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'."
The primary focus of graduate training was a comparative study of women's writing from Ireland and the Caribbean. In the course of writing my dissertation, I thought a lot about who tells to tell which stories. So I was thrilled to see Kimia's reflection on Nancy Gibbs' career. This, and much more food for thought, is available in the current issue of Iris Magazine.
Sunday evening, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, and I saw the #MeToo campaign reigniting in live time. I saw a few friends post "MeToo" and was intrigued; then I saw a 4th post it with an explanation. I caught my breath. Would I participate? What would my mother say when she saw it (or my father, when he read my mother's feed?). Wait, Mom and Dad are on vacation. They likely won't see it. I released my breath, pushed the memory of a guy's face out of my mind, and copied and pasted.
EDITED TO ADD: in the hours since I hit "publish," I've been torn between wanting to add nuance, both to be sure I wasn't appropriating a different story that isn't mine and to assure loved ones that it wasn't that bad (looking for euphemism here), and not wanting to suggest that somehow failing to treat women as full human beings is ok just because only one line was crossed, not multiple lines... I'm still thinking about these conflicting impulses, and when I envision a more just world, it is one in which this debate becomes irrelevant.
I joke that bacon stands between me and vegetarianism and that I will never try veganism because of cheese. But every week when I buy milk, I think about the level of privilege required to choose organic milk from grass-fed cows (at $8-9 a gallon) over "regular milk" (at $2.29 a gallon), so I was really interested to see Laura's reflections on the economics of food choice. This, and much more food for thought, is available in the current issue of Iris Magazine.
Middle school students ask hard questions and expect honest answers. And they taught me so much about structural inequalities in our country. While anyone can work hard and achieve success, the kinds of success within reach can vary greatly, and how we structure our educational system impacts these possibilities.
As a high school band geek (the last majorette at my high school, thank you very much!), it warms my heart to read Devin's profile of the four women leading the Cavalier Marching Band this year. This, and much more food for thought, is available in the current issue of Iris Magazine.
August 21 saw ‘Hoos gathering all over Grounds – reconnecting with friends, welcoming the Class of 2021, viewing the solar eclipse, and stepping into new roles for the 2017-2018 year.
Expecting parents field a lot of questions, but none more often than this one. This question reveals how deeply embedded gender is in our social interactions.
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)