Flashback Friday

susan-faludi-2Today is the birthday of feminist, author and journalist Susan Fauldi (age 55). Pulitzer Prize recipient Fauldi was born on April 18 in Queens, New York. She attended and graduated from Harvard University and wrote for The Harvard Crimson. Post graduation, she went on to write for nationally-known publications such as The New York Times, Miami Herald, The Wall Street Journal and more.
Throughout the 80s, Fauldi wrote about feminism and the national resistance to the movement. She also wrote three books to be highlighted and recommended:

  • Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women

Backlash focuses on the antifeminism movement in American media and culture with examples such as the “glass ceiling” and the portrayed “dangers” of ambitious women. She uses this book to showcase the positive concepts of feminism and brings awareness of women’s issues.

  • Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man

Opposite of previously written Backlash, Stiffed highlights the errors in American society that present problems for men. She goes in-depth into the lives of American men to uncover masculinity and dig deep into its social ties. In Stiffed, she explains how culture forces men to shift their values and how this leads to betrayal of their masculinity.

  • In the Terror Dream

In the Terror Dream was written post 9/11 to reflect on the reactions of the terrorist attacks. She compares the manner in which mainstream America reaction in contrast to the problems America has been masking for years, dealing with society. She points out how the media paints a myth of America to use as a mask every time our society is threatened.

These books all give deeper insight and thought about feminism in American society and the journey that we’re still on for quality and justice. I have not personally read them but I’m definitely interested in reading In the Terror Dream. I’m glad that we have female writers who are open to being honest about problems of American society that affect them directly and problems that they’ve observed.

 

By: Ashley Osborne

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Women In Business

When you’re hard at work during undergraduate school, it can be easy to disregard some of the adversity you may face once you’re out in your field looking for a job. If you’re like me, you have plans to grow into an entrepreneur upon graduating college. While determination, strong networking skills, and creativity are excellent traits to possess when launching a business, the society we live in also plays a great contributing factor to our career success.mock-2

I plan to be a woman in business, owning my own public relations firm or agency. As much as I wish my gender and even more, my race, didn’t affect how I will be perceived in the working world, I can honestly say I still look forward to reaching all of my goals.

 

 

I believe women have potential be excellent entrepreneurs for various reasons:

  • Women who believe in themselves are confident, self-sufficient, wise and compassionate.
  • We love connecting, nurturing and building; it’s in our nature.
  • A woman with her head on her shoulders is most definitely a force to be reckoned with – a natural born leader!
  • We will find ourselves with our backs against the wall and must push through hard times of adversity and obstacles, all while carrying a load on our shoulders. Somehow, we always seem to come out on top while leaving the men wondering, “How has she managed do ALL that?!

It’s definitely important for a woman to stay motivated and inspired during her journey of entrepreneurship. Luckily, there are various resources for women to use to support us on our journeys. There are support groups on professional social networking sites such as LinkedIn for women to connect with colleagues in specific industries we pursue. There are also national conferences that open doors for networking and new business opportunities.

No matter what field we decide to dive into, women are always available for mentorship and giving back – never forgetting the steps they’ve taken in the past to achieve the position they’re in today.

 

By: Ashley Osborne

Strategic Communication Major

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What I Learned From Working at the Women’s Center

It is hard to believe that, in less than one month, I will be working my final shift at the Women’s Center. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work at the Center for the past two years, as well as for the opportunity to work at the Survivor Advocacy Program for a year.

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I have learned a lot during my time with the Women’s Center and OUSAP. Through my job responsibilities, I gained invaluable experience in terms of publication design, social media outreach, event planning, and more. I also advanced my knowledge of women’s issues, including what work still needs to be done to advance women’s lives and positions worldwide.

 

However, I have learned a lot about myself during my time being involved with the Center, too. Because of the many strong, inspiring women that I have come into contact with over the past three years, I have grown into a more confident young woman and a more active feminist.

 

While it is difficult to summarize how impactful my time with the Women’s Center and OUSAP has been, here are ten of the most important things I have learned over the past three years:

 

  1. Sexual assault is NEVER the victim’s fault.
  2. Anyone can identify as a feminist, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
  3. Many people are afraid of the word feminist.
  4. The number of people, groups, and events on campus that work to raise awareness of gender issues, empower women, and support survivors is astounding.
  5. Despite popular belief, some men can actually walk very well in heels, as evidenced by Walk A Mile In Her Shoes.
  6. The copy machine on the third floor of Baker Center is definitely not your friend.
  7. Doing dating-like things is an acceptable way to define a relationship to your coworkers.
  8. The commitment to the mission of the Women’s Center extends beyond your time in Baker 403.
  9. You really can be best friends with your coworkers.
  10. Feminists have more fun ;)

 

By: Lindsey Spanner

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Curly in Appalachia

If you attend Ohio University, you may have noticed a girl with grand, curly red hair walking through campus.

