Not Ever Campaign

January 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

In a world where it is common to blame the victim, Rape Crisis Scotland’s Not Ever campaign presents a refreshing outlook on rape prevention and response. The Not Ever campaign promotes the idea that no one ever deserves to be raped. Drinking with your friends, wearing a short skirt, consenting to some sexual activity, or even going home with someone is not the same as giving consent and certainly does not mean someone is “asking to be raped”. The Not Ever campaign directly challenges this “asking for it” mentality with a Public Service Announcement released in June 2010.

 

In Scotland, only 3% of rape reports end in convictions. This is an overwhelmingly low percentage. The women-blaming mentality does not foster an environment in which women feel comfortable speaking up about rape for fear of being humiliated or scrutinized. Additionally, these attitudes may affect the possibility of a rape victim seeing justice because of the prevalence of this mentality among jurors. There is only one person who is responsible for a rape: the rapist. No matter how many drinks you’ve had or if you kissed this person before— no one ever deserves to get raped.
For more information on the Not Ever campaign, visit www.notever.co.uk. I posted the public service announcement below. Let me know what you think!

 

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Mis(s) Representation?

January 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

As a woman, I spend a lot of time thinking about media representations of women. Most of the time, I am sorely disappointed by what I see- young girls being hypersexualized, women’s bodies used in violent and objectified ways in order to sell products that have nothing to do with them, news pundits reporting on what women politicians are wearing instead of what they are saying.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s new film Miss Representation looks like it will be a promising investigation of these media images that I find so degrading and often times, offensive. It features interviews with women like Margaret Cho, Condoleezza Rice, Dianne Feinstein, Gloria Steinem, Katie Couric, Lisa Ling, and many, many more. According to the film’s website,  “Miss Representation explores women’s under-representation in positions of power by challenging the limited and often disparaging portrayal of women in the media. As one of the most persuasive and pervasive forces in our culture, media is educating yet another generation that women’s primary value lies in their youth, beauty and sexuality—not in their capacity as leaders.” Sounds like something worth checking out! What about you, would you be interested in seeing the film? What do you think Georgia Tech women would have to say about this?

I Will Not Be Afraid of Women

January 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Check out this incredible (and informative) video from the Women’s Media Center blog.

The Women’s Media Center has sent their bloggers to the Sundance Film Festival and tasked them with interviewing filmmakers (writers, directors, producers, and actors) about the status of women in film.

I think this is a fantastic project and I’m excited to learn more about what they find. What about you? How many of you can name more than one woman who is a director or screenwriter? What do you think would change about film if more women were involved in making them?

 

Bahrain on my mind…

January 25, 2011 § 2 Comments

This post is written by guest contributor, Thema Monroe-White. Thema is a doctoral student in the Public Policy program at Georgia Tech. She will be sharing more about her conference trip to Bahrain at the WRC’s Graduate Women’s Brown Bag Lunch on January 26 (for more information click here).

Title: Bahrain on my mind…

I recently presented my paper on student entrepreneurship at the 10th International Entrepreneurship Forum (IEF) in Bahrain.

Bahrain is an island nation located off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf.  Over 40% of the population is foreign.  Men wear traditional Bahraini dress, European business suits, and jeans, the women were in full orthodox Islamic dress, short skirts and heels.  This melting pot environment made my experience in Bahrain truly eye opening.  Naturally, I was nervous, curious and excited all at the same time.

Bahraini board members of the non-profit inJAz. Executive Director H.H. Sh. Hessa Bint Khalifa seated in the middle. Ms. Khalifa was a panelist at the 10th International Entrepreneurship Forum.

Upon arriving in Bahrain, I immediately noticed that the air was clean, the cars were new, the sky was starlit and Bahrain’s rate of exchange to the US dollar was 2.65 to 1.  That means that a tiny bottle of water in Bahrain cost me $3.50.  It also means that even though the McDonalds was packed at 9pm in downtown Manama (that’s the capital) on a Friday night, the oil-rich country and its inhabitants were wealthy.

The women (from throughout the Middle East) that I met were well dressed and well decorated.  Their jewelry was some of the most beautiful I had ever seen, the make-up flawless and they were overall very proud.   However, as someone who studies inequality and marginalized groups I am aware of the variety of shapes that they can take.  Bahrain clearly had inequality, and signs of overall social problems were evident as well.  The dark skinned Indian woman confined to the bathroom at the Isa Cultural Center & Mosque, ensured that I noticed the inequality.  The Bangladeshi waiter and Indian researcher made it clear to me that for them the US was still their land of opportunity.  My Lebanese high school classmate with her British husband reminded me that the price of a comfortable life was low-wage ‘help’ and a zero income tax.  The two people that were physically thrown out of my hotel for smoking in a non-smoking restaurant reminded me that some problems are universal.

There is so much that I learned about myself and about the ‘Island of Two Seas.’  Travelling alone (no husband and no children) made sure of that. I wasn’t quite sure how to act – like a student, like a mother or a wife.  So I found myself surprising everyone no matter how I introduced myself: “So you are from America!” or “Wow you’re married?” or “You have three children?” and “You are a student too?”  Well actually, that does sound a lot like what I hear in the States… interesting, right?  Either way, going abroad for professional purposes was an exciting change.  I’ve travelled across Africa, Central America and Europe before, so travelling did not bother me.  However, this was my first time presenting my research and that made me anxious.

I was nervous about how people would receive me and my study.  Was it academic or rigorous enough? Would it be relatable? After all, I was the only US student presenting at the conference and my topic was only about US student cases!  I wasn’t sure how to spin it or how it would be received so I just dove in and swam like the other fishes.  So what did I learn?  That if you’re confident, others will be confident in what you have to say.

Overall, I would say that another trip to Bahrain would be well worth it.  I enjoyed the atmosphere, the general level of comfort with outsiders and the familiarity with the English made it easy to get around.  How does it sound to you?

Welcome!

January 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Georgia Tech Women’s Resource Center is excited to be launching our blog! Here we will cover news and events that impact the lives of women on our campus and across the world. Some of the topics you can expect to see covered here on a regular basis are women and sports, women in science, LGBTQ issues, body image, and violence against women, among many others. We will also be reviewing movies, books, and sharing upcoming event information.

If you have an idea for a blog topic you’d like to see covered, would like to contribute an entry, or be a regular contributor email Melanie at melanie.demaeyer@vpss.gatech.edu.

Thanks for visiting us and make sure to add our blog to your rss feed or share it with a friend!

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