Here in Charlottesville, traditional approaches inform the ways that our Rodriguez Lecturer Rachel Zaslow teaches women to help each other achieve better outcomes for families of color.
"Mommy, do you want a piece of my candy?"
"No, thank you, Bug. I'm not hungry right now."
"But I got your favorite, Reese's! Have a piece of candy!"
This is a scene that plays out on a regular basis in my house, and yesterday's holiday only amplifies it. In this moment, chances are very good that I actually want to have a piece of her candy. I've learned, however, that moments like this one are an ideal opportunity for something more important than chocolate and peanut butter: it's a chance to practice consent education.
"Sweetie, what did Mommy say?"
"No..." [picture a disappointed look on her face.]
"And what does 'no' mean?"
"No means no. So you don't want candy, do you?"
"No, Bug, I don't want any candy. Thanks for offering, and thank you for respecting my 'no'."
About the Author
Exploring women's issues in search of a world that more equitable for everyone.
* frac·tal FRACTALS ARE USEFUL IN MODELING STRUCTURES (SUCH AS ERODED COASTLINES OR SNOWFLAKES) IN WHICH SIMILAR PATTERNS RECUR AT PROGRESSIVELY SMALLER SCALES (Google dictionary)