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Meet Thea Erwin. Thea, from Athens, Ohio, is a senior at Ohio University studying English and Creative Writing. I met up with Thea today to get to know her and learn about her eye-catching tresses. The picture above shows Thea’s hair in its natural state. Thea’s hair is very curly, textured and coarse, much like the natural hair of people of African descent. Thea has proudly worn her hair in this natural state for more than five years now. In previous years, Thea had conformed to the many pressures of media and society and chemically processed her hair with a relaxer to straighten it. I found this experience to be shocking because I’ve only known chemical hair straighteners, or relaxers, to be marketed to and used by Black people, but clearly, Thea is white.

Thea’s experience with relaxers was much like any other person who isn’t thoroughly educated on coarse hair care and maintenance: catastrophic. Even after processing, Thea was still dissatisfied with the way her hair looked and felt. She described her processed hair as “dead” and “damaged.” After more damage, Thea found herself straddled between prolonging the damage and simply cutting off all of her hair to embrace her natural. Now older, Thea has grown to be proud of her curly afro and is no longer hindered by negative reactions.

Now wearing her natural hair, Thea says it’s been difficult and even frustrating to maintain her hair due to the lack of resources available for coarse hair in Athens, Ohio. She does not know of the proper ways and products used to moisturize her hair to keep it in good health. Thea has also walked in different hair salons and many stylists have declined her business, turned off by her hair texture. As Thea is not the only woman living in Athens with a coarser hair texture, I believe attention should be brought to this problem. I have to travel home, which is almost three hours away, just to have my hair professionally cut and straightened when I desire. I’ve had to teach myself how to care for my hair through YouTube and various natural hair blogs on the internet. It would be much more convenient to have at least one or two hair care professionals in Athens who specialize in textured hair.

Having coarse hair that stands up on your head rather than lies down may seem minuscule to those looking from the outside. To us with natural curl patterns, living in a society where Euro-centric appearance is praised and supported, a society where there hasn’t been much support for Blacks in the past, it can be intimidating to go against the grain and rock a natural afro. Being proud of what is given to one naturally is a growing process and takes lots of confidence. I praise Thea for three reasons: being White and proud of her hair, being open to learning new things about her hair, and being confident enough in herself to know that she is beautiful.

 

By: Ashley Osborne

 

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Real Love

Believe in the seed God gave you to grow.
You runnin & runnin
Don’t know where to go.
Girl, won’t you see that you’ve got to sew?
And if you reap well,
It’s certain you’ve grown.
Put it all down;
That load on your shoulders.
And desire for man to say,
“I only wanna hold her.”
You don’t need it,
I swear, I don’t lie.
Trust, I’ve been there
& that love, it ain’t alright.

Drop all of your luggage -
Give yourself a vacation.
Take a break from this way
Of life you’ve been chasin.
I know you’re tired
I can see it in your eyes.
So much hurt & pain
From history you despise.
But the world’s still turnin,
And it’s gon’ turn tomorrow.
So look ahead & see yourself
Without all of your sorrow.

Believe it.

Your seed.

I’ll tell you what you need:

Water, light, & spirit;
Directions to succeed

Water of knowledge
Cuz your knowledge is your power
Wisdom comes later,
Blooming as your flower.
Know better for yourself,
Clear your mind.
You’ve got a lot of footage able to rewind.
Burn it all.
Knowledge is infinite.
You’ll be alright.
But now, you must begin the search for your light.
Light is often a great deal to find.
When we’ve been runnin around here damn near blind.
Darkness heavily fills your mind,
Not a single one of your reflections are “kind.”
But Look up baby.
See those beautiful brown eyes;
They want to sparkle,
they want to shine.
That brown butter skin,
So smooth and fine.
Deep and rich, ready to age like wine.
But not as fine as that curly mane,
That only a woman of beauty could obtain.
And you got it baby,

I said you got it baby,
It’s all in the light.
Now keep lookin up & let’s get ya spirit right.
Everything you have is because of him.
He made you beautiful
And your spirit is the stem.
Allowing you to flourish on this beautiful earth.
But, of your physical & mental,

you must know the worth.
These are your power, locked in your safe.
Keep em in good health,
And you’ll meet your worthy mate.
Turn your energy around
And life will show
All of your blessings
When you continue to grow.

