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): `
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.
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