The Vagina Monologues are Coming Soon!!!

February 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Women’s Awareness Month and VDay Georgia Tech 2011 presents a one-night benefit production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues.” Hailed by The New York Times as “funny” and “poignant” and by the Daily News as “intelligent” and “courageous,” The Vagina Monologues, which was first performed off- Broadway by Ms. Ensler, dives into the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement buried in women’s experiences.  Tickets for The Vagina Monologues are on sale now at the Ferst Center Box Office and the Women’s Resource Center, or online at the www.ferstcenter.org.

We hope you will join us as we raise funds for United 4 Safety, an organization that works to reduce intimate partner violence within the LGBTQQI community by improving the understanding of and response to intimate partner violence through education, training and resource development.

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Don’t Dress Like a Slut!

February 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

According to a police officer in Toronto, Canada the best way for women to prevent sexual assault is to not dress like a slut. On January 24, 2011 at Osgoode Hall Law School, a campus safety information session was held and two male officers from the local police division were in attendance. When giving his presentation, one of the officers said that women can avoid sexual assault by not dressing like a ‘slut’. Yes, I know you’re shocked, but these were his exact words.

This statement says and implies many things, all of which are wrong. First, this statement implies that women are asking to be raped by dressing like ‘sluts’. Second, this police officer is essentially blaming victims for something that was done to them. Third, this also reinforces the idea of not reporting a rape because you will be blamed for it. A statement like this, especially made by a law enforcement officer, displays just how hard it is for a rape victim to speak up. Fourth, this undermines a woman’s right to display her sexuality. There are so many things wrong with this statement that there isn’t enough space to express them all. I’ll let you decide. Here is the link to the article about this story:

http://www.excal.on.ca/news/don%E2%80%99t-dress-like-a-slut-toronto-cop/

The school and its officials are currently asking for a statement of apology from the police officer and the entire local police division. So far, no apology has been given.

This is what a (future) feminist looks like….

February 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

This 5 year old has goals, and she wants you to know about them.  May favorite part is when she says, “I don’t care if I marry you, I care if I do something that’s special.” Love her.

Architect Barbie

February 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Given what we know about Barbie and the unrealistic and unhealthy beauty myth she helps to sell to young girls around the world, what do the women of Tech think about Architect Barbie? While I think it is fantastic that Barbie’s career options have grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade (Barbie as a presidential candidate and as a chef come to mind), I think the folks at Mattel have a lot of work to do in terms of making Barbie the kind of doll I’d want to give to a young girl. I’m glad she’s no longer limited to being a fashion model or fashion designer (not that those careers aren’t valid ones, they just aren’t the only ones), and I am particularly excited that Barbie’s new career is one that many women didn’t have much access to until recently. As a bonus, Architect Barbie does come with a set of blueprints, a hard hat, and a house she designed- in pink, of course.

For more on Barbie’s careers since 1959 check out this Good Housekeeping piece.

Sexist Comments Cost British Sports Commentators Their Jobs

February 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Women’s achievements in athletics can be dated as far back as 396 B.C. when Spartan princess Kyneska won an Olympic chariot race, going down in history as the first woman to win an ancient Olympic game. Women have been competing in and making their presence known in the modern Olympic games for over a century. Today, women participate in virtually every aspect and sport that men compete in. Why is it then that women are still being patronized in the world of athletics and are still the recipients of sexist remarks?

Andy Grays, British sports commentator, was fired earlier this year when he and a colleague made sexist remarks about women soccer officials. The colleague, Richard Keys resigned days later. Grays was recorded saying, “What do women know about the offside rule?” Despite the fact that women have made monumental achievements, they still face negativity and have many obstacles, such as this, to overcome.

Redefining Rape Victims?