For now, drop those bags,
Everything weighing you down.
Forget you can even fix your face to frown.
Life will work with you when you believe
Everything’s in place,
Now start runnin in the lead…

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Poem by:

Ashley Osborne

@Simply_AO

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Take Back The Night

This week, Ohio University gives back to the community with Take Back the Night; a week long series of events dedicated sexual education, safety and empowerment. Take Back the Night is a long-standing tradition at Ohio University, now on its 35th year of occurrence. Because sexual assault can happen to anyone, these events are open for all genders to attend.

“Sexual assault doesn’t discriminate, so why should we?” 

The events are the following:

Monday 3/31 – KICK OFF 5p.m. @ Front Room — Come make signs for the rally. Snacks will be provided!

Tuesday 4/1- INCLUSION PANEL 6-7:30p.m. @ Baker Student Lounge — Q&A regarding sexual assault awareness and prevention. NAME BURNING 8-9p.m. @ McCracken Hall Field – Gathering to support victims and survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

Thursday 4/3 – MARCH & RALLY 6p.m. @ Scripps Ampitheatre — Featuring Zerlina Maxwell, performances by Title IX & Tempotantrums. Join us afterward at BW3′s. 

Friday 4/4 – BROWN BAG LUNCH 12p.m. @ Baker Room 239 — Inclusion Discussion. Snacks Provided! SELF-DEFENSE 5p.m. @ Women’s Center Baker 403 – Teaching self-defense mechanisms.

You can also catch TBTN tabling throughout the week and selling their t-shirts for $2. All proceeds will go to My Sister’s Place. 

For more information, visit @OUWomensAffairs on Twitter. 

These events are sponsored by Ohio University Division of Student Affairs, The Ohio University Women’s Center, Ohio University LGBT Center, Ohio University Student Senate, uFUND, tRAC, Ohio University Medical Associates and Ohio University’s University College.

 

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Purity Pledges and Me- Why I Promised to Stay a Virgin ‘Till Marriage and What Was Wrong with the Whole Process

I grew up in a relatively moderate mega church in the Cleveland area, and when I was twelve I decided to take part in the Purity Series. I would like to emphasize that doing the Purity Series was my decision and that my parents went along with it because, at that point, they were devout Christians who wanted the best for their daughter (the second part is still true). I decided to do it because I had a crush on Jeff and realized that doing the series meant that I could see him one more per week. Also, I knew that I would get to wear a pretty dress at the culminating banquet. Definitely not the purest of intentions, but I was twelve and it seemed like a good idea at the time. So I started going to gender segregated meetings (so much for seeing Jeff more) and learning about the importance of remaining a virgin until marriage. I was taught that being a virgin would make my future marriage more valuable, and it was implied that, by extension, I would be more valuable. I was told that sex outside of marriage could only lead to bad things and that I should be careful in the way I dressed and the way I acted, so as not to tempt men. There were even rules regulating how long my skirt should be; because somehow a twelve year old could provoke temptation in a skirt above knee level. I remember thinking that some of the suggestions were a little weird, but I went along with it anyways. About seven years after I made the promise at the ceremony, I found a Facebook picture of my reaction to taking the vow:

 

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That is the face of someone who thinks the whole process is messed up. And I was right. Also, I had to wear the sweater because shoulders could be interpreted as temptation.

 

I was not taught that being a virgin or not being a virgin was a decision that was fully my own. I was not told that I could be a virgin if I wanted to be, BECAUSE I wanted to be, for however long I wanted to be. I wish I had been told that whether or not I had sex before marrying someone was entirely my decision, and that it should be that way. There is nothing wrong with waiting until marriage to have sex; there is also nothing wrong with not doing so. I wish that the element of personal choice had been articulated. I also wish that the church had engaged me in this conversation when I was older and more able to understand what I had promised to do. I do not think that a twelve year old can fully grasp the concept of what waiting until marriage means; I certainly couldn’t anyways.

 

 

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I am ending my post with this more recent picture of myself for two reasons: 1. You cannot tell from the picture whether or not I am a virgin. 2. And it does not matter. Although my shoulders are showing, the picture displays someone whose worth is determined by more than her sexuality. I sincerely hope that the Purity Movement will hear voices such as mine, and articulate the importance of personal choice regarding sexuality. If virginity is as important as it is made out to be, then learning about it certainly should not involve platitudes about what is right or wrong. Rather, talks about virginity should focus on doing what is right for each individual. 

 

By: Hannah Abrahamson

Student Worker – OU Women’s Center

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