By Jolie Day
My name is Jolie and I am one of the new contributors for the Women’s Center Blog this fall. I am in my final semester here at the University of Idaho, where I have been studying Psychology with an emphasis in Women’s and Gender Studies. I am also an alumnae member of Delta Delta Delta. Like many here, I moved up from Boise because I wanted to get out of my hometown for a little bit, but still be close enough to visit easily. I have come to love Moscow and the Palouse and it’s hard to think about leaving this place in the near future.
Outside of school, I spend my time out with friends or working on a new project. I love to craft, so I am constantly on Pinterest looking for something new to create. In a way it is a form of therapy for me. I focus all of my attention on creating something that gives me a sense of accomplishment. Plus, it has helped me make my walls in my new apartment feel not so bare. Another love of mine is photography. I love to take pictures of whatever I see around me, but most often my muse is my Mom’s pug, Penny.
When possible, I try to travel as much as I can. Trips around the Pacific Northwest are some of my favorites: Seattle, Portland, British Colombia. I especially deepened my love for traveling last fall when I studied abroad in Donostia / San Sebastián, Spain. I grew in my desire to experience different traditions and cultures and I felt motivated to try things that I have never experienced, like surfing and tasting some of the Basque Country’s world famous cuisine. While there, I kept a journal that I re-read occasionally to relive my days in new places. Writing down all of these experiences helped me work through the anxiety I felt being halfway across the world from home and helped me focus on what an amazing experience it was. It reminded me of how much I enjoy writing, and helped me revive my passion to write about what I am interested in, one of those topics being women’s and gender studies.
I have known I was a feminist from an early age, but I wasn’t aware that there was a word for it until a few years ago. In high school, I remember being deeply frustrated with the sexism I felt against women and girls. I knew I wanted to make a change, but I didn’t know where to start. My senior year, I started volunteering at The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence in Boise through a Community Leadership class. Working there gave me the empowerment to help those around me and speak up against the inequalities that I saw. It taught me how to be critically aware of the impact our media has on our society and how it effects our self-perception, relationships, and expectations. Constantly seeing images of sexual objectification and romanticized violence has lasting impacts on all of us, and it needs to be addressed.
Continuing through college, the classes I have taken in Women’s and Gender Studies have helped me realize how many ways there are to make change. Joining the conversation, pushing back against gender norms, speaking out against injustice, and voting for the right leaders are just some of the ways that we can all make a difference in our world.
I always like to look at the glass half full. Even though it may seem as though there is a never ending supply of horrific stories of violence and injustice, I know that all of us have the ability to change the headlines.