Event Preview: Crafty Feminist Friday

By Samantha Anthony

Are you beginning the feel the pressure of classes? Are you stressed out about school, or something else going on in your life? Or is it past time for some self-care? On Friday, September 7th, come to the Women’s Center from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., where we’ll be ending the week with arts and crafts. Bring a friend and enjoy some snacks, too. This event will be co-sponsored by A Window Between Worlds. We can’t wait to see you there!

What: Crafty Feminist Friday – Hang out, make arts and crafts, and enjoy some snacks.

Who: Co-sponsored by the UMKC Women’s Center and A Window Between Worlds

When: Friday, September 7th, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where: UMKC Women’s Center, 5120 Rockhill Road, 105 Haag Hall, Kansas City, MO 64110

Admission: FREE!

Parking is available in the Rockhill Road parking garage across from the Women’s Center.

Please RSVP to umkc-womens-center@umkc.edu or 816-235-1638 by Wednesday, September 5th.

Upcoming Event: Denim Day

By Ann Varner

Since 1999 women around the United States have been participating in Denim Day, however, it did not begin in the United States. Denim Day is a day in April when women and men around the world wear denim as a form of protest to raise awareness of sexual violence.

Why denim?

In 1998 a rape conviction was overturned by the Italian Supreme Court because the court decided that “since the woman’s jeans were on so tight, she had to have helped the man take them off” ergo, it was consensual. When news of this spread women in Italy began to wear denim to work as a form of protest. This year, Denim Day is on April 25 and will be held on the quad. I encourage you to join us for a presentation, a visual display, and free food! Remember to wear your denim as a sign of solidarity that we do not accept victim blaming nor are the clothes we wear any sort of invitation for violence.

Follow this link to learn more about Denim Day.

Upcoming Event: Denim Drive

By Megan Schwindler

The UMKC Women’s Center is asking for donations of gently used denim to be used as the canvas for artwork for others to witness during UMKC Denim Day in April. We’re collecting denim from April 9-20. Drop off locations include the UMKC Women’s Center, Miller Nichols Library, Oak Street Residence Hall Lobby, and the Office of Student Involvement.

What is Denim Day USA?

It is a rape prevention education campaign where community members, elected officials, businesses, and students are asked to make a social statement with their wardrobe by wearing jeans as a visible protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault.

Denim Day stems from the 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction because they believed that because the victim wore tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. Enraged by the verdict, the women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans to work. This action motivated the California Senate and Assembly to do the same. It then spread nationally, and wearing jeans on Denim Day became an international symbol of protest against the destructive attitudes and myths surrounding sexual assault.

For more information on the case you can visit The New York Times’ coverage or visit the Peace Over Violence website.

For more information concerning the denim drive and event, contact: hehkw4@mail.umkc.edu or 816-235-1638.

Upcoming Event: Feminist Open Mic

By Megan Schwindler

The Event

Join us for an afternoon of spoken word and activism about ending gender-based violence and creating a safer campus community for everyone. Even if you don’t have an original song or poem to perform, consider reading a piece from an artist who inspires you. We will also provide free cookies!

The event will be held this Friday, March 2 from 12-1:30 pm at Jazzman’s Café at the Student Union, 5100 Cherry St. The event is sponsored by the UMKC Women’s Center and is co-sponsored by the Violence Prevention and Response Program.

What is One Billion Rising?

According to their website, One Billion Rising is “the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history.” The campaign was launched in 2012 on Valentine’s Day and “began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.” Their 2018 campaign focuses on the theme of solidarity in light of the “fierce escalation of fascist, imperialist, neo-liberal attacks on the lives of people around the world.” They also advocate for Artistic Uprisings from February 14 to March 8. These Artistic Uprisings,  “use art forms from storytelling to theatre, poetry and music, and dance and film as radical calls to action [that] will bring together women from the marginalized and most oppressed sectors of each community to tell their stories through monologues, spoken word, song, music, and dancing.” Our event, One Billion Rising: Feminist Open Mic, will give a voice to those who need it and educate those on campus about ways they can help create a safe campus community for everyone.

Questions? Email us at umkc-womens-center@umkc.edu or give us a call at 816-235-1638.

We hope to see you there!

One Billion Rising shows us that women play a crucial role in this resistance, creating solidarity movements, as they lead from the forefront of local, national and international struggles. It shows us that women are continuing to organize everywhere, harnessing collective energy, building hope and solidarity, and using creativity and vision as they raise political consciousness in their unwavering and fierce determination towards a future of freedom, equality, respect and dignity. -OBR

Wanted: Women in Science

By Ann Varner

Every Monday a group of women and I meet for our Women in Science (WiSci) meeting. This group of diverse women have become the highlight of my Mondays. We all have different majors ranging from chemistry to political science, but that doesn’t stop us. We do many activities on campus including volunteering, hosting lunches with women in science, attending science, technology, engineering, and mathematics panel discussions, and talking about Game of Thrones and our lives in general.

If you have any interest in being a part of the UMKC campus life or just getting together with a great group of women, feel free to attend a meeting in the UMKC Women’s Center on Mondays from 2-3. It’s a common fact that the science field is dominated by males, so it’s nice to find other feminists and women to get more involved.

Contact Diamond Anderson dnahyd@mail.umkc.edu for more information.

