Support Emily Burns, our Amazing Graduate Assistant!

Friends, Faculty and Colleagues,

I’m writing to invite you to an All-Day NYC Marathon Fundraising Open House in the Women’s Center (Baker 403) on October, 27th.

My name is Emily Bu414189_3186637178806_223608833_o (1)rns; some of you may know me from my time as an undergrad in WGSS or from my more recent position as Graduate Assistant at the Women’s Center.  I’m also a second year Master’s student in Public Administration at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.   I’ve been given a fantastic opportunity to run this year’s New York City Marathon on November 2nd with Team Healthy Kids, a subsidiary of the Chicago-based non-profit, Action for Healthy Kids. I’ve committed to a fundraising goal of $3500 for the organization and I hope you’ll be able to help me reach my goal. Having grown up with a dietician/nutritionist for a mother, healthy living and a balanced diet have always been a high priority for me.  This awareness was heightened when I moved away from home and into my freshman dorm at Ohio University where I met the people who would become my best friends and biggest supporters.  One in particular has pushed me and inspired me to physical feats I never thought possible, and it is in her honor that I’ve seized this opportunity and run with it (pun intended!).  As a teenager, she struggled with an eating disorder and crippling body dissatisfaction. Together we’ve grown into confident, capable accomplished young women, but her performance as an athlete (she has completed 3 half-iron mans, 7 full triathlons, 2 marathons and numerous smaller races) continues to drive me and inspire me. It also reinforces the importance of the work that Action for Healthy Kids does through grants and education around the country. By helping schools provide balanced breakfasts as well as the tools for successful and sustainable physical education programs, they are laying the foundation for healthy kids with healthy minds who have the energy and confidence to be their best selves.

It is in this spirit that I seek your support.  This will be my fourth marathon in the last three years. I’ve run the Athens Marathon for the past three years, the Union Hospital Run For Home Half Marathon in 2012, eight 5ks intermittently dispersed, all in all logging over 800 training miles in the last five years.  If someone had told me even 3 years ago that I’d be running marathons, let alone a marathon as celebrated and competitive as the NYC marathon, I would never have believed it! But I’ve worked incredibly hard to reach this level of physical and mental strength and it is my sincere hope that you will help me on this journey of self-discove534151_4895413229717_2131099534_n (1)ry and philanthropy.

During the Open House, I’ll be available all day to answer any questions about Action For Healthy Kids and my own personal training journey. If you would like to donate but are unable to attend, you can do so on my crowdrise page:

I’m only able to accept donations until November 5th, so please don’t delay, donate today!

Thank you so much for your support, please feel free to contact me with any questions,

Emily Burns​​

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5 Empowering Songs to Play on Friday

decor      Fridays are my favorite day of the week. In the classroom or in the workplace, everyone is just a little bit happier because the week is done and the weekend is on its way. Looking for a way to make your Friday even better? Listen to some inspiring tunes throughout the day! I picked some of my favorites:

5. I’m Every Woman // Whitney Houston

Thank you for the inspiration, Whitney!

This music video is a masterpiece.



4. Survivor // Destiny’s Child

This is a definite early 2000s anthem.

And an example of how many crop tops can be worn during one music video.



3. Man! I Feel Like a Woman // Shania Twain

Try to think of a time this song was playing and you didn’t passionately join in.

I dare you.



2. You Don’t Own Me // Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, & Diane Keaton (Lesley Gore)

If you’ve never seen the movie this scene is from, The First Wives Club…GO! NOW! RUN!

I promise you will be in the best mood after watching the movie, or even just the closing:



1. ***Flawless Remix // Beyonce ft. Nikki Minaj

Does Beyonce need an explanation for being Number 1?

I think not. Just watch.


Happy Friday!!!

Thanks for stopping by,

Anna Bekavac

Ohio University Women’s Center Staff

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Why Everyone Needs to Talk about Laverne Cox

laverne_coxWomen have made strides in recent society today, such as raising awareness for equality. But, there are certain groups that remain poorly represented and misunderstood in the media. Actress, model and spokeswoman Laverne Cox sheds light on transgender individuals in society—and she’s making it look good, too.

Cox is a transgender woman who has been in the Hollywood scene since the early 2000s. She is a groundbreaking woman that is changing Hollywood. According to her website, she was the first transgender woman of color to appear on a reality TV show, the first transgender woman of color to have a leading role on a television show, first transgender woman of color to produce and star in her own television show, and is the first transgender woman to appear on Time magazine’s cover. In 2013, Time Magazine named her character on Orange is the New Black, Sophia Burset, as the fourth most influential fictional character of 2013.

