The Dreaded C-Word

I was 14 and thought that SNL was the peak of comedy, especially during presidential races. Although I was an avid McCain supporter at the time, I couldn’t help but laugh at the Palin skits. Everyone was raving about them and I had to be a part of the fun. Sarah_Palin_by_Gage_Skidmore_2.jpg
My mother, however, was not so amused. She tsked and snorted at every joke lobbed Palin’s way that challenged her intelligence and credibility. “I can’t stand how awful everyone is to her.” She finally complained.
“Did you see the t-shirts that were made about her?” My father asked.
“No, why?”
He sighed and said, “On the radio, they were talking about how a bunch of liberals are now wearing t-shirts that say ‘Sarah Palin is a
c-word… CONSERVATIVE.’”.

My mom gasped and shook her head. “Wow. Real nice.”
“I don’t get it.” I chimed in. “What are they actually referring to?”
Before my dad could respond, my mom snapped, “It’s one of the worst things you can call a woman.”
I was shocked. “Really? What is it?”
“I don’t even like saying it. No one should ever be called it.”
My dad finally pulled me to the side and informed me of the dreaded word. And I held very tightly to the idea that it was a word that should never be spoken.

I’m not really sure what made me change my mind within the past year or so—maybe it was exposure to it in music and writing. Maybe it was during a senior thesis about how quickly language changes and the power and influence that comes with these changes. Or maybe it was my gender communication courses that made me question why the nastiest insults are directed towards women.


What is it about that word that brings me (and many others) so much satisfaction, yet is still one of the most taboo words of today.
Continue reading “The Dreaded C-Word”


Eve Ensler: A Spotlight in Honor of International Women’s Day

For those of you that don’t know- International Women’s Day is on Tuesday, March 8th. The University of Idaho’s Women’s Center would like to pay tribute by giving our readers a week of us celebrating what this day means to the world—and us as women—and highlight the accomplishments of feminists around the world. I will be starting this week off by applauding one of my favorite feminists: Eve Ensler.
Eve Ensler’s most noted works is The Vagina Monologues, and 2016 is its 20th anniversary. For twenty years this play has touched the lives of many women, inspiring them to love themselves and their bodies. Even though this play was written 20 years ago, it is still prevalent in today’s world and Eve Ensler has not stopped her advocacy for feminism. She has created many different non-profit organizations like V-Day and One Billion Rising to raise awareness of violence against women, has written many different books and plays, and has even been a guest speaker on TEDTalks a number of times.
Continue reading “Eve Ensler: A Spotlight in Honor of International Women’s Day”

Losing my Vagina Monologues V-Card

By Madison Griffin 

The UI Women's Center presents The Vagina Monologues

As the Vagina Monologues celebrates its 20th birthday in 2016, many people are asking—is the play still relevant to women today?

The Women’s Center at the University of Idaho will be performing its 14th annual production of the Vagina Monologues this year. The show caps off our Body Positive Week—running from Thursday through Saturday at the Kenworthy Theater downtown. Tickets can be purchased at the door or (for a little less) in advance at the Women’s Center or at Eclectica—in the Safari Pearl Comic Shop on 3rd and Jefferson. The money raised from ticket purchases will go to benefit Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, which works to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Latah and Whitman Counties.

Check out the show February 18th-20th at 7 pm.

Whether you’re a “Vagina Monologues-Virgin” like myself, or a Vagina Monologues-Veteran, the show still has something to offer. It acts as a rite of passage for many women in college, it benefits a local nonprofit, it brings awareness to the worldwide problem of sexual violence, and it unites women globally through campaigns such as One Billion Rising.

Continue reading “Losing my Vagina Monologues V-Card”

What We Don’t See Behind the Bars


By Morgan Fisher

The U.S. prison system has always bewildered me. You take a person who has broken the law and you stick them in an institution where they become a number, stripped of their freedom and privacy, incredibly limited in access to the society that lies out of their reach. It’s intense, it’s scary, and it’s chilling how little we know about what actually goes on inside those prisons. The movies I’ve seen and the little knowledge that I do have about the prison system are all centralized around the incarceration of men. So what about women’s prisons?

Non-violent women are being incarcerated more and more as the “War On Drugs” continues. Now, according to The The Sentencing Project, a third of women put in prison are there for drug offenses. Because many of these women suffer from substance abuse, you would think that perhaps there might be services available to get them the help they need to overcome their addictions. Sadly, that’s far from true in many instances. Instead, their long history with drugs, mental illness, and abuse (both physically and sexually), make them easy targets for assault by prison guards. Continue reading “What We Don’t See Behind the Bars”