Celebrating Women: Leaders On and Off the Court

The Women’s Center, Bobcat Athletics, and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program invite you to join us for our 6th annual celebration of OHIO Women Leaders. Past celebrations have included over 200 women leaders across campus!

WBB vs. Buffalo

(Michael Pronzato | Ohio Athletics)

This year’s celebration will take place during the halftime of the 11:30AM Bobcat Women’s Basketball game on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at the Convocation Center in Athens, OH. Following the game, there will be a reception for our leaders and their guests. Free admission will be given to participants if they register their attendance at least two weeks in advance of the game. More information will be provided in the email that we send to nominees.

We encourage you to self-nominate and to nominate others that meet the qualifications, described below.

In order to be considered for this honor, nominees must:
1) Identify as a woman
2) Be a current, enrolled (graduate or undergraduate) student at Ohio University (including regional campuses)
3) Demonstrate leadership on campus or in the community. This could include: holding a leadership position in a student organization or group; demonstrated leadership in community groups or community/university projects; academic scholars (examples include: Margaret Boyd Scholars, Cutler Scholars, or Pepsi Scholars, etc.).
4) Complete the online application by the deadline: Wednesday, January 20, 2016. Click here for the application.

WBB vs. Buffalo

(Michael Pronzato | Ohio Athletics)

If you are nominating someone other than yourself, please fill out the form with all of the nominee’s information. Also let them know you’re nominating them so they will keep an eye out for our emails!

We look forward to celebrating with you in February! For more information, contact the Ohio University Women’s Center at 740.593.9625.


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What does it mean to be brave? I once heard this story about my favorite comic artist Lynda Barry. A friend of mine went to a speech she was giving. Lynda Barry got behind the podium and started to talk but got super nervous so she ducked down and hid. Eventually she stood back up and said, “I’m so nervous. If I can do this, you can also do whatever it is you’re afraid of.”

Lynda Barry writes comics about trauma and beauty, about poverty and sibling rivalry/friendship, about queerness and bullying and cracks in the system that help us survive. She believes art, doodling, creating, is a biological imperative.


I first started drawing when I was 23. I was inspired by a Lynda Barry comic I’d seen. Her comic was 90% words, and at the bottom of each was a little dog that was just two ovals for the body and head with little ovals for legs. I thought if she can do that, I can too. I would draw pictures and then show them to my sister and say “can you tell what this is?” and she’d say “hmm… a couch maybe?”

Drawing let me say things that I was too afraid to say otherwise.

In the media, in academia, in our families, in our daily lives, there are certain stories that are told and certain stories that are not told. There are rules to speaking, rules to polite conversation, to the amount of disclosure that is allowed, to “cool” versus “uncool” topics.

In order to change the world we need to change the stories we tell. We need to open up the imagination, allowing in the thoughts and ideas that we push out because they’re undeveloped or confusing or scary. What are the questions that are not being asked in public debate? What are the subjects we shy away from with our friends because we are afraid of judgment?

The author, poet and activist Audre Lorde said it best: “What are the words you do not have? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own until you will sicken and die of them still in silence?”


More Audre Lorde wisdom here.

My work here.


-Cindy Crabb

Women’s Center Graduate Assistant


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This November’s #WomanHeroMonthly shed some light to the wage gap


J. Law as Katniss Everdeen Google Images

that is still affecting women no matter the occupation. Jennifer Lawrence (aka J. Law) is no stranger to showbiz (or the money that comes with it) from her portrayal of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Game series to Lauren Pearson on The Bill Engvall Show. J. Law wrote a piece for fellow actress Lena Dunham’s newsletter entitled “Why Do I Make Less than My Male Co-stars?” After Sony emails were hacked and published it was revealed that Lawrence made a lot less than her male costars and shared her reflection of that, “When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early…”



2013 Academy Awards                Google Images

Often times when a woman advocates for her value she is deemed “bitchy” or “spoiled”, but when a man does the same, which they often don’t have to, they are justified. Salary negation is a very useful tool to have in your arsenal while the wage gap continues, before you ask for that raise you need to look at yourself objectively. However, No matter how we say what we want, if it differs from what’s being offered and if we don’t talk in a voice that is gentle enough to massage the male ego then we are “attacking” them. Jennifer wrote, “I’m over trying to find the “adorable” way to state my opinion and still be likable! Fuck that. I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard.” Making 79 cents to a man’s dollar just because we are female should no longer be a thing acceptable in 201, many women (If you are a real adult unlike me) have families to support and should be equally recognized for the hard work that we put forth. So the next time you are offered a job, I hope you are able to negotiate your salary, and “May the odds be ever in your favor.”

