Feminism Is...

We seek to provide a safe place for discussion, empowerment and action as it pertains to inequality and the impact it has on both women and men.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

V-Day California Lutheran University 2011: The Vagina Monologues

Cross-posted in Discovering Social Justice...

On Wednesday, February 16, 2011, Feminism Is... presented The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler at California Lutheran University. The performance by members of Feminism Is... and students from the theatre department was absolutely amazing! These women did an amazing job!
Also amazing, some of CLU's feminists built a vulva doorway!!! I appreciate the help that Mari Bolanos, Mangala Kanayson, Mike Frieda, and Rachel Lichtman provided in making the doorway and fair trade chocolate vulva lollipops. I am also amazed by the dedication demonstrated by Kacy Cashatt, Astrid Olivares, and Bekah Peterson! These three feminists stayed at my house until 12:30 a.m. to help finish the doorway - their dedication to feminism and our club continues to amaze me often!
This year we also invited The Coalition to End Family Violence to be our beneficiary, and Planned Parenthood joined us! Such a great night!
Now for a few numbers...
1 vulva doorway
237 fair trade chocolate vulvas
Over 150 attendees
2 outside organizations
and a bunch of happy feminists!!!

Our V-Team Core:

Organizer: Sara Pressey

Director: Ashton Williams

Co-Producers: Maricela Bolanos, Mangala Kanayson

Set Design: Kacy Cashatt, Bekah Peterson, Astrid Olivares


"Introduction:" Kelsey Goeres, Kristen Keough, Diane Machin

Lists: Alyssa Soto, Storie Blake, Astrid Olivares

"The Vagina Workshop:" Valerie Miller

"Because He Liked to Look at it:" Sara Pressey

"My Angry Vagina:" Ashley Patterson

"Hair:" Allisun Palma-Ruwe

"The Flood:" Robyn Poynter

"Happy Vagina Fact:" Kacy Cashatt

"Not-So-Happy Fact:" Jessie Black

"Reclaiming Cunt:" Rocio Ayala

"My Vagina Was My Village:" Amanda Chial

Untitled ("A six-year-old was asked..."): Shakivla Todd

"I was there in the Room:" Jessie Black

"Hey Miss Pat:" Kim Hamon

"The Little Coochi Snorcher that Could:" Ashton Williams

"The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy:" Amanda Wallace

V-Day 2011 Spotlight Monologue: Katie Bode

Emcee: Mike Frieda

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Year, New Faces... Great things to come!

Hey everybody!

Hope you all had a great summer and are ready for a fantastic school year! We are planning to put on some awesome events this year and can't wait to see our favorite feminists!

As you know, orientation for first-year and transfer students started on Saturday, August 28th, and ends today. As a multicultural club (as of this semester, woohoo!), Mari and I were invited to represent Fem Is at two multicultural events during orientation. It was great! These students are so enthusiastic, and a good amount of students approached us, expressing interest in joining. There were even 3-4 students who said that they heard about our group prior to orientation and wanted to join before meeting us! Exciting, right? It looks we are going to have some great additions to our group this year!

So, with school starting tomorrow, I just want to give you all a quick update:

September 13th: Involvement Fair in Kingsmen Park 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

September 15th: First Fem Is meeting at 7 p.m. in the Center for Equality and Justice
- We will be talking about some of our plans and goals for the year and getting to know one another. It will be a fun meeting and there will be snacks, maybe even a surprise....

September 29th: Campus Organizers from the Feminist Majority Foundation will be on campus!
- They will be making classroom announcements, tabling and hosting an informational meeting from 4 p.m. until 5 p.m. in Swenson 103. Feel free to stop by for a few minutes if you can't stay for the whole meeting.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

FMF Interns won't let Ms. magazines go to waste.

As many of you know, I am interning with the Feminist Majority Foundation in Beverly Hills this summer. The other interns and I were shocked when we were asked to help Ms. interns and the FMF/Ms. receptionist throw away thousands of copies of Ms. Magazine!

Appalled by this task, two other interns and I began loading boxes of Ms. into our cars. There was no way we were going to let so many copies be thrown away even if it meant dumpster diving and sweating outside in the summer sun when we are supposed to be sitting in front of our computers in a nice air conditioned office.

Personally, I think that throwing away Ms. is worse than throwing away magazines like US Weekly or Cosmopolitan because Ms. is made with non-profit dollars! Can't we do some kind of sweepstakes or competition to decrease the number of magazines we have stored?

Unfortunately, we couldn't save them all... Actually, I don't think we even saved half of them. I even had about 300 pounds worth of magazines in the trunk of my car! On a positive note, I will be bringing 5 boxes [of the 10 boxes I shared with the intern I carpooled with and who helped move the magazines] to campus this fall!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Store Promotes Eating Disorder

Urban Outfitters has come out with a t-shirt that reads"Eat Less" on the front. How dare them promote anorexia? They should be ashamed for marketting this distasteful t-shirt.

