Sad Goodbyes and New Beginnings

Image Source: Wiki Commons

By: Laura Yac

 It is crazy to say, but my journey here at UMKC has almost officially come to an end. In a few shorts weeks I will be a college graduate which means my time at the Women’s Center is also coming to an end. To be honest, leaving the Women’s Center will be the hardest part of this journey. When starting college, I worked full time, so I never got to experience what many say are “the best four years of your life.”

I never really went out of my way to make too many friends or experience much around campus, util I joined the Women’s Center staff. This last semester I was able to be surrounded by individuals who I genially enjoyed seeing every day. I was able to have so many great conversations and enjoy many laughs. I was finally attend events on a regular basis and get to see all the behind the scenes.  

With this internship opportunity I was able to learn so much and grow every single day. I gained much needed valuable experience that I know will help me once I start my career. For that I have to thank everyone here at the Women’s Center who always were there to help with a great attitude! As I write this post, I hold back tears (I can blame the pregnancy hormones for that one).

It is very bittersweet, but I know we are all meant to do great things. As I plan to leave Kansas City and start a new journey, I will always remember my semester here at the Women’s Center.  

We need to change the dress code, not what girls wear.

By: Laura Yac 

While being in school, a very common phrase that young girls/teenagers are scared to hear is,  “Are you aware of the school’s dress code?” This is a short phrase that can bring so much shame and embarrassment to these individuals in a place where they are meant to feel safe. Young girls are described as a distraction because of what they choose to wear. At such a young age, girls are being sexualized and that only causes long term harm. Establishing these ideas in young girls only leads them to grow to be ashamed of what they choose to wear due to the feedback that they may receive. It’s crazy to think we have been taught to believe that showing your knees or too much shoulder is an issue to our education.  One might ask; how does wearing a tank top have anything to do with test scores?

I hope that with time there is change brought to this now socially acceptable way to embarrass young girls covered by being a dress code violation. I believe that young girls should be allowed to wear what they see fit without being considered a distraction to others. Because being honest, how distracting can a person’s collar bone be? Until change is made district if not nationwide, we are left with seeing young girls filled with guilt for how they choose to dress.

Want to learn more on this issue affecting young girls? Click here or here.

 

Back to Basics #2: Do Feminists Hate Men?

By: Laura Yac

We are bringing it back to basics this week with a common misconception involving feminists.  When I talk about my feminist beliefs, I often get asked the question, “Do you hate men?”  My answer,  like Cher from Clueless would say is: “Ugh! as if…”

Yet the question still remains if feminists really hate men, and for the most part we don’t! I have come to the conclusion that many individuals (especially men) feel attacked by the term feminist and the concept of women wanting to be seen as equal and receiving the same opportunities that men do for simply being male. This is where I believe individuals got the common misconception that we hate men.

If you go online right now and look up the term feminist, the definition is  “advocacy of women rights on the basis of equality of sexes.” From that, we can gather that overall feminists just want to be seen at the same standards the world places men. We want nothing more than to be treated as the powerful individuals we are and because of that, men shouldn’t feel threatened or hated on. It is simply a matter of wanting change. Women are tired of being treated like they are unable to do certain tasks, tired of being underpaid and underestimated.

It is time that individuals realize that. Instead of seeing such movement as a threat, they should join the cause for the women in their life who have been shut down and underestimated their whole life. For now, it seems women’s rights will be a battle we continue to fight.

For the mean-time here is some extra helpful information on what feminism really is and to leave on a good note… Men, we don’t hate you!

Helpful articles to learn more about feminism: click here and here.

 

 

 

 

 

The Woman Behind the American Red Cross: Clara Barton

Trivia question: Clara Barton founded___________, an organization dedicated to emergency relief, on May 21st, 1881 and led it for the next 23 years. 

 Answer: The Red Cross.

Image Source: Flickr, elycefeliz, Creative Commons

By: Laura Yac

They say behind every organization stands one man, but that’s not always true.  On the contrary, there are many organizations founded and led by women. Take Clara Barton: she created an organization that was dedicated towards emergency relief. This organization came about in May 21st, 1881 and was under her supervision for the next 23 years.  She helped found The Red Cross. The Red Cross is widely known and has helped people all across the world as well.  

We would not expect anything less than that from Barton, who was described as a strong, independent women who cared for others. She dedicated her life to The Red Cross, and she never married or had a family. In the 1800s and early 1900s, this was very uncommon. Barton didn’t mind leaving behind a life as a wife or mother, because she felt as if her purpose in life was to help others. During the Civil war she became a self-taught nurse and cared for wounded soldiers. By doing that she earned the respect of many and was known as the “angel of the battlefield”. She continued her great work during wars and helped over 20,000 soldiers reunite with their families after being hurt. She showed she not only cared for everyone’s physical health but their overall health.  

After that, she became one of the very first women to ever work for a federal government during that time period. She continued to strive for a change and continued being an inspiration to many. After many years she decided to finally retire in 1904. With that she left a legacy and what many would refer as a big position to fill. Currently the Red Cross is being ran by Gail J McGovern, a woman who is following the steps left behind by Clara Barton.

Meet Laura Yac! New Intern at the Women’s Center

By Laura Yac

Hello All! My name is Laura Yac. I am currently a senior here at UMKC! I am expected to graduate May 2022 with a bachelor’s in health science. I have spent all four years of my degree here at UMKC and loved every second of it. Attending UMKC has allowed me to stay close to home which has been an attribute to my success in school. Having the support of my family and friends has helped me through many obstacles and made me the person I am today.

With that in mind, when thinking of my internship for my last semester, the Women’s Center came to mind. I have very strong and hardworking women in my life who strive to be the best version of themselves. They stand up for their rights and do not let any stereotypes or ideologies get in their way. I want to be able to portray that same feeling to others and my future children. While working at the Women Center, I hope to learn how to advocate not only for myself but for others. I think that will be an easy task while being surrounded by strong individuals who want the same outcome. The Women Center is a safe space, and I can’t wait to share that with others.

Overall, I am so excited for the events and programs we will be sharing this semester with students and community members. I also hope to bring new ideas and events to the Women Center alongside the other staff members and have a great semester!

Picture Description: To get to know me better here is a picture of my fiancé and myself at Disney World. We were able to experience our childhood dream and fulfill our inner child taste for sweets.