 

 

Upcoming Event: Feminist Film Friday

By Megan Schwindler

Coming up on Friday, February 9 from 12-2 pm, the UMKC Women’s Center is sponsoring Feminist Film Friday: Until the Violence Stops. This event is co-sponsored by the Violence Prevention and Response Program. The event will be held at the UMKC Women’s Center, in 105 Haag Hall. RSVP’s are necessary for this event.

End your week enjoying a movie and some free pizza with the staff at the Women’s Center. This week’s movie is a documentary about the start and success of The Vagina Monologues and the V-Day Movement. RSVP to umkc-womens-center@umkc.edu or 816-235-1638 by February 7.

We hope to see you there!

UMKC gears up for Transgender Awareness Month

By Ann Varner

It was recently brought to my attention that November is Transgender Awareness Month. In particular, November 20th is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day dedicated to remembering transgender people who have lost their lives due to anti-trans violence.

This month is so important because it brings attention to a group of people who have significant struggles in terms of equality and acceptance in the United States. According to Marie Claire, there are an estimated 700,000 people who identify as transgender in the United States. 41% of this population has attempted or committed suicide.

19% of transgender people have experienced violence or abuse from a family member, with only 18 states having clear laws protecting transgender people.

In order to help improve these issues and reflect a more positive trans experience, UMKC LGBTQIA Programs & Services is hosting many events this week and next week for trans awareness. Their website also lists university resources for trans and non-binary students, faculty and staff. Check them out!

Fridays are for Feminism

By Ann Varner

Last Friday, the Women’s Center had a great turn out for the showing of the movie Hidden Figures. There was all the pizza, popcorn, and M&Ms you could ever want while watching this funny and heartwarming movie.

I won’t include any spoilers, but if you haven’t seen it, do it now. You’re missing out.

This event continued our Feminist Friday series. Crafty Feminist Friday returns Oct. 13, and we’ll watch and discuss The Girl on the Train on Oct. 27. These events start at noon—think of them as long, feminist lunch breaks!

As always, stay updated with our events by checking the blogs or watching for fliers on campus.

5 Tips for Managing Stress During Finals

by Thea Voutiritsas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Okay, maybe not. High stakes and heavy books can be hard to handle, but don’t let finals week get you down! We’ve compiled a quick list of ways to help keep your stress level under control, so you can end your semester with a bang, not a fizzle… or a mental breakdown.

  1. Exercise – Short exercise breaks can relieve stress, help you socialize, and burn off extra sugar you may be consuming. It’ll also help you focus, and release endorphins to improve your mood. It can be hard to make time for it when you’re busy studying, but I like to listen to audiobooks of what I’m studying, or you can rest a book on a bike or a treadmill. If you’re really short on time, even a walk around the block can help clear your head.
  2. Breathe– That should be obvious, but it’s so easy we often forget to do it at all. When you’re feeling especially overwhelmed, just take a deep breath until you can’t fill your lungs anymore, then exhale with gusto! Make a noise! Just let it out. It seems silly, but sometimes just 4-5 seconds to slow the thoughts running through your head can help. Maybe just don’t do this during a test.
  3. Sleep – It’s easier said than done. Studying before bed can help with retention, but staying up all night studying only dulls your short-term memory. You’re better off studying earlier and getting a good night’s rest.
  4. Hydrate – It’s tempting to stick with caffeine when you’re in a rush and short on sleep, but it dehydrates you in the long run. Match what you’re drinking in coffee with water. You may need a lot of bathroom breaks, but your mind will be clearer, and your body will thank you.
  5. Eat nutritious meals and snacks – Don’t just settle for the quickest bite to eat when you’re in a hurry. Stick with healthy snacks with natural sugars to keep your mind clear and your blood sugar even. The last thing you need is a major crash. Plus, Monday, May 8 through Friday, May 12, the Women’s Center will be providing free snacks! You can find our baskets at the Women’s Center in 105 Haag Hall, the 3rd Atrium in Flarsheim Hall, 1st floor lounge of Block Heritage Hall, and the 2nd Floor of the Health Sciences Library on Hospital Hill!

Audrie and Daisy: Let’s talk about rape and the pursuit of justice

By Ann Varner

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5278460/

Audrie and Daisy is a documentary that aired on Netflix. The film examines the ripple effects on families, friends, schools and communities when two underage women find that sexual assault crimes against them have been caught on camera.  Both Audrie and Daisy tried to get justice. Both of them were slut shamed and had backlash so badly that one of the girls, Audrie, committed suicide. Daisy went to the police, and the rapist was arrested and charged.

Suddenly, he was set free. The prosecutor decided that there just “wasn’t enough evidence”. Daisy and her family suffered severe backlash because of it, to the point that they had to move after members of the town burned their house down. When Audrie was sexually assaulted, the boys took a picture of her. That picture was sent around the school and posted on social media. Instead of her peers noticing that something was wrong with the picture, she was called many slut-related names as she tried to find out who had taken the picture. The bullying was so bad she committed suicide only a week later.

Rapes are underreported crimes due to this rape culture and slut shaming. Victims of rape are so scared of the retaliation that could happen that they would rather not seek justice so they don’t end up like Audrie or Daisy. The biggest misconception is the notion that women are raped because of something they did, like wearing jeans too tight, getting drunk at a party, and so on. I wrote about this in my last blog about our upcoming denim day.

Daisy will be coming to UMKC for a discussion panel on Thursday, April 27th at 6:00pm in the Student Union Theater. I encourage anyone and everyone to come and hear her speak and ask questions. The only way to end this cycle of rape culture and shaming is to talk about these issues.