Sonia Sotomayor: Latina Associate Justice of SCOTUS voted to legalize same-sex marriage

By Madelina NuñezSonia Sotomayor

I’d like to give a shout out to Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s right, a Latina had a say in the landmark ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states in the United States. Born to Puerto Rican parents, Sotomayor has served on the Supreme Court since 2009. Throughout her time she has been responsible for being a voice and decision maker for issues such as criminal justice reform, race, gender, and ethnic identity.

Regarding the ruling, Sotomayor said, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

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Art Student Joins Women’s Center Staff

By Madelina Nuñez

MadelinaHi everyone! My name is Madelina Nuñez and I am majoring in Studio Art and minoring in English with an emphasis in Writing. I am a conceptual artist dealing with issues of Latina identity and Cuban-American history. Before coming to the Women’s Center, I worked as a Gallery Assistant at the UMKC Gallery of Art for two years. My other experience includes the Nelson-Atkins Mellon Curatorial Fellowship during the Summer of 2014, an internship with ALIVE Magazine St. Louis,  and Design Editor for Number One Magazine. I also write a blog called Latina Lives which is hosted on Tumblr. Outside of work, I enjoy being on my bicycle and exploring what Kansas City has to offer. I am also a huge coffee fanatic and am definitely capable of making myself cry from my own jokes. With my time at the UMKC Women’s Center I hope to get to know everyone who walks in and to help support and encourage them in any way possible. I am very excited to be here and cannot wait to get to know more of the talented women here at UMKC!

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Awesome Year at the Women’s Center

IMG_1017By Kacie Otto

On my last day at the Women’s Center, I think it’s the perfect time for me to reflect on my past academic year here. I loved working as a professional feminist on the UMKC campus! I was lucky to work with an awesome professional and student staff, plan fun campus and community events, and hone my blog editing skills (it’s been a treat perfecting student blogs for publication here).

I especially loved working on Equal Pay Day and the Vagina Monologues with this awesome group of people. I’m looking forward to continue as a volunteer at the Women’s Center for future events like The Plaza Art Fair and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.

Now, I’m looking forward to a summer of babysitting and a job search. In both, I’ll take with me the tenets of feminism that I learned at the UMKC Women’s Center.

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Checking our Privilege

By Kacie Otto

I found this video today on Everyday Feminism about the meaning of privilege. I found her points pretty interesting. I especially liked how she explained that just because you have one kind of privilege doesn’t mean that you didn’t work hard for the things you have achieved. I think that makes it easier for people with privilege to talk about.

So, leave your feelings at the door and check your privilege! What do you think about the video?

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Harsh Judgement

By Kacie Otto

I found this article today on the feminist blog Jezebel and couldn’t help but think about why women are so harshly judged by others no matter what choices they make.

Why do you think this couple has been trolled so harshly on the internet? Does anyone really ever have the space to be that cruel?

Comment below.

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Remembering Maya Angelou

Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images

Image sourced through Creative Commons via Google Images

By Matiara Huff

Marguerite Annie Johnson was born April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. When she was  young, her parents split up so she and her older brother went to live with their father’s mother in Stamps, Arkansas. While living there Angelou experience racism and discrimination first hand, and learned to deal with it. Then, while on a trip to visit her mother, Angelou was raped by her mother’s boyfriend, who was later killed out of vengeance by her uncle. This experience traumatized her so much that she became mute for several years after. Later, Angelou moved to San Francisco, California for school, and became the first black female cable car conductor. When she was sixteen, she had her son and began working a number of jobs to support him.

In the mid-1950’s Angelou starred in the touring production of Calypso Heat Wave, and released the album Miss Calypso. Then she organized and starred in Cabaret for Freedom, as a member of the Harlem writer’s guild and a civil rights activist. Throughout most of the 60’s she lived abroad in Egypt, then Ghana working as a free-lance editor. In 1969 she published the memoirs of her childhood called I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings which made literary history because she was the first African-American nonfiction writer to become a best-seller. She continued to break records when she was the first African- American women to have a screen play produced with Georgia.

