Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Men hardwired to be unfaithful?

Here's another article. This one debunks modern studies arguing for biological determinism and gives men more credit than those that would suggest that biologically they just can't keep it in their pants.


Rape Culture

Though a little upsetting this is an article worth reading. It really tries to get at and challenge the way our society views rape and discusses a "rape culture" that not only allows but encourages us to place blame or at the very least responsibility on the victim.


"Rape culture is encouraging men to use the language of rape to establish dominance over one another ("I'll make you my bitch")….Rape culture is 1 in 6 women being sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. Rape culture is not even talking about the reality that many women are sexually assaulted multiple times in their lives. Rape culture is the way in which the constant threat of sexual assault affects women's daily movements….Rape culture is a judge blaming a child for her own rape….Rape culture is encouraging women to take self-defense as though that is the only solution required to preventing rape. Rape culture is admonishing women to "learn common sense" or "be more responsible" or "be aware of barroom risks" or "avoid these places" or "don't dress this way," and failing to admonish men to not rape."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

19th Century Women Writers: An Informal Panel Discussion

The Gender Issues Group organized a panel discussion about 19th Century Women Writers on Thursday, November 11 in Tifft Lounge. The presenters were Raven See '11, Heather Turnbull '11, and Becca Kingman '11. Raven discussed Jane Austen and her Pride and Prejudice character Elizabeth Bennet. Raven argued that the novel was not just a romance novel as is often believed, but depicts the struggle of middle class women of the 19th century in finding autonomy in a patriarchal society. Heather wrestled with the question of whether Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre should have married Mr. Rochester (revealing that she herself wouldn’t marry Mr. Rochester in a million years!), as well as pondering whether Mrs. Rochester was actually the strongest female character in the novel. Becca defended the choice of a lesser known author, Elizabeth Gaskell, to put her family life before her writing career. She admired Gaskell’s challenging task of writing an authentic biography for a maligned Charlotte Bronte. Following the students’ presentations, a large group of students, faculty and staff joined in on the discussion with questions and reflections of their own. The student organized event is part of the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Women's Studies Program at EC.

19th Century Women Writers: An Informal Panel Discussion

Raven See '11: Jane Austen

Heather Turnbull '11: Charlotte Bronte

Becca Kingman '11: Elizabeth Gaskell

Monday, November 8, 2010

Male, female or neither? Gender identity debated at same-sex colleges

I was looking for a new story to read during my radio show this morning and I found this, in my mind, amazing story on CNN: Male, Female or Neither? Gender Identity Debated at Same-Sex Colleges
The article is looking at the idea of same sex schools and what happens when attending students do not fit the traditional gender role. I personally am not sure what I think about this. I am all for people being whatever they choose to be, I do not think gender should define a person. At the same time we do live in a gendered world, and some people feel more comfortable in a same sex school and environment. Even at Elmira College I've been in class where male students will take over the class. In my ideal world this would never be an issue because gender would not define people the way it does now, it would be much more androgynous. This is not the society we are living in, so what should be do now?
In the position what I would do is allow students to continue their time at the school and allow them to be whatever person and gender they feel comfortable in.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Free Contraception?

If contraception is seen as preventive medicine it could be free under the new health care law...

I think this is very positive step for reproductive rights and choice. The invention of the birth control pill has greatly changed what it is like to be a woman, and this could continue the change in the right direction. Something to keep your eyes open for in the coming year.

I was thinking more about this idea and there could be a downside. If free birth control is available it could be used to control who is allowed to have children. If it went from not just the pill but things such as birth control shots or IUDs and women are forced to receive shots or these devices in order to receive other help. Just a thought...

Monday, October 25, 2010

From Boys to Men

Advertising and the changing image of men.


Link to "Calling Mr. Mom"

Gender Issues includes women AND men, as this New York Times Magazine essay by Lauren Belkin addresses.