If you would like to learn more about salary negotiation, you should join us at the Women’s Center for our next Start Smart Workshop on February 19th. Check out our Calendar for more details.

-Alex Bailey

Women’s Center Staff

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Reflecting on YWLP from the Other Side

Leah Brown

Leah Brown, YWLP Facilitator

Now that this is my second year as facilitator I wanted to take this time to reflect on my time in this program. As someone who has experienced the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP) from both sides of the coin I can say that YWLP has been so beneficial to my development as a woman. Because of YWLP I have the knowledge and courage as a leader to make decisions for myself rather than following the crowd. I would say that YWLP ultimately had a great impact on me as a little in the program at the University of Virginia. So much so, that I decided this program needed to reach more young women and took the steps to bring it with me to Ohio University.

I love the fact that I am now getting the opportunity to be on the other side of this experience. I already had an example of what a great mentor was from my own big and I was able to learn from to improve myself as a big sister. While I was extremely excited to be a guiding force in a young woman’s life when the program began last year, I realize now that I am even more excited by how the mentees in this program change me. I have learned to be more patient and accepting of others points of views and knowledge through my YWLP experience. I look forward to seeing my fellow mentors, mentees, and myself continue to grow and change as leaders as this school year continues.

-Leah Brown

Women’s Center Staff & YWLP Facilitator

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Sweet Dreams Are Made of Equality

Source: Google Images

One of the most innovative, talented, and humble icons of our time, Annie Lennox has inspired endless amounts of people internationally. Some may be moved by her poignant lyrics and unique musical compositions. Others may appreciate her definitive style and  particular stage presence. Most inspiring of all, Lennox has used her platform to draw attention to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, especially focusing on the country of South Africa, where women and children are worst affected.

Lennox was first invited to Cape Town in 2003, to take part in the inaugural concert of Nelson Mandela’s 46664 HIV campaign. She states, “after personally witnessing Nelson Mandela describing the African HIV/AIDS pandemic as a genocide, with women and children being the front line victims, I set out to try and do something.” And she did.

In 2007, she consolidated her work into the SING campaign,which raises global awareness about the impact of HIV on women and children in certain parts of the world. It also provides financial support for organizations in these countries helping to ensure HIV-positive women and children have access to the treatment and care they need.


Source: Google Images

Lennox started the campaign by writing a song about HIV and inviting 23 of the most internationally acclaimed female artists to record their voices on “SING.” The funds to make these grants come from money raised by the “SING” record, public donations to the campaign, but mostly from Annie’s performances.

I cannot begin to list all of the awards, honorary mentions, and positions Annie Lennox holds in regards to her outstanding work as an activist. They include: UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador, HIV Ambassador for London, and Special Envoy for HIV and AIDS to the Scottish Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. You can read the complete list here.

Most recently, Lennox hosted the special screening of forthcoming film He Named me Malala in London, which was attended by Malala Youzafi and her family. Lennox and Malala are both Skoll World Forum Awardees, developing education programs and proper care for all children, and united in making large-scale, impactful changes in our world.

How is that for some Friday inspiration? #sistersaredoingitforthemselves

Enjoy your weekend!

