The “Girls Only” Guide to the University of Idaho

By Madison Griffin

Stress and depression is not a women’s only issue. After a lifetime raised on Cathy comics in the Sunday paper, I feel the need to say that the posterchild for depression is not a woman eating ice cream alone and watching “chick flicks” on Netflix.

Despite what we’ve been told women don’t get depression more often than men. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Anita Chatigny, women are just more willing to report symptoms of depression. Studies show that physicians (both men and women) are also more likely to diagnose their female patients with depression than their male patients exhibiting the same symptoms.

With that caveat—yes men experience depression too—I’d like to focus on a major symptom (and cause) of depression:

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Isolation.

Though women and men both experience depression, women and gender-nonconforming students are more likely to feel isolated on campus.

Before the Women’s Center on campus was founded, isolation was seen as one of the causes of low retention rates for female students. According to Anne Blackbourn, students who don’t fit in with the homogenous population on campus may feel isolation and added pressure on top of the typical stress of the college semester.

We’ve come a long way.

Check out our list of gender-inclusive spaces and events on campus!

Safe spaces for women on campus

The Women’s Center lounge, library, and lactation room provides a gender-inclusive and family-friendly atmosphere for everyone. They also subscribe to a variety of feminist magazines, including MS and Bitch, which are available in the lounge. It’s a great place to relax between classes.

The Women’s Center, the Student Recreation Center, and the Teaching and Learning Center all provide lactation rooms for new mothers—students, faculty, and staff. Amenities include privacy (lockable doors) and a fridge for storage.

The Rec Center provides a lot of opportunities for women to build community. On the first and third Sundays of the semester, the Swim Center hosts a Women’s Only Swim (next one is tomorrow, March 20, 2016, from 12:15-1:45 pm!). On Wednesdays during the semester, the Climbing Center hosts Women’s Climbing Nights from 9-11 pm. The Outdoor Program also includes Women’s Activities for those of us who enjoy the outdoors—hiking, backpacking, kayaking, and more.

  • Other Gender-Inclusive Programs and Centers

Though not specifically women’s only groups, other diversity centers on campus provide a gender-inclusive atmosphere, including the Native American Student Center, the Office of Diversity and Human Rights, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the LGBTQA Office.

 

Events promoting gender-inclusivity on campus

The Women’s Center hosts a variety of events on campus. Some of our annual events include FEMFest, Take Back the Night, F-Word Poetry Slam, the Vagina Monologues, and the LunaFest Women’s Film Festival. Some recurring events we’re hosting this semester also include the Women and Gender Brown Bag, where you can enjoy a lunch and discuss local scholarship and creative works by women, and Got Sex?, which is a monthly forum that openly discusses issues of sexuality, birth control, reproductive health, and social pressures.

So, whether you’re a woman or a feminist (or both), a student or a staff or faculty member, make sure to check out our gender-inclusive communities and events on campus!

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