V-Day is in February

Just a reminder that UMKC V-Day 2009 events will be taking place in Februrary. We’ll be blogging more details on, but for now, be sure to check out our press releases and website for more info:

If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor or donating to our silent auction, follow these links:
We hope to see you at V-Day events in February!

Teens and Plastic Surgery

We’re a bit behind blogging on this article in the New York Times about teens getting plastic surgery (also see Jezebel for a great response). I find this absolutely horrifying — I’ve heard stories from students about parents buying breast implant surgery for their daughters as high school graduation presents, but had hoped that was just an urban legend. Of course, it also explains why past Starr Symposia featuring Jean Kilborne and Lyn Mikel Brown were so well-received.
Just yesterday, Jezebel had a post about a new study just released that showed that the rise in “makeover” shows has led to an increase in body anxiety among teens? Hmm. . . .do you think the two just might be related?

Anti-Violence Programs Update

About a week ago, I posted on an article in the New York Times that highlighted states’ efforts at dating violence prevention, noting that the majority of these efforts were aimed at changing the behavior of girls (e.g., victims) as opposed to working to change perpetrators’ behavior.

Today, I came across an article by friend and fabulous feminist Courtney Martin, who makes the same point much more eloquently than I did:

“But holding young women primarily responsible for preventing male violence is like telling young men that ending the epidemic of eating disorders in this country is ultimately up to them. Sure, there is a thin ideal, a $40 billion diet industry, and psychological, physiological, and genetic influences at work, but that’s nothing that a little encouragement from a supportive boyfriend can’t solve, right?”

Courtney gets it exactly right — and I encourage you to go read the entire piece: “Deadly Medicine for Youth Violence

Here We Go Again

At first glance, the efforts at preventing teen dating prevention described in this New York Times article seem like great ideas. Until you realize that “prevention” once again means changing the behavior of girls who are being abused, despite the fact that all of the murder victims mentioned in the article are girls. Perhaps the states’ efforts would be better spent by working to change the behavior of abusers instead of victims?

So what's wrong with short hair?

Via Jezebel comes a story from the NY Daily News about the horror (the horror!) of the renewed popularity of short haircuts for women (you know it’s popular when Posh Spice does it). As someone who cut her hair short years ago and never looked back, I just don’t get it. And more importantly, why does the NY Daily News think women should care what these men think? Not to mention, as the Jezebel blogger points out, that “women are basically being told that they should consider how men look at them when they are making choices about what to wear and how to style their hair.” That rubs me the wrong way, too — it’s my hair and I’ll cut and keep it short if I want to.

I know it seems like a little thing, but it’s part of a larger pattern of the scrutiny of women’s bodies — something I am heartily tired of.

Random Articles We've Been Reading

This past week was a rather busy one for us in the Women’s Center, so we didn’t get around to posting. Below are links to articles we’ve been reading.

For the election-obsessed:
And for those of as tired of this endless election as I am (November 5 can’t get here soon enough!), some articles on women’s health:
Finally, just for fun: