We had just wrapped up at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, drained from taking in all the incredible history exhibited in the museum’s three buildings. The consensus was to take the tram to a spot for lunch, then hop on it again to find a baklava shop we’d heard is amazing. The tram is one of several fantastic methods of public transportation used by what feels like everyone (at the same time) in the city of Istanbul. A seat on the bus, metro, or tram is a highly coveted spot that is not easily attained. In fact, sometimes just getting on any of these vehicles is a nearly impossible feat because they are so crowded. “Maximum Capacity” doesn’t seem to be a concept as firmly held here as it is in the U.S.
Collaboration & Change for a Common Good
A Reflection on Collaboration in Campus Life
India Pierce and Sean Novak
One way that we can work effectively to create change for a common good is to work collaboratively across communities. With this in mind, India Pierce from the Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity (CSGD) came together with Sean Novak from the Center for Multicultural Affairs (CMA) to create a program that explored the intersections of race and sexual orientation. As part of the CMA’s En/Countering Racism series (E/C), they created a program for students to gather and explore intersectionality. This was done in order to deepen participants’ understanding of themselves and others as a means to building stronger coalitions for social justice.
Will you help me? Today, I am on my “Relationship Soapbox.” I invite you to get mad with me and spread the word. First, I supply context. Something like 18 times a week, I hear some version of this from friends, neighbors, family and students:
“Me and this guy, this girl, this friend (insert whatever nomenclature fits here) are “hooking up” but we are not in a relationship.” Let’s suspend my irritation with the laziness of the “hooking up” verbage. I will save that rant for another blog. For today, I will focus on the silliness of the notion of sexual intimacy without a relationship.
For this blog post, some of the interns at the Women’s Center decided to share our personal history with feminism. We have all had different experiences and there isn’t a singular theme among our stories, but we hope that our experiences encourage others in the Duke community to explore what feminism means to them.
From Colleen O’Connor (Community Building and Organizing Intern): `
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome, unreciprocated and unwanted sexual attention, gestures or touching - occurring to an extent in which they adversely interfere with your life because of their severity and persistence. Sexual harassment is taken very seriously by the Duke community. The Duke Harassment Policy states: "Harassment of any individual for any reason is not acceptable at Duke University."
Did you know that rates of sexual harassment are almost equal for male and female students?
According to 'Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus' (AAUW Educational Foundation, 2005), males and females report having experienced sexual harassment at similar rates, but the types of harassment they experience are very different.
Among the top 3 sex questions I get asked is “does it get better?” I take it from this that a lot of us are having at best pretty disappointing first sexual experiences and at worst painful and confusing.
So, let’s start with the first, disappointing. I will save the suspension and go ahead and answer a resounding yes! Or, perhaps I should say “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!”
The first time I rode a horse (okay, all right, I know, I know, skip the joking) but seriously, it’s an apt and personal memory. The first time I rode a horse I was terrified. 2000 pounds of energy and muscles and I was supposed to know how to stay on, how not to get hurt, much less figure out how to enjoy the experience. I am a “set your expectations low” kind of lass and I remember being grateful that nothing had broken – on me or him. No one got hurt.
Just like sex.
“He doesn’t get points for that.” It’s one of the most common “sheilaisms” you will hear in my office. We quite simply live in a culture that literally awards boys points for merely NOT walking into a room and punching a woman in the face or raping her or telling her to go make him a sandwich. How often do we get annoyed with young mothers in grocery stores for their loud children and how often when it’s a dad struggling, do we offer help or at the very least think to ourselves “oh look at that great dad babysitting his children?” Imagine thinking a mom is babysitting her children.
By Write(H)ers participant Lillie Reed, T'14
In fourth grade, I did a lot of things I’m not proud of. I wore pants to school that were fully ripped up the butt, and not just one time. I let my mom give me a bowl cut – again. I allowed my classmates to nickname me “Beaner”, which neither they nor I realized was a racial slur (made especially inappropriate by its application to the only mildly Hispanic person in the class). Exercising a complete lack of oversight, my mom then let me sew this name on a backpack. This is, perhaps, the most embarrassing thing I have ever worn on my body for two straight years.
Top 5 reasons to be an intern:
1. One-on-one mentorship with a staff member
“The best part about my one-on-one mentorship with a staff member is that my mentor got to know me on a personal level, rather than just a professional one. Thus, I was able to both get help performing my tasks in the women's center and be challenged personally to think about the gendered issues I'm addressing every day.” ~Maya Flippen, 2nd year
2. Cultivate skills in student engagement and leadership
"Being able to help create and now coordinate a brand-new program, Duke Write(H)ers, has taught me so much about how to engage with other students. I've been challenged to think creatively about how to encourage other writers and lead the charge to succeed within the feminist media landscape." ~Samantha Lachman, 4th year