Pretty by slam poet Katie Makkai

Why there needs to be Feminists

I am very proud that I am a feminist and will bring up this role in any conversation...not that I could really hide it stuff about gender just seems to spew out of me. I am sure that there still needs to be feminists and that the struggle is not over, but I have learned other people are not so sure. For one, many people find the term feminism confusing...but that is a different blog post. I want to talk about this idea that we don't need feminists anymore. I am sure I'm not they only one who has been told this and every time I do I feel the inner debater break through. I normally spew off the same reasons: the pay gap and glass ceiling, over sexualization of women, how some insurance companies will pay for Viagra and not birth control...the normal stuff. Sometimes I might include my own life experiences, how on my date this weekend the guy I was with just assumed that he would cover the dinner bill. Even after I offered, and then debated with him that I should pay for myself. While free dinner is not harmful to me, it is ideas behind it.
There is still real problems with gender equality in our county, other than men buying me dinner. I was doing an interview today for my research project, I asked my interviewee if they thought that there was still sexism even though women can be economic equals to men. She told me a story about a wedding she recently attended where the vows included that the husband would be the head of the household, the wife was to be loyal and obey to her husband...and all that jazz. How can we not need feminists and feminism if in this country, and in this state, women are still being married off as inferior? There are more, of what I would consider, horror stories of women still being expected to be subservient to men, and it is not just that they are expected to bake cookies. Women still are not seen as equal.
There are plenty of revolts against women's rights and equality, which in a way is a good sign, we've won enough that people are getting upset, but that means we need to keep fighting. What is gained can easily be lost again. If we don't watch out and just stop being a feminist and stop caring about sexism, we could be back to a society where it is more than ok to beat your wife, but expected. Where women's value is only in the children she has.

I would love to hear other's stories about why we still need feminism...or maybe why I'm wrong and we don't.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Curtesy of PostSecret

I really loved seeing this secret. Sometimes in our quest for female equality we forget about the male perspective. The societal pressure to be perfect, to conform to certain roles and expectations is just as real for men. I appreciate this person who is able to speak up about it. We need to create more conversation, letting both men and women know that it is okay to challenge these expectations.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010


This is a pretty interesting story about a female college student who has compiled a "sex" list rating, ranking, and all together objectifying her male conquests. Its a role reversal of sorts but is really rather disturbing. This is an intense power point that goes into detail about each man's "hardware" and ability in bed. Though I'm sure this has stirred up enough controversy I can't help but wonder how much more of an uproar would have been made if the gender roles had been reversed. Its no shock that women have been objectified for centuries but thats no excuse to offer a book deal... as it appears someone has... to a female objecitfying men.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Accused - A film about rape starring Jodie Foster


Though the film is trying to convince the audience that a woman never "deserves" to be raped, I found this clip of the bar scene posted with the label "Jodie Foster Hot Rape Scene." I think some viewers only see titillation.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips

This is a list that has been floating around the world wide web recently. It is a kind of humorous reversal of the traditional lists that get forwarded through emails informing women and sometimes men what they should do to not be attacked. By reversing the focus this list suggests something big about our perception of sexual assault cases. It seems to me that alot of pressure is placed on the victim. For example, think about a headline you may have read in the paper about such a case. Most often it will read, "woman was raped" instead of "attacker rapes woman". A simple change in word order changes the focus of the sentence and may even help to shift a sense of guilt,blame, or responsibility away from the victim. The perspective or way in which the material is presented can go along way in sparking or shifting our thought process.

Sexual Assault Prevention Tips... Guaranteed to Work!

1.Don't put drugs in people's drinks in order to control their behavior
2.When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!
3.If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to attack them!
4.NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.
5.If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON'T ASSAULT THEM!
6.Remember, people go to the laundry to do their laundry. Do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in the laundry room.
7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are out in public.
8.Be honest with people! Don't pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don't communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.
9. Don't forget: you can't have sex with someone unless they are awake!
10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you may assault someone you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

I got this list from www.thefword.org.uk

Monday, August 2, 2010

GIG member Wonder Woman (Mary Campolieta)
poses with Dr. Corey and Colleen McCall's children
Olive and Abel at the Octagon Fair in 2007.