Cox has recently been known for her advocating for the transgender community in society. She is currently traveling across the country to speak on campuses. According to her website, Cox’s message is to “move beyond gender expectations to live more authentically all over the country.”

But why should you care about Laverne Cox? Because she’s redefining Hollywood. She’s bringing minorities into television shows and newscasts. She’s featured in articles that shed light on the transgender community and how they live in the United States.

In history, there have been standout leaders that broke the stereotypes of minorities. Laverne Cox is leading the transgender community through her fame and advocacy, and from the looks of what she’s already achieved, she will successfully shed light on this minority throughout the world.

-Rachel Rogala

Ohio University Women’s Center Volunteer

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Voices Heard: Women in Rock-n-Roll


Jodi Mitchell, 1968

To quote Peter, Paul, and Mary, “I dig rock-n-roll music.” My spirits lifts when I lift the needle, gently place it down on the record, adjust the volume and let the music stream through the crackle of my record player. I have some prized Richie Havens, James Taylor, and CCR records, but I usually reach for the Joan Baez, Janis Ian, or Aretha Franklin albums. Music from powerful, talented female artists gives me such euphoria. Their music makes me feel proud to be a woman.

Rock-n-roll and rock criticism are fields largely dominated by males (just take a gander at GuitarWorld magazine, or visit the nearest Guitar Center), but the female influence is significant and must be regarded. When I hear Joni Mitchell sing, “I am a woman of heart and mind,” or Carole King declare that “it’s too late,” or Mama Cass and Michelle Philips [harmoniously] shout that “you gotta go where you wanna go,” I feel a surge of female power and energy that is overwhelming. It is music about traveling, loving, feeling, forging, and freeing ourselves without necessarily being with a man. Ellen Willis, the first popular music critic for the New Yorker (1968), wrote not only about albums, performances, and musicianship, but about the way the music made her feel. I would argue that’s what music is about–the way it makes us feel.

Women bring something to music that men could never. The crystal clear notes that Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez master, and the low, sultry notes Aretha Franklin belts out (Franklin was voted the number one singer of all time in Rolling Stone magazine) can not be equated by male musicians. Female musicians liberate women with their words, their rhythms, and their soul. There’s something about the sizzling hi-hat, saxophone solo, and piano bits mixed with Franklin’s singing out about the respect she expects (and all the bread she’s got).


Carole King holding her Grammys for Tapestry, 1971

Similarly, how can one deny Carole King’s demand to “get up every morning with a smile on your face and show the world all the love in your heart?” Thirteen of King’s songs are compiled on an album called The Legendary Demos, “Beautiful” being one of them. Some of the other songs include, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Way Over Yonder,” and “It’s Too Late.” All of the hits on the album are indeed, legendary. Oftentimes, folks aren’t aware of all the hits Carole King wrote/helped to write (e.g.,“Take Good Care of My Baby,” “Will you Love Me Tomorrow?”) King was also the first female writer/artist to win record, song, and album of the year, for her album Tapestry.

The list goes on for influential female singers–Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Etta James, Karen Carpenter, Grace Slick, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Stevie Nicks, Janis Ian and dozens, dozens more. Women are an important part of rock-n-roll history. When I imagine rock-n-roll without the influence of women, it is an empty, monotonous past. Women have a voice, and a darn good one at that.

-Madeleine Toerne

Ohio University Women’s Center Staff

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There’s nothing wrong with you, Period.

Although I don’t think adolescence is easy for anyone, I definitely felt like an especially awkward child. Being one of the first girls in my class to get my period did not help. I was 10 years old, it was the 90s and spandex was all the rage. And I can personally tell you that maxi-pads and spandex pants do not go well together. From the very beginning my period felt like a burden. Even in my feminist household where my mother tried to educate me about my body from a young age, I always saw my period as one more thing to feel insecure about. And who’s to blame me when we look at the ways that our society portrays menstruation?

Is it really so bad if the person in the stall next to you hears you open a tampon wrapper?

Is it really so bad if the person in the stall next to you hears you open a tampon wrapper?

Let’s look at this tampon box. What key words do you see? Discreet? Quiet? What this box says to me is that it is imperative that nobody knows that I’m on my period. A quick logical jump would be that I shouldn’t talk about my period. Usually if we’re not supposed to talk about things it’s because they are bad or shameful. Why would we want to shame women for a natural bodily function? Especially one for which we have to thank the whole human race.