February 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Bobby Franklin, a state representative in the Georgia Legislature, proposed a new bill to change the term ‘victim’ to the term ‘accuser’ in the Official Code of Georgia (titles 16 and 17). The law would apply to victims of stalking, rape, and domestic violence. The legislation says the following:

“To amend Titles 16 and 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to criminal law and criminal procedure, respectively, so as to change the term “victim” to the term “accuser” in the context of a number of statutes making reference to circumstances where there has not yet been a criminal conviction; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.”

Just in case you were unaware, the majority of victims of stalking, rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence are women. Sexual assault and rape are some of the most underreported crimes and this law would make it even more difficult for victims to come forward. The bill will call all of these victims ‘accusers’ until a conviction is reached. There is a problem with this. This undermines the victim’s experience by essentially questioning whether a crime actually occurred. Robbery and fraud victims are still victims, as this bill does not apply to those crimes. In my opinion, this is sending the message that rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking victims could have possibly made up their experience. Apparently, people who experience crimes such as these were not actually victimized. Does this make any sense? Absolutely not.

This bill shows that the ideology that rape victims are guilty until proven innocent is still all too prevalent in our society. As a resident of the state of Georgia, this bill makes me sick.

Bottom line: every crime has a victim. Changing the word victim to the word accuser, only in the instances of rape, domestic violence, and stalking, just presents one more obstacle for victims of these violent crimes.

If this proposed bill concerns you, contact your representative or Representative Franklin and let them know. Tell them that women already have enough barriers to face when seeking justice for gender-based crimes and the state of Georgia shouldn’t create more.

Womensphere: Women You Should Know

February 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is the second guest post by Georgia Tech student, Melissa McCoy. Make sure to check out Melissa’s earlier post here.

When she walked up onto the stage I wasn’t sure if 24-year-old Jessica Posner was a lost undergraduate attendee who thought this was the way to the restroom or the just-announced speaker; apparently she was the speaker. Confidently but humbly she began to tell of her experience in Kenya and how she created Shining Hope for Communities (www.hopetoshine.org/), a non-profit that combats extreme poverty and gender inequality in Kibera- Africa’s largest slum. Her story was inspiring not only because she was so young but also for the level of impact she is making. Shining Hope runs the Kibera School for Girls- the slum’s first free school for girls, as well as a community health clinic, clean toilet initiative, youth and community education, and economic development initiatives.  The school is helping young girls in Kenya as well as giving motivation to young women of my generation to go create this kind of change in the world.  From her speech and story, I learned that you’re never too young, unskilled, or unknowledgeable to create the change you wish to see. Jessica won the 2010 Do Something Award and was named “Amerca’s top-world changer 25 and under” live on VH1 (http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_15550044). Shining Hope has been featured on CNN, in Fast Company Magazine, and The New York Times and won the 2010 Dell Social Innovation Competition as well as been recognized by Newman’s Own Foundation.

Later in the day, the founder and CEO of T3, the largest independent advertising agency owned by a woman in the country, with offices in Austin, New York, and San Francisco was introduced. I was intrigued not only by this introduction and but also by the all-too-familiar Texas-accent she began to speak with. In 1989, Gay Gaddis started T3 with two employees and a $16,000 IRA, after her former company failed to support a new business model, she developed a company that combined creative advertising with scientific measurement. She trusted her gut and never looked back and the level-mindedness, personality, and effective communication that no doubt led to her success was strikingly apparent when listening to her speech and meeting her in person after the event. She is showing women that it is possible not only to build a multimillion-dollar company from the ground up, but also that it’s possible to do it while having a family and maintaining a healthy balance. She has a strong marriage and 3 children, 2 of whom work with her in the company. My favorite thing she said was “Just do it. So many women entrepreneurs piddle around and don’t move forward and it’s better to just jump and fight to survive.” She is a strong role model for women entrepreneurs, especially those with a small business who are unsure about growing, as well as those of my generation who are becoming vastly more concerned with balancing career and family ambitions. Gay reminded me so much of my chemical engineering mother who now runs her own engineering consulting business and I’m so glad women of their generation are inspiring and pushing young women of today to reach for their dreams like they did.

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