Throughout her career, Maya Angelou has opened doors for the African-American community and the eyes of many ignorant people. Because of this we will forever be in debt to her. The influence she created will continue to live through all of us so that she will never die. Rest In Power.

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Slut Shaming

Image sourced via Creative Commons through Google Images

Image sourced via Creative Commons through Google Images

By Matiara Huff

I found this video, and I think it’s great because it gives an interesting perspective on slut shaming.

This is Karrine Steffans. She is a writer, but she is most known for being a video vixen and for her book Confessions of a Video Vixen. She has a sad history, in which she was grew up in an abusive home, and was raped when she was 13. When she was 16, she ran away and lived in various parts of the country and worked as an exotic dancer along the way. When she was 17, she moved in with a rapper by whom she had a son, and left after she was put in the hospital for physical abuse. She has seen a lot, and she has learned from her experiences and I think that she expresses it well in this video.

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Busy Week at the Women’s Center!

080-cropBy Kacie Otto

It’s been an eventful week at the UMKC Women’s Center! This week, we wrapped Sexual Assault Awareness Month with Denim Day visual displays on the Quad and at the Hospital Hill Residence Hall. We also had a tabling even in the quad where students could decorate denim squares to illustrate their commitment to taking a stand against sexual violence.

We recognize Denim Day because an 18 year old woman was raped by her driving instructor in Italy. He was found to be innocent because the victim’s jeans were too tight for him to have taken them off without assistance. At the Women’s Center, we say this is wrong and that all victims of sexual assault should be listened to and believed. We stand in solidarity with this victim and others by wearing denim to work on April 29.

Her-Art-Block-party-flier

 

Coming up tonight, the Her Art project will be at the Crossroads for First Friday. Stop by to create your own ‘Stepping Stone’ Art piece and learn more about empowering women in the Kansas City Art community.

Thank you for all of your support! We’re looking forward to seeing you tonight!

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Are You Sure You Know What Street Harassment Is?

Source: Google images through Creative Commons

Source: Google images through Creative Commons

By Torshawna Griffin

While scrolling on Facebook, I came across a social experiment that showed how naïve some people are to what street harassment is. I found two different videos with two totally different outcomes.

In the first video, a girl asked different guys on the street if they would have sex with her. Some guys were down for the challenge and quickly said yes and followed her to her “house.” However, others declined and one man called the police. Even though the video claimed to be a comedic experiment to see how willingly people were to “hook up,” I got another message. It showed how people don’t know or understand what street harassment is.

While the video claimed to be a harmless prank, this is street harassment and people should not have to be subjected to this. Only one person had the right reaction, which was to call the police and report it.

Most women just giggled and walked away, but one woman threw her drink in his face and told him to back off. Street Harassment like this happens every day and mostly to women! Videos like this that make it a joke are not funny. Street harassment is any unwanted attention (gestures, comments, and actions) forced in public without the person’s consent. Street harassment is a big deal because it makes women uncomfortable and can be scary and intimidating. Asking random to people to have sex with you on the street is an extreme version of street harassment. Catcalling and calling someone baby to get them to talk to you is also street harassment.

This is something that we have to call to an end in order to protect not only women, but everyone who has ever been harassed on the street.

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I’m No Angel, Either

Image courtesy of Lane Bryant

Image courtesy of Lane Bryant

By Kemora Williams

Beyoncé stated it best in her song “No Angel”, when she said, “You’re no angel, either.”

Lane Bryant, a plus size clothing brand, launched an advertising campaign on Monday, April 6, 2015. The advertisement is call #ImNoAngel, signifying that plus size women are no Victoria Secret models-but they can still embody and symbolize sexiness. These featured models include: Ashley Graham, Marquita Pring, Candice Huffine, and many more women. The plus size models are all wearing Bryant’s new bra collection, Cacique.

Women around the world have been posting pictures of themselves on their social media accounts hash tagging “I’m No Angel”. Join the campaign by liking us on Facebook and tagging the UMKCWomensCenter in your photo #ImNoAngel. Stay on the lookout for picutures of the Women’s Center Staff hash tagged “Im No Angel”. While there has been some criticism regarding lack of diversity in the ads, it is still a big step forward for the plus size community.

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