Eating disorders are a serious problem among young girls and women in the US today. According to The National Institute of Mental Health five to ten percent of girls and women (5 to 10 million) suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Eating disorders can lead to serious health problems including but not limited to malnutrition, paralysis, cancer of the throat (bulimia), kidney infection and failure, osteoporosis, liver failure, depression (which can lead to suicide), digestive difficulties, and death.

If their argument is they are just "anti-obesity" then I ask myself why did they choose those words? Why couldn't they say "eat healthy" or "eat less junk"? And why are they only targeting women? There is no "eat less" t-shirt for men. What does this tell you? How does this make you feel?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A song about awesome feminists!

Le Tigre- Hot Topic

Fearless Feminist Photo Contest

So these are two of the photographs that I entered into the Fearless Feminist Photo Contest:


"It starts here"

I thought I'd talk a little about each one.

In the first photograph I have a Susan B. Anthony dollar in the midst of other coins. As we all know, those on U.S. currency are mostly past presidents of the United States, who all happen to be men, so I thought it was really cool that we had an influental figure in the Women's Movement on U.S. currency. For those of you who are not familiar with Susan B. Anthony, she was a civil rights leader in the 19th century. She fought for women's rights, especially for women's right to vote. Favorite words by her: "Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less"

What inspired me to take the second picture?
I was thinking about how I grew up and what I learned in school, and looking back I realized that I really did not have an education on women's issues, and I definitely wish that I had. I think that the only way we can empower girls is through teaching them as early as possible pivotal moments in history ESPECIALLY the women's movement. I really don't remember learning anything about the women's movement in elementary school or even in high school and that makes me angry! It was not until college that I took a women studies course and I had learned so much, and I had never felt more empowered. It would have been great feeling empowered at a younger age, it would have definitely helped me out a lot more growing up.
Also, I think that we can start empowering young girls even before they are born by not following gender stereotypes (i.e. boys wear blue jeans, girls wear pink dresses.) Parents have to stop creating expectations (based on gender stereotypes) for their children, and let their children pick what they want to wear, what they want to play with, and who they want to be.

- Mari B.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Story Behind a Tormented Girl's Suicide

Cross-posted of the Choices Campus Blog
In late January, 15-year-old Phoebe Prince made headlines when she committed suicide after prolonged harassment from classmates at South Hadley High School in Massachusetts. Six months later, the town of South Hadley and the blogging community are enthralled with the case. Media sources ranging from the Boston Globe and NBC's Today Show to lesser known sources like The Republican have featured stories about this young teen's suicide.
Phoebe Prince moved from County Clare, Ireland, to South Hadley, Massachusetts, in 2009. Later that year, she began to attend South Hadley High School where she easily made friends and maintained strong academic performance. However, her involvement with an older boy sparks harassment from her peers.
The media portrays Phoebe's story as suicide resulting from stereotypical girl-on-girl bullying, but there is more to her story than mainstream media leads us to believe. In an investigation by Slate, Emily Bazelon challenges District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel's argument by analyzing information about Phoebe Prince and the actions of the six teenagers who are thought to have bullied her. Bazelon questions the validity of the six teens' sentences which range from stalking and harassment to statutory rape and most serious, civil rights violation involving bodily injury. She suggests that the sentences against the teens could be too severe because Phoebe's cutting, depression and distance from her father may have contributed to her decision to ultimately kill herself.
While reading about this girl's story, I began to question the motive of the teen bullies. As I continued to look through articles about the case, I came across a post written by the Boston Globe that focused on the teens as "The untouchable Mean Girls." These teens definitely fit the Lindsay Lohan Mean Girls definition; vengeance-seeking, name-calling, slut-shaming, mean girls whose football player boyfriends go along with everything they say. However this article's introduction caught my attention:
Like a lot of kids her age, Phoebe Prince was a swan, always beautiful andsometimes awkward. Last fall, she moved from Ireland into western Massachusetts, a new town, a new country, a new culture. She was 15, when all that matters is being liked and wearing the right clothes and just fitting in.
The first thing that bothers me about this is the emphasis that the author puts on her appearance, comparing her to a swan. Secondly, the author suggests that a 15-year-old girl only needs to worry about the superficial. These two issues bring to mind society's obsession with appearance and how much popular culture has sexualized women and girls because the harassment that Phoebe faced was related to her brief relationship with a football player who immediately returned to another girl and consisted primarily of slut-shaming in the forms of internet bashing, name-calling and taunting.
In general, the media's reinforcement of hegemony often leads to internalized sexism, racism and homophobia. Because the media sexualizes women and girls while also shaming women who enjoy sex, women who are subject to internalized sexism often bash other women for being "slutty." In addition, the sexualization of women and girls has influenced teen girls' body image and self-esteem, leading to their emotional vulnerability and even attacks on other girls who are considered attractive.
I seriously wonder if these types of unfortunate events would happen as often if women and girls were not so sexualized... I am curious as to what everyone's opinions are on this subject?
Photo Credit: Brisbane Times