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.

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): `

 

Blog Author:
Sheila Broderick, LCSW

“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.

Departments:

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

Departments:

“You can’t hate someone whose story you know,” wrote a Duke sophomore woman writing of her experience with being exposed to recent immigrants during an Alternative Fall Break experience she had last semester.  What she meant was that what she learned about these families who originated in countries other than the USA was that once you know their stories, you connect and you can longer live in the comfort of ignorance.

"I realized that by basing judgments about people off numbers (the statistics of 'illegals' who don't have documents) we take away the personal histories of this collection of people with different experiences.  It's like saying, 'You are just a number.  You are not who you think you are.  You do not deserve your own personality.  You are a number that I can manipulate as I please in an equation.  I can reduce you.  I can find your lmits.  I can eliminiate you.' "  Leslie Niiro, Duke Univ. Class of 2016

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