Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: gender

The Story of Gender Inclusive Housing at Ohio State

Starting fall of 2014, students attending Ohio State University’s main campus will have the option of living in gender inclusive housing – a living situation that welcomes all genders. After over a year of research, meetings and emails, gender inclusive housing will be a reality on OSU’s main campus in Columbus. The effort to bring gender inclusive housing (GIH) to Ohio State was spearheaded by student activists Katie Matuska, Chase Ledin and Ben Weekes. There were others (students and a faculty member) involved too whom I did not speak with. M. Gulick (a past graduate student), Chantel Lowe and Matthew Duncan and faculty member Dr. Moddelmog and her research assistant Madison all contributed to making gender inclusive housing a reality.

Can A Buzzfeed Quiz Really Determine Your Privilege?

“I consider myself to be physically attractive.” “I’ve always had cable.” “I have never been a victim of violence because of my race.” These questions are from a Buzzfeed quiz called “How Privileged are You?” The quiz asks you a series of questions related to your gender, race, income, and sexual orientation, and then rates whether you are “not very privilege” or “privileged.”  And I think that it’s complete bullshit. There’s no “quiz” you can take to determine your privilege or oppressions. Understanding who you are and your access to privilege, spaces, and resources is complex.

Sexual Violence: Men Breaking the Silence

Jackson Katz in his TED talk about violence against women explains that the problem of discussing sexual violence is that it’s often framed as a “women’s issue that some good men help out with.” Granted, everyone is probably a little hesitant to have a man talk about sexual violence fearing that men often derail the discussion to focus on themselves. Well, I think discussing men’s role in sexual violence is a crucial conversation that needs to be had. More often than not, dominant groups with privilege fail to examine their power and privilege. Though a harsh reality, white adult males often have their voices heard over women talking about the same issue. Using their positions of power to create an open dialogue is important when men are the main perpetrators… Read more »

The Politics of Being a Tall Woman

My height is political. It has taken me too long to write that sentence. I am 5’11”, cisgender woman.  The “average” female in the US over 20 years old is 5’4”, while for males it’s 5’9 ½”. Therefore, I am a solid 7 inches taller than your average female. I also have big hands. Like, really big hands. I get comments literally all the time about them. They’re bigger than every boy I dated in high school’s hands. They’re almost as big as my dad’s, and he’s 6’4”.  I don’t know how to hide them. I remember when I was 14, I was a fan of those hoodies with holes in the sleeves, because I wanted to hide my hands so badly. Man hands is a phrase that was all… Read more »

Bodily Autonomy and Red Lipstick: On Being Femme, and Reclaiming our Bodies

I own 13 shades of lipstick. I also have, according to my latest tally, 20 dresses, 16 skirts, 5 pairs of heels, and 18 pairs of earrings (and counting). I hardly ever wear sweats to class (minus finals week), I follow a number of fashion and beauty blogs, I rock a pretty rad wingtip on occasion, and I own maybe too much of various shades of pink. A fairly high feminine aesthetic, all around. I’m also super queer. Oh, and super feminist. And a dedicated reproductive justice advocate. And that’s highly tied to—not in spite of—my femme identity. Femme, if you’re not sure, is a queer gender performance that embraces much of what has been called “traditionally feminine”. Mascara, high heels, floral prints, and on, and on. Often femme women… Read more »

Hello Pronoun Stickers Make Introductions A Little Less Awkward

I am a huge fan of “Hello Pronoun Stickers” ever since I saw them featured on the blog “fuckyeahfeminists.com” All I could think of was “finally!” and “I can’t believe these weren’t a thing already.” What are “Hello Pronoun Stickers”?  Creator Al describes them as: “A handy sticker that tells the world your name and pronouns. Comes in five varieties: he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them/theirs, xe/xem/xyrs, and ze/hir/hirs! Whether being used when meeting new people or as a gentle reminder to old friends, this sticker uses a familiar format to communicate the information quickly and easily.” Amazing. I know.

The Other “F” Word: Enough Mansplanation

“Feminism: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche The use of language and the connotation attached to words we use can be quite divisive. The word feminism, in itself, has become a word many men are turned off by. Gender, sexual orientation, and race have a default image response to the oppressed group, but we never examine the other half of the equation—the privileged group. I definitely benefit from male privilege myself. I still have trouble checking my privilege and acknowledging my faults, but we are all still venturing in our own feminist journeys and there’s still a lot to learn along the way, especially for me.

What Banning Books in Schools Says About Who Matters in America

I got into a lot of trouble as a teenager. But this time was different. It was spring of 2008. I was sitting by our desktop, my father was getting a cup of water in the kitchen. I don’t remember exactly what we were talking about but I remember distinctly saying “I don’t like people, I’d rather read.” My father’s face after I made this statement was…distressing. My father will gladly tell anyone how I distress him with the things I say, but this proclamation, me preferring the company of books over people was beyond distressing to him. It’s not that I don’t like people, I just like books better. Any time I have to socialize, I agonise over the fact that I’m losing hours I could spend reading. Nine… Read more »

Who’s Your Daddy: The Problem of Paternalism

Paternalism is officially defined as “the policy or practice on the part of people in positions of authority of restricting the freedom and responsibilities of those subordinate to them in the subordinates’ supposed best interest.” In theory paternalism is benevolent in the extreme and treated as a respectable moral necessity. But in practice the idea of paternalism is extremely dangerous to autonomy and the reproductive justice movement. When I had sex for the first time one of my best friends, a man, reacted quite contrary to what I’d expected from him.

Navigating Masculinity on the Fence of the Gender Binary

I got up this morning and left my house, fully intending to get to the office and start working on a development plan for the new year. That’s what I should be doing right now. I should be working on a development plan. Instead I’m writing this thing. I’m writing this thing because sometimes, for my own sanity – to slow down my crazy swirling brain – I just have to write stuff down. And because this morning, as seems to increasingly be the case since I moved from the country into the big city, I crashed into myself yet again. I crashed into the reality that my perception of myself – my inherent knowledge of myself, really – doesn’t always match the way(s) I’m perceived externally. And once again… Read more »