Guest Posting Guidelines

We welcome guest posts here on the Women’s Center blog. Guest posting gives the readers fresh perspectives beyond what we can provide. We also learn a lot from the guest posts.

Here are two reasons why you may want to write guest posts:

  1. You will promote critical thinking and teach others about an issue.
    This is always a good thing. While you may already be educating people through whatever work you do, hopefully by posting on this blog you will expose many others to your side of an issue and promote critical thinking and discussion.
  2. You will get exposure for your work.
    Anyone who reads our blog will see your post – including students, staff, faculty and community members. This means that you will gain exposure for whatever projects on which you are working or groups of which you are a member, and possibly additional support or members.

Of course, there are some guidelines for the post. In addition to being relevant to women’s and/or gender issues, the post must be:

  1. Original
    It can’t be a post that has been posted anywhere else before. In other words, it must be a new post.
  2. At least 200 words long.
    This is for the content part, not counting the title and bio.
  3. At most 50 words bio.
    You may include links to your site or blog here. Please put the bio at the end of the post. We will write an introduction at the beginning.
  4. Posts may not contain racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise overtly objectionable content.
    Differences of opinion are welcome; posts will not be rejected on a difference of opinion alone. Threats, pointless belligerence, and hate speech are not welcome.

We reserve the right to edit the posts as needed (for example, to fix spelling or grammar errors) and to reject posts that we feel are not appropriate for this web site. Feel free to tell us about your idea before you start writing. We don’t want to waste your time. Please send your submissions, ideas, or questions about the guest posting policy to

Student Voting Information

With such an important election coming up, everyone needs to make sure they’re registered to vote. Have questions about voting as a student? Visit this site to find out more! And then remember to get out and vote in November!

New Girl on the Job

Excellent article by a previous visiting speaker at the Women’s Center, Hannah Seligson.

Have you had a similar experience in the workplace? Do you agree/disagree with any of the things she points out in this article? Let us know about your experiences by commenting below.

Walk a Mile

Although these are some scary statistics and stories, this is an issue that has been and continues to affect women, especially those in college and younger. If you have a few minutes, I highly recommend checking this out and taking the time to read a little bit about it.

In an effort to reach out to women (and men) on campus and educate them about these issues, as well as provide support services, UMKC received the Department of Justice Violence Against Women Campus Grant, which funds the Violence Prevention and Response Project. If you or someone you know is a victim or survivor of sexual violence, dating or relationship violence, or stalking, please know there is someone here to help.

The VPR project also provides education and training, and puts on programs such as Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, which will take place on September 25. We hope you will join us in our efforts to end violence against women!

Fusing Politics and Motherhood in a New Way

This article from today’s New York Times is actually one of the better-researched and written articles concerning the combination of Sarah Palin’s motherhood and political career. One piece of it that I find especially intriguing and relevant is the different approach she takes to combining her family and her career, taking both her children and her husband into the workplace with her. Perhaps one of the issues with American society and the reason we’re questioning her ability to be both a mom and vice president is our black-and-white view of parenthood and work. If we go by the 50’s model of the workplace (which, let’s not kid ourselves, is still alive and functioning), you go to work, there is someone at home to take care of the kids, and you work until the job is done, even putting in extra hours if need be, with no repercussions on your family or personal well-being. For today’s workforce, however, family, whether that be children, partners, or parents, and personal time are more often taking precedence over work.

Maybe we should take a page out of Sarah Palin’s book and start finding ways to combine the two. What do you think?

Mommy Wars? Really?

This might be one of the most obnoxious articles I’ve read in awhile. Does it bother anyone else that at no point in this article do they debate her political credentials, just her “mommy” status? Media everywhere are jumping all over this, and it’s driving me nuts. When was the last time any of us heard someone question whether or not a man could be a father and hold a political office? On top of all of this, the judgment by other mothers is absolutely crushing. Just because someone chooses to parent in a different way does not make them a bad person. Am I bad person because I work instead of staying at home with my two-year-old son?

And what does this say about the state of fatherhood in our country that we don’t question how a man will be a good father and hold political office?

Perhaps the quote that I find most appalling from this article is below:

In all of Washington, there is perhaps one person whose life most resembles
the one that Ms. Palin is pursuing: Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers,
Republican of Washington and mother of an infant son with Down syndrome. Ms.
Rodgers cheered Ms. Palin’s entry into the race, saying it would draw attention
to the policy needs of children and families.
But Ms. Rodgers acknowledges that on some days, like the one when she had to run to the Capitol for a vote without taking a shower first, she wonders if she is doing the right thing. She feels then like many working mothers: caught between her job and “wanting to be the best mom and best wife you can possibly be.”

Facebook Ads

Here’s a great article about the ads on Facebook. For those of you who have seen them and been insulted or offended, I think you’ll appreciate the finer points of advertising offered by the author.
What do you think about the ads on Facebook? Are they too “in your face”? Or are they just another way of reaching out to the younger generation?

Party Line

Brenda (the Director of the Women’s Center) and I have been debating over the last week whether or not to blog about any of the Democratic National Convention. There have been some pretty significant speeches made by and about women, and it seems like something that would belong on a women’s center blog. At the same time, we would feel just as strongly about blogging about the Republican National Convention. Rather than blog about one or the other, we’ve decided not to blog about either. This doesn’t mean we’re completely oblivious to what’s going on in the world of politics, but it does mean that we want to make sure that our students understand that the Women’s Center is a place for all students – Democrats, Republicans and everything else. While some issues for which we advocate may seem to fall to one side or the other, we hope that students see that our main concern here is supporting women and feel that this is a safe place to come to discuss whatever their political beliefs may be.

We also hope that students will take the time to stop by (or post a comment) and let us know what they feel are the important issues of this political campaign. How might one candidate’s views affect women? What are the issues in the current campaign that affect or involve women? What issues aren’t in the current campaign that you would like to see? Let us know what you’re thinking!

Dora the Exhibitionist?

For those who attended this year’s Starr Symposium, the latest development for Dora the Explorer might not surprise you that much – even if it does disturb you. Why do some marketers feel the need to “sex up” girl characters so much? Even ones targeting pre-school age children? What are your thoughts on this? Do you have other examples of oddly mature cartoon or toy characters that you can think of? What about male characters? Share by making comments below.

Midwifery in Missouri

At the Women’s Center Open House yesterday, the topic of midwifery came up. Apparently, Missouri has recently supported the decision to allow direct entry midwifery. According to Wikipedia, “A direct-entry midwife is educated in the discipline of midwifery in a program or path that does not also require her to become educated as a nurse. Direct-entry midwives learn midwifery through self-study, apprenticeship, a midwifery school, or a college- or university-based program distinct from the discipline of nursing.” Previous to this ruling, midwives in Missouri were required to also be educated as nurses in order to practice legally.

As of April 2007, Missouri was one of only eleven states to prohibit direct entry midwifery (Midwives Alliance of North America).

We also learned that there are, in fact, some male midwives practicing in the U.S., despite the title. One of the reasons we love having students come visit us at the Center is because they are always teaching us stuff!