This ad comes from The words “Our peritampon ad 2ods are natural, not dirty” were written on the ad. The ad says, “Feel the clean without the shower” and is selling wipes for menstruating women. Why do menstruating women need wipes? How many of us have been told that our periods are not clean? You know what’s not clean? Your mouth. Your mouth is teeming with germs. Menstrual blood on the other hand is quite clean. For centuries society has told women that menstruation makes you “unclean” or “impure” in some way. However, this isn’t based on science, simply a long, long history of shaming women’s bodies.

I like to hope that our next generation of vagina-owning folks could learn to feel comfortable about their periods. You don’t have to love it, but you certainly shouldn’t feel that you need to hide it.

Look how amazing I am! Hell no I don't menstruate! That's for losers!

Look how amazing I am! Hell no I don’t menstruate! That’s for losers!

Whew! I haven’t even gotten to the part where I was going to rant about how wasteful tampons and pads are! There’s so many other alternative menstrual products out there that people just aren’t aware of. Check out some resources here and here to learn about the various products that are on the market.

Want to learn more? You’re in luck! This Wednesday (10/1) is our Red Party: A Menstruation Celebration! We will have crafts (2-4pm), a screening of “Red Moon: Menstruation, Culture, and the Politics of Gender” (4pm) and a raffle for alternative menstrual products as well as some education on the various products out there (5pm). We’ll have some red snacks as well, and I encourage you to wear your favorite red clothes! Stop by anytime!

In solidarity,

Sarah Tucker Jenkins

Program Coordinator for the Women’s Center & LGBT Center

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That Time of the Month Again…

Most of us have a hateful relationship with our period, but this “perk” of womanhood does give us a right to complain and joke about it, which makes it a little better.

These Tumblr posts will make you smile even among your darkest hours of menstruation:

1. If periods were magazines…

I’d like to cancel my subscription to Menstrual Cycle Monthly.

I’m sorry, it appears you’ve taken out a fifty-sixty year subscription. However, we can pause it for nine months as long as you sign a contract that says you’ll take out a subscription to Baby Daily for at least eighteen years.

2. The scientific approach…

Anatomical representation of what having your period feels like:


3. So sincere…


4. How Historic…


Enjoy this post?  You should join the Ohio University Women’s Center for the RED PARTY: A Menstruation Celebration on Wednesday, October 1st  in Baker 403. Crafts start at 2pm, followed by a  showing of the movie, Red Moon: Menstruation, Culture & the Politics of Gender,  at 4pm, and finally there will be a Product Info & Raffle at 5pm. Come when you can and leave when you need to!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Anna Bekavac

Ohio University Women’s Center Staff

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Emma Watson sheds light on misconceptions of feminism

Emma-Watson--UN-speech-jpgEveryone knows Hollywood has the power to impact others’ opinions. Lately, the women of Hollywood are taking their stances on feminism. From Shailene Woodley who firmly states in an interview that she doesn’t want to be a feminist to Beyoncé who has numerous songs with the underlying theme of the power of feminism, everyone is voicing their opinion. But, the actress that has recently taken the spotlight of supporting feminism is Emma Watson.

Watson recently delivered a powerful speech regarding gender equality to the United Nations. Yes, you read that right, the entire United Nations headquartered in New York City.

Watson was appointed as the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in the beginning of June. In this position, she will focus on launching the HeForShe Campaign, whose goal is to motivate men to end gender inequality.

Watson’s speech centered on the misconceptions of feminism. She explains how in her childhood she experienced double standards first-handed throughout school, and sees it today as well.

In her speech, her boldness and matter-of-fact opinion on feminism shed light on the problems of gender inequality. She points out how people disregard feminism, thinking it is not a solution but a problem. Watson states, “I decided that I was a feminist. This seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently, I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, and anti-men, unattractive even.”

For me, what stuck out the most in Watson’s speech was the fact that she challenged the men to make a difference. Watson states, “Men, I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too…we don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that they are.” Watson effectively makes the point that gender equality is only achievable if both genders work together.

I don’t think I can wrap up a blog post anymore eloquently than Watson herself. But, I can quote her. I can hope myself and others are inspired by the strength and power in her voice. Watson’s parting words to the crowd were, “In my nervousness for this speech and my moment of doubt, I told myself firmly: If not me, who? If not now, when? I invite you to step forward, to be seen and ask yourself: If not me, who? If not now, when?”

-Rachel Rogala

Ohio University Women’s Center Volunteer

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