Anna Bekavac

Women’s Center Staff

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Being an Ally to the Black Community

Dr. Peggy McIntosh

When I first read “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh, my jaw hung open. As I read McIntosh’s list of daily effects of white privilege, I felt absolutely overcome with emotion. I had never understood, or thought about, why people of color would feel oppressed in their daily lives before. McIntosh puts into words my mindset before reading her essay, “I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.” Suddenly, as a white woman, I was so cognizant of the color of my skin and the color of everyone’s skin around me. I would sit in class and realize that most of the people around me were white, my professors, my friends. I began to imagine what it would be like if my skin color made me a minority, and how I would feel. McIntosh’s essay started a fire in me that can never be put out. I became conscious of the daily oppression people of color face, and after that I will never be able to ignore my privilege as a white women.

Since reading Peggy McIntosh’s writing, I constantly question how I can be an ally to minorities and people of color. On one hand, I think the issues that people of color are currently facing are so intricate and vast that it’s something I, as a white woman, can’t even speak on. I will never fully know or understand what they’ve faced and overcome. On the other hand, I can’t sit around and do nothing. I have to be an ally. To  me, one of the best ways to be an ally and fight against race inequality is to realize that I can’t write off or ignore those realities that I haven’t lived. If I hear that my black peers feel that their lives don’t matter, or that they feel oppressed in their daily lives, I will fully support them and help as best I can to combat the injustice they battle. It will never be my place to tell my black peers that there are no race issues or injustices when it is something I could not understand since I have never walked in their shoes. I ask questions to educate myself more on racial injustice and how to be more sensitive to the black community. Even though I may not know everything, I am always eager to learn more about what I can do to be an ally and welcome constructive criticism in regards to my actions and speech. I realize that being white is a privilege and feel compelled to use that privilege for the good of all people in our society.

You can read a bit more about Dr. Peggy McIntosh here.

-Anna Neawedde

Women’s Center Staff

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Summer Camp Kids and Hairy Legs


Madeleine Toerne, WC Staff

Working at a summer camp over the summer taught me a lot about people. For seven hours every day I was surrounded by young people, ages 5-12, and I was constantly observing and processing their behavior.  It was an anthropological study.  One experiment I did, unintentionally, is to have unshaven legs.  Children as young as six are conscious of this difference, and one had even taken to calling me “Mr. Man” (all in good fun).  A nine-year-old camper teased me with the nickname Bigfoot.  Almost every day a camper commented on my hairy legs.  “Why don’t you shave?” They’d ask.  “Why are your legs hairy?” They’d wonder.  It is disconcerting that young people are socialized so early.  We are hardly given the chance to decide what is beautiful and right before the age of six.  But I did begin to wonder: “Why don’t I shave? Why are my legs hairy?”

The explanation that first enters my head is one concerned with time.  It is laziness.  My leg hair is thick and dark and shaving takes close to half an hour.  I don’t like to spend long periods of time in the shower or sitting on the edge of the tub.  If I’m not working or doing school work, I like to have some free time, some time not spent removing the hair off my body.  I spent an embarrassing amount of time in junior high and high school trying to make myself look like the young models in Seventeen and Teen Vogue magazines.  I even taped a collage of these models to the wall beside my bed.  I was obsessed with being tan, blonde and hairless.  In turn, I surrendered to the wants of the young men in my life.  I was “boy crazy,” but when I think back on my teenage years and try to understand my behavior, I realize that I thought I would get the most male attention if I looked the way I thought they wanted me to look. Now, I want to get attention for the way that I am, naturally.

See it is not just my legs that I want to remain “unshaven.”  I want my personality, my politics, my sense of humor, my intelligence, my tastes, and my ideas to be “unshaven.”  I want them to proceed naturally, to grow unencumbered, uncut, outward.  I want them to exist because they are there.  I don’t want to remove any part of my inward or outward self to be more attractive to the masses. Furthermore, I do not believe I should let my outer appearance be governed by the desire to have a partner.

I’m getting used to my hairy legs, too.  That’s not to say that I don’t shave every once in awhile, because I do.  But I try to not shave my legs to impress or attract a partner.  Like anything that I do, I don’t want my motivation to be shallow.  I want my motivation for my actions to be rooted in authenticity and goodness to myself and the world.  A hairy leg doesn’t hurt anyone–but an indirectly forced shave is damaging to the self.

-Madeleine Toerne

Women’s Center Staff

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