Friday Craftivism in University of Idaho.

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Picture Courtesy: WC Facebook Page

By Samragyee Gautam.

Have you all heard about Friday Crafternoon organized by Women Center (WC) every Friday on campus at UofI? During one of my Friday visits to the WC, I witnessed a bunch of students and some staff hanging out in the lounge area engaging in various crafts and painting activities. With some research I came to know about this unique weekly event, which is an amazing opportunity for all the students as well as faculty and staff on campus to meet new people as well as to learn and explore about art.

Iris Alatorre who is the office manager at WC, often leads these crafternoons. According to her, this program started last January with a goal to offer students some weekly space to hang out in the Women Center and help them get to know the staff as well as the services provided by the office. Because of the Women’s Center’s current location, the ground floor of Memorial Gym, not a lot of students are aware of this specific program or resource provided on campus to help and promote women equality. One of the services the Women’s Center provides is this free crafting activity every week. Anyone is welcome to come and do some crafting or just spend some time with friends every Friday anytime between 12pm to 2pm with the exception of Finals week. Continue reading “Friday Craftivism in University of Idaho.”

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A Domestic Violence Survivor

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Picture Courtesy: Takomavoice Website

By Samragyee Gautam.

“That day I came back home only to get an energy drink poured down my face and being flicked in the head all the way to the back of the bathroom and he wouldn’t stop hitting me so I had to push him back and clawed his face because I had had enough of it.” Some of us know what I am going to talk about. Because recent data shows that on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. So most of us must have encountered a story of domestic violence or unfortunately may have been a victim once in their life time.

Domestic violence is defined by the US Department of Justice, as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. Britne Worl is a survivor of emotional and physical domestic violence who is vocal about her story to raise awareness. Continue reading “A Domestic Violence Survivor”

WHAT YOUR PARENTS DID NOT TELL YOU!

 

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Picture Courtesy: Facebook page of the event posted by Women Center’s 

By Samragyee Gautam.

In the light of how important sex education is, especially for women, the Women’s Center at The University of Idaho has been organizing various events related to this topic. Lo Que tus Padres No te Dijeron, translated as What Your Parents Didn’t Tell You, is one of the programs co-hosted by the Women Center(WC), the Office of Multicultural Affairs(OMA) and Campus Assistance Migrant Program(CAMP) for students; especially Latinx Students as Latin Heritage Month is celebrated at the UofI from Sep 15 to Oct 15. Previously, WC used to organize a somewhat similar sex-ed event or forum called “GOT-SEX?” that focused on topics of sexual health, birth control, social pressures, and sexual practices. However, it was not focused to a specific student group.

According to Bekah Miller MacPhee; the OVW Project Director, who is coordinating this program, WC, OMA and CAMP came up with the idea as a group. Various surveys and focus groups were held in the spring of 2014 related to sexual education among women of color who also had different cultural backgrounds. This resulted in the fact that Latinx students were under served, both men and women. That’s how it got started three years ago; however, this is the first time this event is called/named in this particular way. Continue reading “WHAT YOUR PARENTS DID NOT TELL YOU!”

Generation Action: The Voice for Planned Parenthood on Campus

Generation Action
Picture Courtesy: Planned Parenthood official website

By Samragyee Gautam

How many of you are interested in talking about sex? How many of you are interested in discussing safe sex? Whether you are clueless, knowledgeable curious, or just interested, Generation Action (GA) is a great place to start. It is a voice of Planned Parenthood; a private organization on campus promoting sexual health and education for both men and women from general health care to birth control. GA advocates for promoting sex education among students.

The main goal of this club; according to the President Emily Carter who I spoke with before writing this post, is to make sex education visible and accessible and let people know that Planned Parenthood is there for any sexual related questions or problems: general health, birth control, STD testing or abortion. Carter, who is a sophomore double majoring in Psychology and Sociology with criminal emphasis and minoring in Women and Gender Studies, joined this club because of her passion for Planned Parenthood. She joined as a general member in her freshman year, but when she noticed the club was not getting enough attention she decided to be in-charge. And as a recent new member of the club, I can tell you that she is good at her job. Continue reading “Generation Action: The Voice for Planned Parenthood on Campus”

Sexism in STEM

 

red code for a computer that says end patriarchy.
A sign written in code.

By Kali Nelson

I am learning. I am not an expert in where and how sexism exists. And I am trying to understand one of the fields that I study. While I focus on a gender binary, that does not mean that non-binary and trans men and women do not face discrimination, that means that there may not be information, or that I was unable to find it. Please note that this only covers sexism, women of color do face racism on top of sexism. This is not something that I do not had to experience.

Sexism is a problem that almost every woman has or will face in her life. She can face it at school, at work, and in everyday life. It may not be as prevalent as it was in the past, but it is still there. I was part of a discussion about sexism in STEM fields a week or so ago in which everyone who had a story to tell about sexism, could or if they had a problem, they could share to see if anyone had a solution. This discussion opened my eyes because even though I know it’s real, it doesn’t quite hit me that it really happens. My brain knows but my body doesn’t, does that make sense? Continue reading “Sexism in STEM”

We need to talk about Earth

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By Kali Nelson

Let’s take a moment to think about all the problems the US is facing today. We have wildfires consuming the Pacific Northwest, Montana, and California. Hurricane Harvey is flooding Texas and Hurricane Irma nearing Florida. The whole country either needs water or it has too much, and that’s only in the US. Here in Moscow, where I live, there’s so much smoke in the air that we are now at a hazardous air quality. The world has become a gray haze outside my windows. I can’t enjoy the breeze at night or else I risk waking up in a cloud of smoke and hurting my cat’s lungs.

I can’t help but wonder if  we need to take a step back and think about the impact we have on our planet. Maybe we need to have a serious and grown up conversation about climate change. Continue reading “We need to talk about Earth”

Feminism 101: Why it’s Relevant

 

Black background with pink symbol for the female sex with a closed fist in the middle.

By Alexandria Arritt

Feminism is defined by Merriam Webster Dictionary as, “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” The simplest definition of feminism is truly just the idea of equality. If that is what feminism is, why is it controversial? Why do so many people find the idea of feminism inherently discriminatory? There are two main reasons that seem to stand out.

  1. Many assume that the 21st century is a time where women are not discriminated against. That feminism has already done its job and is no longer necessary. Many do not consider what women face in America to be sexism.
  2. Others find no issue with feminism, but with “radical feminism.” They don’t agree with man-hating and violence. Some still mention the notorious bra-burning that characterized second wave feminism as a descriptor of “radical feminism.”

To address the first issue, it is important to consider the treatment of women across the globe, not just in the United States. There are women suffering from extreme discrimination in all walks of life. For example, the World Health Organization conducted a study about violence against women that concluded that around 15% of women in Japan and a staggering 71% of women in Ethiopia reported some sort of violence by an intimate partner. They also found that worldwide, almost one third of women who have been in a relationship experienced either physical or sexual violence by their intimate partner. Women around the globe residing in countries such as India, Africa, Pakistan, and even some Eastern European Countries also experience discrimination in the form of honor killings, acid attacks, child marriage and forced prostitution. In 155 countries, it is still legal to discriminate based on sex, according to a recent World Bank survey. Within the US, violence such as mutilation and honor killings are less common, but women experience discrimination in many other ways. Women still are subjected to harassment, rape and pay discrimination.

Continue reading “Feminism 101: Why it’s Relevant”