Blog

Blog Author:
McCall Hollie, Duke Univ Women's Center Intern, Class of 2016

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.

Departments:
Blog Author:
Sean Novak and India Pierce

 

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.

Blog Author:
Sheila Broderick, LCSW

I recently read the book by Daniel Bergner, “What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire.” After my initial eye rolling “who but a guy can talk about female sexuality?” thoughts, I opened my mind and read.  Then I heard him in an interview say the following beautiful words.  I was so moved that I pulled over to the side of the road in order to fully attend to what he was saying.

“I sometimes think we have to be a little braver about just caring more. Caring, and being open about caring about sex, with one’s partner sounds like it should be easy, but I think often it’s not because you can fail and you can feel hurt. And so I think that candor and caring are important and might well be the root to maintaining passion.”

Departments:
Blog Author:
Sheila Broderick, LCSW

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Once parents find out that I specialize in treating the effects of sexual assault, if they have girls, they often ask me what they should say to their daughter to keep her safe.

 

First, I will say actually you should be talking to the men and boys in your life about the daily realities of violence toward women because we will never make any progress until 50% of the population stops absorbing this problem as a way of protecting the feelings of the men in their lives.

 

Departments:

 

“Sheila, we are just souls in bodies learnin’ stuff,” he said to me.  And with that one utterance, I was able to let go of the guilt du jour for mistakes made that I had been carrying around.  It is simply not true that therapy only happens in a therapist’s office.  I find mine more often than not sitting across the table from someone I love at Daisycakes or Cocoa Cinnamon or Fullsteam. 

As we begin the last 5 weeks of Spring 2013 semester at Duke I find myself reflective of the souls in bodies who are learning stuff.  It’s that time of the year you can feel the fear from the seniors.  It’s in their dreams of showing up to graduation in their pajamas, it’s in their memorized phrases they tell people my age when I ask, “so, what’s next?”  This year, their fear bounces from them and jumps right into my own soul, also full of it’s own fear.

Departments:

There are those who talk and there are those who do.  WHO (Women's Housing Option) does.  This living group has set themself apart as more than just a place for women to live.  Concepts like "safe space", "social advocacy" and "community efficacy" come to mind when looking at the stirring and dynamic new campaign that was launched last week.  Body image issues are a reality in many of our lives.  The statistics that support this truth are alarming as words are spoken with little or no thought given to the lasting psychological impact that is left in the wake of commentaries on women's bodies.  It is encouraging to see that, with the photo expertise of Ashley Tsai, this group of women has created space to invite conversation, expand thought provoking images and develop the tools to initiate positive change.  All of our lives are affected when even one life is disrupted by the inability

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The really beautiful thing about turning 48 on a college campus is the gifts you receive from the 18, 19 and 20 somethings who cross your path.  There is so often a hint of old soul wisdom behind those unwrinkled flawless eyes.

Recently, I shared some very disappointing news with one such soul.  I found myself feeling ashamed of all of us that we cannot seem to figure out how to hold people accountable for the ways they harm one of us.  I felt immeasurably sad and overwhelmed with guilt that I could not protect her from the harsh reality of the frailty of humanity nor our inherent brokenness that keeps us from hearing and being heard.

Departments:

The students are always asking me what I do over the summer when they are not here on campus.  Indeed….what does the staff do when they are not around?  This summer, my Duke loves, I was introduced to impermanence and the power of steadfast resolve.

I was hiking and camping in Utah with friends.   For 5 days, Marty, more like a brother than colleague, would say “Sheila, all it takes is wind, water and time” when I would remark on the leveling of the mountains into oceans of sand.  These flat dessert sands interrupted by tall humanoid mountains reminded me of the power of patiently waiting.  All it took to create this unfamiliar Utah landscape was wind, water and time.